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Classic Tiger Shark over a white background

Tiger Shark

(Profile #1 - classic)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Tiger-Shark (Todd Arliss) is a semi-classic Marvel Comics villain, who appeared in 1968. He’s primarily a Namor opponent, but he’s popped up in all sorts of books as a super-strong baddie.

Thus, he’s very easy to use for gamemasters who need a mercenary tough guy for a scenario.

This profile goes from the beginning up to 1992. It’s followed by our second Tiger-Shark profile, covering the rest.


Background

  • Real Name: Todd Arliss
  • Other Aliases: Arlys Tigershark (nomad name acquired during the closing months of this era)
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Diane Arliss Newell (sister), Walter Newell (aka Stingray, brother-in-law), Mara (wife by nomad custom)
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the Masters of Evil (three rosters and counting)
  • Base Of Operations: Usually the Atlantic Ocean and the East Coast of the USA
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 450 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue-grey Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Tiger Shark is almost as fast, almost as strong, almost as tough and just as ferocious as Namor the Submariner. He derives his powers directly from Namor’s.

Like Marvel’s most famous Atlantean, is an amphibious creature drawing immense strength and vitality from exposure to water – and particularly sea water. Even out of water, Tiger Shark retains sufficient strength to demolish almost any obstacle.

His mutated body is adapted to the aquatic life. He can :

  • see even in the total obscurity of deep underwater (though the thick ink cloud of giant squids will block even his vision)
  • swim faster than most powerboats
  • ignore the pressure of even the deepest trenches on Earth thanks to the increased density and porous nature of his own tissues
  • etc.

Being powerful enough to move deep underwater, he can make enormous standing jumps while on the surface, though he seldom does. It is more common for him to swim at top speed and shoot out of water, covering impressive distances in the air.

Other abilities

Like some sharks, Tiger Shark can slow down his metabolism until he enters a sort of hibernating state. Dr. Cross also theorised that Tiger Shark had an extremely powerful immune system and was immune to cancer, though that was never demonstrated.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) origin recap panel

Like some other Atlanteans, Tiger Shark can recover at a startling speed when immersed in water, but this is inconsistent. It seems to only occur when he gets to re-immerse himself in the ocean after a long time on dry land — never during his underwater adventures — and even then it only occurs in a minority of cases.

Our game stats assume that he has to spend Hero Points  to benefit from this briny regeneration, explaining why it seldom occurs.

Remarkably, Tiger Shark can exist in either fresh or salt water without any medical issue. Presumably, the morphotron copied that property from either Namor or a bull shark.

Skills

Tiger Shark is more proficient with technology and vehicles than one would expect. He can handle energy guns, perform difficult maintenance work such as underwater soldering, sail boats, pilot advanced one-man rockets or jetpacks, use Hydro-Base’s computers, etc..

Perhaps he’s been trained to do this by the villainous technologists he allied himself with over the years, such as Dr. Dorcas or Llyra.

Tiger Shark has but a basic understanding of hand-to-hand combat. But he’s fast, ferocious and experienced, and his lack of technique is not usually that much of an hindrance.

He’s also very good with throwing large objects as projectiles, even underwater, as his enormous strength allows him to ignore water drag over common combat distances. Throwing cars, large machines, boulders, etc. is a common tactic for Tiger Shark. Especially if he spots a chance to blindside somebody with such an assault.

While Tiger Shark is very strong, tough and fast, he doesn’t have that many Hero Points, explaining how determined opponents who are less powerful than he is but have a lot of HPs to burn manage to defeat him. Tiger Shark tends to use HPs in a somewhat haphazard way, often including a few HPs on AV in his attacks.


History

Todd Arliss was apparently the Johnny Weissmuller  of the 1960s – a very famous, records-setting champion swimmer and high-dive athlete with significant media presence. One imagines that he chiefly became famous by winning medals during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tōkyō, and became a multi-gold star during the 1968 Olympic Games set in Mexico City.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) and Lady Dorma

Arliss remained very close to his sister Diane. Perhaps familial events led Diane and Todd, who seem to be roughly the same age, to support each other during their adolescence. Diane Arliss was also a swimmer and diver, though her fame came later.

Revelling in the glory and attention, Arliss decided during the 1968 Olympics that he would become a professional and exhibition swimmer rather than an amateur athlete, and make a lot of money. After he announced his decision, his agent got him numerous contracts with sizeable advance payments, the first batch being about half a million dollars in exhibitions – in 1968 dollars.

