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Tigra (Marvel Comics) (Profile #3)

Tigra

(Greer Nelson profile #3 - 1976-1980)


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

She stalks the night – a half-human huntress, preying on those who would prey on you !”


Context

This profile is part of a chronological series, which you really should read in order. Namely :

  1. The Cat – start here
  2. Cat People (Marvel Universe) – optional but recommended
  3. Tigra the were-woman
  4. Tigra (1976-1980) – this here profile
  5. Tigra (1980-1986)

Background

  • Real Name: Greer Grant Nelson.
  • Other Aliases: Formerly known as the Cat. Tigra the Were-Woman ; “Cat lady” (frequent nickname).
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: William (husband, deceased), Gregson (father), Janet Grant (mother – possibly already remarried as Janet Garson during this era).
  • Group Affiliation: Cat People, occasional associate of the Fantastic Four.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green and catlike Hair: Orange


Powers and Abilities

As this era opens Tigra moves back from Marvel’s horror mags to the super-hero titles. Her power level immediately increases. She now operates in a space closer to Spider-Man than to the 1970s version of Werewolf by Night.

Tigra is now strong enough to lift about 5 tons. Her agility, speed and senses, are clearly superhuman, especially her sense of smell. She is highly mobile and acrobatic. Her strength, nimbleness and claws give her impressive climbing and leaping ability – few places are out of her reach.

Tigra has also been clocked running at 70+mph, which is about as fast as a sprinting cheetah (officially she can do 50mph, but 70mph did not seem to require extraordinary effort). Her sense of balance seems to be better than even Spider-Man’s.

Tigra (Greer Nelson) leaping over a white background

How sharp ?

Despite her heated temper in combat, Tigra is good at keeping her claws retracted in order not to inflict deadly wounds. She routinely pulls her blows when fighting humans – EV 05 in DC Heroes, Damage 4 in DC Adventures. However she will use her fully extended claws against robots and the like, making her much more efficient against those.

Tigra never uses her claws to stick to surfaces like Spider-Man does – they are presumably too short for that. But she can claw holds into hard surfaces even under difficult conditions, such as the metallic wings of a flying plane.

Tigra doesn’t generally perform as well as she should given her strength, reflexes, etc.. Her performance seems hampered by her psychological limitations. She doesn’t have the “right stuff” that makes a high-end super-heroine.

No net worth individual

After the 1978 departure of the Cat People, Greer also has a terminal income problem. One of the reasons she’s running around in a bikini is that she can’t afford proper clothing.


History

(This section starts where the History section of the previous writeup ended).

In 1976, whilst visiting Cat People researchers, Tigra clashed with the second version of the Rat Pack and teamed up with Red Wolf. It turned out that the real leader of the Pack was the Super-Skrull, who vastly overpowered the two adventurers. Tigra and the Wolf nevertheless defeated him using the mystical artefact the Skrull had just stolen.

Tigra (Greer Nelson) lands from a height

Not knowing what to do with the artefact, Tigra flew to New York City and handed it over to Reed Richards for safekeeping. This was the beginning of her occasional collaborations with this team.

Hunters and mad cats

When Kraven and some ex-Hydra hirelings attempted to kidnap a medical researcher, Tigra was caught in the fray. During the shootout with the police, the goons severely wounded a little girl. It was feared that only the kidnapped doctor could save the kid. The werecat thus tracked Kraven down and attacked him.

Albeit the hunter was a cannier and more experienced fighter, she proved to be stronger and just as fast. Tapping her feral rage, Tigra prevailed, rescued the doctor and had him save the girl.

Some weeks later, Tigra learned that a renegade Cat Person called the Cougar had stolen the power source of the Tomazooma robot, destroyed months before by the FF. She contacted the Thing for help. This turbulent tangerine team trounced the Cougar with the help of his fiancée, Sheila Conklin.

