Tiger Man's launch in Rangers Comics #28 was a weird addition to a title that was already wonderfully strange by this time. We've recently talked about features such as Lily Renée's Wolf-less Werewolf Hunter and Kazanda, Wild Girl of the Lost Continent from this period of the Rangers Comics title, but the addition of Tiger Man added to the surprising weirdness of what had superficially appeared to be a World War II-era war comic. But the war was over by the time of Tiger Man's debut, and the entire comic book industry was looking to find its footing in the post-war age. An undeservedly forgotten moment in Golden Age comic book history that is worthy of more attention, there's a nice raw group of Rangers Comics featuring Tiger Man and more up for auction in the 2022 November 14-15 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122246 at Heritage Auctions. Note that this auction has been moved to Monday & Tuesday for this week. Session 2 will be 6:00 PM Central Time, Tuesday, November 15.
As explained in Rangers Comics #28, Lieutenant Robert Benton's jet fighter crash-landed in Burma near the end of the war. He ended up in a fight to near death with a tiger, saving the son of a tribal leader. A mystic ceremony that involved giving Benton a transfusion with tiger blood gave him tremendous strength and other powers. Returning to America, the saga eventually took a strange turn in Rangers Comics #31, as a "tiger car" and "tiger plane" were introduced, with Benton publicly assuming the (uncostumed) identity of Tiger Man, by publicizing the notion that people could call him for help by dialing the letters of his name. This was a reaction to the corrupt administration of his city (which was named Metropolis) being in league with mobsters and allowing their activities to go unchecked. While the more gimmicky aspects introduced in this issue were immediately dropped (the car and plane were never used again, and the phone call perhaps once more) Tiger Man's fight against Metropolis Mayor Finger and the consequences of his corrupt administration continued through issue #39. After that, the character's adventures took on more horrific or supernatural overtones continuing through the end of his run in issue #46.
A range of features including Firehair, Glory Forbes, and the supernatural feature "I confess" round out what had become a deceptively strange title in the immediate post-war era. An underappreciated and misunderstood Golden Age series, there's a nice raw group of Rangers Comics featuring Tiger Man and more up for auction in the 2022 November 14-15 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122246 at Heritage Auctions. Note that this auction has been moved to Monday & Tuesday for this week. Session 2 will be 6:00 PM Central Time, Tuesday, November 15. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.