Real Name: Juan Meroz
Identity/Class: Human magic user
Occupation: Treasure hunter
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Kukulcan, Man-God (Maa-Gor), Ramon Dantas, Toloc
Enemies: Ka-Zar, Bobbi Morse, S.H.I.E.L.D., Tongah, X-Men, Zabu
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly South America, Savage Land;
formerly a Mayan pyramid in San Rico, Central America.
First Appearance: X-Men I#25 (October, 1966)
Powers/Abilities: Telekinesis, telepathy,
sixth sense of danger (using a fragment of the Amulet of the Power). El
Tigre also used bolas and a knife as weapon. He used a strange energy
capable to melting rock after he was mutated by the Mystic Mists of the
While possessed by Kukulcan he had additional powers, as detailed here.
(X-Men I#25) - Juan Meroz, also known as El Tigre, was a hunter of ancient treasures. Escorted by two mercenaries, Ramon and Tuloc, he eventually found the Mayan pyramid of the god Kukulcan in Santo Rico. They soon found a treasure, and Meroz took a shining stone from it. During the night, Ramon and Tuloc tried to capture Meroz, but he was warned by a "new" sixth sense about their intentions. Using a telekinetic power he never had before, he bound Ramon and Tuloc and had them promise to obey to his orders. Later, during the night, El Tigre learned the history of the stone. It was part of a magic amulet extracted from an enchanted stone: the Sacred Pendant of Kukulcan. The El Tigre's mental powers were derived from that fragment of the amulet. Moroz, swore that he'd find the second part of the amulet.
Some days later, El Tigre, Ramon and Toloc arrived in New York, where El Tigre's powers stimulated Cerebro. Professor Xavier understood that that person's power was still incomplete, so sent the X-Men to look for him. El Tigre used his telepathy on a client of a taxi, the X-Men saw the trio, but didn't recognize the danger in them.
(X-Men I#25 - BTS) - That night, El Tigre and his men went to a night club on the 39th Avenue. A big brawl inexplicably started in the club involving all the clients, but el Tigre and his allies disappeared during the brawl.
(X-Men I#25) - Some moments later, the Professor X, thanks to Cerebro, localized El Tigre and telepathically followed him. The three men were arriving in their hotel, but the pendant advised El Tigre about a danger. They ran away without stopping, avoiding some cops hidden in the shadows. When they reached the City Museum, the Professor X tried to enter deeper in Moroz' mind, but El Tigre raised a mental defense, blinding Xavier's perceptions.
El Tigre, hidden in the shadows of the Museum, saw the X-Men and knew that they were looking for him. He sent Ramon and Toloc to stop the X-Men and animated an ancient armor using his telekinesis to help Ramon and to stop the Beast. Then he took control of a night guardsman, having him threaten Cyclops. Just in that moment El Tigre found the second half of the amulet, joined the parts and... El Tigre was no more! He was now Kukulcan!
(X-Men I#26) - El Tigre's mental and physical powers were multiplied; Kukulcan reincarnated was no more mortal. Cyclops avoided the guardsman and shot an optic blast to Kukulcan, but the ray was reflected by the amulet and stunned the X-Man. Ramon and Toloc, after having defeated the other X-Men, asked for a part of the Sacred Pendant of Kukulcan and attacked him, but the demi-god slew the lackeys with a wall of heat and force. Then he created a Solar Sphere that surrounded him and transported him to San Rico.
In the Midwest, Barney and Albert, two fishermen, saw the track left from the Sphere in the night sky.
Back in the his Temple in the morning, Kukulcan, with a minimum effort of his telekinetic powers, restored the tower of the Feathered Serpent Idol, which held the Solar Stone. Then he freed the rest of the temple by manipulating hundreds of plants into restoring the place to its ancient glory. With the increased mind-power granted him by the Solar Stone he summoned the descendants of the Mayan people. In a few hours, the people of San Rico became worshippers of and workers for Kukulcan.