On the boat returning home, the swimming champ saw a man overboard. Immediately realising that rescuing somebody would augment his fame even further, he dove to the man’s rescue and helped the crew save him. However, a powerful wave then slammed Arliss against the hull of the boat, smashing his back.

Though he survived and soon regained his mobility, it became clear that he would never be able to swim again.

Broken man

His whole life and career being about swimming, Arliss was morally crushed. He started looking for all sorts of doctors, from reputable specialists to obvious quacks, for ways to repair his back so he could dive and swim again. But the damage was too complex for the surgeons of his day to be able to help him.

After two years of this Arliss started running low on money. He had been living off the advance payments for his planned swimming exhibitions, but had no revenue since the accident.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) swimming at a high speed

Eventually, Arliss met with a sinister and possibly unhinged scientist, Dr. Dorcas, who said he could cure him. Though Diane realised that the doctor was a menace, Todd was in denial and always agreed to support Dorcas, as long as the treatment could take place.

Dorcas’s approach was outlandish. He would somehow imprint on the ex-swimmer the characteristics of selected sharks, rebuilding the swimmer’s entire body in one swoop to remain mostly human-looking but have the power of these mighty maritime marauders.

As the mad science experiment was about to take place, Namor the Submariner stumbled upon the secret island lab of Dorcas. Still dazed by a previous fight, he was taken down by one of Dorcas’s giant guardian robots and captured.

Dorcas considered this a fantastic occasion to spice up his experiment. His “morphotron” machine would now copy traits from both Namor and the sharks and turn Todd Arliss into a being with the better traits of both. Arliss, whose sanity was unravelling, agreed to this – to Diane’s horror.

Only thus can their power be channelled through the morphotron !

Clad in a special body suit (his future costume) and loaded with sensors, Arliss sat in the morphotron. He was painfully infused with great energy – greater, in fact, than Dorcas had planned.

The experiment was a complete success. Arliss now held great power, comparable to the might of the Submariner but with a shark-like aspect. He also visibly mutated, gill slits appearing on his cheeks and his teeth becoming shark-like. Now obviously insane, the ex-swimmer claimed that he was no longer Todd Arliss, and had become the Tiger Shark.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) and orcas

Tiger Shark started manhandling Dorcas and then Namor, who had been greatly weakened by the morphotron. But he soon discovered that he needed to breathe water. He dove out, knocked Namor out and stumbled upon the Atlantean Lady Dorma, who had been looking for Namor. Tiger Shark took Dorma hostage and forced her to take him to Atlantis, which he planned to conquer and rule.

Once in Atlantis, Tiger Shark ritually challenged all comers for the throne. He easily defeated Seth the Warlord of Atlantis, the current military leader. The Council of Elders decided to award him the throne if he spared Seth, and Tiger Shark ruled for a day or two as a mad king. Namor, having fully recovered, then came back to Atlantis.

Fight for Atlantis

The two powerhouses fought for the Trident of Neptune that symbolised rulership, and Namor won. The thoroughly insane Tiger Shark was thrown into a special Atlantean jail, but was too fierce and demented to respond to attempts at treatment.

Atlantean physicians eventually came up with an idea, though it involved venturing into the Abyss of Doom. Namor, considering that he held some degree of responsibility for Todd Arliss’s state and was honour-bound to answer the supplications of Diane Arliss, went to the Abyss.

The plan was apparently to use the secretions of the rare and highly dangerous Lethe  Beast living there to make Tiger Shark lose his memory. But Namor was affected by the compound while harvesting it. While the Sub-Mariner was an amnesiac, the Serpent Crown took over Atlantis, and Tiger Shark fled in the confusion.

Dorcas manipulated the increasingly despondent Diane Arliss, and allied with Gregson Gilbert (best-known as the creator of the Dragon Man). Their plan to capture Dorma to help Todd Arliss went off the rails, but it did inspired Namor to renew his efforts to cure Tiger Shark.

The sea that time forgot

Tiger Shark wandered into in the heart of the Sargasso Sea. This was a deadly area with choking, grappling seaweed and a mysterious mist that made the sailors shipwrecked by the seaweed immortal and unageing. Though he was spotted by an Atlantean patrol, they couldn’t follow – only beings of immense strength could part the flora.

