In a world where monsters are real, a new era has begun. An era of peace between humans and Titans thanks to Godzilla and his triumph in his fight against the false king, King Ghidorah. On a far away island known as Skull Island, things are not as peaceful as they seem. The storm that has protected Skull Isand from the rest of the world has shifted more inland thanks to the category six hurricane created by King Ghidorah.
While on watch duty, Wallace and Cooper had come across something big, beautiful, and deadly moving in the distance. They had spotted the Spirit Tiger. The team observed the beast for a minute before they had to head back to home base. As they made their preparations, both of them noticed the tiger had disappeared. Almost like it was never there at all. It even made the team question if the tiger was just a hallucination. That is until the tiger reappeared behind them, kills Cooper, and pins Wallace down to the ground.
The tiger snarls and roars down at Wallace while he prays the Lord's prayer. Just as he thought he was done for, Kong, king of Skull Island, intercepts and picks up the tiger with one hand. The Spirit Tiger scratches and bites at Kong, but was of no affect. With his other hand, Kong grabs the tiger's head, twists and snaps the neck, and tosses it back down. Kong watches the helicopter fly by knowing that it is here to pick up their comrades. Finally, Kong walks off to the sunset to finish his surveillance around the whole island.
The Spirit Tiger (aka Tigris Spiritus) first started out as a concept for one of the animals that was cut from the movie Kong: Skull Island. The name for the Spirit Tiger at the time was called Icarus Tigris and would grow popular with fans due to its unique design. Then, the Spirit Tiger would make its debut in the graphic novel Kingdom Kong.
The Monarch file describes the Spirit Tiger as followed:
"One of the most elegant, ethereal and mysterious creatures we have encountered upon the island, the Spirit Tiger was thought by many in our party to be a hallucination on first sighting. At one with the forest, the serrated stripes running the length of its body are composed of epidermal leaves that shimmer in the soft breezes of the higher peaks. When drawing closer to observe the Spirit Tiger, our entire party experienced a number of unusual physical phenomena, including dizziness, euphoria, and the ability to hear the creature’s heart, audibly beating at the center of our heads. Iwi markings show a deep reverence for the Spirit Tiger, giving it a name that roughly translates as ‘Majesty of the Winds’. The creature’s predation and breeding patterns remain an elusive mystery.”
The Spirit Tiger was alluded to in the official novelization for Kong: Skull Island when a set of tracks were found that described the print like that of a very large cat. According to the art book, there was even a planned scene for the tiger.
The entry reads:
“[The characters] had landed on the island and spent the night on the beach before they traveled inland. They sit around and drink beer by a fire and sing sailor shanties. I just loved it, but it was a bit kind of tangential to having to get to the meat of the matter. In the morning after this rauccous night, two saber-toothed tigers come out of the jungle and sniff around the camp. Someone says, ‘Don’t shoot and they’ll go away,’ but the guy takes the shot and kills one. They were a pair, a male and a female, and the other one just goes nuts. It kills the guy who took the shot. It’s like the inciting incident of a war, a kind of harbinger; you’re in a place you don’t know, and now you’ve awakened more than you know. It was the first indication that we’re not in a normal place. There’s no such thing as a saber-toothed tiger and it’s enormous.”
For a kaiju based on a tiger, I find the design very simple, but the simple design makes it forgettable since it is just a giant white tiger with antlers. What I think makes this kaiju stand out the most is its ability to make its prey feel euphoria as a way to lower their guard before it decides to pounce. Also, it is very swift on its feet as Cooper and Wallace were miles away when the two of them spotted the monster and it only took the Spirit Tiger a matter of seconds or minutes just to catch up to them and attack.
What are your thoughts on the Spirit Tiger? Are you a fan of the design? With two Monsterverse shows now planned for Netflix (Skull Island) and Apple TV ("Hourglass"), would you want to see the Spirit Tiger in action? Let me know in the comments of your thoughts on the Spirit Tiger. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, and Gab to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.