When the X-Men entered in the territory controlled by Kukulcan's pawns, he sensed the mutants weren't under his mind-control and sent some natives to capture them. The X-Men managed to arrive at the Temple, and Kukulcan confronted them. His sixth sense let him avoid the Angel air-attack, and his Pendant's shining neutralized the Beast sneak-attack, blinding the X-Man. Kukulcan produced a strong heat wave that caused Iceman flee. His powerful solar blasts didn't hit the acrobatic Angel. Trying to hit Iceman, Kukulcan produced an enormous vibrational strike that sunk the Serpent Idol and the Solar Stone in a large chasm. Without the Solar Stone, Kukulcan's powers faded, and the Beast saved El Tigre from the havoc that followed the Idol's sinking. El Tigre was captured, and the Beast kept the Pendant, which was no longer shining.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#3(fb)) - El Tigre was fomenting dissent in a country of the South America, secretly observed by Bobbi Morse.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#3) - Maa-Gor, having just become Man-God, separated El Tigre's conscience from his body, bringing it in the Savage Land and offering him the half of the natural resources of the Land in exchange of his services.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#3(fb)) - El Tigre left for the Savage Land.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#3(fb) - BTS) - El Tigre reached Man-God who taught him how to control the minds of the felines.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#3) - El Tigre and Man-God attacked Ka-Zar in his home. El Tigre used Bolas and a spear, but wasn't a real threat for Ka-Zar and Zabu. Man-God knocked Ka-Zar down, and El Tigre succeeded in controlling Zabu' mind.
El Tigre was attending a demonstration about the natural resources of the Savage Land when Ka-Zar assailed him and Man-God. El Tigre had Zabu attack Ka-Zar, but Bobbi Morse distracted the two bad guys. El Tigre, using a cudgel, knocked down the SHIELD agent, but became distracted and lost his control over Zabu.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#4) - Ka-Zar and Zabu continued to attack the two criminals. El Tigre was almost wounded by Zabu because the greater Ka-Zar's attention, the lower El Tigre's control on Zabu attention, but El Tigre didn't understand this. Eventually Man-God defeated Ka-Zar, and El Tigre re-took control of the sabretooth.
El Tigre and Man-God subdued Tongah's village. El Tigre threatened to kill a woman if Ka-Zar didn't tell him where to find the Vibranium. So, Ka-Zar ordered Zabu to attack El Tigre and had to free himself from the bonds to stop the sabretooth from killing the the woman.
(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#5) - El Tigre took hostage Sher-La, another woman of the village, but Tongah freed her, and El Tigre was thumped by several warriors. Wounded, he run away, reached Man-God, and prayed for his help. Despite the humiliation of his lackey, Man-God refused and left.
El Tigre entered the Mystic Mists, having learned from his master
that they were the source of his powers. In the middle of the Mists he was
struck by a solid
light emitted by an extraterrestrial machine. The radiation transformed El Tigre,
but he soon understood that his mind was different, slower. Using an unknown energy
from his hand, the being once called El Tigre, melted a rock like a glass and
saw his new face. Horrified by himself and unable to accept his new state, El Tigre
threw himself down a cliff.
His dead body was found by Man-God, who figured out what happened.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Werner Roth, and Dick Ayers. Killed by Mike Friedrich, Don Heck and Mike Esposito.
Not a great career. Meroz first became a Demi-God; second: served a Demi-God; third: became a sub-human. Actually some hard hits to his self-confidence.
Ramon's last name was revealed in Kukulcán's profile in X-Men Earth's Mutant Heroes (2011)
In the 1960s, pre-Marvel UK, the company Odhams reprinted Marvel stories in their "Power Pack" titles. One of these, Fantastic, included posters on the back cover. Many were clipped from US artwork, and redone to make posters. Others were done by a young Barry Smith, not yet using his middle name of Windsor, but again, most of these are of little interest as they depict prominent characters who have plenty of decent images available from other sources. But one character he drew was el Tigre.. -Loki
Thanks to Loki for pointing out the Barry Windsor-Smith el Tigre image! - Proto-Man
El Tigre has no known connections to
The Sacred Pendant of Kukulcan
The Sacred Pendant of Kukulcan was the "focus" of Kukulcan's powers. It was strictly linked to the Solar Stone. The material of which the stone pendant Amulet is made is unknown, but the Beast stated that it was made of the same material as the Solar Stone. Meroz stated that he explored two continents in look for treasures, but he never saw a material like that.