Fantastic voyage, part 1

Later that year, Tigra tracked Kraven to New York City. Though she lost his trail, she learned that something funky was going on at the Baxter Building. The Frightful Four (down to three at that point – the Wizard, the Trapster and Sandman) had captured the Fantastic Four. The criminals were holding tryouts to recruit a fourth member to fill out their roster.

Tigra (Greer Nelson) disguised with a coat and hat in a bar

Tigra applied, gambling that she was too obscure for the Frightful Three to identify her as an heroine. She soon freed the Thing and the Human Torch. Howbeit the arrival of another applicant — the Brute — led to defeat. The Impossible Man freed everyone again and Tigra mauled the Wizard, turning the tide and resulting in a victory of the Fantastic Four.

Tigra hung around with her buddy the Thing for a while. Together they defeated the Metalloid. At this point one had the vague impression she might join the FF in some manner, but nothing gelled.

Fantastic voyage, part 2

Tigra, Susan Richards and another guest, Thundra, eventually realised that the Brute had secretly replaced Reed Richards during the Frightful Four case. Being the Reed Richards of Counter-Earth, he was a perfect lookalike.

Tigra and Thundra saved Sue from the Brute then helped her defeat the Baxter Building’s automated security measures to confront the villain. The team simultaneously fought a powerful Mad Thinker android who invaded the building from the Negative Zone.

Tigra (Greer Nelson) in chains

With the Earth-616  Reed Richards back, the FF were reunited. Tigra and Thundra both left. The Thing could no longer bear Thundra’s insistence that he mate with her. And in this context Tigra’s occasional playful flirting with him also tried his patience.

Cat scratch fever

It was Spider-Man who recaptured Kraven. But the hunter escaped whilst he was being transferred back to Illinois and Tigra resumed her hunt. She found his New Jersey hideout, but it was a trap. Kraven sprayed Tigra with a special gas, followed by the application of a mind-control collar.

This equipment was tailored to bring Tigra down, and Kraven made the nearly-mindless werecat his pet. Kraven then ambushed Spider-Man and sicced Tigra on him to complete his vengeance.

Thankfully, Spidey deduced the role of the collar and wrecked it, freeing Greer’s mind. Though Kraven had gadgets tailored to attack Tigra’s weaknesses (such as sonic weaponry assaulting her super-sensitive hearing), she and Spidey defeated Kraven.

Tigra (Greer Nelson) throws a punch

Big Easy tigers

In 1978 the NOLA  Cat People finalised a genetic ray. They erroneously thought that Tigra wanted to become human again and that it would be their gift to her. The ray was stolen by Tabur – an humanoid super-evolved cat from Wundagore, whom the Cat People had tried to adopt as one of their own.

Tabur killed Dr.Tumolo when she discovered that he was a traitor. However, she had time to send her ghost image to warn Greer.

Tabur tweaked the ray and triggered chaos in New Orleans by turning zoo animals into their prehistoric forms, and people into apes. As the Cat People met him in combat, he retroevolved most of them into sabretooth tigers. That was a mistake – they were still loyal toward Tigra, and were now much more efficient fighters.

Tabur was defeated. Tigra used the ray to restore all its targets to their former selves, though she wasn’t interested in changing herself.

It is apparently at this point that the Cat People left the Earth dimension for unclear reasons. They gave Greer a parting gift. Her cat amulet was enchanted to effortlessly cast an illusion making her look human. Tigra seldom used this, though.


Description

Though Tigra’s costume looks minimal, it actually changes during this era. She accessorizes it, first with chains and later with a belt of teeth – jungle heroine-style.

Tigra (Greer Nelson) dodging lasers


Personality

Greer is still trying to deal with the fact that she’s not human, not Cat People and not cat. Her hunting and fighting instincts are particularly strong, and she will often be submerged by a hunger for hunting when going after criminals.

She’s always able to stay her hand and control how hard she hits, but she can get quite savage. She originally rationalises these instincts as a taste for justice. Witnessing injustice and seeing people prey upon the defenceless make her dangerously angry, but at least she can tell herself that it is because she wants to fight for justice.

One telling example of this is her first confrontation with the Rat Pack after the gang massacred a hapless Native village. She charges in in the name of vengeance. But after the fight is done suddenly feels very bad about herself since she should have helped the dying and wounded first – instead of giving in to her animal side lusting for a fight.

Tigra-Marvel-Comics-Greer-Nelson-h7

This passion for justice fades over this era. By 1981 she’s mostly interested in the excitement and adventure, with the added complication of having to make a living.

Surfaces tension

Tigra can be an implacable, somewhat animalistic hunter with great dedication toward catching her prey. This is particularly visible during her recurrent clashes with Kraven. However there have been as many instances of her being humane and forgiving, such as the Zabo situation or establishing rapport with the Molecule Man will later demonstrate.

It seems pretty random. It may in fact be random, depending on her current balance between her souls. See the next profile for a discussion of Tigra’s souls.

Perhaps because her human nature is struggling with her cat nature, Tigra is even more taunting and flippant toward her opponents than the Cat was. She can deliver some remarkably catty remarks. In this respect she is somewhat reminiscent of Spider-Man during the same era.

“Free-spirited, oft wise-cracking defender of the innocent and huntress with a problem with her animal instincts” covers about 80% of the characterisation during this era. Even with allies such as the Thing she often appears to be playful, whimsical and a bit superficial and capricious.

Greer still has a small feminist streak. But it’s more like a vague nod toward her roots than a noticeable character trait.


Quotes

Joshua Plague: “No ! I can’t be defeated this way !”
Tigra: “You mean you’ve got a preference ?”

“Relax, Red ! The day I can’t handle a Rat-Packer, I’ll turn in my stripes !”

(Attacking) “EEYARR-R-R !!”

(Jumping on top of a war mammoth to kick the rider down) “Heads up, big boy ! It’s my turn for the pony ride !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tigra (early)

Dex: 07 Str: 08 Bod: 06 Motivation: Justice, gradually shifts to Thrill
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Adventurer
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 016 HP: 025

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 08, Claws: 09, Cold immunity: 01, Empathy: 02, Extended hearing: 01, Jumping: 01, Running: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Jumping has, predictably, the Catfall Bonus.
  • Speak with animals only with felines and part-felines ; Tigra can use her normal AV/EV for such Character Interactions if she wishes.

Skills:
Accuracy (Claws): 08, Acrobatics: 09, Evasion (Ranged only): 08, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Danger recognition, Tracking): 04, Thief (Stealth): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Accuracy is Regretful when used against living beings.

Advantages:
Attractive, Local Hero (Cat People), Buddy (Dr. Tumolo, until her death), Rich Friend (Cat People, until Dr. Tumolo’s death), Misc.: Tigra reduces the OV/RV of Acrobatics by one CS if the feat she attempts relies on balancing on unstable surfaces, Misc.: Sacrificial image (see the second Greer Nelson entry).

Bonuses and Limitations:
Attractive only works on male man-beasts hybrids.

Connections:
Street (Low, Chicago only), The Thing (Low).

Drawbacks:
Attack vulnerability (-1 CS OV/RV vs. Blindside attacks), Attack Vulnerability (-1 CS OV/RV vs. attacks made by a third party whilst she is being Grappled/Wrestled), Distinct Appearance, MIA toward following her animal instincts.

Equipment:
CAT RING/AMULET [BODY 10, Alter-Ego, Insta-Change]. The Insta-Change is retrofitted in the amulet in 1979, and does not exist before.


We don’t need another hero

Tigra has robust stats, but her performance is haphazard and often lacklustre — a clear Hero Points problem. Though she starts this era as a dynamic heroine with 050 to 060 HPs, she quickly flounders down to 025.

If Tigra starts rolling poorly she won’t be able to compensate with HPs for long. She may have to stop spending and get defeated/captured if she’s to keep an emergency stock of HPs.

