Shirlee Bryant was hired by Malcolm Donalbain to be a spokesmodel for his new chain of health emporiums. She found that although she was hired as "arm candy," he suffered from severe haphephobia (the fear of being touched) so she had to strictly avoid touching him. When he met with Dr. Joanne Tumulo about some research she'd done on motor response at the University of Chicago, looking for some amelioration, she was unable to help. However, he became fascinated with a private experiment she was conducting, to allow any woman to totally fulfill her physical and mental potential, and agreed to subsidize it. When the experiment was ready, he insisted Shirlee be its "first lovely guinea pig." Dr. Tumulo had planned to use her lab assistant, Greer Nelson, as her first subject. When Dr. Tumulo threatened to cancel the experiment, Greer volunteered to secretly undergo the treatments alongside Shirlee. The experiment exceeded their expectations. Both women emerged with superhuman abilities.
Donalbain had Shirlee use her new eidetic memory to record and duplicate the doctor's equipment. He planned to eliminate the doctor and her assistant once he had his own conditioning machine. He also had further plans for Shirlee: dressed in a cat-like uniform, she was to be the first of an army of enhanced women who would carry out his orders. Although Shirlee objected to the "Hallow'een costume," as she put it, he promised her they'd see eye-to-eye after she'd finished the outfit with a studded choker. The collar was more than merely decorative. It was a "will nullifier" that reduced the wearer to a state of zombie-like obedience. Completely under Donalbain's control, Shirlee followed his orders to climb to the top level of the six-story atrium, using her uniform's claws to dig into the beams. Then he ordered her to cast her claw-hook ahead of her and use it to swing across to the other side.
Dr. Tumulo, dissatified with Shirlee's results in comparison to Greer's, had determined to end the experiment. She arrived just in time to surreptitiously observe Shirlee fall to her death. It was impossible to tell whether the equipment malfunctioned or if Shirlee's diminished condition led to her failure. However, Donalbain raved that she was an incompetent and he would create as many more prototypes as he needed. Horrified, the doctor took one of the Cat uniforms as evidence for the police and returned to her lab. After Greer listened to her mentor's recapitulation, she left for a few minutes to arrange to stay with the distraught scientist. While she was gone, Donalbain's henchmen arrived to blow up the lab. The only thing that survived was the safe containing the Cat uniform. Thinking her friend dead, Greer donned the uniform and put a stop to Donalbain's plan. Rather than let her touch him, Donalbain shot himself in the head with his own pistol.
Greer continued her secret identity as the Cat. Eventually, she was shot with an alpha radiation weapon while defending Dr. Tumulo from a kidnapping attempt by Hydra agents. To save her life, the doctor arranged for the Cat People to transform Greer into one of them. She became Tigra.
Shirlee possessed superhuman strength, agility, endurance and sensory acuity. She could perform complex gymnastic exercises with relative ease, run faster than a trained human athlete, and perform a standing jump of 6 feet. Shirlee's senses were about ten times as keen as an average human's, and about five times that of an average cat's. She could selectively sort through various odors so as to follow a quarry's trail. She could detect subtle alterations in the composition of perspiration that reflect mood or emotions, and was highly sensitive to pheromones.
Shirlee possessed superhuman strength, enabling her to lift (press) approximately 600 pounds under optimal conditions.
- Cat Suit: The Cat wore a costume designed to extend the senses of any woman wearing it. The two folded hyperbolic horns, which acoustically coupled the cat ears molded into the cowl to the wearer's, granted her enhanced hearing. The mask possessed two dichroic lenses, which enhanced the wearer's night vision.
Shirlee could employ her cable-claws, which strapped to her wrists and used four-clawed grappling hooks connected to a 30 foot length of cables, for swinging or tightrope walking.
The costume was also outfitted with retractable, casehardened, steel alloy claws on both the gloves and boots, enabling her to rend brick or stone.
- 3 Appearances of Shirlee Bryant (Earth-616)
- Media Shirlee Bryant (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 6 Images featuring Shirlee Bryant (Earth-616)
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