The mastermind known as the Yellow Claw was born over one hundred and fifty years ago in mainland China. He was the 19th Century descendant of Genghis Khan. 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. He claimed that he had the birthright to rule Atlas Foundation, a foundation which was trying to make the ancient Mongol Empire continue forever. As Plan Tzu grew older, he didn't care about the pursuits of the Atlas Foundation and he hoped his successor as the ruler would use its secret power for the good of humanity. Yellow Claw chose Woo Yen Jet as their successor. This successor moved to America, as Woo Yen Jet's parents did not want any part of Khan's legacy.
Woo Yen Jet's name was changed to Jimmy Woo and he soon became one of the nation's top FBI agents. The Atlas Foundation was keeping an eye on Jimmy since he was young and decided that they wanted to help him advance his career by creating an enemy for Jimmy to fight against. Thus, creating the Yellow Claw.
Yellow Claw was created by the writer Al Feldstein and the artist Joe Maneely and first appeared in Yellow Claw #1 (Oct. 1956).
Major Story Arcs
Yellow Claw created many schemes to improve Jimmy's career. He often included his sidekick and secondhand man, the Nazi war criminal Fritz Von Voltzman in many of them. Plan Tzu created psychics who could change reality, hypnotists, microscopic armies, a giant robot of the god Temujai a.k.a. Genghis Khan, and killer mutated sea gulls called Screemies.
But for every enemy created by Yellow Claw and the Atlas Foundation Jimmy and his friends easily combated them with their wit and tactics. Suwan, Yellow Claw's grandniece fell in love with Woo and she often went against her grandpa and helped Jimmy gain the upper hand in the malevolent schemes. Later, Plan Tzu continued his games and schemes, only to clash with Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. This drew in Jimmy as he was already a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent himself.
Yellow Claw started to realize that his long life was ending and that it was time to prepare Suwan to be his successor. To do so, he implanted the spirit of Fan-le-tamen into Suwan's body.The possessed Suwan turned against Claw and that forced Claw to remove Fan-le-tamen's spirit from Suwan's body. After doing so, Suwan was killed but Claw's health was fully restored. Yellow Claw's initial intentions with this plan was never revealed.
Another time, Claw crossed paths with the Mandarin, another Asian warlord, and fought him.This was part of the super-villain contest created by the extradimensional Black Lama. Even later than that, the Claw became the leader of part of Hydra thanks to the support of Madame Hydra, whom he claimed to be his new heir.
Woo started investigating the Atlas Foundations along with some rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. When invading the Temple of Atlas, his team was killed and Woo was nearly killed also. Plan Tzu kept him alive and informed him of his true heritage and Jimmy saw this as an opportunity to use Atlas Foundation's immense resources for good.
He took over Plan's place as Khan of the Eternal Empire and CEO of the Atlas Foundation. Soon after, Master Plan was eaten by the royal adviser of the Atlas Foundation, the dragon Mr. Lao.
Powers and Abilities
Claw has the ability to project illusions into the minds of others, reanimate the dead, and has an extended life span as a result of ingesting his chemical elixirs. He can accomplish all sorts of other feats of sorcery.
He is an extraordinary genius in biochemistry, genetics, and robotics. Claw is also a master in Chinese martial arts and hand-to-hand combat.