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Quote1 Many have attempted to stop me! None have succeeded! Quote2
Plan Chu[src]

History

Origins[]

Plan Chu is a descendant of the great Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan. Reportedly over 150 years old, Plan Chu apparently attained extended longevity from the apparent Pool of Blood[6] and a formula provided to him by a Tibetan monk.[1] Due to his ancestry, Plan Chu became the head of the Atlas Foundation, a contemporary organization built from the original Mongol Empire. The Atlas Foundation had become one of the world's most secret organizations whose goal was to perpetuate the empire of old. Under the leadership of Plan Chu - known as the Golden Claw among his people - the Atlas Foundation focused on using its resources to criminal pursuits for the purpose of world domination.[6]

The Golden Claw sought out the aid of the Ancient One, who assisted in bringing the Atlas Foundation the dragon known as Mr. Lao, who was a long-time advisor of the Khan Empire.[8] By the 20th century, the Golden Claw was also caring for his grand-niece Suwan, who developed a nearly unwavering loyalty to her grand-uncle.[1] Soon, it was decided by Mr. Lao that someone was needed to succeed the Golden Claw. That person was Woo Yen Jet, whose parents did not want this fate for their son. To try and escape Woo Yen's destiny, they immigrated to the United States where they encouraged their son - now re-christened James "Jimmy" Woo - to seek a career in law enforcement. However, the Golden Claw and the Atlas Foundation continued to watch the young Woo over the years.[6]

The 20th Century[]

Much of Plan Chu's activities in the early 20th century is unknown. He used his identity as the Golden Claw to focus on growing his presence as an international criminal for the purposes of slowly reining in Jimmy Woo to play his part as leader of the Atlas Foundation. This was during the height of the Cold War, when the Foundation felt that the world was not ready for a "hero" of Chinese origin to fix the world, and so they played on tensions between the East and West and between democracies and Communist nations that were running high at the time. Plan Chu became more widely known by the racist moniker of "the Yellow Claw" in the West due to the racism that was rampant at the time because of negative sentiments toward the Communist Chinese government in the United States.[6]

During World War II, the Claw apparently supported the Axis forces, likely to facilitate the goals of the Atlas Foundation. However, when Lady Lotus and her minions in the Super-Axis were defeated at the hands of the Invaders, he chastised her for the defeat and vowed to crush the United States within the next decade on his own.[9]

Plan Chu (Earth-616) from Yellow Claw Vol 1 1 002

The Yellow Claw circa the 1950s

By the 1950s, while his native China had undergone a Communist revolution, the Claw retained many of the ways of the nation's imperial ancestry.

In 1954, Plan Chu commissioned the construction of a robot for the purposes of orchestrating events to make James Woo a hero in the eyes of the world. This robot, dubbed M-11, was completed, but its creator wanted it to have free will. He sacrificed his life to instill his life force into the robot, which then walked off into the sea.[10]

In 1956, the Claw made an agreement with General Sung and other Chinese Communist leaders whereby the 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 Claw only pretended to serve the Chinese Communist 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 Claw and his grand-niece Suwan were then smuggled into the United States by Chinese Communist forces.

From there, they set up operations within a curio shop in the Chinatown district of San Francisco. He met Nazi war criminal Karl von Horstbadden, forcing him into servitude by threatening to expose his alias of Fritz Voltzmann to the authorities that he was so desperately trying to hide from at the time. Either by fate or design, the Claw's presence in the United States became known to the FBI, who assigned Jimmy Woo - now a high-ranking member of the Bureau - to the Yellow Claw case.

The Claw attempted to recruit escaped convict Rocky Miller to his cause, leading to his first clash with Woo. However, Woo appealed to Miller's patriotism to turn against the Claw. Woo became smitten by Suwan, but had to use this mutual attraction to trick Suwan into leading him to the Claw when he moved to a new base. The Claw captured Woo, but before he could "eliminate" him, Suwan facilitated his escape, the first of many betrayals that the otherwise loyal Suwan carried out against her grand-uncle.[1]

The Claw's next plan involved enslaving a group of mutants (including Gene Bitner, Craig Farnsworth, and Simon Lestron), pooling their powers to alter reality. This plot was also thwarted by Woo and Suwan and the mutants teleported away.[11] These mutants later formed the Promise.[12] The Claw and Voltzmann next attempted to kidnap American diplomats aboard the S.S. Aloha headed to Hawaii In order to prevent Suwan from tipping off Jimmy Woo, he kept his plan from her. However, Woo uncovered the plot anyway.

The Claw next attempted to sabotage new planes being tested by the United States Air Force, but a tip to Woo from Suwan foiled this plan as well. Woo once more attempted to exploit his connection with Suwan to find the Claw's hideout, but fell into his trap and was summarily ejected from the base while the Claw and his cohorts escaped. The Claw relocated to the Malaysian jungle where he worked with Kharion Krowe to build a massive android of the god Temujai in an attempt to trick the locals into going to war, but this plan was also foiled by Woo with the help of Suwan.[11]

Evading capture again, the Claw kidnapped Professor Ford and used his shrinking ray technology to reduce the size of his agents to steal government secrets from the FBI. This plan was foiled by Woo as well, forcing the Claw to flee his base when his minions were captured. The Claw next encountered an alien being from Alpha Centauri that he named UFO the Lightning Man. Learning that the powerful alien came from a world where war had been abolished and its people were incapable of lying, he tricked the creature into thinking that the Western democracies were evil and had UFO use his powers to destroy American missile tests. Woo and Suwan convinced UFO that the Claw was lying and the offended alien used his powers to send them all home and erase their memories of their encounter with him.

