Klaw (Marvel Comics)
Klaw battles the Fantastic Four on the cover of Fantastic Four #56 (Nov. 1966).
|First appearance||as Ulysses Klaw:|
Fantastic Four #53 (Aug 1966)
Fantastic Four #56 (Nov 1966)
|Created by||Stan Lee (writer)|
Jack Kirby (artist)
|Alter ego||Ulysses Klaue|
|Team affiliations||Frightful Four|
Masters of Evil
|Notable aliases||Ulysses Klaw|
Master of Sound
Superhuman strength, speed and durability
Sonic device grants:
Ability to create "solid sound" constructs
Klaw (Ulysses Klaue) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted as a human physicist who has been transformed into solid sound, and who wears a sonic emitter on his right wrist as a prosthetic device. He has often been shown in conflict with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers and is an enemy of the Black Panther and Ka-Zar.
The character is featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as arcade and video games, animated television series, and merchandise such as trading cards. Andy Serkis portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first appearing in the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron and reprising the role in the 2018 film Black Panther.
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Fictional character biography
Ulysses Klaue is the son of Nazi war criminal Colonel Fritz Klaue of the Blitzkrieg Squad led by Baron Strucker. He was sent by Adolf Hitler to Wakanda to learn their secrets. After World War II, he moved back to Belgium, later anglicized his name to "Klaw," and raised his son with tales of Wakanda.
Klaw later becomes a physicist, working in the field of applied sonics. In order to continue his design of a sound transducer which converts sound waves into physical mass, Klaw steals the metal vibranium to power his device. This is a metal substance known to exist only in certain meteoric deposits in the small African nation of Wakanda. By stealing this rare mineral, Klaw comes into conflict with the Wakandan ruler/superhero T'Chaka whom Klaw murders in cold blood. T'Chaka's adolescent son T'Challa, who watched his father fall to the invaders, then attacks Klaw to avenge his father. Klaw manages to escape at the cost of his right hand.
Years later, Ulysses resurfaces with a sonic emitter/gun on his right wrist as a replacement prosthetic device for his missing hand that can create any kind of object or creature he can conceive by only using sound. He has also created a device that turns him into a being composed solely of sound, making him immortal in the process. Klaw as a professional criminal battles T'Challa (who has now officially become the newest Black Panther) and superhero team the Fantastic Four in New York state, but he is defeated.
Klaw is imprisoned but freed by the Crimson Cowl, which turns out to be an alias of Ultron. Joining the second incarnation of the Masters of Evil, Klaw and the other villains battle superhero team the Avengers. The Avengers, however, defeat them, with the Black Panther subduing Klaw. Klaw would attempt to reform the second Masters of Evil to fight the Avengers, but his scheme would be foiled by the all-female team the Lady Liberators.
Managing to escape custody again, Klaw journeys back to Wakanda where he helps steal a device capable of augmenting the metal-disintegrating property of a vibranium alloy. Encountering the Thing, the Human Torch, and the Black Panther, Klaw is defeated.
Klaw later joins forces with the murderous Solarr and traps the Avengers within a solid sound barrier. Klaw threatens to execute them if the Black Panther does not abdicate the throne of Wakanda to him. Realizing that Klaw himself is disguised as one of the hostages while using a sound creation of himself to appear outside the barrier, the Panther manages to expose and subdue Klaw and Solarr before he could make good his threat.
Klaw is later freed from prison by a member of the extra dimensional race of Sheenareans, who wish him to use his sonic powers to help open a dimensional portal big enough for their invading armada to enter Earth. Klaw agrees and after a skirmish with Ka-Zar in London, travels with the Sheenarean to the Savage Land where there is a vibranium deposit large enough to create the portal. After Ka-Zar repulses the invaders, Klaw flees into the Sheenarean dimension, and unable to salvage anything substantial from his allies, uses their technology to return to Earth.
Materializing in the Nexus of All Realities located in the Florida Everglades, Klaw happens upon the wand of the Molecule Man. Helping the Molecule Man find a body to possess, Klaw and his new ally travel to New York to wreak revenge on their common enemy, the Fantastic Four. Klaw is subdued by the visiting Impossible Man.
