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Yellow Claw

Real Name: Unrevealed
Occupation: Would-be conqueror
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the People's Republic of China with no known criminal record
Other Aliases: None known
Place of Birth: Somewhere in mainland China
Marital Status: Married many times
Known Relatives: Suwan (grandniece, deceased)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Various hidden bases throughout the world
Find Modern Appearance: (telepathic "voice" of Yellow Claw) STRANGE TALES #160, (robot Yellow Claw) STRANGE TALES # 161, (actual Yellow Claw)CAPTAIN AMERICA #164

History: The criminal mastermind known as the Yellow Claw was born over one hundred and fifty years ago in mainland China. A genius in biochemistry, the Yellow Claw has formulated elixirs that have prolonged his life span, enabling him to retain his physical vitality over the century and a half of his existence. For decades the Yellow Claw has dedicated himself to achieving world domination and supplanting western civilization with his own "new older" ruled by himself and his heirs.

Although his native China has undergone a Communist revolution, the Yellow Claw retains many of the ways of imperial China. In the 1950s the Yellow Claw made an agreement with General Sung and other Communist Chinese leaders whereby the Yellow Claw would undertake to destroy the western democracies and conquer the United States and the rest of the western world on behalf of Communist China. In fact, the Yellow Claw only pretended to serve the Communist Chinese hierarchy, and intended to conquer the world for himself. However, his feigned alliance with the masters of the People's Republic of China proved beneficial to him for decades.

The Yellow Claw launched various schemes with the conquest of America as their object, aided by his second-in-command, the Nazi war criminal Karl von Horstbaden, who had adopted the alias Fritz von Voltzmann. However, the Claw was continually betrayed by his sole living relative, his grandniece Suwan, who was in love with the Claw's nemesis, Chinese-American F.B.I. agent James "Jimmy" Woo. With Suwan's help Woo succeeded in thwarting the Claw's schemes. The Yellow Claw was enraged at Suwan's assistance to Woo, but could not bring himself to kill his only relative.

Eventually the Yellow Claw left the United States to perfect new methods for its Subjugation. To ensure that Suwan would no longer subvert his efforts, the Claw placed her in unaging suspended animation in the so-called lotus vial of dreamless sleep.

In more recent years the Yellow Claw sent troops whom he had reduced to slaves with no wills of their own to invade the Statue of Liberty secretly. There the troops were to activate an "id paralyzer" device that was to sap the wills of the people of the United States, thereby enabling the Yellow Claw to take over the country. This scheme was thwarted, however, by Colonel Nicholas Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America, who used a special weapon designed by Reed Richards. The Yellow Claw, himself did not come to the Statue of Liberty, but instead directed his troops through psionic means from afar.

Subsequently, Fury clashed repeatedly with a being whom he believed to be the Yellow Claw. This supposed Claw captured a weapon called the Ultimate Annihilator and nearly used it to destroy Manhattan Island. Only when Fury finally defeated this supposed Claw in battle did he learn that this "Yellow Claw" was actually a robot. The "Suwan" and "Voltzmann" accompanying this Claw robot were also actually robots. Unknown to Fury the Yellow Claw robot and the other robots were the creations of Doctor Doom, who pitted them against S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of a strange game he played with another robot of his creation called the Prime Mover. During this time the real Yellow Claw continued to be engaged in his years of contemplative isolation, during which he formulated new strategies and means of world conquest. The Claw was infuriated to learn that he had been impersonated by a robot, but to this day he remains unaware that Doctor Doom was behind the imposture. As a result of his aiding S.H.I.E.L.D. against the Claw robot, Jimmy Woo, the real Claws longtime opponent, became a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The real Yellow Claw finally reemerged to begin a new attempt at world domination. First he severed his ties with the People's Republic of China. Using occult means the Claw transferred the spirit of Princess Fanle-tamen of ancient Egypt, a woman who had a drive for conquest, into the body of Suwan, thereby causing a fusing of their personalities. The Claw knew that not even his elixirs could keep him alive forever, and he wanted an heir for his conquests. He believed that Suwan, who had revived now that the princess's spirit had entered her, was now better suited to being his heir. The Claw clashed with Captain America, Fury, and the Falcon. Finally, he seized control of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, the organization's flying headquarters, only to be shot by Suwan. She hated the Claw for having kept her in suspended animation, and by infusing her with the Egyptian princess's spirit; the Claw had unwittingly given her the desire to revenge herself on him. Now Suwan intended to use the Claw's resources to conquer the world herself. While Captain America, the Falcon, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents battled and defeated the Claw's minions on the helicarrier, the Claw himself uttered a spell that caused the life forces animating Suwan to leave her body and enter his. As a result Suwan crumbled into dust and the Yellow Claw regained his full health. The Claw then escaped.

