Finding the amulets in a New York subway which had been discarded by a group known as the Sons of the Tiger, Hector used his powers to fight crime in his neighborhood. While attending Empire State University, his parents Nestor and Maria, and siblings Filippe and Awilda were murdered during an anti-superhero criminal crusade. Badly shot while tracking down the perpetrators, White Tiger recovered with the help of Spider-Man, but eventually left New York with his girlfriend and eventual wife Holly Gillis.
White Tiger was created by George Perez and Bill Mantlo and first appeared in the Marvel magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu issue 19 (1975),
Major Story Arcs
White Tiger, Fallen Hero
Ayala mysteriously came into possession of the amulets once again. Donning his White Tiger costume again, Hector had high hopes of becoming a hero once again. Coming too late upon a robbery at a pawn, White Tiger was unable to stop an officer from being shot. The two thugs managed to overpower Ayala and escape, leaving him holding a stolen TV and standing over the body of the policeman when his back-up arrived.
Upon being arrested and sent to trial, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson were to defend Ayala in court. He had an outburst on the stand while being questioned about his marriage, which was presumably one of the reasons for the guilty verdict the jury returned. Upon hearing this, Hector grabbed a gun from a security guard and fled the courthouse. He was shot by police during his escape. The true culprit finally confessed, thanks to Matt Murdock, but his confession came too late.
The amulets were eventually handed down to Ayala's niece, Angela Del Toro. She was a federal agent who volunteered to investigate Matt Murdock. Del Toro became the new White Tiger and rescued Murdock from ex-crimelord Alexander Bont and his reluctant henchman Gladiator. The amulets later pass on to Hector's younger sister Ava Ayala.
Hector Ayala possessed slightly superhuman strength, speed, coordination, agility, stamina, reflexes, resilience, and healing conferred upon him by the mystic tiger amulets. The amulet also provided him a vast practical knowledge of martial arts. Although difficult to measure, Hector's physical prowess and skills seem to have more than tripled with his transformation into the White Tiger.
The green jade in the form of a tiger's head and two claws possess mystical power which derives from the dimensions of the K'un-Lun. The tiger's head and paws, when connected to the jade figurine from which they were severed, enabled passage to K'un-Lun's dimension. Wielded by a sufficiently powerful sorcerer, the jade tiger could be enlarged and brought to a semblance of life. The particular significance of the White Tiger costume and whether it existed before Hector Ayala first donned it are not known. The amulets, worn separately by the Sons of the Tiger, did not change their garb in any way nor provide them with as great a power as all three worn together gave the White Tigers (Hector and Angela).
White Tiger appears in flashbacks in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Kraven the Hunter". He is also seen in archival images and footage in the S.H.I.E.L.D. database.
The show offers a radically different take on White Tiger's origin, establishing that he inherited the mantle from his own father, who was killed by Kraven the Hunter. He served as a vigilante for a number of years before he too was hunted and mortally wounded by Kraven. Before dying, he passed the tiger amulet and the White Tiger mantle to his daughter, Ava. For unknown reasons, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson kept this information from Ava's teammate Spider-Man, and refused to explain the history of the White Tiger mantle.
Kraven later tries to kill Ava in yet another attempt to claim the amulet, which ends with the Hunter finally being defeated. Ava initially plans on killing the villain to avenge her father, but Spider-Man is able to dissuade her by telling her about how he nearly murdered the mugger who killed his Uncle Ben.