Captain America had stopped the attempted assassination of an Indian guru named Sri Ananda in New York. The guru thanked him and offered to meet and talk with him. Cap declined and left but felt some guilt. He wondered if he was feeling “old fashioned American xenophobia” and changed his mind about meeting with Ananda. On his way back, he came across Frog Man who had stopped a mugging but was cornered by the crooks. Cap saved him and told him to go home. At the guru’s abode, Ananda lit some candles which turned out to give off hallucinogenic gas. As Cap struggled, the “guru” took off his mask and revealed himself to be the Yellow Claw. He had also captured Frog Man (which couldn’t have been too hard) and wanted to know how they were connected. Claw was also certain that Captain America had been onto him from the beginning and Cap denied it. They fought and Cap was defeated.
Captain America and Frog Man were taken to Upstate New York in Yellow Claw’s flying craft and flown underground. Very devoted followers of Yellow Claw eagerly obeyed his orders to take Cap to a dungeon and Frog Man elsewhere. In the dungeon, Cap struggled to clear his mind of the drugs, when he sensed a friendly presence. An elderly Asian man told Steve that he had cleared his mind, the old man only helped him focus. He brought Cap up to date on Yellow Claw’s plan to destroy New York City with psychic energy. The old man disappeared and Cap escaped from the prison cell.
Yellow Claw appeared before his gathering of two hundred thousand followers, disguised as Sri Ananda. They began to shower him with love and adoration when Cap arrived on stage and pulled off Claw’s mask. The crowd remained unfazed, still blankly staring at their leader. Claw began to use their psychic power against Cap and things weren’t going well for him, until he was saved by Ice Man, Beast, Spider-Man, Angel and Human Torch. Somehow Frog Man had contacted them and brought them up to date on the situation.
Cap used the opportunity to smash the helmet worn by Yellow Claw, which had been amplifying the crowd’s mental energy. Claw fled and escaped. Cap thanked Frog Man, which went right to the kid’s head. At his apartment, Steve read a newspaper about the adventure in Upstate New York. The article mentioned that Sri Ananda hadn’t been seen since 1939 and also showed a picture of the old man. Of course, it was the old man that had been in the prison cell.
I’d say a lot of the story speaks for itself. I’m amazed that an old Asian stereotype like Yellow Claw was being used as late as 1987.
Cap chided himself for being xenophobic but then his fear turned out to be valid. That’s certainly one message to give to comic readers.
The story itself, apart from the uncomfortable political subtext, is just extremely goofy. It might have been entertaining if stalwart Captain America had been forced to team with incompetent Frog Man but they don’t have many scenes together. Also, why on God’s earth would the good guys give means of contacting them to Frog Man? Why would they answer his call? Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that he was calling for help after having a thought gave him a headache? Yellow Claw managed to escape despite six superheroes (and Frog Man) there to stop him?
Two hundred thousand people turned out for the “guru’s” meeting? The largest football stadium in the U.S. is Michigan Stadium, which has a capacity of 107,000 people. Two of those showed up and no one noticed?