HistoryTora Kyōryokuna belongs to an ancient order of shapeshifting monks who can transform into the four totemic animal spirits of the sacred animals that protect the city of Kyoto in Japan (these being the White Tiger of the West Byakko, the Black Tortoise of the North Gembu, the Blue Dragon of the East Seiryu, and the Red Phoenix of the South Suzaku). Tora was feared by the other members of this order since, after the ritual of ceremonial transformation was performed, he took the form of a steel humanoid tiger that burned with a ki aura around his body like flames of incandescent liquefied steel from a forge; something that was seen as a bad signal by the priests of Byakko, the White Tiger. Nevertheless, one of the teachers saw in the young monk the potential for greatness and decided to take him on as a ward, teaching him in their disciplines and martial arts, and at age thirteen he already easily exceeded the abilities of the older monks of Byakko.
At twenty-one years old, Tora was the image of physical perfection, being extremely muscular and almost two meters tall. He entered a tournament for the best of each clan, challenging the leader of the Byakko monks for his leadership rights, and bested him. Even though the rights of leadership now belonged to him, the prejudice he faced due to his physical form kept him from attaining that leadership petition. Since he wasn't beaten by the more experienced monk, but wasn't allowed to lead, Tora decided to forge his own path in the clan (literally). Learning the art of forging, the young monk became a master blacksmith and worked for years in the forge, creating magnificent magical weapons and becoming revered for his talent.
Realizing that his student had become his own master, Tora's sensei told him that he was finally ready to chart his own destiny, and that it was time to seek his own life and sense of purpose outside the temple. With the blessing of all the other monks (who still saw him as a brother despite their prejudice), Tora left the temple to venture out into the world. During this journey, he encountered the Big Hero 6 and fought alongside them against the Builders (during the Infinity saga). He was invited to join the team, and he accepted, believing this was the sign of what his life was meant to become. He still remains on the team today.
Powers and Abilities
Already an accomplished martial artist and kung fu practitioner, Tora Kyōryokuna's skills are maximized by his ability to shapeshift into a gigantic, metal muscled humanoid tiger standing over two meters tall. In this form, his strength, speed, agility, and senses are mystically magnified to superhuman levels. He can use his Ki to perform almost supernatural feats that would be nearly impossible for ordinary martial artists. Although his power is real and significant, he can augment it further by channeling his Ki.
Transformation into an Organic Steel Humanoid Tiger: As a monk of the Order of Byakko, Tora can channel his Steel Ki into the superhuman ability to convert the tissue of his entire body into an organic steel substance. This substance is of unknown composition, but appears to be analogous to carbon steel. He is able to transform into this armor-like state at will (the process is practically instantaneous) and remain in this form for an as yet undetermined amount of time. (The longest time he has remained in armored form, so far, has been five days). Once in his armored form, he remains that way until he consciously reverts back to normal. If he is unconscious, however, he will spontaneously revert to his normal form.
While in the armored state, Steel Tiger has the same degree of mobility as he does in his normal form. The conversion of flesh and bone to organic steel is achieved by consciously channeling his Ki for the transmutation of his corporeal form into an animal form from Byakko. The process by which Steel Tiger gains muscle mass and additional size remains unknown. Steel Tiger cannot become partially or selectively armored, causing only portions of its body to be converted into organic steel: he is either entirely armored or not.
- Self-Sustenance: Steel Tiger is completely self-supporting. He is supported by his Steel Ki energies alone, not needing to breathe, eat or drink, and since he does not get tired, he does not need to sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: After transforming into his armored state, Steel Tiger has vast superhuman strength. As a teenager, he was strong enough to lift about 70 tons. However, as a fully mature adult, his strength has increased to the point that he is able to lift more than 100 tons easily.
- Superhuman Stamina: In addition, while in armored form, Steel Tiger's musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins than the musculature of a normal human being. At his peak, he can exercise at full capacity for several days before the accumulation of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to harm him.
- Superhuman Durability: In his armored form, Steel Tiger is invulnerable to most forms of bodily injury. His armor is capable of withstanding ballistic penetration, including that of a 155mm Howitzer shell. He can survive extreme temperature conditions from 70 degrees above absolute zero (-390 degrees Celsius) to around 9000 degrees Fahrenheit. He can survive a collision with a ten ton loaded truck at 100 kilometers per hour, or an explosion of 4500 kilograms of TNT. He can also survive falls from great heights while in armored form.
- Inability to Bleed: When he assumes his armored form, he does not bleed or emit any type of fluid that weakens him, losing only energy. When he is wounded in metallic form, he only returns to human form and shortly afterwards returns to armored form, thus healing any and all damage suffered, however if his injuries are extremely severe, he is left without enough energy to return to human form and has to recover a little in his metallic form until it can be transmuted again.
- Superhuman Speed: When transmuting to steel form, his speed is increased to superhuman levels.
- Superhuman Agility: Steel Tiger's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Steel Tiger's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are roughly twice as fast as those of the finest human athlete.
- Superhumanly Acute Senses: Steel Tiger has superhumanly acute senses of sight, smell, and hearing similar to those of an actual tiger. He can see part of the infrared spectrum and thus detect the heat signatures of objects or people in total darkness. He can smell other living creatures within 1000 feet (when upwind) and follow a scent over nearly any terrain. He can hear the sound of a heartbeat in a cave at a distance of 300 feet.
- Claws and Fangs: Steel Tiger's claws and teeth are extremely sharp and tough, enabling him to slice through a variety of substances including tissue, wood, cinder-block, and even diamond.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Steel Tiger is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his body with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. Injuries that result in massive tissue damage such as bullet wounds, slashes, punctures, blunt force trauma, and severe burns heal completely, without so much as a scar, in a short amount of time. His ability to heal is at least 1000 times that of a human. His ability to heal is so advanced that he can regenerate his own head after having it blown away by Deadpool.
In the case of Steel Tiger, all these powers are complemented by his natural abilities as a monk with the skills of a martial arts master.