Fu Manchu, also called "Dr. Fu Manchu", is an infamous villain who originated in the novels of British author Sax Rohmer but has become somewhat of a stock character in fiction due to his popularity - although in recent times Dr. Fu Manchu has been criticized by some as an example of the "Yellow Peril" stereotype.
In fairness to Dr. Fu Manchu, he shares traits that are common in all arch-villains such as cruelty, extreme intelligence and a hunger for power - he has been used in Marvel comics for a while but no longer appears in the comics due to the fact Marvel no longer own the rights to use him: however Marvel gave Dr. Fu Manchu a son, who is a hero, whether this is canon outside the Marvel universe is unknown or not (though it seems likely it's only canon for Marvel's version of the character).
Dr. Fu Manchu is an example of a mastermind and remains an iconic villain despite his considerable age as a character - having been appearing in varied formats for over 90 years. He has become an archetype of the evil criminal genius while lending the name to the Fu Manchu mustache. In films, he was played by the late Warner Orland, Boris Karloff, Chirstopher Lee and Peter Sellers. He even appeared (unnamed) in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a rival of Professor Moriarty.
A very loosely adapted version of the character appears as the main antagonist of the Turkish Superman movie Demir Yumruk: Devler geliyor, in which he is portrayed as a wheelchair-bound transvestite crime lord seeking to use a Uranium deposit to rule the world.
- Many literature fans nickname Fu Manchu an Asian Professor Moriarty.
- Fu Manchu has inspired many villains like Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest's Dr. Zin.
- There is a parody of Fu Manchu portrayed by Nicolas Cage in Rob Zombie's fake trailer Werewolf Women of the SS, as seen in Grindhouse.
- Movies often portray Fu Manchu as having a mustache. In the novels, however, Fu Manchu was clean-shaven.