Tanaka as the Avatar. Art by Dick Giordano
| Judomaster #91
| Joe Gill
|Martial artist specializing in judo
Tiger, also known as Avatar, is a fictional comic book character created by Charlton Comics and now published by DC Comics. Tiger first appeared in Judomaster #91 (October 1966), and was created by Joe Gill and Frank McLaughlin.
Tiger was the kid sidekick of the superhero Judomaster (Hadley "Rip" Jagger, a United States Army sergeant in World War II). In the "Nightshade" backup series in Captain Atom , an adult Tiger is shown to be Nightshade's martial arts instructor.
DC Comics purchased the rights to this character and others in 1983, during Charlton's final years. Here he was retconned as a member of the All-Star Squadron, DC's team of World War II superheroes, although he has never appeared in an actual published story as a member of said team.
According to his DC Comics history, during World War II, Tiger was a Japanese orphan who impressed the U.S. soldier Rip Jagger (Judomaster). Despite his young age, Tiger was skilled at martial arts and proved himself a worthy partner of Jagger. The team of Judomaster and Tiger became renowned throughout the Pacific, and both became members of the All-Star Squadron. After the War, Rip wanted to adopt Tiger and take the boy with him to the US, but immigration services denied his request. For many years, Rip and Tiger traveled the globe seeking out lost secrets of the martial arts. During this time, Tiger's anger grew and he started to unjustly believe that Rip resented him because he was what kept Rip from returning home. In 1953, Tiger had a final falling out with Rip and vanished.
Tiger continued to travel across Asia, encountering thousands of orphans during his journeys. He began focusing his hatred upon the warmongers of the world, who had made so many children suffer. Studying the Hindu legends of the Parashurama, the slayer of the warrior caste, Tiger set out to recover the belongings of the god — the Ax of Shiva, the All-Seeing Eye of Andhaka, and the precious Soma (a Serum of Immortality) which bestows upon its user eternal life when taken regularly. The serum came with a price — it would supposedly drive its user mad over time — but Tiger was willing to take that chance.
Renaming himself Avatar, Tiger used his powerful tools to declare war against the world's war makers, intending to save the children of the world in his own twisted way. He defeated and kidnapped the Justice League, but was ultimately defeated by a new team of heroes (made up of Judomaster, Peacemaker, Blue Beetle, Nightshade, the Question, Captain Atom and Sarge Steel, all former Charlton Comics characters ) called the L.A.W.. Rip regretted battling his old friend and partner, but realized that Tiger had become truly insane.
Both judoka survived their final fight and Avatar is currently at large, although now powerless. Tiger resurfaces in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #11 (2008) and is referred to as the deadliest Yakuza assassin in Japan.
In his work as a contract killer, he kills the father of Sonia Sato, a young metahuman who is spurred to be the third Judomaster, and follow him to America to enact her vengeance. When they later catch up, Sonia, acting on her dead lover Grant Emerson's last wishes and King Chimera's advice decides to spare him, administering him instead a vicious beating before taking away his assassination money and having him sent to jail
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