The Yellow Wasp

Personal Data

True Name Unknown 

Residence: Usually Mobile 
Occupation: Professional Criminal 
First Appearance (Golden Age): Sensation Comics #20  (August 1943)
First Appearance (Silver Age): none 
Pre-Crisis Fate: Unknown 
Post-Crisis Fate: Unknown

History

    The true origins of the man who became the Yellow Wasp are shrouded in mystery. His somewhat Asiatic features suggest an oriental origin, though whether these are his true features is unknown. The Yellow Wasp first came to public in attention in the summer of 1943. One of the very earliest of costumed villains, the Yellow Wasp made his debut at a bank in New York City. Covered in a large overcoat, the villain approached the teller and open his satchel. When he did, a horde of wasps was released, wasps that the villain seem to control. In the ensuing confusion, the Wasp made off with the cash in the teller stations, making a getaway in a yellow and black roadster known as the Waspmobile.

    Emboldened by his success, the Wasp next struck a boxing match at Madison Square Gardens. After the match, the Wasp entered the box office to take the receipts only to be met by the winner of the match, Ted Grant. After an initial scrap, the Yellow Wasp ups the ante by kidnapping Stretch Skinner, the known associate of Wildcat. When the hero predictable tracks his friend, the villain captures both and imprison them in a both full of wasps. Leaving the heroes to the mercy of his insects, the Yellow Wasp heads out for Club 51, a popular New York nightclub with the intention of robbing it.Back in the Wasp's lair, Wildcat has hit on the idea of smoking out the wasps and builds a quick fire with Stretch's clothes. When the wasps sedated, the heroes makes a quick escape and catch up the Wasp at Club 51. Caught off guard, the villain is an easy mark for heroes and is soon a resident in a New York State penitentiary (Sensation Comics #20).

    A few months later, the Yellow Wasp managed to gather sufficient numbers of wasps to subdue his guard and break jail. Returning to his old lair, he finds one of his former gang declaring himself the new leader in his absence. Flying into a rage common to the Wasp, the villain attacks the usurper with poison stinger darts. After establishing his authority, the Wasp leads his gang on a new a raid of the Fetterman Arms Works, a crime that attracts the attention of Wildcat.Tracking his former adversary, Wildcat came upon the dying thug in the Wasp's former lair. Breathlessly, the criminal reveals that the Yellow Wasp and his gang have set up a new hideout downtown. Hastening back to the city, Wildcat and Stretch surprise the villain in his lair and thrash his thugs. As the villain himself runs for safety, he is dealt a humiliating blow by being wrapped in large sheets of flypaper. The Wasp is then unceremoniously carted off to prison once again (Sensation Comics #25).

    The next recorded case of the Yellow Wasp occurred in 1947. After being sentenced to execution, the Wasp broke jail and started a crime wave more expansive than any had previously. In this instance, the Wasp controlled enough wasps to blacken the skies in a huge cloud of a paralyzing stings. Hearing police reports of the Wasp's activities, Wildcat and Stretch Skinner rush to scene only to be captured by the Wasp's henchmen. Back the Wasp's lair, the villain gloats over his captured prizes. He tells them that he loves to work underground but that they would not find it so enticing. He leaves Wildcat bound underneath his lair with a particularly angry group of wasps and takes Stretch along with him.

    As Wildcat struggles with his bonds, the Yellow Wasp and his gang head for the New York City subway system. Using Stretch as a means of stopping the train, the villains tie the lanky detective to the tracks. They then duck into the shadows to wait the next subway. Meanwhile, Wildcat has hit on the idea that water will serve the dual purpose of protecting him from the wasps as well as floating him up to a window where he can escape. Kicking loose a pipe along the wall, Wildcat waited for the excruciatingly slow process of the room to fill with water, and carry him out the window. As it did, he deduced that the Wasp's "underground work" would involve the subway and intercepted the train just in time to save the hapless Stretch.  Freeing his partner, the two make short work of the Yellow Wasp and he and his thugs soon find themselves behind bars (Sensation #66).

    But the Wasp was to have the last laugh. During the 1960's, he determined that Ted Grant and Wildcat were one in the same. After learning that Ted Grant was the father of a newborn son, the Yellow Wasp kidnapped the child and disappeared. Neither the Wasp nor Wildcat's son Jake have been seen since (revealed in Secret Origins vol. 2 #50). Their ultimate fate remains unknown.

    Recently, a new Wasp, the Killer Wasp, emerged as a member of the revived Injustice Society. This criminal, who claims to be the son of the original Yellow Wasp, has been mutated to have a variety of insect like powers including diaphanous wings and a blasting sting. The Killer Wasp claimed that Jake was raised by the Yellow Wasp as his own and, feeling spurned, the Killer Wasp had slain them both in a jealous rage. Whether this is true remains to be seen.

Powers and Abilities: The exact nature of the Yellow Wasp's powers are unclear. He possess mechanical wings that allow a tight control of aerial motion and a mask that allows him to see in a wider spectrum than humans. He also possess a wide array of Wasp-based equipment, including a Waspmobile and stinger guns containing a variety of toxic compounds. His control of the his wasps seems more chemical than telepathic and Wildcat has noticed that the Wasp is constantly coated with a fluid that seems to prevent the wasps from sting him as they sting his victims.

Weaknesses and Limitation: The limits of the Yellow Wasp's strength, longevity or speed are unknown. Psychologically, the Wasp is notoriously brutal and cruel, slaying his henchmen at the first sign of disobedience.

Golden Age Appearances

Post-Golden Age Appearances Back to GA Villain Checklist