Captain America #165-167
Issue(s): Captain America #165, Captain America #166, Captain America #167
I guess we also learn he's a bit of a giggler, which is a bit surprising.
There's actually a comparison to the Mandarin, which raises the question of why we needed two separate Fu Manchu characters in the Marvel Universe.
The story is more about the conflicts between Cap and the Falcon and Cap and SHIELD. You've got the Falcon, who doesn't want to go after the Claw even though it's thanks to the Claw that his friend got turned into a werewolf last issue (of course he'll wind up getting involved anyway), Captain America, who does want to go after Claw, and Nick Fury, who doesn't want help from any super-heroes, in contrast to just about every other comic book he's ever appeared in.
Things come to a head when Captain America follows a horde of spiders (!) back to the Yellow Claw's lair...
...where both Cap and Fury are hypnotized into thinking they are fighting the Claw, but they're really fighting each other.
This makes Valentina Allegro De La Fontaine pretty mad at Cap, carrying over a chip that's been going on for some time now. But with Nick out of action, Dum Dum Dugan is in charge of SHIELD and he's more willing to work with Cap.
Nick spends the rest of the arc in bed, complaining about daytime television.
Then the Claw tries to take over the SHIELD helicarrier. His plan isn't really to gain access to SHIELD technology or launch codes or anything. He wants the robot that was used to mimic him so that he can figure out who built it and exact revenge on them.
An added layer of crazy to all of this is that the Yellow Claw has his niece (now grand-niece) Suwan in suspended animation.
He's still loyal to his relative even though she betrayed him at every turn in the late Golden Age stories, so he's got the brilliant idea of giving her a personality transplant. The personality in question belonged to an ancient Egyptian princess.
On the plus side, that means Cap and the Falcon get to fight mummies.
Egyptian-Suwan eventually betrays her grand-uncle again...
...and in return the Claw undoes the spell and seemingly kills Suwan.
Of interest for the purposes of Agents of Atlas, the Claw says "You shall not hear from me for some time, because the death of my chosen successor will cause many changes in my schemes!".
There continue to be signs that someone is playing with Cap's reputation, in a prelude to the upcoming Secret Empire storyline.
The Falcon is shown training Redwing after the bird's previous failure to help retrieve the Viper's antidote in Captain America #158...
...and i thought we might see the payoff of that while Cap and the Falcon were in this deathtrap...
...but instead Cap just uses his super-strength to knock over the pillar.
Peggy Carter wanders into Harlem during this arc, and she rather bizarrely winds up staying at Leila's apartment. This begins a mellowization for Leila; this panel below is the first time we've seen her smiling in a non-sarcastic way.
I grant you this story has all manner of weird and cool stuff, like genetically engineered scorpions...
...a dwarf mad scientist...
...and the mummies and spiders and everything else. But there's so much infighting it's hard to enjoy.
We have been seeing a lot more on-panel death in these comings (as we saw with Solarr a few issues back).
I don't know if this is because the Comics Code Authority was relaxing its standards or if we just happened to run into some more murderous villains.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from the previous issue (Nightshade's benefactor was the Yellow Claw), although Nick Fury has had time to change out of his strange barbarian costume.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Captain America vol. 4
Inbound References (6): show
Hop Sung shows up again much later in another Cap/Claw battle.
The Claw's search for Dr. Doom never gets picked up again.
"Chi Foh" is a reference to Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu books. Interestingly, in Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu, several Yellow Claw stories are reprinted. The first one has text added that suggests a battle between the Claw and Fu Manchu, but it never happens.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 23, 2013 3:50 PM
Added Hop Sung as a Character Appearing. Thanks!
Posted by: fnord12 | March 23, 2013 4:04 PM
Cap 167 was my first comic book! Nuff said!
Posted by: Jack | July 21, 2013 9:30 AM
Hey! That dead security guard is holding a tiny Yellow Claw doll! Those things are a fortune on eBay.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 21, 2013 3:49 PM
It looks to me like Suwan is pretty definitely dead here -- has there even been any explanation how she eventually managed to turn up as the Jade Claw in the AoA a few decades later?
Posted by: Gary Himes | August 25, 2013 11:19 PM
Granted, I never read a whole lot of Iron Man, but has anyone else ever referred to the Mandarin as "Mandy"? Maybe gives a whole new meaning to the Barry Manilow song.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 28, 2015 8:53 AM
The Steranko Suwan was confirmed as a robot even earlier, in Strange Tales #168.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 16, 2015 8:18 PM
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