- —Plan Chu[src]
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 and a formula provided to him by a Tibetan Monk. Due to his ancestry, Plan Chu became the head of the Atlas Foundation, a contemporary organization built from the original Mongolian 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 purposes of world domination.
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 adviser of the Khan Empire. By the 20th Century, Golden Claw was also caring for his grandniece Suwan, who developed a nearly unwavering loyalty to her elder. Soon it was decided by the Atlas Foundation's Mr. Lao that someone was needed to succeed the Golden Claw. That person was Woo Yen Jet, whose parents did not wish this fate for their son. To try and escape Woo Yen's destiny, they immigrated to the United States where they encouraged their son -- re-christened James Woo -- to seek a career in law enforcement. However, the Golden Claw and the Atlas Foundation continued to watch young James Woo over the years.
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 James Woo to play his part as leader of the Atlas Foundation. This was during the height of the Cold War, when the Foundation felt 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, between democracies and communist nations that were running high at the time. Plan Chu became known by a more racist moniker of Yellow Claw in the west that was rampant at the time due to negative sentiments toward the communist Chinese government in the United States.
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.
By the 1950s, while his native China has undergone a Communist revolution, the Claw retained many of the ways of the nations imperial ancestry.
In 1954, Plan Chu commissioned the construction of a robot for the purposes of orchestrating events to make Jimmy 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.
In 1956 the Claw made an agreement with General Sung and other Communist Chinese 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 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 Claw and his grand niece Suwan were then smuggled into the United States by 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 von Voltzmann to the authorities that he was so desperately trying to hide from. Either by fate or design, 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 Jimmy 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 Jimmy, but before he could "eliminate" him, Suwan facilitated his escape the first of many betrayals the otherwise loyal Suwan carried out against her granduncle.
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. These mutants later formed the Promise. The Claw and Fritz 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, Jimmy uncovered the plot anyway.
The Claw next attempted to sabotage new planes being tested by the United States Air Force, but a tip to Jimmy Woo from Suwan foiled this plan as well. Jimmy once more attempted to exploit his connection with Suwan to find Claw's hideout, but fell into his trap and was summarily ejected from the base while Claw and his cohorts escaped. The Claw relocated to Malay 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.
Evading capture again, the Claw kidnapped Professor Ford and used his shrink ray technology to reduce the size of his agents to steal government secrets from the FBI. This plan was foiled by Jimmy Woo as well, forcing 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 was abolished and it's people incapable of lying, he tricked the creature into thinking that western democracies were evil and had UFO use his powers to destroy American missile tests. Jimmy Woo and Suwan convinced UFO that 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 Fritz then orchestrated a plot that saw the FBI capture the android duplicate. However, Jimmy uncovered the plot and had the Yellow Claw android dumped in a remote area where it detonated harmlessly. The Claw next obtained a powerful knock out gas and attempted to use it to put the entire population of Central City to sleep, but this plot was also foiled by Jimmy Woo. When Suwan was captured by the authorities, Claw enslaved members of an other-dimensional race known as the Living Shadows to rescue her from the authorities. However, the aliens brought Jimmy Woo with them and Jimmy forced 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, seagulls 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. Jimmy Woo learned that the Screamies were highly intelligent and taught them farming techniques and send them back to 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 Claw believe he 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 use of his powers weakened Wade, Claw offered him Vitamin X, which he claimed would revitalize Barnaby's strength. Wade agreed to use his powers to try and slay Jimmy 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.
By 1958, the Claw enacted his most ambitious plan of the century by kidnapping President Eisenhower. This prompted Jimmy 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, Gorilla Man, and Namora. The so-called "G-Men" then stormed the Claw's Mongolian base, causing it's destruction while rescuing the president, however the Claw and Suwan managed to escape.
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. He did return to the United States briefly in 1961 where he discovered the amnesic 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.
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 SHIELD 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.
Subsequently, Fury clashed repeatedly with a being 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 androids were the creations of Doctor Doom, who pitted them against SHIELD as part of a strange game he played with another robot of his creation called the Prime Mover.
