Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tiger-Man



I loved Tiger-Man, and thought he had a real shot at comic book super-stardom. That's to say, I loved Ernie Colon's Tiger-Man. Wasn't quite so sure about Steve Ditko's.
My first exposure to the Wolverine of Atlas Comics came in the first issue of the b/w Thrilling Adventure Stories with a nasty, mean-spirited tale called Tiger-Man & The Flesh Peddlers ( available elsewhere on this very blog, should you wish to check it out ).
It was, for the time, ultra-violent, disturbing and exhilarating and I couldn't wait to read more. This, the premiere issue, is nearly as good. Yeah, the cover's a bit of an odd choice, looking more like a character sketch they had to use to beat a deadline, and the machine lettering does Ernie's art no favours at all, but I defy any comic fan's heart not to beat a little bit faster when our unhinged hero finally catches up with his sister's murderers and screams the immortal words: 'I'll Kill You ALL!!'
THAT's what a comic called Tiger-Man should be all about.
By comparison, the following issues are a bit of a damp squib though. Even back then, I got why Ditko was brought on board to Spidey the character up, and those issues are fun and all, but it just felt like a missed opportunity.
If The Destructor was Daredevil, and Tiger-Man was the wall-crawler, then ok, but that's not how he was originally presented.
Tiger-Man was a maniac, and that's how I, for one, remember him.





















5 comments:

  1. Most of the Atlas books started out edgier, with a relatively unique identity reflective of the violent heroes that were arising in popular media. I've read that Martin Goodman was averse to Jeff Rovin's eccentric approach and demanded the books be less complicated and more like Marvel. So unique books like the Grim Ghost or the Scorpion were taken away from their creators and given over to less interesting writers who had Marvel credits. In the beginning there was nothing out there like Thrilling Adventures; there were no superheroes like the original Tigerman. Some of Colon's work for Atlas was just magnificent, and Michael Fleisher's Grim Ghost and Tarantula series were really challenging to the establishment norms. It's too bad the company wasn't run a bit more deliberately and a bit less hysterically. It might've had a bigger run.

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  2. First Red Wolf, and now Tiger-man...
    You are surely a man of rare tastes Pete;)

    -sean

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  3. I'll take that as a compliment! 'Course I didn't realise I was doing a predatory animal series this week till yesterday - have to come up with another big cat / dog for the next post.

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  4. My suggestion would be for more Kamandi - find an issue with Tuftan and Dr Canus then thats both cats and dogs in one go!
    (Actually, not sure that a wolf counts as a dog, but hey - your blog, your rules)

    And yes, it was a compliment. Who wouldn't enjoy reading about a geezer who injects himself with tiger chromosomes? "No sense in wondering how or when the serum will affect me..." Classic :)
    Although personally, I never liked Red Wolf much; weirdo Marvels of the mid-70s like that really should be written by Steve Gerber or Don McGregor.

    -sean

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  5. Would'ja believe a Black Crow?? Mr. Out of left field me.
    Yes to Kamandi tho, natch, and Red Wolf by Gerber or McGregor? Man, that would've been great.

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