Encountering the time-lost sailors, Tiger Shark allied with a U-boat commander. The Nazi’s submarine held WWII torpedoes with a deadly biological payload, and the two men decided to use those to conquer the USA.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) vs. Hercules

With his great strength, Tiger Shark freed the submarine from the seaweed. Many sailors decided to seize the occasion and leave the Sargasso despite the warning of an Ancient Egyptian sailor who had been there for thousands of years.

Leaving the mystical mist resulted in the suspended ageing catching up with the immortal sailors, killing them all. Tiger Shark was then forced to flee by Namor.

Killer whales

Tiger Shark continued to criss-cross the Atlantic Ocean, regularly encountering Namor and other Atlanteans. During one of Krang’s attempts at taking over Atlantis, Tiger Shark thus swam in the vicinity of a pack of killer whales hunting down Lady Dorma and Lord Vashti, two fleeing Atlantean dignitaries.

Arliss easily dispersed the mighty delphinidae, then decided to basely exploit the situation. He demanded that Dorma marry him in exchange for bringing the badly wounded Lord Vashti to Atlantis.

Seeing no other way to save Vashti and warn Atlantis of the approaching armies of Warlord Krang, Dorma was forced to accept. Since the impending marriage would make Atlantis his, Tiger Shark decided to lead the defence efforts of his future kingdom against Krang and his allies.

Namor, who had been captured by Krang, freed himself and joined the fight, but Tiger Shark struck him from behind. The confused Orka, a servant of Krang, then attacked Tiger Shark.

The clash between the briny brutes demolished the ocean floor, and the two villains disappeared into a fissure. However, both managed to emerge alive from the experience and lay low for a while.

The Lymondo mysteries

During the early 1970s, Tiger Shark was assisted by a bald man called Lymondo, possibly of Atlantean origin (though with Caucasian-toned skin). Lymondo called Tiger Shark “master” and seemed to hate Llyra, with whom Tiger Shark was allied at this point. He appeared to be some sort of henchman and criminal.

Who was Lymondo ? Where did he came from ? Why was he serving Tiger Shark ? Why did he hate Llyra ? What were his abilities ? What was his agenda ? We have no idea. Nothing was ever explained — there wasn’t any flashback or even a caption — and he disappeared after that story, never to be seen again.

GMs  interested in such arcane mysteries might have fun bringing back Lymondo (who has a marvunapp.com profile , but not a writeups.org one) to explain at last what the whole deal was – at least in their version of the Marvel Universe.

Llyra of Lemuria

As he recovered, Tiger Shark was contacted by Llyra of Lemuria. He agreed to ally with her against the Scion of Atlantis.

This was mostly driven by self-interest. After he escaped being buried alive, Tiger Shark realised that Dorcas’s modified experiment had not produced stable results. He was getting sick, and exertion was starting to make it hard for him to breathe water.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) smashes through a wall

Llyra promised that she could duplicate the morphotron technology and, with access to Namor, ’recharge‘ Tiger Shark’s physiology. Tiger Shark’s rashness compromised Llyra’s first attempt to capture Namor, and the second attempt did not work either due to interference from the Human Torch (Johnny Storm).

However, during that fray, Llyra captured Diane Arliss. Using mind-probing machines, she discovered that Namor was questing for his father.

Llyra and Tiger Shark proved faster than Namor and kidnapped Leonard McKenzie. They used their hostage to force Namor to surrender, and Llyra did renew Tiger Shark’s physiology using Namor and her version of the morphotron.

Namor escaped thanks to Stingray. However, as he fled with Llyra, Tiger Shark vengefully hurled a pipe at McKenzie’s skull, killing Namor’s father.

Evading the Avenging Son

Realising that the Avenging Son would likely seek to kill him, Tiger Shark chose the better part of valour. He exiled himself to Niagara Falls, living in the caves behind the falls proper. He lived there for months until he coincidentally ran into the Hulk.

Assuming that the jade giant was there at Namor’s behest (since they both were Defenders), Tiger Shark attacked. He kept Hulk underwater so he could retain the upper hand. However, even Tiger Shark’s great strength couldn’t really hurt the Hulk. The gamma mutate eventually slammed Tiger Shark against a cliff and departed.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) gloating

Namor was indeed hunting Tiger Shark down, and the incident at Niagara Falls gave him a fresh trail. Knowing that he needed allies, the human shark renewed his ties with Dr. Dorcas so they could kill Namor. Dorcas provided him with a hideout in New York City (a warehouse with a managed water tank for long-term stays) as he finished working.

