Tiger’s history began as an orphan boy living in a relocation camp in during the early days of World War II. Though he’s of Japanese heritage, he was also an American citizen. During this time Tiger was approached by a Japanese agent known as “The Cat” and convinced to help smuggle American secrets from the camp to . The ruse was discovered by Sgt. Rip Jagger (Judomaster), which prompted Tiger to help arrange a battle between Jagger and “The Cat”. Discovering Jagger was actually the Judomaster; Tiger became impressed by Jagger’s bravery and skill. This swayed Tiger to turn against “The Cat” and side with the Judomaster.
Tiger ended up stowing away on Jagger’s aircraft and was ultimately adopted as the official mascot of Jagger’s company. Despite his young age, the Tiger impressed the Sensei with his martial arts skill and was deemed worthy to become Judomaster’s partner. He was also given an outfit similar to that of Judomasters. The team of Judomaster and Tiger would go on to become renowned throughout the Pacific.
Tiger apparently survived WWII as it was revealed he was Nightshade’s martial arts instructor.
In the DC Universe Tiger was originally from Earth-4 before the Crisis on Infinite Earths epic, where it merged along with four others into one new Earth. Now, along with Judomaster, Tiger was part of the wartime superhero team All-Star Squadron. Tiger’s Charlton history mostly remained in tact except he was no longer an orphaned American citizen that lived in a Japanese relocation camp. He was now an Asian born orphan that lived in the Pacific.
When the War ended Jagger attempted to take his new ward home to , but immigration services denied Tiger access. Jagger decided to remain with Tiger and the two traveled around the world seeking out the lost secrets of the martial arts. After eight years of traveling Tiger grew tired of it and wanted a life and home of his own. He started to irrationally believe that Jagger resented him because he was the reason that kept Jagger from returning home. Tiger finally confronted Jagger about it and vanished in the end.
On his own, Tiger found himself continuing to travel across Asia and witnessing thousands of orphans suffering under the warmongers. He focused his anger on them and began to study the Hindu legends of the Parashrama, the slayer of the warrior caste. Finding some long lost texts Tiger discovered the hidden and the armament of the long lost god within it. The most precious discovery of all was the serum of Soma, which when ingested gave the user eternal life when taken once per cycle of the moon. However, the serum came with a price as it supposedly drives the user mad over time. Tiger didn’t care and was willing to take that chance.
Renaming himself Avatar, Tiger used his new powerful tools to declare war on the world’s war makers, in order to save the world’s children in his own twisted way. The Avatar kidnapped and trapped the Justice League of , preventing them from interrupting his plans. Under Sarge Steel a new team was formed called the L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) that consisted of Captain Atom, Nightshade, The Blue Beetle,The Question, Judomaster and the new Peacemaker. Captain Atom was captured by Avatar and his powers used to keep the JLA imprisoned. The others fought the Avatar's minions while Judomaster let himself be captured.
The reunion was bittersweet as Judomaster confirmed the identity of Avatar to be that of his former partner. The two fought and Judomaster stopped the Avatar, which enable him to free Captian Atom. With the Captain free the Avatar no longer had the energy to contain the JlofA and they were free from their imprisonment as well. Realizing his plans were now impossible to enact, Avatar abandoned his scheme and once again vanished. Tiger emerged in the Himalayas, powerless and focused on finding the hidden city of Nanda Parbat.
Tiger has recently reappeared, now as leader of the super-powered Blood Soldiers. He is considered the deadliest Yakuza assassin of the world. His team attempted to capture the new Judomaster (Sonia Sato) and bring her back to the foil, after Tiger himself killed her father, the most dangerous of the yakuza killers. The Justice Society of America prevented the Blood Soldiers from acquiring their prize as Tiger watched on from the sidelines. The influence of his time as Avatar was visible in his new uniform.
Nothing has been mentioned if Tiger found the hidden city of Nanda Parbat or how he took the news of Rip Jagger’s death at the hands of the villain Bane.
Eventually Judomaster renewed her hunt for Tiger with the help of the JSA All Stars and was successful in capturing him. The money from the illegal actions of Tiger was used to pay the medical bills of many victims in his last attack on Atlanta.
After the Flashpoint event, a new earth 4 appeared. In a world were there is only one superpowered being, Captain Atom. The rest of the heroes were goverment operatives modeled as comic-book superheroes. Tiger was one of these operatives and acted as member of the goverment sponsered team know as Pax Americana.
There is no clear evidence about which was the connection between Tiger and Judomaster or even if there was a Judomaster in this universe. Tiger made clear than he don't liked the idea of use tights and have a superhero codename, considering them ridiculous.
Skills and Weapons
Tiger is a highly skilled in the martial arts, chief among them being Judo.
As Avatar, Tanaka once possessed the armament of the lost god Parashrama:
- The Ax of Shiva, which draws its power from the forces of nature. It was used to drain the raw power of Captain Atom.
- The All-Seeing Eye of Andhaka, capable of teleporting, opening dimensional portals, and communication.
- The elixir Soma, which bestows upon its user eternal life when taken regularly. It also heals and grants the user dominion over the Ravanan dimension. Most likely its responsible for Avatars appearance and mystical abilities as well.