The Claw next tried to eliminate the FBI by having an android duplicate of himself built that was armed with a nuclear explosive. The Claw and Voltzmann then orchestrated a plot that saw the FBI capture the android duplicate. However, Woo uncovered the plot and had the Yellow Claw android dumped in a remote area where it detonated harmlessly. The Claw next obtained a powerful knockout gas and attempted to use it to put the entire population of Central City to sleep, but this plot was also foiled by Woo.[13] When Suwan was captured by the authorities, the Claw enslaved members of an other-dimensional race known as the Living Shadows to rescue her from the authorities. However, the aliens brought Woo with them and Woo forced the Claw to return the Living Shadows home. The Claw complied, but managed to escape in the process.

The Claw next began to work with Captain Rak, who introduced him to the Screamies, gulls mutated into intelligent humanoid forms by early atomic tests in the Pacific. The Claw convinced the creatures to attack the United States in the hopes of causing a nationwide famine. Woo learned that the Screamies were highly intelligent, taught them farming techniques and sent them back to the Claw's island hideout, forcing him to flee once again. The Claw next employed a mentalist named Sleepy Eyes to use his hypnotic powers to entrance the entire population of Central City in yet another plot to loot it. However, unknown to the Claw, Sleepy Eyes was a double agent working for the FBI and used his hypnotic powers to make the Claw believe that he had succeeded.

The Claw next traveled to the town of Riverdale where he encountered Barnaby Wade, a man who could create anything with the power of his mind. Knowing that the use of his powers weakened Wade, the Claw offered him Vitamin X, which he claimed would revitalize Wade's strength. Wade agreed to use his powers to try to kill Woo, but this failed. The Claw then tried to create an invincible army, but the creatures from Wade's mind attacked everyone in sight, including the Claw, who retreated just as Wade regained control of his powers and willed the creatures away.[14]

By 1958, the Claw enacted his most ambitious plan of the 20th century by kidnapping President Eisenhower. This prompted Woo to form Department Zero and recruit a team of government-backed super-human operatives to rescue the president. Woo gathered M-11, Venus, Marvel Boy, the Gorilla Man, and Namora. The so-called "G-Men" then stormed the Claw's Mongolian base, causing its destruction while rescuing the President; however, the Claw and Suwan managed to escape.[15]

Eventually the 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 ageless suspended animation in the so-called lotus vial of dreamless sleep.[16] He did return to the United States briefly in 1961 where he discovered the amnesiac Sub-Mariner in San Francisco, attempting to subvert Namor to his cause. This plan was thwarted by the First Line and the local known as the Hipster. Both the Sub-Mariner and the Claw were believed slain in the encounter, but both survived.[17]

The Modern Age[]

In more recent years, the 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 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 Claw himself did not come to the Statue of Liberty, but instead directed his troops through psionic means from afar.[18]

Subsequently, Fury clashed repeatedly with someone whom he believed to be the 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 an android. The "Suwan" and "Voltzmann" accompanying this Claw android were also actually androids. Unknown to Fury, the Yellow Claw android and the other two androids were the creations of Doctor Doom who pitted them against S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of a strange game he was playing at the time with another robot of his creation called the Prime Mover.[19]

During this time, the real 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 he remained unaware of the fact that Doctor Doom was behind it all.[20] As a result of his aiding S.H.I.E.L.D. against the Claw robot, Jimmy Woo, the real Claw's long-time opponent, became a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The real Claw finally re-emerged to begin a new attempt at world domination. First he severed all of his ties with the People's Republic of China. Using occult means the Claw transferred the spirit of Princess Fan-Le-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' spirit had entered her, was now better suited to being that 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 in the back by Suwan. She hated the Claw for having kept her in suspended animation, and by infusing her with the Egyptian princess' 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 force animating Suwan to leave her body and enter his. As a result, Suwan crumbled into dust and the Claw regained his full health and vitality. The Claw then escaped.[21]

Months later, the 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 all of the others in combat. Deciding to compete for this prize, the Claw captured the palace of his longtime rival in China, the Mandarin, and succeeded in bringing about the Mandarin's physical death. However, the Mandarin transferred his spirit into his ten alien rings, and then took possession of a new, younger body, thereby returning himself to physical life (the Claw, however, never found out or knew about this). The Claw did not win the Black Lama's competition, however, for Iron Man accidentally caused the destruction of the Mandarin's palace, forcing the Claw to flee.[22]

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 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 sky-craft to explode. The Claw, however, somehow escaped the explosion. Earlier, Voltzmann had fallen from the sky-craft, seemingly to his death, but his body has never been recovered.[23]-[24]