The plan was simply to draw Namor into an ambush, in which Tiger Shark and Dorcas would be backed up by the Aquanoids, monstrous maritime humanoids grown by Dorcas. Tiger Shark lured Namor into a room equipped with hot, dehydrating lamps in the ceiling, but Namor reacted by wrecking Tiger Shark’s costume.

The lamps weakened Tiger Shark far more than they did Namor, and he was defeated. However, the two opponents were then separated by Dorcas’s base self-destructing.

Attuma the warlord

Dorcas and the former Todd Arliss were soon rescued by Attuma, the barbarian warlord from the depths of the Atlantic, who was looking for allies. The three men ambushed Namor in Hydro-base and ganged up on the Avenging Son, eventually defeating him.

However, Namor was at that point in a loose alliance with none other than Doctor Doom. Doom came to the rescue, easily defeating the security. During the subsequent fray, Doctor Dorcas accidentally gunned down Betty Dean Prentiss, who had been Namor’s flame in the surface world during World War Two.

Namor was too weakened to avenge her on the spot, and Doom took him away from Hydro-Base.

Namor and Doom soon counter-attacked, and Namor had his revenge. He defeated Tiger Shark once again and hurled his unconscious body at a huge machine, toppling it on Dr. Dorcas. The falling machine seemed to kill Dorcas, thus avenging Betty Dean, and pinned the unconscious Tiger Shark.

The shark is a very deadly beast

Tiger Shark was transferred to a cell on Hydro Base, though he eventually escaped. Determined to kill Namor, the brute interrogated Hydro Base personnel and used their computers to try and locate his foe – but only managed to get a location for his kid cousin, Namorita, whom Namor was supposed to be visiting.

Tiger Shark swiftly swam to New York City to storm Namorita’s apartment. He soon overwhelmed the Atlantean adolescent despite her friend Wundarr being present.

However, the kidnapping attracted the attention of Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers). Tiger Shark repulsed her and left with the unconscious Namorita, but Ms. Marvel borrowed the Avengers’s labs to build a sensor and water-breathing pills so she could hunt him down underwater.

She soon located his home — the hulk of a sunken 1940s US destroyer — and defeated him via superior technique and a slew of Hero Points. Ms. Marvel was saved from drowning by Namorita, who also called in an Atlantean battlecruiser to take custody of Tiger Shark before he would recover consciousness. Tiger Shark remained imprisoned for months.

Masters of Evil

The criminal scientist Egghead decided to recruit a number of useful criminal aides, which he dubbed the new Masters of Evil. Egghead started with Tiger Shark, sending a robot drone to blow open the Atlantean prison he was held in and carry him out.

After Tiger Shark agreed to help Egghead in return, he was sent to storm the Ryker’s Island prison and fetch Whirlwind, Moonstone and the Scorpion. An unknown number of other convicts escaping in the confusion.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss)'s face underwater closeup

Tiger Shark and the rest agreed to start operating as Egghead’s agents. Egghead stated that he might be able to cure some aspects of Tiger Shark’s condition, so perhaps the shark-man had been experiencing further health issues.

However one of the Masters of Evil, the Whirlwind, broke rank due to his obsession with the Wasp. His actions forced the rest to confront the Avengers while nothing of the sort was planned. Though they fought hard, the Masters of Evil went down when faced by powerhouses such as Thor or the She-Hulk, and ended up in prison.

Masters of Evil redux

This did not last long, though. Egghead broke out several of them from prison, including Tiger Shark, to form a new group of Masters of Evil. This time the roster included Moonstone, the Shocker, the Beetle and the Radioactive Man.

The Masters successfully raided the trial of Dr. Henry Pym, beating back Avengers and kidnapping the accused. While Pym pretended to agree to work for Egghead, he managed to double-cross him.

Pym took out the Masters of Evil by surprise, electrocuting Tiger Shark with a massive charge before bludgeoning him into unconsciousness with metal tentacles holding the Radioactive Man. The clobbered Masters were then arrested.

Masters of Evil… the return

Tiger Shark was later seen during heavy street fighting in Manhattan, when many villains tried to capitalise on the disappearance of major super-heroes during the Secret Wars. Given the number of criminals who were active during these events, it is likely that there had been a breakout at Ryker’s Island or some such.

The NYPD and a host of minor New York City heroes contained the criminals, many of whom were arrested.

