Real name: Greer Grant Nelson
First Appearance: Claws of the Cat #1, November 1972
Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Police Officer
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Classification: Humanoid
Marital Status: Widowed
Membership Status: Inactive
Affiliations: Avengers, West Coast Avengers

As the Cat, Greer possessed no superhuman powers, but relied on her costume to enhance her natural agility and speed to superhuman levels. The Cat costume also had claws that could be used as weapons and as grappling hooks, as they could be fired from the costume with a cable attatched. As Tigra, Greer's agility, reflexes, strength, and endurance are all at superhuman levels, as are her senses of vision, hearing, and smell. In fact, Tigra can use her enhanced senses to track opponents and perceive objects clearly even in almost total darkness. Her speed and stamina are at superhuman levels, and she can use her claws for weapons. Tigra has exhibited empathic abilities and can communicate with cat and cat-like creatures.

Greer Grant Nelson was the recipient of two separate sets of superhuman abilities, one scientific and one mystical in nature. As a laboratory assistant to Dr. Joanne Marie Tumolo, Nelson became involved in a physiological conditioning program that would enable a human being to attain his or her full physical and mental potential. Out of financial desperation, Dr. Tumolo had accepted private funding for the project from Malcom Donalbain, an eccentric former executive of the Brand Corporation, who planned to create an army of women warriors to serve him. Not trusting the test subject that Donalbain had coerced her to use, Tumolo had Nelson secretly undertake the experiment alongside the other woman. Donalbain's test subject, Shirlee Bryant, and Greer Nelson emerged from the battery of treatments with superhuman physical capabilities.

When Bryant died in a test of her abilities, Donalbain had his henchmen set off dynamite charges in the laboratory to make it appear that Bryant had died accidentally in an explosion. Tumolo was injured in the explosion. Believing her mentor to be dead, Nelson determined to stop Donalbain's plans. She donned one of Donalbain's specially designed cat costumes, and calling herself the Cat, thwarted Donalbain's plans and after cornering him, he committed suicide to escape justice on earth. Nelson soon learned that Tumolo had not been killed but had been hospitalized for apparent brain damage. During this time, Nelson, as the Cat, pursued a brief career as a crimefighter, operating mostly within the Chicago area.

Unknown to Nelson, Tumolo was a member of the Cat People, a race of humanoids magically evolved from cats in Europe during the Middle Ages. Prior to the explosion Donalbain had engineered, Tumolo had become aware of a plot by the subversive organization HYDRA to steal a bacterial culture that had been developed by Tumolo's ancestors. HYDRA had discovered the secret of Tumolo's ancestry and suspected her of possessing the formula for "The Final Secret," or the Black Plague. Tumolo had chosen to feign brain damage in order to evade HYDRA, but HYDRA abducted her from the private home where she had apparently been convalescing. Nelson put on her Cat costume and pursued them. HYDRA agents fled from the Cat's attack, but during the confrontation managed to shoot her with "alpha radiation," an unknown form of radioactivity. To save Nelson's life, Tumolo and the Cat People mystically transformed her into the legendary half-human, half-cat warrior they called the Tigra. As Tigra, Nelson helped the Cat People defeat the HYDRA agents.

Although she was able to use the cat's-head amulet to change back to her human form, Nelson became so accustomed to and enamored of her feline form that she seldom made the transformation. Moving from Chicago, she became a full-time adventurer, encountering and defeating such menaces as the Rat Pack, Kraven the Hunter, Tabur, and the Super-Skrull. She also briefly worked with Red Wolf, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. Tigra was among the handful of costumed crimefighters that the telepath Moondragon coerced into vying for Avengers membership. She was elected to membership and served for several months, all that time doubting she was worthy of membership in the group. Although she proved herself while in battle with the Molecule Man, she decided to resign her active membership. Moving to San Francisco, she became friends with Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman.

Months later, when Hawkeye moved to Los Angeles to form a West Coast branch of the Avengers, she was invited to join. She made a staunch addition to the team, despite the fact that the human and feline sides of her personality had become at odds with one another, causing her behavior to become somewhat erratic. Fortunately, she eventually overcame those problems, and since proved herself effective in crimefighting again.

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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