Jimmy Woo

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Jimmy Woo
AOATLAS001 COV.jpg
Textless cover of Agents of Atlas #1 (October 2006)
Art by Tomm Coker
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceYellow Claw #1 (October 1956)
Created byAl Feldstein
Joe Maneely
In-story information
Alter egoWoo Yen Jet[1]
Team affiliationsS.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of Atlas
G-Men
Protectors

James Woo (Woo Yen Jet) is a fictional secret agent appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by EC Comics writer Al Feldstein and artist Joe Maneely, the Chinese-American character first appeared in Yellow Claw #1 (October 1956) from Atlas Comics, the 1950s predecessor of Marvel. Woo has since appeared occasionally in a variety of Marvel publications.

The character is played by Randall Park in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, he is an FBI agent and Scott Lang’s parole officer, a role he is slated to reprise in the Disney+ series WandaVision.

Publication history[edit]

Jimmy Woo was the hero of the espionage series Yellow Claw, named for his antagonist, a "yellow peril" Communist mandarin.[clarification needed] While the short-lived series named after that villain ran only four issues (October 1956 - April 1957), it featured art by Maneely, Jack Kirby, and John Severin.

Kirby took over as writer-artist with issue #2 — inking his own pencil art there and in the following issue, representing two of the very rare occasions on which he did so. On the final issue, the inking was done by Western- and war-comics veteran Severin. Also, other artists drew the covers: Severin on #2 and #4, Bill Everett on #3.

Well regarded[citation needed] for its relatively mature storyline and in particular for Maneely's exquisitely atmospheric art,[citation needed] the book nevertheless failed to find an audience. Woo and other characters from the series were brought into the Marvel universe a decade later, beginning with the "S.H.I.E.L.D." story in Strange Tales #160 (Sept. 1967). Woo joins that espionage agency in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 (July 1968).

Woo went on to be featured in the 1977-1979 Marvel series Godzilla and the 2006-07 Marvel series Agents of Atlas. Before the cancellation of the 1990s alternate universe Marvel imprint Razorline, as produced but unpublished titles of its various series were preparing to blend the Razorline into primary Marvel continuity, Woo as well as Nick Fury and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents guest-starred in Wraitheart #5. Woo starred as the leader of a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives code-named Agents of Atlas, in the 2006-2007 series of that name.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Jimmy Woo, from Strange Tales #166 (March 1968). Art by Jim Steranko & Joe Sinnott.

James Woo is an Asian-American FBI agent assigned primarily to investigate and apprehend the Chinese-national mandarin known as the Yellow Claw, a Fu Manchu manqué (author Sax Rohmer had a Fu Manchu novel titled The Yellow Claw). The Yellow Claw, who attempts world domination, claimed in 2000s comics that his American rubric is a mistransliteration of the Chinese characters for "Golden Claw".[2] Complicating matters, the Claw's grandniece, Suwan, was in love with Woo in the 1950s series.

In retcon stories, Woo is the FBI agent assigned in 1958 to oversee the 1950s superhero team the Avengers, a short-lived predecessor of the later, more established team of that name.[3][4]

As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Woo went on to join its "Godzilla Squad" to hunt down the giant monster Godzilla (the character from the long-running series of films from the Japanese movie studio Toho). This unit, led by Dum Dum Dugan, employed such weapons as a giant robot called Red Ronin (for which Woo was shortlisted as a pilot candidate), and was headquartered in a smaller version of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, known as the Behemoth.[5]

Woo was temporarily replaced by a Life Model Decoy (a form of artificial human utilized by S.H.I.E.L.D.) of the self-aware, renegade "Deltan" class,[6] and went through five such bodies before dying with other repentant LMDs.[7] Woo reemerged from stasis, along with other high-ranking officers that had been taken and replaced.[8]

In 2006-2007 stories, Woo attempted a secret raid of a group identified as The Atlas Foundation. Going AWOL and taking several other willing agents with him, he infiltrated an Atlas Foundation location, resulting in all the recruits being killed. Woo was critically burned and lost higher brain function. The former 1950s Avenger Gorilla-Man, by now also a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, gave the organization a classified record of the 1950s team, of which S.H.I.E.L.D. had no prior knowledge. Gorilla-Man rescues Woo with the aid of fellow 1950s teammates M-11 and Marvel Boy, who restores Woo to his 1958 self.[9]

