Fans can’t wait for the MCU’s new Matt Murdock series called Daredevil: Born Again. However, not a lot of information has come out about the show so far. One rumor that keeps popping out is the inclusion of a new hero in the story – the White Tiger. The character could be unknown to those who haven’t read Daredevil comics. So, who is the White Tiger, and are their powers?
White Tiger is a superhero alias used by numerous characters. The first one was Hector Ayala, but then his niece, Angela Del Toro, inherited the amulets that gave Hector the powers. Lately, Hector’s wife, Ava Ayala, has taken over the mantle, but the MCU’s White Tiger would likely be Angela Del Toro.
We also have a name speculated to play the character in Born Again, but first, let’s explore the White Tiger’s history, powers, and potential role within the show’s context and the bigger MCU picture.
Who is the White Tiger in Marvel Comics?
The White Tiger is an alias used by several characters in Marvel Comics. The first appearance of the White Tiger came in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19 in December 1975. After finding mystic amulets granting him superpowers, Hector Ayala was the first White Tiger.
In the mystical kingdom of K’un-Lun – the heavenly city we saw in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – there was an enchanted statue of the White Tiger dedicated to the Tiger God. However, the statue was broken into several pieces, now known as the White Tiger’s amulets.
The pieces were lost for a while but then found in the US, where the Sons of the Tiger each wore one as their amulets, enhancing their combat skills. Eventually, the Sons disbanded, and Hector Ayala inadvertently found the amulets.
Ayala was the first White Tiger to become a vigilante on the streets of New York, fighting crime, destroying drug lords and criminal empires, and working with other superheroes. Daredevil was a common associate of the White Tiger, but eventually, Hector was framed for murder.
He turned to Matt Murdock to help him as a lawyer, but just before Matt could reveal the evidence that cleared Hector’s name, the first White Tiger was gunned down while trying to escape his wrongful incarceration.
Angela Del Toro’s White Tiger
That being said, Angela Del Toro is the White Tiger we all expect to see in the MCU’s new Daredevil series. She was an FBI agent and the niece of Hector and Ava Ayala. Angela volunteered to spearhead an investigation on Matt Murdock, whose secret identity as Daredevil was revealed. Murdock publicly denied the allegations, so an investigation was due.
Meanwhile, Angela inherited her uncle’s amulets but didn’t know what to do with them, how to use them, or even how to use them. Eventually, she learns about Daredevil’s past with her uncle and turns to Matt Murdock for help.
Angela, now the new White Tiger, became somewhat of a protege of Daredevil, who was showing her the ropes and helping her become a real vigilante, just like her uncle was before.
Over the years, the duo collaborated on numerous occasions, even taking over the Hand at one point to try and turn it into a force of good, not evil. Unfortunately, Angela was eventually taken and imprisoned by the Hand and completely controlled by it until her aunt Ava took over the Amulets of Power and became the White Tiger.
Eventually, they worked in tandem and completed their final mission before deciding to retire from being the White Tiger together in New Avengers Vol. 4 #18.
What are the White Tiger’s powers?
Now, we know that the White Tiger has mystical powers connected to an enchanted statue found in the mystical realm of K’un-Lun. But how do those powers work, and generally, what powers does the White Tiger have?
Every White Tiger in Marvel Comics had the Amulets of Power. Wearing the Amulets of Power granted the bearer the amazing powers of the Tiger God.
Those powers primarily focused on superhuman physical traits and abilities, such as superhuman strength, speed, stamina, balance, durability, and reflexes. Each White Tiger also had heightened senses, similar to those of a wild cat, and can camouflage at will – the Amulets allow the White Tiger to blend into any surroundings.
Every White Tiger also had an accelerated healing factor – especially if they could place the Amulets on their wounds. As we learned in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #13, the White Tiger can use this technique to heal severe knife or gunshot wounds within moments.
Apart from those powers, the White Tiger also had razor-sharp claws, but the thing is, every White Tiger also had a unique skill set.
For instance, Angela Del Toro was a uniquely masterful martial artist, as she trained under the tutelage of her uncle Hector (the first White Tiger) and then the Iron Fist and Daredevil. She also had her FBI training behind her, allowing her to utilize even more hand-to-hand combat skills while also being a weapons expert. Angela loved using swords in her fights.
Who will play the White Tiger in the MCU?
While there hasn’t been any confirmation about the subject – not even a confirmation that the White Tiger will appear in Daredevil: Born Again – rumors have been swirling around the internet for months now that Jenna Ortega will most likely become the White Tiger in the series.
Jenna Ortega is currently going through sort of a breakthrough and is one of the hottest names in Hollywood after her stellar performance in Netflix’s hit series, Wednesday, and phenomenal appearances in the TV show You, as well as the legendary Scream franchise and the hit horror flick, X.
Again, those rumors are absolutely not confirmed yet, but that didn’t stop fans from creating digital art and letting us take a look at what Jenna would look like as the White Tiger:
Which White Tiger are we expecting?
As for which White Tiger Ortega would be portraying, some fans believe she’ll be Ava Ayala, but I feel as if she’s too young for the role. Instead, I believe the best course of action would be to play Angela Del Toro for several reasons.
First, it opens a door for her to appear as sort of a villain or antagonist – at least at first. Perhaps she’ll try to uncover the reasons behind her uncle’s death and inadvertently investigate Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, revealing his identity in the process.
Surely, a plot about his identity reveal is on the table for Daredevil: Born Again, especially knowing that Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is returning – and knowing their history from the comics.
To sum it up – should Jenna Ortega’s White Tiger come to fruition – my guess is that she’ll portray Angela Del Toro, an FBI agent investigating Matt Murdock and his secret identity. As the identity is revealed and Angela inherits the White Tiger Amulets, she and Daredevil will work together to stop Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye, Yelena Belova’s Black Widow, or Maya Lopez’s Echo also make a guest appearance in the series. We know that Daredevil: Born Again will have a whopping 18-episode season, so it’s not crazy to assume we’ll get a ton of action and a ton of characters joining the show.
Without official confirmations, though, take this with a grain of salt. There’s still no exact release date for Daredevil: Born Again, but the show is expected to premiere on Disney+ somewhere in mid-2024.