Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tigra's public humiliation

Jim Shooter, a man not known in comics for his sensitivity to gender issues, uses Tigra to make a point about harassment in Avengers v1 #215 (Jan 1982).

When Tigra goes to a bank to cash her Avengers stipend check she goes clad in her costume-bikini. She's attractive (for a furry) and flirtatious. Artist Alan Weiss portrays her perfectly, showing her to be the type who when showing identification, will strike the same pose as her photo. A nice touch of personality and characterization. Apparently all this is too much for another patron as he gropes Tigra aggressively (much to the glee of other customers). When I initially read this back in 1982 I agreed with other readers that Mr. Idjit didn't just feel her backside, but shoved a hand down into her briefs. Understandably, Tigra reacts in scary fashion with her claws. Fortunately for the molester she only put the fear of emasculation into Mr. Groper by slashing his briefcase instead of ripping his face off.

In what is a typical scene for the media of the era, Tigra is treated like the one who did something wrong. As the bank guard says, "Look at the way you're dressed! You're asking for it!"


It's a little disappointing that Tigra flees the scene instead of standing firm and making all the other jerks leave in her stead, but I guess baby-steps are all a reader could expect. After all, she had to go to a singles' bar that night and then fight the Molecule Man the next day and the Avengers had to do it in 18 pages. It is obvious that Tigra has nothing against sex in general. She's a healthy, well-adjusted lady. She does however, make it clear in this scene that she isn't a toy and that she reserves the right to be one half of the equation when it comes to choosing partners.

That's just Neat-o. Wonder if any fanboys learned anything. Probably not, since they grew up to be the ones producing, writing and drawing comics today. We know how that's going, right? I believe S.S.D.D. is the term.

Marvel (and other comic companies) often inserted what some would call socially responsible messages into their stories. These were probably prompted in part by the Comics Code, but some must have come from the heart. There were a lot of hippies writing comics in those days. Or maybe some organization ordered Marvel to do it as a public service announcement or something, like those stupid morality sequences at the end of those He-Man cartoons.


  1. You go, girl.Good for Tigra.

    But man, that's a whole lotta speechifying goin' on during that actuon sequence.

    Go ahead, you try it. Swing your arms like you're clawing someone and say what she's saying in that bottom panel. Go ahead.

  2. Is it naive of me to think that the guard's response is so cliche so as to indicate that people like him are in the wrong, and not Tigra? That's how it reads to me...

  3. Both of those scenes are used to make a point about harrassment and to reinforce her feelings of inferiority for being in the Avengers along with Cap, Thor and Iron Man.

    Those old enough to remember will recall that it was in that era that the scumbag "she was asking for it" defense started to break down in people's minds. Even today there is still a disconnect in understanding that a person can be as indiscriminate with partners as they choose to be, but still have a right to say "No" when they feel like it.

  4. I'm with Bully, although, despite loving Tigra and saying Good for her on the way she defended herself with those claws, I still would like to put in my two cents on one fact: I HATE JIM SHOOTER. Not only for making Tigra something she wasn't and causing it to last(read: turning her real character of Marvel Chillers and the like into something weak and not in character which lasted through the 80's and 90's)but also for doing it and a lotta other shit, and making Tigra feel inferior and using her to show not everyone's cut out to be an Avenger. Hello? We don't use a good character with high potential for that. And allow me to assure you that for this reason, and a lot more, too, of Jim Shooter's high handed misdeeds and insensitivity, I pray to god and the devil alike that Jim Shooter becomes Jim Shootee, if you get my drift. I hope similar things happen to the writers who continued to trash Tigra(Mark Millar especially after the way he made her a spy in Civil War)and I hope Tigra can get a good writer and be restored to her original self at last. Because if she hadn't been abused and made out of character so much, she'd be a great heroine today. Fuck you to ALL the writers who messed her up, and to those who wish to restore her(such as Tony Isabella)I wish to shake your hand and am with you all the way. Oh, and Jim Shooter? Did I mention how much I hate you? Oh, yeah, I did. I hope Sleepy Hollow comes to life and the headless horseman makes you headless. Or better yet...Ghost Rider(who you used against Tigra in issue 214 of Avengers)burns your sorry ass up after coming to real life. Anyway, I've let it be known, and I hope for all of us that Jerk Shitter(my name for Jim Shooter)gets precisely what is coming to him, as do Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis or anyone of the sort.

    Nuff said(and Sleestak, Bully and Jeff? I'm glad I could put myself in among you here, and I like your writings and comments. TY very much)

  5. True, Sleestak, but writers trashing and bastardizing my favorite characters(be it Jim Shooter in the 80s or Mark Millar in Civil War i.e. TIgra the spy or anything in between)is more maddening for me than most readers for a number of reasons. That's why I wish to, and would if I could, stomp the little upstarts. (the little upstarts being the bad writers)


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