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 to this day he remains unaware that Doctor Doom was behind the impostor. As a result of his aiding SHIELD against the Claw robot, Jimmy Woo, the real Claw's long-time opponent, became a member of SHIELD.
The real Claw finally re-emerged 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 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'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 SHIELD 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' 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 SHIELD 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 Claw regained his full health. The Claw then escaped. 
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 the others in combat. Deciding to compete for this prize, the 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 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 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, SHIELD, and Richard Rider in his guise of Nova. SHIELD 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.
At some point, the Claw became the leader of a terrorist group called the Sept. This again brought him into conflict with Nick Fury. Carlyle Pallis, a traitor to SHIELD, 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.
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 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 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 gases to crash. The Claw was inside the plunging spacecraft and the Avengers believed him dead.
The Claw's last recorded schemes involved Werner Von Strucker, a son of Wolfgang Von Strucker and Madame Hydra. Which involved leading a Hydra faction based in the South China Sea, which launched attacks on neighboring communities. Though he ostensibly planned to undermine SHIELD, nothing of the Claw's machinations seem to have come to fruition.
As his last scheme, Yellow 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, Yellow Claw began observing Woo throughout his investigation into the Atlas Foundation through M-11's eye's. After stringing him along, enabling him to recruit several old allies and even assault his base of operations, Claw revealed his master plan. With the help of the dragon known as Mr. Lao he had manipulated Jimmy Woo his entire life in order to make him his proper heir. The allies Woo recruited along the way served as further evidence that he deserved to be heir. Feeling Woo had reached the point 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. And, following Woo's acceptance of this, he willingly allowed Mr. Lao to consume him so that there would be only one leader for the clan to follow.
Powers and Abilities
- Illusionist: The 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 Claw can also use these abilities to completely mesmerize a foe into obeying his will. In the past, this power has been shown to cause the most loyal of followers to turn on their leader in an instant. The Claw can release those under his command with a clap of his hands, leaving them with no recollection of what happened while under the Claw's control.
- Super-Genius Intelligence: is considered to be one of the smartest people on the planet. Chu is a genius in biochemistry, and, among his other achievements, he created the elixirs that prolong his life. He has also used this ability to create drugged cigarettes which, when smoked, will cause their user to enter a state of suspended animation resembling death, to which he alone possesses an antidote. 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 and cybernetics.
- Master Martial Artist: The 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).
- Mystical Knowledge: The Claw has considerable knowledge of sorcery, and has even proved able to reanimate the dead.
- Master of Disguise: The Claw is also an effective master of disguise, having successfully disguised himself as a little old Caucasian man in the past.
The Claw possesses the normal human strength of a man of his physical age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. He often wears body armor and exoskeletons which bestow on him superhuman strength of an unknown level. He once engaged in physical combat with The Vision, who could himself lift approximately 50 tons.
Various including; armored battlesuit, Psionic-Revelation Eavesdropper, Molecular Converter, Thermo-Frigid Intensi-Ray Machine, Neutron Absorber, crystal ball (which allowed him to see things occurring in the past, present and future).
- Nightshade (Tilda Johnson) credits 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 have created gigantic mutated beasts, such as enormous spiders. Some of the Claw's mutated animals are cyborgs as well.
- First historical appearance was Yellow Claw #1; first modern appearance (telepathic "voice" of Yellow Claw) was Strange Tales #160, as robot Yellow Claw in Strange Tales #161, and as actual Yellow Claw in Captain America #164.
- The tagline for the Yellow Claw comic book series was, "Who... or What... is He??!"
- No known connection between the Yellow Claw (Plan Chu) and Yellow Claw (Captain Rod Elliot) or Yellow Claw (Japanese).
- 65 appearance(s) of Plan Chu (Earth-616)
- 1 minor appearance(s) of Plan Chu (Earth-616)
- 21 mention(s) of Plan Chu (Earth-616)
- 28 image(s) of Plan Chu (Earth-616)
- 6 quotation(s) by or about Plan Chu (Earth-616)
- 15 item(s) used/owned by Plan Chu (Earth-616)