Tuesday, June 14, 2016
We saw the Dr. Druid issue of "Avengers Reborn" some years back, later we'll hit the Black Knight's story, but today we have Tigra in 1990's Avengers Spotlight #38, "Curse of the Cat, People" Written by Roy and Dann Thomas, pencils by June Brigman, inks by Doug Hazlewood.
"Avengers Reborn" was probably intended to touch up and revitalize some characters that had been pushed out of the limelight a little, but I had the impression that it was much further removed from the events that took those characters out of action. In John Byrne's run on Avengers West Coast, Tigra had been getting more and more feral, eventually attacking Dr. Pym; who was forced to shrink her to protect himself. Later, she escaped, and had been on the loose; but that had been only six months prior! (She was shrunk in Avengers West Coast #49, per the checklist in this issue #55 was the current issue.) That actually feels like a quick turnaround, a lot of times a character's left in limbo for a while before an issue like this.
After seeing the feral, tiny Tigra attacked by a pit bull (Hate the deed, not the breed!) an old woman takes her to the vet to be put to sleep. Luckily, Agatha Harkness and her familiar Ebony had tracked her down, and take her back to the Avengers Compound to re-enlarge her. Harkness recaps Tigra's origin, while summoning the Cat People to help her. In a rare instance of Harkness dropping the ball, instead of a "Balkatar" she gets dickish catman Tabur. While he shared a history with the Cat People, Tabur had been created by the High Evolutionary.
Tabur restores Tigra to her usual self, mostly because he wants her as his mate. Tigra might be tempted, if Tabur hadn't already attacked Harkness and Ebony. While Tigra and Tabur fight, Harkness transfers Tigra's "Cat-soul" to Tabur, turning him into an ordinary cat. An ordinary cat with a cape and boots, and probably 2.5 million hits on YouTube. Tigra is returned to her human form of Greer Nelson, but Harkness assures her she can change back, and will remain in control now.
This sort of clean-up isn't unheard of, but usually it's for characters who've fallen off the radar for a few years--Tigra had barely been missing at all, in comparison. I wonder if this was planned, or if this plot thread got away from Byrne.