Welcome back to Rotten Ink. One thing I have noticed in the golden age of comic books is how so many characters were created and lasted only a small amount of appearances before going to the long box in the sky and for the most part forgotten, and to me that’s a shame as I think so many of them had so much more to deliver to readers. I have covered many of these heroes here on Rotten Ink from the likes of Rottweiler, Black Bow, Hammer Girl, Blood Bath, Drastik, Super Green Beret, Holo-Man, Red Demon and so many others! With this update we will be taking a look at another Forgotten Hero as we take a look at Gold Key Comics character Tiger Girl. So if you are ready, this update will be fast paced as sadly Tiger Girl made no impact and very little is released about her.
So let’s start by taking a look at Lily Taylor who was a woman that worked at the Dingaling And South Circus based in Ralston City as an aerialist, and oddly enough she also has a mental link with Kitten the circuses Bengal Tiger and the two have a friendship. Her fellow circus performer family knew of her superhero life outside the tent and they as well tried to watch out for her with the some even having crushes on her. She often teamed with an agent of W.A.A.V. (War Against Arch-Villainy) by the name of Ed Savage and they clashed with a baddy named Wolf Hound. Tiger Girl was a super skilled fighter and was a brave as the day is long. The character was made for Gold Key as the comic company wanted to cash in on the superhero craze of the 60’s and created a line of comics with newly created heroes as well as returning ones from the past like The Owl. For Tiger Girl they brought in Jerry Siegel to write it, as he is one of the creators of Superman and on art they had Jack Sparling who is known for working on many DC Comics! But even with these two names on this title it only lasted one issue and Gold Key’s whole superhero line was short lived and cancelled before readers could really bound with the characters, making this one of the quickest and half hearted attempts at creating a hero line of comic books. And like before the likes of Tiger Girl good old Gold Key just went on to make comics based on Cartoons, TV Shows and Movies. Could Tiger Girl have made an impact on readers if given time, no one can really tell…but I do think they should have allowed her to last more then one issue as that seems like they just didn’t truly give her a fair chance.
As you can see, there is very little about Tiger Girl and while looking up her history I was shocked to see that Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was involved in the creation of this comic and makes me even more excited to read this comic. I want to thank an Ebay seller for having this comic up for sale and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s go on a superhero adventure with Tiger Girl and her partner Kitten!
Tiger Girl # 1 **1/2
Released in 1968 Cover Price .15 Gold Key # 1 of 1
The Growler is a super villain who is robbing a jewelry store in Ralston City and makes quick work of government W.A.A.V. agent Ed Savage who tried to stop the crook, as The Growler is about to shoot Ed he is stopped cold in his tracks by the light tiger signal of Tiger Girl who springs into action and with the help of Kitten they are able to bring down The Growler and his henchmen! Tiger Girl returns to her normal life as Lily Taylor a performer at the Dingaling And South Circus were she is well loved and respected by her peers as well as the circus owner Mr. South, her two best friends are Titan The Great the strong man and Laughing Boy the clown who know of her double life as a superhero and from time to time will help in her crime fighting adventures. Meanwhile the bad guys of I.N.F.A.M.Y. are made over the arrest of The Growler and hire Wolf Hound and his pet wolf Wolfbane to bring down Tiger Girl! Later Wolf Hound takes over a TV stations and issues a challenge to Tiger Girl and she along with Kitten rush to the location that is in a park by a cat statue, this of course is a trap that leaves Tiger Girl falling into a pit and Wolfbane about to rip her apart that is until Kitten takes action against the giant wolf and gives Tiger Girl the chance to get out of the pit and have a quick fight with Wolf Hound who escapes once the police start to show up at the battle field. After his escape Tiger Girl, The Police and Ed Savage come up with an idea to trick Wolf Hound into their trap by acting as if Tiger Girl will be at this science lab, and this super villain takes the bait and after fighting with Tiger Girl he is taken down and arrested as his goons are taken care of by Laughing Boy, Titan and Ed Savage and Kitten fights off a pack of tigers to save his friends life when she is down. With Wolf Hound behind bars the evil doers of I.N.F.A.M.Y. are made and swear revenge.
I want to start off saying that Tiger Girl is not perfect and by all accounts is a very cheesy and standard fare for superhero comics of the 60’s, but with that said it was one heck of a fun read and showcases that even indie superhero’s have something to offer to readers. The story is simple and has superhero Tiger Girl getting on the bad side of a crime syndicate after she brings down one of their hired goons that was robbing a jewelry store and for this they hire a skilled villain to bring her down only for he himself to fail in the end. Lily Taylor aka Tiger Girl is a woman who is strong willed and a skilled fighter, and she uses her skills to entertain people on the trapeze at the circus and as a masked fighter against crime. Her best friend is a tiger she calls Kitten and some how she and the great cat have a link that is not explained…it’s as if she can talk to him and he understands. Her friends at the circus Mr. South, Laughing Boy and Titan The Great all respect her with the later two knowing that she is as well the crime fighter. Titan is clearly in love with Lily, but lacks the nerve to tell her, but does have the nerve to help fight crime when needed. Agent Ed Savage of W.A.A.V. is pretty much a cocky ass hat who at one point tells Tiger Girl she should be in the kitchen making eggs, even after he failed at stopping a criminal and was about to be killed, when she came to his rescue. In other words Ed Savage is a cocky government worker who is all bark and no real skill. I like the idea of I.N.F.A.M.Y. as comic book bad guys as they are a group of masked men who hire other masked villains to commit crimes…they remind me a little of a watered down version of Hydra from Marvel Comics and even the E.T.A. from the Sparkle Comics universe Read Adventure Man # 1-3 and Black Jack # 1 to see what I mean. The Growler and Wolf Hound are some great cheesy masked bad guys who fit right in superhero comics of the 60’s with each being overly self confident and both having sneaky plans that they hope will lead to the death of Tiger Girl. The writing of Jerry Siegel is fun and while simple really did capture that era of comics as good always win and the bad guys in the end are always cowards. The cover art is eye catching and showcases Tiger Girl and Kitten well, with Jack Sparling’s interior art being well done for the time. Over all this was an enjoyable read and one I am glad I found and covered here on this update. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Sparling.
So if Gold Key Comics was to continue with Tiger Girl, I would have liked to see her continue on with fighting against the baddies I.N.F.A.M.Y. who would bring in more animal inspired supervillains for her to beat down, I would like to have also seen Ed Savage get put in his place or even beaten up so bad he would have to retire from W.A.A.V. and allowing a better more interesting agent to take his place. I would like for Tiger Girl to date Titan who would as well become a superhero and take on a lion inspired costume and hero name. It would have also been cool to see her team with The Owl as well as other Gold Key heroes like Magnus Robot Fighter and Doctor Solar. They could have explored her past and explain her link to Kitten as well as her drive to become a hero. But sadly like so many comics before her she ended up in the long box in the sky before she could really grow as a character. For the next update I will be once more taking a look at a Horror Host to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of The Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be talking about a true icon of hosting named M.T. Graves! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a superhero film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Oh and I am not sure who did the art below of M.T. Grave but I have to say great work!