Thursday, March 10, 2016


This story will not, in fact, tell you pretty much anything.

Why purple? Why a tiger? Why fight crime? Why do anything, in fact? These are the questions posed but not addressed by the actions of Anita "Ann" Morgan, the richest girl in the city and, secretly, the crimebustin'-out-all-over Purple Tigress.

How she maintains a secret identity is anyone's guess. Decked out in what is effectively a cape and swimsuit -- admittedly, like hundreds of other superheroes of either gender -- Ann takes very few pains to disguise her appearance. She doesn't even go as far as similarly unmasked, statuesque blonde superhero Liberty Belle does, by adopting a Veronica Lake look to hide half her face.

"...a woman with her head caught in her shirt!"
Even Ann's persistent suitors - the innocuous Reggie, plump Butterball, and "Henri," a man whose dialogue resembles a transcription of Maurice Chevalier falling down a stairwell  - fail to notice the distinction. Whether they're harassing her at fancy nightclubs or cat-calling the Purple Tigress at the scene of the murder, this Algonquin Roundtable of horny idiots can't seem to make the connection between their pal and the Tigress.

What powers the Tigress displays is up in the air -- even if they'd taken the time to provide her an origin story, there still wasn't really room in his two short appearances to flesh out what she would actually do. She seemed fast, agile and strong, but not preternaturally so. While she did have "catlike" sight, it wasn't exactly presented as some sort of supernatural ability. From her earlier description, I assume she merely has the greatest superpower of all -- she's rich.

What she isn't, by any particular stretch, is all that great at banter. While she turns an entire drawing room into a weapon, for instance, she does manage to land on some sly puns. "It's curtains for you," for instance, being an instant classic. Braining a thug with a pot and then say "Have some flowers. Oops, I forgot to remove the vase" is actually just compounding insult to injury. Never mind the truly baffling "Do you collect antiques? Collect one on your head!" By all rights, she should have waited to get an answer before she lobbed a irreplaceable artifact at his whole literal face. It's like you can't just ask someone how they like them apples, you know? You first have to establish their affinity for apples in the altogether.

Tigress disappears after a couple of appearances, although at least one revival is taking place online. There's such a rich backstory to draw upon, how could any creator resist the opportunity?

She'll punch anyone for anything.


Carycomic said...

I believe her crime-fighting pseudonym was derived from "purple tiger" (a predatory species of ground beetle of the family Caribidae). Thereby making her alias a sort of pun on "Green Hornet." Similar to the Blue Beetle, the Red Bee, the Black Spider, etc. etc. etc.

Calamity Jon said...

Ah, that's a good possibility! Thanks!

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