However, the Masters of Evil continued to be Arliss’s get-out-of-jail card. Baron Zemo assembled a new version of the group, the largest ever, and broke Tiger Shark out of the pen so he could join. The Masters and Zemo took control of the Avengers’s Mansion, wounding many Avengers and associates and wrecking the place.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss), Namor and Attuma

Tiger Shark had joined in the hope that Namor would be at the Mansion, but that wasn’t the case. Instead he ended up fighting Hercules – a losing proposition, though Arliss held his own pretty well. Reinforcements then came in and a pack of super-strong Masters of Evil helped Tiger Shark beat up the Prince of Power, very nearly killing him.

The Masters of Evil were eventually defeated, though it would seem that Tiger Shark managed to escape. It is possible that he was away, recovering from his fight with Hercules, during the final battle.

Cats

A short time later, Tiger Shark associated again with Whirlwind for a heist in San Francisco. But the ever-unreliable Whirlwind didn’t make their meet and Tiger Shark decided to leave as the police fruitlessly chased him. He was intercepted by two feline females, Tigra and Hellcat.

Though Tiger Shark vastly outclassed them in terms of brawn, the two had studied their files. They ripped his costume with their claws, depriving him of life-giving water. Tiger Shark was stunned that women had defeated him, and stood there dumbfounded long enough to be severely weakened. He was then arrested.

Death is a man called Tiger Shark

A few years later, Tiger Shark was spotted in the minuscule Latin American nation of Tierra Verde. Floridan crime lords had hired him to hunt down and kill a street vigilante named La Bandera. La Bandera had caused them significant grief in the US before leaving to continue her struggle abroad.

Tiger Shark was about to slay La Bandera when Wolverine intervened, slashing Tiger Shark’s costume open.

La Bandera declared a revolution, during which Wolverine infiltrated the Presidential palace. Tiger Shark was there, his employers being extensively connected with the Tierra Verdan government. The shark-man gleefully ambushed Wolverine then dragged him underwater.

Tiger Shark left Wolverine to drown but the Canadian narrowly survived and came back, badly slashing Arliss.

Tiger Shark dove in water to heal his wounds, then followed La Bandera and Wolverine. He jumped out of water to intercept their low-flying helicopter. But he was repulsed, then attacked by sharks attracted by the scent of his blood.

The prisoner

Tiger Shark easily dispersed the sharks. But he was later arrested in unrevealed circumstances and imprisoned at the Vault prison. Despite the precautions taken to accommodate his condition, he soon fell sick. His health seemed to degrade rapidly.

The Vault authorities contacted reputed oceanologist Dr. Newell, hoping that he could figure out Tiger Shark’s mutated physiology. Newell came to mind for another reason – having married Diane Arliss a few years before, he was also Tiger Shark’s brother-in-law.

Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss) leaping over a white background

Tiger Shark was faking, using his hitherto unknown ability to slow down his metabolism. He burst out of confinement and took his own sister hostage, beating back a Guardsman and Stingray (Dr. Newell’s costumed identity) before hitting the ocean. Stingray found his wife and his brother-in-law, but the fight resulted in a cavern collapsing onto Diane.

Though Tiger Shark kept saying that everything human in him was gone and he didn’t care about his sister, he circled back and helping Stingray clear the debris to Diane. Todd Arliss then held the collapsing cavern until Stingray could evacuate his wife. The cavern — an old hideout of Dorcas — self-destructed while Tiger Shark was still inside.

Man adrift

Tiger Shark survived, but some months later came to be hunted by Dr. Barnabus Lucian Cross. Cross theorised that Tiger Shark’s metabolism might hold secrets to synthesising very powerful medical drugs, particularly for cancer treatment.

Cross hired Mr. Dice and his crew as hunters. Dice’s men took casualties but managed to capture Tiger Shark. However, Namor intervened and freed him.

Resuming his wanderings throughout the Atantic, Tiger Shark then met a tribe of Atlantean nomads – which would mark important changes in his life.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

The transformation into Tiger Shark obviously rendered Arliss insane. His previous thirst for glory, money and fame was warped and magnified into an animalistic desire to conquer and dominate. He considers this to be his natural destiny and his right.

He’s a thug and a bully, greatly trusting his strength and ferocity. He fights like a deadly beast.

Tiger Shark hates Namor and fixates upon beating him, and raves a lot about that. But he will never hesitate to flee once Namor gets the upper hand.

