WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
The Yellow Wasp
Residence: Usually Mobile
Occupation: Professional Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age): Sensation #20 (August 1943)
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 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 upped the ante
by kidnapping Stretch Skinner, a known associate of Wildcat. When the
hero predictably tracks his friend, the villain captured both and imprison
them in a booth 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
the heroes and is soon a resident in a New York State penitentiary (Sensation
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 re-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 usurper 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 and duck into the shadows to wait the next subway. Meanwhile, Wildcat deduces 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 concludes 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).
The ultimate fate of the Earth-Two Yellow Wasp is unknown.
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 Limitations
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.
The 1940's history of the Yellow Wasp of the prior Earth-0 is thought to be largely similar to his Earth-Two counterpart. On this Earth, 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. In the 1990's, 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.