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Tigress of the Young All-Stars (DC Comics) (Brooks)

Tigress

(Paula Brooks profile #1)


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

Context

The Tigress is a DC Comics adventuress who was active during the early 1940s, with the heroic lads and lasses of the Young All-Stars. She is a retcon  in that her first appearance as the Tigress occurred in 1987. But she connects with other characters whose adventures were actually published during the Golden Age .

We suggest that you read the following profiles in order :

  1. Tigress (Zatara enemy)
  2. Tigress (Paula Brooks profile #1) – this here writeup
  3. Huntress (Paula Brooks profile #2)
  4. Artemis (Artemis Crock profile #1)
  5. Huntress (Artemis Crock profile #2)

Background

  • Real Name: Paula Brooks
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: The original Tigress (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: Young All-Stars, All-Star Squadron
  • Base Of Operations: New York City
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 119 lbs.
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

The Tigress is a highly adept athlete, acrobat and martial artist. She’s a very skilled hunter, specialising in bow hunting. She wants to acquire all the skills and qualities of a manhunter such as Paul Kirk.

Though she’s an excellent fighter and somewhat impulsive, Tigress rarely jumps headlong into a fight. She’ll prefer to quickly reach an observation point from which she can assess what’s going on, then deliver a precise attack. This is usually done with a crossbow shot, but sometimes with some convenient object. She fights more like a hunter.

The Tigress (Paula Brooks) on a rooftop

The Tigress boasts that she never misses with a bolt or an arrow. This seems largely true. She once even shot down an arrow in mid-flight while she was herself in the air, hanging on to a small plane. In 1945, she demonstrated a mastery of firearms and flamethrowers – between this and her later appearances as the Huntress she seems able to handle almost any ranged weapon.

The Animals Handling and Military Science Skills in our game stats were not actually demonstrated during her appearances as Tigress. But they almost certainly are present – and were clearly demonstrated later on, as the Huntress.

Claws of the Tigress

In 1945, Tigress was poised to rip the throat of Wildcat with her bare hands. Thus it seems that her nails had been treated to become talon-like. Or maybe she was using some sort of gadget such as small blades mounted on her fingertips.

The specifics are unrevealed. In game terms it might have been 5 APs or so of Claws, or a technique used to justify an increased score in Martial Artist (EV).


History

The past of Paula Brooks is undocumented. But since secondary sources  revealed that she was the daughter of the original Tigress one can hazard various guesses.

A possible timeline is that the original Tigress was born circa 1908 and had her daughter while underage, circa 1925. This roughly matches the apparent age and the characterisation of both Tigresses, though these suggested dates are in the “it feels correct” category rather than being firmly supported.

When the Tigress appeared in 1942, a policeman exclaimed that she looked barely 18 or 19. Using our suggested dates he was slightly off-target and Brooks was lying about her age (as is traditional) when she applied to join the All-Star Squadron. She was probably closer to 17 or even 16.

The Tigress (Paula Brooks) hunting with a small bow

The original Tigress was an international adventuress, criminal mastermind and occasional cold-blooded murderess. Given the array of skills demonstrated by Paula while still a teenager, it is likely that the Tigress trained her daughter from an early age on, perhaps so she could follow in her footsteps.

The original Tigress had a broad skills set, routinely hired mercenaries and guides, had frequent romantic involvement with master criminals and was apparently quite wealthy. These assets presumably helped Paula express her full, Robin-like talents even as a little girl.

Adolescence

Like her mum, Paula was amoral. Unlike her mum she was more interested in fun and action than in money. She may have been a daredevil and/or criminal as a teenager. She may have helped her mother on capers during that time, though there is no chronicled encounter between Zatara and Paula.

Paula mentioned learning jiu-jitsu from her mother’s Japanese gardener. This is a typical element of the backstory of heroes of that time, though she might not have been telling the truth about her sensei’s actual occupation.

She also said that she was from Brooklyn. yet she contradicted herself mere days later by stating that she was from Boston. This lends credence to the notion that many ’facts’ about her background were fabrications, presumably to hide who her mother was.

As a girl, Paula developed a crush on famous big-game hunter Paul Kirk, whom she wanted to emulate. When the masked vigilante Manhunter made his appearance, her extensive knowledge of Kirk’s life led her to realise that he was Manhunter. Paula made up the identity of the Tigress both as an homage to her mother and to become Manhunter’s sidekick and/or lover.

All-Stars

As the Tigress, Brooks observed the All-Star Squadron and the Young All-Stars during a PR event at the Yankee Stadium. She then sneaked aboard a Squadron plane flown by Manhunter. When discovered, she gave her name and explained that she wanted Kirk/Manhunter to sponsor her for membership with the Squadron.

She fought along Manhunter and a team of Young All-Stars against German sailors led by Baron Blitzkrieg. Her actions prevented Manhunter from being shot in the back. Manhunter agreed to speak in her favour and she joined the All-Star Squadron as a provisional member, attached to the Young All-Stars.

The Tigress (Paula Brooks) eating a sandwhich

Though the All-Star Squadron tended to treat them as children, the Young All-Stars had their own priorities and problems to deal with. The Tigress learned about these on the go.

She helped the team handle the matter of Fury’s transformations into the Blood Avenger, and repel the Ultra-Humanite when he commandeered the body of a giant tyrannosaur. She also created some drama since she was jealous of her team-mate Fury and wanted “Iron” Munro for herself.

Tigress adventured with the Young All-Stars in the Arctic to investigate Neptune Perkins’s incredible origins. She later helped saved Professor Eugene Wigner  (the Nobel Prize-winning founder of the Manhattan Project) from a Nazi assassination attempt.

Casualty of war

While protecting other top scientists of the Manhattan Project (including Glenn Seaborg , Robert Oppenheimer  and Enrico Fermi ) Tigress, Dyna-Mite and young British hero the Squire were attacked by Axis Amerika agents. While attempting to rescue the scientists, Tigress saved the Squire by shooting down an arrow fired by the Italian archer Usil.

However, she was at that point hanging from a net dragged under the Horned Owl’s plane. The Owl zoomed near a building, crashing Tigress into a billboard advertising a Robin Hood show.

Though the Squire rushed to check on her, Tigress had been impaled by a prop arrow on the billboard and died in his arms.

The Tigress (Paula Brooks) dying

Hours later, the rest of the team and their international allies engaged Axis Amerika to free the scientists so Project: Manhattan could be launched. During this battle, Tigress’s teammate “Iron” Munro vanquished his opposite number Übermensch and was about to crush him to death.

Another Axis Amerika member, the valkyrie Gudra, was in love with Übermensch and pleaded with Munro to spare him. She offered a life for life – by resurrecting Tigress. Munro took the deal.

Paula Brooks physically recuperated within an amazingly short time. However, as Gudra had warned, having been dead did not leave her intact. Proclaiming that she was now looking out for number one, and dripping with contempt toward her former teammates, she escaped from the military hospital she was in with Gudra’s help.

On the 11th of June, 1942 the Tigress vanished into the night. Her last words that day were to warn the Young All-Stars that, were she to meet them again, it would be “as a huntress”.

Summer of 1942 to early 1945

Though she was now more violent and far more selfish and greedy, the young Tigress retained her interest in Paul Kirk. In fact, she realised her childhood dream by becoming Kirk’s apprentice and lover.

This was a fragile relationship, though. Tigress made it clear that she would brook no authority or morals. On the mentorship front, she seemed mostly interested in making sure that she had nothing left to learn from Kirk, and was more competing with him to establish that, than learning from him.

Generally, it seemed that Paula’s chief interest was to close the last door to her past by living her girlhood dream about Kirk, then move on.

How long Brooks and Kirk were together is unrevealed. It would seem that Kirk left the All-Star Squadron in the Summer of 1944 (his last published wartime appearance in Adventure Comics), at which point he became a solo intelligence operative.

It is possible that Brooks was still obsessively monitoring him at that point, and immediately tracked him down to his current assignment circa September, 1944.

The Tigress (Paula Brooks) vs. Wildcat

What happened between June, 1942 and (tentatively) September, 1944 is unrevealed. But upon seeing Tigress Wildcat clearly considered her a criminal and Kirk stated that he was “helping her tame her feral instincts”.

Between that and a caption in Young All-Stars, it seems likely that the Tigress became an active criminal — and likely a murderess — within days of leaving the All-Star Squadron.

1945 to the Summer of 1947

Tigress and Manhunter were seen together in Angola in 1945 – presumably in January or February. They stumbled upon Wildcat and Hawkman, who were tracking down Nazi servants of Stalker planning mass destruction. They helped them foil the genocidal plot.

Tigress and Manhunter then joined the massive attack on Stalker’s fortress in Antarctica, fighting the reanimated dinosaur skeletons and other defenders.

Months later, in late 1945, Kirk was killed by a bull elephant. My guess would be that he and Brooks were no longer an item by that point. By, at the latest, the summer of 1947 Brooks had resumed being a criminal, though she was now calling herself the Huntress and had developed a new modus operandi.


Description

The design of Tigress’s costume varies from artist to artist. A possible rationalisation would be that she started with a design based on 1940s one-piece swimming suit (some panels even depict a modesty apron on her costume) and pared it down to a more modern and revealing design as she finished growing up and wanted to look more provocative.


Personality

Paula is brash, opinionated, free-spirited and — by 1940s standards — shameless. She’s direct and never hesitates to speak her mind. At this point, Paula sees herself primarily as a Great White Hunter  type, just like Paul Kirk. She always interested in challenging hunts and trophies, and is dutifully developing her skill to become a masked manhuntress.

The Tigress is obviously more worldly and roguish than the rest of the Young All-Stars. She doesn’t hide her interest in handsome young men. By modern standards her interest in guys is what you’d expect from a 17-year old girl, especially when it comes to the lack of subtlety and the curiosity. But by 1940s standards it’s scandalous and inappropriate for a woman of any age.

She wants to impress boys, and when discussing with other teenaged women insists that she’s an expert about males. Paula also has a weakness toward powerful, muscular men.

The Tigress is impatient, competitive, aggressive, irreverent and often sports a smirk. She doesn’t hesitate to kill whenever needed. She hates it when she doesn’t look on top of a situation.


Quotes

“Whatever it was, it was real enough to scratch solid metal. Those clawmarks weren’t here before.”

(Impatiently) “Don’t worry, we’ll track it down… soon as you stop lecturing and let us go after it…”

“I didn’t even know about it ’till today, Johnny Quick, so stop pointing your finger at me, okay ?”

“Party time ! So shuck your skivvies, grab your civvies, and let’s hit the timbers !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tigress (in 1942)

Dex: 07 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Adventuress
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 023 HP: 040

Skills:
Acrobatics: 08, Animals handling: 05, Gadgetry: 02, Martial artist (AV, OV): 08, Martial Artist (EV, RV): 05, Military science (Tracking): 08, Thief (Stealth): 08, Vehicles (Sea, Land): 06, Weaponry (Archery): 09, Weaponry*: 07

Advantages:
Expertise (Paul Kirk’s hunting career, Hunting equipment design and construction), Familiarity (Zoology), Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye

Connections:
None demonstrated but quite probably Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity

Equipment:

  • Crossbow Pistol [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 01, Drawback: Long reload time]
  • Right after her resurrection, Tigress demonstrated a trick bolt for the first and last time. It was some sort of explosive/incendiary charge she fired at the ground to force the Young All-Stars to step back, away from her.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tigress — Averaged PL 8

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
02 02 05 05 08 02 03 02

Combat Advantages

Accurate Attack, Close attack 3, Defensive Roll 1, Improved aim, Improved initiative, Improved trip, Power attack, Ranged attack 6

Other Advantages

Equipment 2, Tracking

Skills

Acrobatics 7 (+12), Athletics 8 (+10), Deception 3 (+5), Expertise (Paul Kirk’s career) 6 (+8), Expertise (Hunting) 9 (+11), Expertise (Zoology) 5 (+7), Insight 4 (+7), Perception 5 (+9), Persuasion 3 (+5), Ranged combat (Archery) 3 (+14), Stealth 5 (+10), Technology 3 (+5), Vehicles 4 (+9) (Limited 1 to common land and sea vehicles)

Equipment

Crossbow ● 7 points

Offense

Initiative +9
Unarmed +11, Close, Damage 2
Crossbow pistol +14, Ranged, Piercing Damage 3, Crit. 19-20

Defense

Dodge 12 Fortitude 6
Parry 11 Toughness 3/2*
Will 8

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Obsession Wants to seduce her girlhood idol Paul Kirk
  • Identity Hides her parentage from everyone
  • Quirk Catty, boys-crazed, wants to be socially dominant

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 9, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort & Will PL 7
  • Point total 128 Abilities 58, Defences 20, Skills 32, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 18. Equiv. PL 9.


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: DC Universe (chiefly Young All-Stars)

Helper(s): Darci. Mayfair’s World at War (which is considered to be the v1 of this entry). The difference in stats are produced by using the far more time-consuming evidence-based methodology rather than the archetype-based one.

Writeup completed on the 21st of June, 2011.

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