Along with his teammates he follows the Atlas Foundation all over the world, unlocking secrets about his teammates former lives, restoring Namora to life,[10] and eventually confronting Yellow Claw, who reveals that the whole ordeal was only a test. As Woo passed it flawlessly, he commits suicide by having the dragon Mr. Lao devour him, ending his long life and granting to Jimmy Woo his role as Head of the Atlas Foundation, with Mr. Lao's service and Suwan's hand.[11] Woo later surfaces in New York, where he and Spider-Man shut down a rebellious cell of the Atlas Foundation.[volume & issue needed]

During the Infinity storyline, it is shown that Jimmy is now the head of the Pan-Asian School For The Unusually Gifted, a Mumbai-based school for Asian teenagers with superhuman abilities. Jimmy Woo runs the school with Sanjar Javeed as a fellow teacher.[12]

Jimmy appears alongside several Asian American superheroes (The Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Ms. Marvel, Shang-Chi, Silk and S.H.E.I.L.D agent Jake Oh) for a charity event in Flushing, Queens. Later while hanging out in New York City, they are attacked by an invading alien army. During the battle, the heroes and a number of civilians are transported to a base near Seknarf Seven, the aliens' home planet, and learn that they will be consumed. Dubbing their new group "the Protectors" Jimmy rallies the group and civilians to prepare for battle. After elaborating an escape plan, Prince Regent Phalkan, ruler of Seknarf Seven, arrives with his soldiers and demands that three of the humans turn themselves in. When Amadeus, Jimmy and Jake offer themselves to the aliens, the remaining Protectors and civilians use their gadgets to disable the alien equipment enabling the heroes to fight them easily and for Amadeus to turn back into the Hulk. But when the aliens kill Jeffrey, one of the civilians, the group charges towards them. Jimmy comes close to killing Phalkan, only to be stopped by Amadeus. After the battle, Jimmy contacts the Alpha Flight Space Program who then arrive to rescue the group and arrest the Prince Regent, who Sasquatch reveals to Jimmy was actually exiled from Seknarf Seven for treason. Amadeus and Jimmy later have a discussion until they are transported back home. A few days later, Amadeus, Ms. Marvel and Silk visit a children's hospital while Jimmy watches the event on TV.[13]

During the War of the Realms event, after the Protectors perform a demonstration for Jimmy's school, he offers them membership to the Agents of Atlas; during the meeting they are suddenly alerted by the news of Malekith's invasion of Earth. Most of the New Agents of Atlas head to Seoul while Ms. Marvel joins Jake Oh and the Champions in New York. The Agents find Seoul under attack Malekith's ally Queen Sindr and her Fire Goblin forces from Muspelheim and team up with the Korean heroes White Fox, Crescent, Io and Luna Snow who are defending the city. Jimmy is knocked unconscious when their aircraft crash lands, forcing an unprepared Amadeus, now going by Brawn, to take charge of the team. After Sindr threatens to summon a volcano in the middle of the city and kill millions of innocents, Amadeus uses Bruce Banner's technology to teleport Atlas and their new allies away from the battle, allowing Sindr to annex South Korea. Afterwards Amadeus teleports the Chinese heroes Sword Master and Aero, Filipina heroine Wave, and the Hawaiian goddess of Fire and Volcanoes Pele from Shanghai to help assist in the fight against Sindr. The newly summoned heroes are less than pleased for being taken out of their previous battle, but Pele quickly puts a stop to the infighting, warning the group that Sindr plans to melt the polar ice caps if they do not work together.[14] Jimmy, Amadeus and White Fox contact Codec from Tokyo's Future Avengers, Red Feather of Manila's Triumph Division and the Monkey King Sun Wukong in Beijing to form a battle plan. After formulating a plan, Brawn confronts Sindr and her forces directly while Aero, Wave and Luna use Sindr's black Bifrost to travel to the Arctic to decrease its temperature; Jimmy and the remaining members are teleported to Northern China where Shang-Chi begins training them for their final fight. After a long fight, Amadeus is eventually overwhelmed and is taken prisoner by Sindr, who begins flying with her forces to Northern China.[15] As planned by Brawn, the Queen of Cinders and her forces arrive in Northern China with a captured Brawn, only to be taken by surprise by the Agents; Pele reveals herself to be M-41 Zu, a mystically enhanced android created by Jimmy and the Atlas foundation, who absorbs Sindr's energy and self destructs, weakening her. With Shang-Chi's training the group defeats her, although at the cost of Sun Wukong sacrificing himself. Despite given the chance by Jimmy to surrender, Sindr flees using the Black Bifrost, only for the Agents to follow her with Brawn's teleporter, where they help Captain Marvel defeat her and her remaining forces at the Great Wall of China near Beijing. While the team recuperates in Shanghai after Malekith's defeat, Brawn confronts Jimmy for withholding the truth about Pele from the team as M-41 could have been used to defeat Sindr in Seoul earlier. Jimmy justifies his actions, saying that using the android earlier would have killed civilians and that he hid the truth to guarantee the team's success, noting that "Pele" was able to lead the team when Amadeus could not. Amadeus then warns Jimmy of the ramifications for impersonating a god and tells him that the team can longer trust him. After Amadeus leaves to check on his teammates, Jimmy quietly congratulates him and the rest of the group.[16]

