Kevin "Kasper" Cole was the son of NYPD hero cop Jonathan Peyton "Black Jack" Cole and Ruth Cole, a New York Jew. When Kasper was still a teenager, Black Jack Cole was presumably framed for drug possesion and sentenced to prison. Kasper believed this was the work of crooked police, setting up his father because he wouldn't follow them down their corrupt paths. He grew up to become a narcotics police officer working in the 74th precinct. There, he earned the nickname Kasper due to his light-toned skin.
Two years into the job, Kasper was a part of a plainclothes narcotics unit under Sergeant Tork. Money was tight, especially after getting his girlfriend Gwen pregnant. Her parents threw her out, forcing her to move in with Kasper and his mother. This put Kasper in the position of having to support all three, soon to be four, of them on his weak paycheck. He found a damaged Black Panther costume at Tork's apartment one day and chose to take it, wearing it under his clothes instead of a bulletproof vest. The suit was lighter in weight and more effective armor than his standard issue kevlar.
Kasper Cole was created by Christopher Priest and Dan Fraga and first appeared in Black Panther Vol. 2 issue 50 as the central figure in a new direction for the Black Panther series. While critically acclaimed, the series was low selling. The thought was that switching the focus onto Kasper Cole would make the book more reader friendly for a time, allowing them to learn more about Black Panther's continuity as Kasper did.
The premise of Kasper's character was essentially that of a dysfunctional Peter Parker. He was a guy burdened by a lot of responsibilities in his life and originally dons a costume in order to make enough money to ease those burdens. Kasper's appearance was based heavily off of Vin Diesel. However, this reference was lost in translation when Jorge Lucas quickly took over the art duties.
Major Story Arcs
Black and White
One day, Kasper Cole was approached by Lieutenant Sal Anthony, one of the corrupt cops in his precinct, to run an errand. Kasper refused, and he and his crew were soon ambushed in an undercover operation gone bad. Thanks to the Black Panther suit he secretly wore under his clothes, Kasper made it through unharmed while the rest of the crew were hospitalized. Things only became worse for him, though. He was given a five day suspension for not wearing a vest. A five day suspension effectively killed his chances of getting promoted to detective and earning the paycheck he needed for his family.
Kasper knew he had to come back from the suspension strong or he would be eaten alive by either the corrupt cops or internal affairs, as going into one of their pockets appeared to be the only two options for him. However, he figured the Black Panther suit presented him with a third option. He put on the mask and began posing as the Black Panther complete with a bad fake Wakandan accent, hitting both corrupt cops and drug dealers. If he could anonymously get the right information and leverage, he could dig himself out of his hole and get enough high profile busts to get himself a promotion.
As the new Black Panther, Kasper had no idea what he was getting into. He was quickly approached by the White Wolf, T'Challa's brother, with suspicious offers of aid. Then, he found T'Challa living in the slums and seemingly uninterested in helping at all. Instead of helping himself, Kasper wound up with two more puppet masters angling for control over him.
In the end, Kasper nearly got himself killed in a reckless plan that fed several crooked cops to internal affairs without him having to become a rat and turned the tables on Sal Anthony, putting the man in his pocket with the promise that he would be able to find Sal's abducted son. None of those trying to control Kasper agreed with his actions, but it kept him from having to answer to any of them.
Max Anthony, Sal Anthony's son, was Kasper's ticket to everything. If he could find the boy, Sal would become a real ally instead of someone he was essentially blackmailing. Unfortunately, the problem was that Kasper could not live up to his promise of finding Max. Teaming up with Falcon, he came very close only to end up short. He realized the Black Panther suit did not give him enough of an edge to get things done and demanded T'Challa let him go through the Rite of Ascension, the Wakandan ritual of becoming the legitimate Black Panther. Then, he would have access to the heart-shaped herb that gave T'Challa powers.
T'Challa was strangely accommodating to Kasper's demand but did not make it easy. Kasper gave himself a crash course in Wakandan history and actually made it through the first two challenges, but then he came up against Eric Killmonger, who had just woken from a coma. There was no way he could defeat Killmonger, but fortunately, Killmonger was willing to make a deal. Killmonger knew he only wanted the power and not the title, so a synthetic variation of the heart-shaped herb would do. If Kasper agreed to become an acolyte of the Panther Cult, Killmonger could legally give him the synthetic herb. Killmonger also offered to find Max Anthony in return for Kasper's loyalty.
Kasper took the synthetic herb and suffered through its initial effects. But like before, he was not willing to be in anyone's pocket. He figured if he found Max on his own and before Killmonger then he would not be indebted to the man. With some assistance from Everett Ross and Queen Divine Justice, he was able to do exactly that. However, he arrived to find Max in T'Challa's custody.
From day one, T'Challa had been testing Kasper to take measure of him. He was now found worthy and presented with a new costume and identity of the White Tiger, the proper title for an acolyte of the Panther Cult.
Big Trouble in Little Mogadishu
As the White Tiger, Kasper's goals were largely the same as ever. He needed to make high profile busts as Kasper Cole to get a promotion that would set his growing family up financially. To this end, he was drawn to Little Mogadishu, a neighborhood in New York essentially run by warring gangs. It was fertile ground to find those cases he needed to make, and he went back to his original strategy. As the White Tiger, he posed as a Wakandan vigilante, interfering with criminals and crooked cops to try to get some arrests to fall his way in his day job.
Kasper's world was soon turned upside down by Jim Rhodes. Rhodey's sister had been murdered in the Mog, and Rhodey was looking to make an impact in response. It began small, which only got Kasper's notice but not concern. If anything, Kasper suspected Rhodey may be the major bust he had been looking for. Instead, Rhodey swept through the Mog like a force of nature with his eyes set on the biggest target of all, the 66 Bridges gang that ran everything. Whether Kasper liked it or not, he was caught up in Rhodey's plans along with Junta, a former CIA spook looking to deal his way back into the spy game, and Josiah X, a Muslim preacher in the Mog and secretly the son of Isaiah Bradley.
In the end, Kasper chose to play hero over furthering his own career and cooperated with Rhodey's plan against 66 Bridges. Together, the Crew struck a serious blow to the gang and brought down its top apparent leader, Triage.
Return to the world of Wakanda
More recently, Kasper returned on the scene, still a police officer in New York City. He once again donned the costume of the White Tyger after Black Panther requested this of him. After he defeated both Cardiac and the Vanisher, he was recruited by the Black Panther to work for him and the nation of Wakanda.
Powers and Abilities
Due to ingesting Erik Killmonger's synthetic version of the heart-shaped herb, Kasper Cole's sense are enhanced along with his reflexes and coordination. These enhanced senses allow him to track people by scent, hear people's heartbeats and see clearly in the dark. The synthetic herb has also enhanced him physically to peak human performance, bordering on superhuman.
Kasper is a trained in the use of firearms and has had high level training in martial arts.
Weapons and Accessories
Kasper Cole's White Tiger costume is basically the same design as the Black Panther costume, It's vibranium microweave makes it bulletproof to small arms fire. The gloves have retractable anti-metal claws, and the boots vibranium soles allow him to land comfortably from an eight story drop as well as defy gravity by clinging to surfaces.
Kasper's main weapons are two handguns, which typically fire gel ammunition provided to him from Wakanda. These nonlethal gel bullets contain a paralytic enzyme that can incapacitate a person for around an hour.
Kasper also carries an energy dagger of Wakanda design and a Kimoyo card, a powerful and portable Wakandan computer.