Since her performance dramatically improves whenever she fights Kraven the Hunter, our hypothesis is that her player hoards HPs for these fights. Thus Tigra spends relatively little HPs in most situations, but unleashes her spending when the hated Kraven shows up.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tigra (Early) — Averaged PL 9

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
07 02 06 01 05 01 01 01

Powers

Cat Power ● 15 points ● Descriptor: Cat People science and magic
– Enhanced senses — Senses 4 (Extended hearing, Extended Tracking Olfactory), Enhanced Skill (3 Ranks of Insight (Quirk – no Resist Influence and, most devastatingly, no Innuendo))
– Fur — Immunity 1 (Cold environments, Limited to half-effect)
– Run Tigra run — Leaping 2, Speed 5, Evasion
– Catfall — Movement 1 (Safe fall (Limited 1 – needs ways to break her fall), Sure-footed (Limited 1 – works on unstable surfaces but not slippery ones)

Claws ● 3 points
– Strength-based Slashing Damage 1
– Lashing out — Strength-based Damage, Accurate, Improved Threat, Limited 1 – only vs. targets with no STA ability (usually robots) ● Descriptor: Skill

Enticing ● 1 point ● Descriptor: Hybrid appearance
Attractive, 2 Ranks of Persuasion, both Limited 2 to man-beast hybrids

Sacrificial image ● 1 point ● Descriptor: Cat People magic ?
Feature 1 (might be able to project a sacrificial image, see the Powers & Abilities section)

Devices

Human form ● 1 point (Removable) ● Descriptor: Cat People magic
Feature 1 (can revert to her human form using her amulet, but almost never does so)

Combat Advantages

Close attack 2, Defensive Roll 5, Evasion.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Champion of the Cat People), Benefit 1 (Friend of Dr. Tumolo).

Skills

Acrobatics 7 (+13), Athletics 6 (+13), Close combat (Unarmed/claws) 4 (+11), Deception 2 (+3), Expertise (Streetwise) 2 (+3) (Limited 1 to Chicago), Insight 2 (+3) (+6 for most applications), Perception 3 (+4), Persuasion 1 (+2), Stealth 3 (+9), Treatment 2 (+3) (Limited 2 to Stabilise and Revive)

Offense

Initiative +6
Unarmed +11, Close, Damage 7
Claws +11 (+13 vs. non-living targets), Close, Damage 8

Defense

Dodge 12 Fortitude 9
Parry 11 Toughness 7/2*
Will 7

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Exotic looks Tigra isn’t frightening, but she’s certainly unusual-looking.
  • Blindsided Tigra’s Fortitude is lowered by 4 against effects she cannot dodge or otherwise react to.
  • Temper Greer find it difficult to rein in her new animal instincts.
  • Working poor Ms. Nelson has next to no income and mostly operates using money from Dr. Tumolo and other Cat Persons.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 10, Dodge/Toughness PL 10, Parry/Toughness PL 9, Fort/Will PL 8.
  • Point total 118 Abilities 48, Defences 24, Skills 14, Powers 20, Devices 1, Advantages 9. Equiv. PL 8.

Notes

In the previous entry I was still using Enhanced stats and stuff since Greer would sometimes operate as a human person. But at this point she’s basically Tigra all the time. So there’s little need to bother with explaining the difference between forms.

She’s stronger and faster and more experienced, though her Insight is starting to go as her Cat powers recede.

During this era Tigra demonstrated pretty good stats, but keeps underperforming as a heroine despite these. She lacks a spark, an heroic focus, the right stuff.

The closest equivalent in game terms is that Tigra somehow gets a much-reduced Hero Points allotment – by 60% or so. She is thus often at the mercy of the d20, making her performance inconsistent and forcing her to save her Hero Points. She keeps those for when she’s in particularly serious danger, or when she’s facing Kraven the Hunter – against whom she’ll gladly spent the Hero Points she managed to save.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Darci, Azrael, Chris Cottingham, Capita_Senyera.

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