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Tigra

Tigra, superhero art by Mike Deodato

Greer Grant Nelson was a research laboratory assistant, who obtained an extraordinary ability and powers after being exposed to experimental radiation. Following further experimentation, Greer transformed into a Cross-Species, a half human-half cat form.  Since then, she works for several heroic groups, including the Avengers and SHIELD.

Tigra’s character was created by a writer Roy Thomas, along with Wally Wood, an artist. Her first appearance was in an American comic book titled, The Claws of the Cat issue #1, published under Marvel Comics in November 1972.

Tigra’s Comic Origin

Nelson as ‘The Cat’ in Claws of the Cat issue #1 art by Wally Wood.

Greer Grant Nelson was married to New York City police officer, William Nelson, who ran into conflict against a rogue organization called the Blue Fist Brethren. A member of the group eventually killed William Nelson. However, the member was never revealed. Following the death of his husband, Nelson was in need of finding a job. While searching for a job, she ran into her former professor in Physics, Dr. Joanne Tumolo.

Nelson afterward worked as a laboratory assistant of Dr. Tumolo. Her job was todesign a method to help people achieve their full physical and mental potential. Because of financial necessity, Dr. Tumolo accepted private funding for the project from the Brand Corporation’s former executive, Malcolm Donalbain. Aside from that, Donalbain also wanted to build his own army of women to serve him. Because of trust issues, Tumolo used Nelson secretly as her test subject, alongside Shirlee Bryant, a woman who Donalbain had suggested. As a result of the experimentation, Bryant and Nelson emerged with superhuman physical ability.

After Bryant died in a test for her skills, Donalbain had his men set off in the laboratory. They planted explosive devices to make it appear that Bryant’s death was because of an accident caused by explosives. During the fire, Tumolo was injured. However, Nelson then thought that her mentor was dead. With this, she planned about how to put Donalbain into jail and stop his evilness.

Nelson’s Transformation from The Cat to Tigra

After she thought that her mentor was dead, she put on one of the costumes designed by Donalbain and named herself, The Cat. Subsequently, Nelson was informed that Tumolo was not killed, although she was hospitalized for apparent brain damage.In those days, Greer was a hero in Chicago, with her costumed persona as the Cat. She became a hero around the Chicago area and fought villains, including Man-Killer, Commander Kraken, and Man-Bull. Unbeknownst to Nelson, Tumolo was actually a member of a humanoid race called Cat People. It was a race that magically evolved during the middle ages out of cats in Europe.Before the explosion was set up by Donalbain, Tumolo was made aware that the Hydra plotted a plan of stealing the bacterial culture developed by Tumolo’s ancestors.The identity of Tumolo’s ancestors had been uncovered by the Hydra and believed that Tumolo had the “final secret,” or also known as the black plague. To evade the Hydra, Tumolo pretended to have brain damage. However, the Hydra kidnapped her from her private home.

Consequently, The Cat followed them. Hydra’s agents fled from the Cat’s assault but managed to blast her with an unknown form of radioactivity called ‘alpha radiation’ during the battle. To save Nelson, Dr. Tumolo performed a rite upon her and revealed the truth about the Cat People. As a result, a cat-soul possessed Nelson, and she transformed into a Cat People’s greatest champion, Tigra. With this, Nelson defeated Hydra. Later on, she continued her career as a private investigator and an adventurer.

Superpowers and Abilities

Superhuman Senses: The senses of Tigra are about ten times sharper than an average person, and about five times more accurate than an ordinary cat. Her visual acuity is extraordinary and could reach into the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Tigra’s vertically-slit pupils allow her to have a broader range of vision above and below her, enabling her to spot an opponent’s movements more easily. Also, Tigra’s sense of hearing is sensitive enough to distinguish a change of sound from four decibels to six decibels at forty feet. She can also selectively sort through different odors with her highly developed sense of smell.

Superhuman Speed: Tigra can run at velocities higher than even the finest human athlete. Her strong leg muscles and super strong bone structure enable her to run at full speed.

Superhuman Stamina: Tigra has superhuman stamina that enables her to exert physical movements at full capacity for around 24 hours, before her body is impaired by the build-up of fatigue toxins in her blood.

Superhuman Agility: Tigra’s balance, agility, and body coordination are improved to levels that are beyond the finest athlete’s natural physical limits. With little effort, she can execute complex gymnastics exercises.

Regenerative Healing Factor: When Tigra is injured, she can heal damaged tissue more quickly than an average human. In a matter of days, she can heal injuries as severe as broken bones. However, she cannot regenerate missing organs, limbs, or cells in her brain.

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