At some point, the Claw became the leader of a terrorist group called the Sept.[25] This again brought him into conflict with Nick Fury. Carlyle Pallis, a traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D., aided the Claw in his plans. Eventually, Fury traveled to the Middle East and elsewhere to stop the Claw's plans, aided by Agent Annie Wong.[26]

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 marry a number of women who had been judged to have superior genetic traits, then he 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 become the heir to his father. The surviving son of the Claw would then also 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 world's most physically and mentally perfect human beings. This new race would succeed the present human race, for the 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 Claw, and the Vision caused the Claw's spacecraft that was to spread the sterility-inducing vapor to crash. The Claw was inside the plunging spacecraft and the Avengers believed him to be dead.[27]

The first of the Claw's two last recorded schemes involved Werner von Strucker, a son of Baron Strucker and Madame Hydra Six, which involved leading a Hydra faction based in the South China Sea that launched attacks on neighboring communities. Though he ostensibly planned to undermine S.H.I.E.L.D., nothing of the Claw's machinations seem to have come to fruition.[28]

As his last scheme, the Claw planted numerous clues in order to entice his long-time adversary, Jimmy Woo, to hunt him down. Secretly having commissioned the creation of M-11, the Claw began observing Woo throughout his investigation into the Atlas Foundation through M-11's eyes. After stringing him along, enabling him to recruit several old allies and even assault his base of operations, the Claw revealed his master plan: with the help of the dragon known as Mr. Lao, he had manipulated Woo his entire life in order to make him his proper heir. The allies that Woo had recruited along the way served as further evidence that he deserved to be the Claw's heir. Feeling that Woo had reached the point that he was supposed to reach, the Claw handed over his role as Khan of the Eternal Empire and C.E.O. of the Atlas Foundation, which Woo accepted so that he could enact changes within the organization. Following Woo's acceptance of this, he willingly allowed Mr. Lao to eat him alive so that there would be only one leader for the clan to follow.[10]

Attributes

Power Grid[31]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Master: Single Form of Combat:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/None:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Super-Genius

Powers

  • Illusionist: The Claw had superhuman psychic abilities with which he could influence another person's sensory perceptions, causing that person to see, hear, and even feel the illusions that the Claw projected into his or her mind.[29] The Claw could also use these abilities to completely mesmerize a foe into obeying his will. In the past, this power had been shown to cause the most loyal of followers to turn on their leader in an instant. The Claw could release those under his command by clapping his hands, leaving them with no recollection of what had happened while they were under the Claw's control.[citation needed]
  • Necromancy: The Claw had great knowledge of magic and could raise the dead.[29]
  • Decelerated Aging: The Claw prolonged his life by consuming special elixirs.[29]

Abilities

  • Super-Genius Intelligence: Plan Chu was considered to be one of the smartest people on the planet. He was a genius in biochemistry and, among his other achievements, he created the elixirs that prolonged his life. He had also used this ability to create drugged cigarettes which, when smoked, would cause their user to enter a state of suspended animation resembling death, to which he alone possessed the antidote. In recent decades he had also made great strides in genetic engineering, enabling him to create monstrously mutated animals. The Claw also had considerable skill in robotics and cybernetics.[30][29]
  • Master Martial Artist: The Claw was a master of the Chinese martial arts and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. His battle prowess might have lessened somewhat recently once age had allegedly begun to catch up with him (unless he had found a new means to retard the aging process).[29]
  • Mystical Knowledge: The Claw had considerable knowledge of sorcery and had even proved himself to be able to raise the dead.[29]
  • Master of Disguise: The Claw was also an effective master of disguise, having once successfully disguised himself as a little old Caucasian man in the past.[29]

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Various, including an armored battlesuit,[29] the Psionic-Revelation Eavesdropper, the Molecular Converter, the Thermo-Frigid Intensi-Ray Machine, the Neutron Absorber, and a crystal ball (which allowed him to see things occurring in the past, present and future).

Weapons

The Claw made use of a wide array of highly advanced weaponry, including the Id-Paralyzer, the Ultimate Annihilator, the Psychogun, and a Tidal Wave Machine.

Transportation

Various, including the Sky Dragon, the Warp-Vest, a spacecraft, the Dragon-Sled, and a jet-pack.[29]

Notes

  • Nightshade (Tilda Johnson) credited the Yellow Claw with the creation of the werewolf serum in Captain America #190 - page 2, panel 3: "The Yellow Claw's serum might have been able to turn men into werewolves."
  • The Claw and scientists in his employ created gigantic mutated beasts, such as enormous spiders and scorpions. Some of the Claw's mutated animals were cyborgs as well.
  • First historical appearance was Yellow Claw #1; first modern appearance (as the telepathic "voice" of the Yellow Claw) was Strange Tales #160, as the robot Yellow Claw in Strange Tales #161, and as the actual Yellow Claw in Captain America #164.
  • The tagline for the Yellow Claw comic book series was "Who... or What... is He??!"

Trivia

See Also

Links and References

References

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