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Yellow Claw #1-4 (Oct. 1956 - April 1957).

Yellow Claw 1The Yellow Claw is a fictional comic book supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe, created by EC Comics great Al Feldstein and artist Joe Maneely in Yellow Claw #1 (Oct. 1956) from Atlas Comics, the 1950s predecessor of Marvel. While the short-lived espionage series named for him ran only four issues (Oct. 1956 - April 1957), it featured work by such notable artists as Joe Maneely, Jack Kirby, and John Severin, and introduced characters later integrated into Marvel Comics continuity. The series chronicled the adventures of a Chinese-American FBI agent, Jimmy Woo, and his battles against a "yellow peril" Communist mandarin, known only as the Yellow Claw. The title character was a Fu Manchu manqué (indeed, Fu Manchu author Sax Rohmer had a novel titled The Yellow Claw) whose grandniece, Suwan, was in love with Woo.


Kirby took over as writer-artist with issue #2 — inking his own pencil art there and in the following issue, representing two of the very rare occasions on which he did so. Well-regarded for its relatively mature storyline and in particular for Maneely's atmospheric art, the series nevertheless failed to find an audience. Its influence was felt during the 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books, however, as writer-artist Jim Steranko brought the Yellow Claw into Marvel Comics continuity, beginning with the "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." feature in Strange Tales #160 (Sept. 1967), which introduced a robot version of the character; the actual Yellow Claw resurfaced later. Woo was reintroduced that same issue, eventually joining the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 (July 1968).

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The Yellow Claw was born over 150 years ago somewhere in mainland China. Like Fu Manchu, he is both a genius in biochemistry and a brilliant scientist and inventor in many fields, in addition to being an expert in mysticism, alchemy, and the martial arts. The Yellow Claw has formulated elixirs that have prolonged his life span, enabling him to retain his physical vitality. Following his Nick Fury appearances, artists have depicted him with an unusual, jaundiced-looking, yellowish skin tone, possibly as a result of his life-extension chemical.

The Yellow Claw has dedicated himself to achieving world domination and supplanting Western civilization. He controls a worldwide criminal organization, along with a staff of research scientists and engineers. In 1942, the Yellow Claw encountered Lady Lotus in New York's Chinatown. In the 1950s, he forged a pact with Communist Chinese leaders including General Sung whereby the Claw would seek to conquer the West for China. In fact, this was simply a ruse, and he intended to conquer the world for himself. The Yellow Claw was aided by his second-in-command, the Nazi war criminal Karl von Horstbaden, alias Fritz von Voltzmann. However, the Claw was continually foiled by FBI agent Jimmy Woo and betrayed by his sole living relative, his grandniece Suwan, whom he could not bring himself to kill.

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