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Top Five Yellow Characters

Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at a mostly overlooked color. You have a lot of Green characters, you have a lot of Red characters, but what about YELLOW characters? Who are the top Yellow characters?

Find out here!

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTION

Yellowjacket II

Rita DeMara has one of the oddest pedigrees around. She was introduced to get some use out of the Yellowjacket name when Hank Pym wasn’t using it, then slowly but surely, this obscure little character became an Avenger (by accident) and then a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy!!!

Then she was killed off in one of the very lamest “fulfilling an ad promise” EVER!!

5. Yellow Beak

Yellow Beak is the bird who helps Donald Duck in Donald’s very first comic book story ever!! And Carl Barks’ first Donald Duck story ever!!!

4. That Yellow Bastard

This creepy villain is perhaps the tops of all the creepy villains Frank Miller came up with for Sin City (and there are a lot of them).

3. Yellow Claw

Yes, it’s a bit on the racist side, but at least Yellow Claw was always portrayed as a competent villain!

2. Yellow Kid

More or less the, very first comic character!! I overlooked him at first because of his comic strip heritage, but he HAS appeared in enough reprint comics to count, I figure. Thanks to reader Max for suggesting him! Although due to this comic strip heritage, I think I’ll slightly bump him below…

1. Yellowjacket

Hank Pym is a founding member of the famous Avengers and he has been Yellowjacket a large chunk of his superheroing career.

Can you think of any other Yellow characters that deserve a spot on the list? Let me know!

48 Comments

To be fair, part of the reason yellow doesn’t get used so much is that gold sounds better.

There’s the Yellow Wasp, a Golden Age Wildcat foe who’s actually rather effective and scary, and there’s the Yellow Peri, a very minor Pre-Crisis Superboy character who’s…well, basically a housewife with come-and-go magic powers whose husband is a money-grubbing sleazeball.

Other than that…er….not much.

Ummmm…Sinestro?

What about Yellow Kid?

I think that, for a long time, he has been considered to be the first comics character EVER.

Worth at least a honorable mention, don’t you think?

Daredevil?

When I saw this list, the first character I thought of was Mongul, and I can’t believe he’s not here. I assume he was just forgotten about? I really think he should be #1, if for no other reason than being the villain in “For the man who has everything.”

Obviously, people don’t understand what Brian is doing. Yellow Sinestro and Mongul Yellow would be on the list, but Sinestro and Mongul aren’t eligible.

Yellow Peri should totally be list as an honorable mention.

Just for this cover:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5f/Yellowperidcu0.jpg

Obviously, people don’t understand what Brian is doing. Yellow Sinestro and Mongul Yellow would be on the list, but Sinestro and Mongul aren’t eligible.

Correct.

How could you forget about Yellow Superman (the most jaundicy hero ever)!!!!

Bring back the second Yellowjacket !

I’m dubious of Yellow Beak, just because he’s so obviously being played by José Carioca.

In addition to Yellow Peri, whom I love for her name alone, I have to put in a bid for Hal’s Bizarro duplicate, Yellow Lantern, because he’s awesome.

Brian: I totally get why Sinestro isn’t eligible, but he’s he’s such a great (and long-standing) character, he deserves an honorable mention. If he were Yellow Lantern Sinestro, he’d be Number One. But because he’s so iconic to readers (and, in the DCU, such a fucking egomaniac), his entire corps is named after him, not the color of their power battery. The only other corps that doesn’t have its color in its name are the Star Sapphires.

Meanwhile: Buttler’s right — that fun Eric Powell arc in Action had a Yellow Lantern on Bizzaro world.

The Crazed Spruce

September 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

I was gonna mention The Yellow Peri, but Omar beat me to the punch.

I know Sinestro doesn’t have the word Yellow in his name, but if you’re thinking of comic book characters and the word Yellow, I think Sinestro is who you think of, even before Yellowjacket. YMMV.

Even if that’s true, it doesn’t fit in with the purpose of the list.

There was also an unrelated superhero named Yellowjacket who had his own title in the 1940s, but was seemingly never heard from again: http://toonopedia.com/yelojakt.htm

Kid Flash?

Even though we’ve already established that Yellow has to be in the name in order for it to count, I also would like to list things that are yellow. Lemons, butter, bananas, Tonka trucks, Thor’s hair, Yellow Lanterns, Old Yeller, our sun that Superman likes so much …

I jokingly want to propose Roy G Bivolo for the list, since he can at least pretend that his name contains yellow.

Good list Brian. I never heard of Yellow Claw before. Shocking to see a villain so racist appear so recently in the 20th century!

My only disagreement was That Yellow Bastard. Sin City always had a perfect balance of realistic noir and outright fantasy, but that character just totally pushed the tone of the series into wacky sci-fi to me. Which I wouldn’t have minded so much if that was always the tone of the series, but to go there out of the blue so late into the series was just off-putting. That was where Sin City jumped the shark IMO.

He was problematic as all get out, but the Yellow Claw was easily the best of Marvel’s Fu Manchu types — so much so that he had his own comic in the ’50s. The saving grace was that the hero of the comic was also an Asian guy, and much less of a stereotype — Jimmy Woo, now of Agents of Atlas.

