Proud of her family’s legacy as bearers of the Jade Amulets of Power, Ava Ayala takes up the White Tiger mantel without hesitation. Inspired by her older brother who dedicated his life to helping people, she does the same and joins the respected ranks of the Mighty Avengers and Heroes for Hire.
Living the Legacy
Ava Ayala is the baby of her family. While her siblings are much older than her, with kids even, she thought it nice that everyone fusses over her but it was a lonely childhood spent mostly idolizing her oldest brother, Hector, AKA White Tiger. Hector fights crime as the costumed crusader, enhanced by the Jade Amulets of Power, talismans of the Tiger God (possibly Bai Hu of the Xian pantheon).
Tragically, one afternoon, Ava arrives home from school to witness anti-hero militant Gideon Mace’s hirelings killing her parents and sister Awilda, and they gravely injured her as well. Barely surviving a similar attack, Hector gives up the White Tiger identity and leaves Manhattan, with Ava remaining in the guardianship of Awilda’s husband.
Years later, following Hector’s death, Awilda’s daughter Angela Del Toro inherits the amulets and White Tiger identity; however, after Hand ninjas mystically corrupt her, the teenage Ava acquires the amulets. With the amulets in two, Ava joins the Avengers Academy in California.
Ancient Mystical Amulets
White Tiger’s amulets grant her enhanced strength (Class 10), speed, stamina, coordination, agility, durability, endurance, and mastery of martial arts. Under extreme conditions, she can project the amulets’ energies as concussive force. When separated from the amulets, she can sense their proximity; prolonged separation induces painful symptoms similar to drug withdrawal.
The amulets have provided prior users with enhanced healing capabilities, the ability to camouflage against various surfaces and the power and the ability to transform into a costumed form and back again, but Ava has yet to demonstrate these traits. She carries an Avengers signal device for ready contact.
Growing up with her family who hails from Puerto Rico, Ava is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Dangerous Deities and Foes
The White Tiger God contained in the Jade amulets grants the wearer superhuman powers and mastery over martial arts, but it is a controlling god and Ava as its avatar makes a deal with the God that allows him to control her for one night per week without interference from her. But the possession gets out of hand and Ava ultimately overcomes and controls the god with sheer will and a persuasive argument.
Deranged ex-Army colonel Gideon Mace’s men brutally murdered Ava’s parents and her sister Awilda in front of her, and though she suffers a bullet wound to the lung, Ava survives. She later takes up the White Tiger mantel and hears that Mace is let out and she tries to kill him but the Mighty Avengers intervene and prevent her from doing so.
At first, Ava goes up against her fellow Avengers Academy student Humberto Lopez, AKA Reptil, when he allies with Jimmy Marks, AKA Hybrid. Reptil changes his tune after Ava puts her life on the line and they defeat the villain together, and eventually share a romantic relationship.
When the sociopath Jeremy Briggs’ tries to depower superhumans with help from the mystic Lisa Molinari, AKA Coat of Arms, Coat uses Ava and Reptil’s amulets against them. Though Ava makes a deal with the Tiger God and eventually the villains are defeated.
Family Ties and Vigilante Allies
Ava grows up with her parents Nestor and Maria, her older brothers Hector and Filippo and sister Awilda Ayala-Del Toro. By marriage, she is related to Soledad Ayala, Hector’s wife, and Mr. Del Toro, Awilda’s husband. Her nieces and nephews include Marisol, Rey and Angela. Ava grows up idolizing her brother Hector, the first White Tiger in their family and inherits the mantel from her niece Angela after she becomes corrupted by the Hand.
Following in her brother’s heroic footsteps, Ava works with the amulet’s Tiger God and joins the Avengers Academy. There, she allies with other superpowered students and learns skills necessary to defeat villains and protect others under Hank Pym, AKA Giant-Man’s direction. She ends up joining the Mighty Avengers and Luke Cage’s Heroes for Hire where she becomes a hired mercenary for a time.