Months later, the Yellow Claw was contacted by the enigmatic Black Lama, who stated that he would bestow the means of achieving world conquest upon the would-be world conqueror who proved himself the most powerful of his peers by killing the others in combat. Deciding to compete for this prize, the Yellow Claw captured the palace of his longtime rival, the Mandarin, and succeeded in bringing about the Mandarin's physical death. However, the Mandarin transferred his spirit into his alien rings, and then took possession of a new, younger body, thereby returning himself to physical life. The Yellow Claw did not win the Black Lama's competition, for Iron Man accidentally caused the destruction of the Mandarin's palace, forcing the Claw to flee.

Proclaiming that he intended to bring peace to the entire world and eliminate the threat of war by taking control of the planet himself, the Yellow Claw attempted to destroy New York City as a display of his power by creating a massive tidal wave. This time the Claw was opposed by Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Richard Rider in his guise of Nova. S.H.I.E.L.D. ended the threat of the tidal wave before it hit New York City, and Nova caused the Claw's skycraft to explode. The Claw, however, somehow escaped the explosion. Earlier, Voltzmann had fallen from the skycraft, seemingly to his death, but his body has never been recovered.

Stating that he was becoming old and that not even his elixirs could prolong his life much further, and needing a new heir now that Suwan was dead, the Claw intended to wed a number of women who had been judged to have superior genetic traits. The Claw planned to father sons by these women. When these sons reached manhood, they would fight each other to the death, and the sole survivor would be the heir to his father. The surviving son of the Yellow Claw would rule over a new race of mankind, which he would create from genetic material that his father had gathered from what the Claw believed were the worlds most physically and mentally perfect human beings. This new race would succeed the present human race, for the Yellow Claw planned to release a vapor that would render all human beings on Earth except those within his hidden base permanently sterile. The Avengers opposed the Yellow Claw, and the Vision caused the Claw's spacecraft that was to spread the sterility-inducing gases to crash. The Yellow Claw was inside the plunging spacecraft and the Avengers believe him dead. But the Yellow Claw has evaded death time and again, and it remains to be seen whether or not he is truly deceased.

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 210 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Bald, with black mustache
Unusual Physical Features: The Yellow Claw has a pale yellow skin color quite unlike the skin tones of other Orientals. The reason for the Claw's unusual coloring is unknown.

Strength Level: The Yellow Claw possesses the normal human strength of a man of his physical age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: The Yellow Claw has superhuman psychic abilities with which he can influence another person's sensory perceptions, causing that Person to see, hear, and even feel the illusions the Claw projects into his or her mind.

The Yellow Claw has considerable knowledge of sorcery, and has even proved able to reanimate the dead.

Abilities: The Yellow Claw is a genius in biochemistry, and, among his other achievements, he created the elixirs that prolong his life. In recent decades he has also made great strides in genetic engineering, enabling him to create monstrously mutated animals. The Claw also has considerable skill in robotics.

The Yellow Claw is a master of the Chinese martial arts and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. His battle prowess may have lessened somewhat recently, now that age has allegedly begun to catch up with him (unless he has found a new means to retard the aging process).

Weapons: The Yellow Claw has made use of a wide array of highly advanced weaponry. He can weaken a person's will with his "id paralyzer." Slaves who have been subjected to the id paralyzer are commanded telepathically by the Claw through helmets they wear that transmit and amplify his mental orders.

Animals: The Yellow Claw and scientists in his employ have created gigantic mutated beasts, such as enormous spiders. Some of the Claw's mutated animals are cyborgs as well.

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