Friday, 18 September 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1957

Created by ex-EC staffer, Al Feldstein, the Yellow Claw was a fairly unsubtle personification of the American fear of Communist China. Based on Fu Manchu, Yellow Claw had his own Nayland Smith equivelent, in the person of Jimmy Woo, an FBI agent whom he battled in the four issues of Yellow Claw in the mid-50s.

Yellow Claw made a return to the Marvel Universe in 1973, when Steve Englehart and Sal Buscema brought him to the pages of Captain America, in which he and his army of giant spiders attempted to destroy New York. Yikes!

Later, the Claw, accompanied by an army of ex-Nazis, would battle Nova and Nick Fury.

And later still (1993) he siezed control of super-terrorist crew, HYDRA, and had another go at taking on Nick Fury and SHIELD.

And then he vanished into obscurity, until 2006, when God's gift to Marvel Comics, Jeff Parker, introduced a new team of ex-Atlas heroes, fittingly titled Agents Of Atlas, with the Yellow Claw acting as the antagonist against whom the was brought team together.

If you're not reading Agents Of Atlas, then you really, really should be.

At the movies in 1957, Alec Guinness was helping build the Bridge on the River Kwai, and Henry Fonda was on a jury along with another 11 Angry Men. Meanwhile, b-movie fans could thrill to the adventures of the Incredible Shrinking Man. On television, a nearly-young Patrick Moore was presenting the first edition of the Sky at Night, whilst an also-nearly-young Jim Garner was set to play Maverick.

In books, Jack Kerouac had written On the Road, whilst for younger readers, Dr Suess was producing not one, but two, classics: Cat In The Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Score!

Oh, and in Liverpool, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met. Wonder would ensue.

No comments: