Countdown to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Day 17: Jimmy Woo

agents-of-atlas-11
Marvel’s Agents of Atlas, with JImmy Woo as team leader. Copyright Marvel Comics

GeekMom is counting down the days to the premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on September 24th by talking about all things related to the spy agency. You can find the rest of the posts by clicking on the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D tag.

Yellow Claw
The first series starring spy Jimmy Woo, from 1956

Up today: S.H.I.E.L.D agent Jimmy Woo.

Jimmy is unique among spies who’ve worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as he predates the spy agency. He was created in 1956 by Al Feldstein and Joe Maneely as the star of the Golden Age spy series, Yellow Claw, named after his antagonist, though that designation would now be viewed as a racial slur.

Still, both Woo was Chinese-American,  and that makes Jimmy one of the few characters of color to have starred in a mainstream book for Atlas Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics.

Though Yellow Claw lasted only four issues, the series was remembered and Woo was brought back in 1967 for S.H.I.E.L.D. in Strange Tales #160. Jack Kirby, S.H.I.E.L.D.s’ co-creator, illustrated and wrote issues #2-4 of Yellow Claw, so that is not surprising.

I first encountered Jimmy in Agents of Atlas, a 2007 Marvel series written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Leonard Kirk. The title came highly recommend and it lived up to that billing, with a world-spanning trek through the Marvel Universe, past and present, a de-aged Jimmy leading the team to foil his old nemesis, the head of Atlas, now called Golden Claw.

That the team featured a gorilla with a machine gun also didn’t hurt. I found the collected trade paperback of the miniseries available on Amazon anywhere from $14 to $25. There were two short revivals of the series after the original but they were canceled and Jimmy’s currently without a book.

Fun facts about Jimmy:

  • He was part of the Godzilla Squad assigned to Dum Dum Dugan. The squad was responsible for hunting down the giant monster.
  • The Godzilla Squad also had access to a giant robot called Red Ronin.
  • Woo was temporarily replaced by a Life Model Decoy. (Somewhere in the S.H.I.E.L.D. handbook there has got to be a section on “what do to if you’re replaced by an LMD.”) Woo’s LMD was self-aware AKA an artificial intelligence.
  • Woo was in love with the grand-niece of his nemesis.
  • The team in the modern day Agents of Atlas first appeared in What If #9 way back in 1978, so they share with Woo a gulf between their original creation and use in the modern day.

Odds of Jimmy appearing on the television show? I’d say better than even. Jimmy seems exactly the type of character that might appeal to Joss Whedon, especially since it might bring in an overall antagonist in enemy agents of Atlas.

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Writer, Mom, Geek and Superhero. though usually not all four on the same day. Author of the award-winning Phoenix Institute Superhero series and the steampunk novel, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract.