Strange Tales # 159-167 "And the Dragon Cried Death!"
Writer/Illustrator: Steranko
Inker: Bill Everett
Letterer: Jerry Feldman/Artie Simeck

After staging a sparring match for the latest crop of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Nick Fury and Captain America join FBI agent Jimmy Woo and fill him in on an incident at the Statue of Liberty the year prior involving strange robots seeking to take over NYC. Woo informs them that the plot may have been hatched by the Yellow Claw. Fury continues to investigate and learns of the Yellow Claw's plan to steal the super-weapon known as the Ultimate Annihilator from A.I.M. and use it for his own. After surviving a near-fatal encounter with the Claw, Fury manages to infiltrate the the orbiting headquarters known as the Sky-Dragon. Trapped in the clutches of the Claw, nearing the hour of 'Black Noon', the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier arrives and Dum Dum leads a strike team against the Claw's fortress. 

The Claw escapes, but Fury follows him to his vast underwater lair in the middle of NY harbor. Inside, Fury arrives in time to witness the Claw readying to kill Jimmy Woo. Fury and the Claw battle as Suwan sacrifices herself in releasing her love, Woo from his deadly fate; enraged, Woo vows revenge on them both. S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and the Claw once again seeks and escape, this time through hyper-space. Fury follows and engages him in an intense mental battle. Weakening the Claw, Fury attacks him with the Satan Claw and is shocked to see the Claw is nothing more then an elaborate android.

Meanwhile Dr. Doom watches the events with the Prime-Mover, each pawn on their game-board a reproduction of the players in the elaborate game played out between Fury and the Claw.

  • Continuity Notes
  • Cover appearance; #159, 161, 163, 165, 167
  • The original S.H.I.E.L.D. cast bows out temporarily aside from Dum Dum who returns in the last three issues
  • First appearance of Clay Quartermain, Sidney "The Gaff" Levine" and Contessa Valentina Allegra De La Fontiane
  • The Yellow Claw and James Woo had appeared much earlier in Marvel's Yellow Claw comics.
  • The Yellow Claw's Sky Dragon would reappear later in Marvel Two-In-One #51
  • Reprinted in 
    • Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TPB)
    • Captain Britain (1) #1-18 
    • Marvel Masterworks: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Volume 2
    • S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Collection Omnibus
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. by Jim Steranko: The Complete Collection
  • A framed copy of the cover to #167 is seen hanging in the apartment of the "Defenders" in The Ultimates 2 #6.

Following the epic war with HYDRA with yet another epic-parter involving a grandiose villain with a global organization at his disposal would at first glance seem folly, but Steranko adds enough new wrinkles to the formula to make it just work. The Yellow Claw makes for a fine villain and Steranko seems to lay down some groundwork for Scorpio through him both in terms of art and character, regardless in the end he's just another Bondian villain looking to rule/destroy the world. What really livens up the tale is both the character interactions and some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. tactics at play.  Although the beginning signals a farewell to the traditional S.H.I.E.L.D. supporting cast, Steranko stocks up on both plenty of A-list guest stars (Reed Richards, The Thing, and Captain America) and fresh new faces (Clay Quartermain, Gaffer, and the Contessa).