The stone fragment found by Meroz seemed to have its own "intelligence" (or it was just an enchantment). The enchanted stone dropped by Meroz' pocket on its own initiative, and when he took the stone, it allowed him to understand the Mayan hieroglyphic on the base of the pyramid. So Meroz learned that the stone was only a half of a magic Amulet and that it gave him his mind-powers. The fragment also drove El Tigre to the second part of the Pendant.
The whole Amulet is called the
Sacred Pendant of Kukulcan. It
transformed the mortal El Tigre into the reincarnation of the god
Kukulcan. It is unclear if the Pendant defended Kukulcan when Cyclops
blasted his optical ray on
the God, or if Kukulcan used the amulet.
The Pendant, also called the Amulet of the Power, stores the solar energy transmitted by the Solar Stone, so Kukulcan could use his powers during the night, too.
The Pendant shone of its own will when it blinded the Beast, who was attacking Kukulcan from behind.
After the sinking of the Solar Stone, the amulet, observed by the Beast, was no more shining.
--X-Men I#25 (26
The Feathered Serpent Idol and the Solar Stone
The Feathered Serpent Idol was a tower, or an obelisk which held the Solar Stone on the top. The Solar Stone was made of the same material as the Sacred Pendant of Kukulcan, and it gathered the solar energy and transmitted it to the Amulet wielder.
The ice put on the Solar Stone by Bobby Drake was thick enough to cause Kukulcan's powers to fade after a few minutes. Trying to free the idol from the ice and Ice Man, Kukulcan shot a tremendous vibrational blast at the base of the obelisk, but the land cracked and the Serpent Idol felt in a large chasm that closed upon the obelisk. Nothing is known about it until now.
Kukulcan also called the Solar Stone "star". The sun is a star, but could it be that the stone is a "fragment of a star", one of the names given to meteorites in the ancient times?
Ramon is a normal human skilled in the use of the bolas.
(X-Men I#25) - Ramon was hired by El Tigre to find the
Mayan treasure. Toloc and he tried to capture El Tigre but he neutralized them
with his mental powers and then they followed El Tigre to New York.
In the New York City museum Ramon used his bolas against the Beast, bonding his feet, but one of the balls fortunately hit the X-Man on the head, knocking him down.
(X-Men I#26) - Ramon and Toloc tried to take the Pendant to Kukulcan, but they were knocked down by the solar powers of the God.
--X-Men I#25 (26
Toloc is a normal human very skilled in the use of the machete.
(X-Men I#25) - Toloc was hired by El Tigre to help him
in the search of the treasure of the Mayan. Ramon and he tried to capture El
Tigre, but he neutralized them both with his mental powers and then they followed
El Tigre to New York.
In the City museum he defeated Iceman by setting a trap up with a simple rope and a flight of stairs. He used a prehistoric spear against the Angel, and hiding in the shadows hit him with a dart soaked in narcotic.
(X-Men I#26) - With Ramon, he tried to take the Pendant to Kukulcan, but they were knocked down by the solar powers of the God.
--X-Men I#25 (26
El Tigre - main image, Fantastic #46, back cover
El Tigre - full body, X-Men I#25, page 1, panel 1
El Tigre - head shot, X-Men I#25, page 11, panel 5
Kukulcan, X-Men I#26, page 9, panel 3
El Tigre and Zabu, Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#10, page 9, panel 7
El Tigre and the first hostage, Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#11, page 15, panel 5
El Tigre transformed, Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#12, page 11, panel 5
The Sacred Pendant of Kukulkan, X-Men I#25, page 20, panel 1
Feathered Serpent Idol, X-Men I#26, page 11, panel 5
Ramon, X-Men I#25, page 7, panel 2
Toloc, X-Men I#25, page 1, panel 1
X-Men I#25-26 (October-November, 1966) - Roy Thomas (writer), Werner Roth (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#3 (May, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Mike Royer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#4 (July, 1974) - Bullpen West (plot), Mike Friedrich (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Mike Royer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#5 (September, 1974) - Bullpen West (plot), Mike Friedrich (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Last updated: 12/24/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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