After the War of the Realms event, Jimmy has resumed his duties as the head of the Atlas Foundation while Amadeus is appointed as the leader of the New Agents. While Amadeus has a video meeting with Jimmy from the Atlas bunker in Seoul, their conversation is interrupted when the city is suddenly merged with other Asian and Asian dominated cities into the portal city of Pan by Isaac Ikeda. Meanwhile, Jimmy has sent the original team to Thailand to rescue a captured Avenger X. During the mission, the group encounters a dragon named Mr. Thong, who reveals himself to be an enemy of Mr. Lao. Thong mocks the Agents and the Atlas Foundation being pawns for Lao and warns them of the upcoming Clash of Dragons. After the Agents relay their encounter, Jimmy has the team find out more about the dragons, noting that he might have kicked off the upcoming war.[17] While Jimmy and Lao are monitoring the New Agents, Lao forbids Jimmy from contacting them, believing that they are not yet ready to be trusted.[18] While searching for the mysteriously absent Jimmy in his school in Mumbai, Shang-Chi uncovers a photograph of Jimmy shaking hands with Mike Nguyen, the head of the Big Nguyen Company and the mastermind behind the merging of Pan.[19]

Reception[edit]

Jeff Yang, curator of the "Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986" exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, called Jimmy Woo a "positive exception" to the "largely negative" depiction of Asians and Asian-Americans in comics at time when "the view of Asians was shaped by racist, xenophobic wartime propaganda."[20]

Other versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Jimmy Woo is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., partnered with Sharon Carter. He was introduced in Ultimate Spider-Man #16, in which he and Carter are trying to capture Doctor Octopus.[21]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

Randall Park portrays Jimmy Woo in Ant-Man and the Wasp.[25] This version is an agent for the FBI who monitors Scott Lang's house arrest. He is noticeably more comical than his comic book incarnation and despite showing some animosity towards Lang, does appear to want to be sociably friendly with him.

Video games[edit]

Jimmy Woo appears in Marvel Heroes, voiced by James Sie.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dark Reign: New Nation #1
  2. ^ Agents of Atlas #4 (Jan. 2007)
  3. ^ What If Vol. 1, #9 (June 1978)
  4. ^ the 2000s miniseries Marvel: The Lost Generation.
  5. ^ Godzilla #1-24
  6. ^ Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (June 1988)
  7. ^ Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 (Nov. 1988)
  8. ^ Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD Vol.2 #44
  9. ^ Agents of Atlas vol. 1 #1
  10. ^ Agents of Atlas vol. 1 #4
  11. ^ Agents of Atlas vol. 1 #6
  12. ^ Infinity: The Hunt #1
  13. ^ The Totally Awesome Hulk #13-18
  14. ^ War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #2. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #3. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ War of the Realms: The New Agents of Atlas #4. Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ Agents of Atlas Vol 3 #1. Marvel Comics
  18. ^ Agents of Atlas Vol 3 #3. Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Agents of Atlas Vol 3 #4. Marvel Comics
  20. ^ Wada, Karen (2013-12-08). "'Marvels & Monsters' exhibit explores comics' portrayal of Asians". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  21. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #14
  22. ^ "Watch Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Micro-Ep. 9 | Movie & TV News | News". Marvel.com. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  23. ^ Kevin Tancharoen (director); Drew Z. Greenberg (writer) (October 14, 2014). "Face My Enemy". Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2. Episode 4. ABC.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Lesley; Couch, Aaron (August 23, 2019). "Disney+: A Comprehensive Guide to All Its Programming (So Far)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  25. ^ McNary, Dave (July 7, 2017). "'Fresh Off the Boat' Star Randall Park Joins 'Ant-Man and the Wasp'". Variety. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  26. ^ "Jimmy Woo". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved 15 May 2019.

External links[edit]