A jolly good fellow

Tiger Shark is crude, dismissive and talks like the traditional comic-book Brooklyn thug. He’s fond of slang and expressions mocking what he doesn’t like, which is pretty much everything.

He’s a loud misogynist, an avowed racist, and vigorously denies that he ever was Todd Arliss. He’s proud to be a unique being, neither Atlantean nor surface man. Tiger Shark is also brash, brutal, impatient, and somewhat lecherous.

Generally speaking, it’s safe to play him as a lowbrow, threatening street bully with colourful language and a marked penchant for trash talk. Characterisation-wise, he’s a bit of a non-entity during his classic career, and lacks any special mental or social acumen (though he’s not dumb either).

Maritime menace

Tiger Shark’s time with the various Masters of Evil is apparently what created his network of underworld contacts. That took him away from the underwater adventures sub-genre and made him a more mainstream super-villain with a mercenary slant.

It seems that his sanity and stability improved over the years, perhaps after Llyra renewed his physiology. He went from being a raving, psychotic would-be conqueror to being a standard thug-for-hire, villain and mercenary.

From one his quotes, it is possible that Arliss’s insanity made him despise the moment when he broke his back – which in retrospect he came to consider a moment of heroism, while in reality it was far more self-interested. He blames his fate on this moment of heroism, and wants to see heroes suffer and die ingloriously for being heroic.

Whether he’s aware of how flimsy this rationalisation is is unknown.


Quotes

“As long as I live, I’ll never rest… until Tiger Shark is ruler of the deep !”

(Facing Namor who came at his sister’s behest) “I have no sister ! I’m Tiger Shark… I’m one of a kind ! As you’ll learn — on the day I destroy you !”

“As Lord High Muck-A-Muck around here, I’m not lettin’ my kingdom get itself conquered by some left-over warlord !”

“Yak all you want to, Llyra — ’cause when you’re in the ring — it don’t mean beans !”

“In a pig’s eye, fish-face !”

(To Ms. Marvel) “That your best shot, lady ? Face it — you may be hot stuff on the fashion show circuit, but against Tiger Shark — you’re outta your league !!”

“You still looking for trouble ?! Lady, you must be dumber than I thought. I’ve walked the bottom of the Challenger Deep — seven miles down — and fought monsters that’d make an aircraft carrier look puny. There isn’t a man or a machine or a weapon existing that can beat me ! And if a *man* can’t do the job — then baby, you haven’t a prayer !”

(Pointing at Dr. Lu) “Hey ! What’s this big gook doin’ here ?”

“That’s what it is really about ! I *hate* heroes ! Everything I am today is because some idiot tried to be a hero… and wound up a cripple ! […] Now I’m a shark. Baddest shark in the ocean. And heroes like you… are my favourite prey !”


DC Universe History

Tiger Shark is one of Namor’s main nemeses. But he would be a nigh-overwhelming opponent for the classic Aquaman unless he’s powered down. The main solution would be to transplant Namor and Tiger Shark into the DCU together.

One way to do this is to have Namor’s people be from a lost Atlantean colony in the Indian Ocean. The DCU already has a lost colony of shark-finned merpeople from the Indian Ocean – Letifos and her people, called the Sher‘Hedeen. Letifos has at times helped Aqualad, aka Tempest, but in general they are not close with outsiders.

Perhaps Namor’s people and Letifos’ people are at odds, and the Sher‘Hedeen create Tiger Shark to counteract Namor’s power.

Alternative

As an alternative, for campaigns using a combined DC/Marvel world, consider that the DCU’s Atlantis generally consists of two sister cities. Aquaman is King of Poseidonis, but Tritonis (home of the true mer-people, like Lori Lemaris) has its own king. The two cities have a long rivalry in the DCU, sometimes culminating in war.

Namor could therefore be transplanted in as Prince of Tritonis, which allows for Namor and Arthur to have a really rocky relationship. Sometimes they would be allies, sometimes enemies – which makes sense given the pride and bombastic attitudes of the two.

In the MU, Namor’s Atlanteans have blue skin – his pink skin is a result of his hybrid status. Your Tritonians could therefore be mer-people, as in the DCU, or blue-skinned, as in the MU, depending on your preference. Either way, Namor’s appearance remains a constant, as he’s a half-human hybrid.

With Namor in place, Tiger Shark can also be used with his MU History mostly intact.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tiger Shark (Underwater)

Dex: 07 Str: 18 Bod: 14 Motivation: Power/Psycho, then Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Reprobate
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 015 HP: 035

Powers:
Density increase: 01, Jumping: 02, Suspension: 01, Swimming: 07, Ultra-vision: 05, Water freedom*: 07. Possibly Systemic Antidote: 05.

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Density Increase is Always On and Already Factored In
  • Jumping can also be used to leap out of the water whilst Swimming fast
  • Suspension is only possible whilst immersed in water
  • Ultra-vision cannot spot Invisible beings and items

Skills:
Vehicles (Air, Sea): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 05, Weaponry (Thrown objects)*: 07

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Atlantic Ocean), Conditional Recovery (Being immersed in sea water after an extended time spent on the surface), Familiarity (High-tech equipment and weapons)

Connections:
Underworld (Low)

Drawbacks:
Partial Attack Vulnerability (-2 CS RV vs. flame/heat attacks ; – 1CS RV vs. other energy attacks), MIA toward Power, MIH of Namor (later becomes a MIH of heroes), Misc.: See the “Left out to dry” section

Equipment:
COSTUME [BODY 06 (Hardened), Partial attack vulnerability (- 1CS RV vs. slashing/raking attacks). This costume includes and recycles enough water for Tiger Shark to operate on dry land.]


Left out to dry

Tiger Shark is an aquatic creature, and cannot breathe air for too long. Being outside of water greatly weakens him and will soon kill him. This problem is moderated by his suit, which holds several litres of water, keeping it clean and oxygenated. But that costume can be ripped or slashed apart by a knowledgeable opponent.

In game terms, Tiger Shark has the following Drawbacks and Limitations:

  • A Fatal Vulnerability to lack of water, triggering after 06 APs of time and making him suffocate. He’s not hampered by lack of water before that threshold – the effect is quite sudden.
  • This Fatal Vulnerability is accompanied by a Gradual Power Loss that doubles as a further source of damage. He loses 1 AP of DEX, STR and BODY per Phase once his Fatal Vulnerability kicks in. An exceptionally humid environment will slow down this loss, whilst a very hot and unusually dry one will accelerate it (GM’s call in either case).
  • The damage from the Fatal Vulnerability cannot be LDDed at the normal rate, though Tiger Shark can burn 10 HPs to avoid losing STR and BODY for one Phase.
  • On the other hand, as soon as Tiger Shark can immerse himself in water, he will recover at a startling pace. Assume 2 APs of STR and BODY per Phase of immersion, though he cannot heal BODY damage not caused by dehydration (keep a separate tally). Partial immersion (such as being splashed by a bucketful of water, taking a shower, etc.) may just stop the damage or allow him to recover at a much slower rate, depending on how much water touches his skin.
  • Power Loss. Even when wearing his costume, while on dry land, Tiger Shark’s STR is capped at 15 and his BODY at 13. These caps disappear as soon as he fully immerses himself.

This description of Tiger Shark’s Vulnerability is a sort of Platonic average, not exactly matching any specific scene – since it’s incoherent in the material.

A common *variant* is for him to immediately experience a Power Loss when his costume is destroyed. This instantly reduces his STR and BODY to 06 but not follows up with any sort of Fatal Vulnerability. In this variant Tiger Shark takes the normal amount of time to Recover, water or no water.

Sometimes he starts losing STR at a rapid pace (2 or even 3 APs per Phase and his RV is lowered to about 08) when out of water, but he has the normal 06 APs of time before he starts suffocating.

Feel free to use whatever best serves the story – there’s ample precedent for this in the comics. The main mechanics above are probably what works best in a game, but it’s just one possibility. One could always hypotheses that these very different depiction of his Vulnerabilities reflect his mutating organism.


Imperius Rex !

The main character against whom Tiger Shark must be benchmarked is Namor the Submariner. But we haven’t researched the classic Namor in depth (he he) at this point. This entry assumes the following values for Namor during that era:

  • Underwater, a DEX of 8 or 9 and a STR of 19 or 20, with a BODY of 14 or 15
  • On dry land, a DEX of 07 and a STR of 14 or 15, with a BODY circa 12 or 13

If the estimates of Namor’s scores change, modifications will likely ensue for Tiger Shark. The numbers are probably not too far off, though, and the scores notes for Tiger Shark in this entry work fine when benched against other opponents he encountered, such as Ms. Marvel.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham (DCU section), Gareth Lewis, Darci

Writeup completed on the 11th of August, 2010.

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