Oh, Yellow Claw was from the 50′s or earlier? Okay, that’s somewhat more forgivable.

Boy, that Guardians cover really sucks.

OK, this whole “Top Five” thing has officially gone past the point it makes any sense…

(My prediction for the last one: The Top Five of the “Top Five” Month lists!! :D )

PS: Yellow Peri was pretty much a take-off/deconstruction of “I Dream of Jeanie”. Actually I liked her, but let’s not remind the current DC Comics regime they own her or they might bring her back as a victim of spousal abuse or something. >_<

Yellow Claw also appeared as the main villain for an extended story in Nova in the late ’70s. I think that was his last semi-modern appearance.

someone beat me to it above . . . Daredevil !!!

“2. Yellow Kid
More or less the, very first comic character!! I overlooked him at first because of his comic strip heritage, but he HAS appeared in enough reprint comics to count, I figure. Thanks to reader Max for suggesting him! Although due to this comic strip heritage, I think I’ll slightly bump him below…”

I read somewhere (don’t remember where unfortunately) that the first use of the term “comic book” was in an advertisement to describe a 1902 collection of Yellow Kid cartoons.

If that is true then the Yellow Kid would be the first “Comic Book” character as well as the first “Comic Strip” character.

Yellow Claw also appeared as the main villain for an extended story in Nova in the late ’70s. I think that was his last semi-modern appearance.

The Avengers issue above, 204, is dated 1980 and later than Nova.

According to http://marvel.wikia.com/Plan_Chu_%28Earth-616%29 his most recent appearance was Agents of Atlas 7 in 2007

Thanks for reminding me of The Crossing, Brian. Sheesh.

‘If that is true then the Yellow Kid would be the first “Comic Book” character as well as the first “Comic Strip” character.’

The only problem with that is that in the UK, Ally Sloper first appeared in ‘Judy’ magazine in 1867 and was given his own comic magazine ‘Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday’ in 1884, more than 10 years before The Yellow Kid ever appeared…

Thanks for the correction, Philip. I didn’t know about the Avengers appearance. I just assumed the cover above was prior to the Nova issues.

I totally blanked on Agents of Atlas though. I remember getting a kick out of him being in that issue but apparently that memory was jettisoned at some point over the last couple of years.

Really, I was just looking for an excuse to mention Nova. ;)

His Agents of Atlas appearance, though, established that “Yellow Claw” was a mistranslation and that he should have been called “Golden Claw.”

Was there some kind of rights issue connected with the Yellow Claw that prevented him from being used by Marvel? I thought that was why they changed his name in Agents of Atlas to get around it.

I thought it was just the whole racism angle that they wanted to avoid. Over in Shang Chi, though, they DO have to avoid the fact that Fu Manchu is Shang Chi’s father.

You’re probably right. I don’t remember where I got that impression. Maybe it was just because he was a very transparent Fu Manchu clone.

I love how many characters there are running around the Marvel Universe who were originally introduced alongside licensed properties, whether it’s Shang-Chi, Bug, the Dire Wraiths, Doctor Demonicus or Machine Man.

One thing I always wondered is what the deal is with characters created in the Conan comic. Red Sonja was an original creation in all but name, but neither Marvel nor the Howard estate seems to own her. Marvel uses Kulan Gath willy-nilly, but he’s popped up in Dynamite’s Red Sonja comic too. Doesn’t seem like Marvel would let slip any characters that they could possibly lay claim to, so I’m wondering how Sonja in particular managed to escape the House of Ideas.

Who the hell are those people in that bogus lineup for Guardians of the Galaxy. I only recognize Nikki, unless the blond woman is the Aleta version of Starhawk…
And the design of that cat-dude is so stupid-looking it hurts my eyes.

Yeah, I believe that’s Aleta. And the guy on the left is Major Victory, who used to be Vance Astro, so technically three out of the five people pictured are original members. Cat-dude is an Inhuman named Talon. No argument that it’s all kinds of ugly, though

Was Yellow Claw the name of the villain of the ’40s Daredevil, or was he just the Claw?

How did Yellowjacket II die?

And yes, that was Guardians of the Galaxy uglified. When Valentino was on that book, it was (sorta) better (although EVERY late 20th century Marvel character apparently survived until the 30th century). There’s one issue, 23, I think, with Valentino inked by Mark Texeira that’s awesome, though.

Evil Tony Stark killed Yellowjacket II, right at the start of The Crossing. Somehow, it managed to get worse from there.

That was just the Claw, Travis, although the Yellow Claw certainly had his similarities to him.

D’oh! Homer Simpson!

DUCKMAN!! What the hell are YOU staring at?? He was in a comic once or twice before the TV show… Though it may have been black & white, come to think of it…

EGG FU!

Brian, you should write a book, “Pattern Detection, the Lost Art”.

Or else hold all our hands and change the title of this to “Characters WITH YELLOW IN THEIR NAMES!!!!”

I think that the Whizzer should be given an honorable mention, if only for his unfortunate choice of costume color. I know it was the early 1940s but, still, what were they thinking? There was the name/color scheme combo that launched a thousand jokes, probably only second to Giant-Sized Man-Thing.

The Sentry should definitely be number one.

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