Klaw finds his powers waning, resulting in him having to manipulate a group of street youths into helping him gain the material needed to restore his power. With Black Panther's help, Klaw's scheme backfires. He finds himself imprisoned within his own gun-hand, stored at research facility Project Pegasus. In Marvel Two-in-One #57 - 58 (Nov. - Dec 1979), Klaw is freed by fellow villain Solarr, although both are defeated by a group of heroes, including the Thing, Quasar, Giant-Man, and Aquarian.
Klaw's career soon takes a downward spiral, after an encounter with the mutant Dazzler results in his humanoid form being dissolved and his sound energy being blasted out into space, where it ends up being collected by Galactus. His energy is found by Doctor Doom during the limited series Secret Wars. Doom restores Klaw to normal. Sadly, the loss of his physical form has had repercussions; Klaw now has the mind of a child and is quite insane, a symptom of which is speaking in rhyme. Doom exploits Klaw's madness, convincing the villain to re-dissect him as part of a mad gambit to steal the powers of both Galactus and the Beyonder. However, the Beyonder possesses Klaw after losing his powers, leading to Klaw tricking Doom into giving up his stolen Godhood and teleporting the two back to Earth, where Klaw's mental state slowly heals.
Klaw fights Daredevil and Vision, before being recruited by the Wizard to join his latest incarnation of the Frightful Four. Attacking the Fantastic Four while the group are performing a delicate scientific procedure on the Human Torch (whose powers had gone out of control), Klaw throws The Thing into the medical pod that was attempting to drain the excess radiation from Torch, resulting in Ben Grimm being returned to normal. Klaw and his teammates, along with the Fantastic Four, are quickly captured by the rogue Watcher Aron, who ultimately returns Klaw and his fellow villains to prison after the Fantastic Four break free.
Klaw's imprisonment would not last. Escaping during the Acts of Vengeance story line, Klaw is taken in by A.I.M., who plant a pain-control device into his gun-hand to control him. He is then sent to attack the reformed supervillainess Volcana, in hopes of luring out her lover Molecule Man but abandons the battle when his gun-hand is destroyed.[volume & issue needed] Klaw is later recruited by the "Pacific Overlords" group, led by Doctor Demonicus, but turns against the group and instead aids the West Coast Avengers in defeating them when it becomes apparent that Demonicus had become a thrall of a dangerous demon.[volume & issue needed] He later joins Justine Hammer's version of the Masters of Evil, fighting the Thunderbolts on several occasions.[volume & issue needed] When Earth's vibranium deposits begin to explode due to a 'vibranium cancer' introduced into the world when Captain America's shield was broken and improperly repaired,[volume & issue needed] Klaw travels to Wakanda with the goal of absorbing the sound energy of the imminent explosion to become even stronger. Captain America is able to defeat him when he uses the damaged shield to absorb Klaw's attack. The blast realigns the shield molecules so that the shield is repaired and the vibranium cancer destroyed.
Klaw features in the opening arc of the fourth Black Panther series, a flashback story that features the origin of the title character. The character ultimately resurfaces again, having (through unknown means) successfully uploaded his sound based essence onto the Internet and later been downloaded, via BitTorrent, by the Wizard to fight the Fantastic Four again as part of a new incarnation of the Frightful Four.
Klaw is enlisted by the Wizard to capture Carnage, so that he can be added to the latest version of the Frightful Four, alongside Karl Malus. The Wizard's attempts to control the symbiote (which is in control of Kasady's lobotomised body) fail, so he decides to bond it to Malus, and subdue his mind. Klaw subdues Malus, and the operation is a success, creating "Superior Carnage". The "Frightful Foundation" then attack New York city hall, as part of Wizard's plan to get his clone son's attention. During a battle with Superior Spider-Man, Wizard loses control of Superior Carnage, who stabs Klaw with a vibranium spear, causing him to detonate. The sonic explosion tears the symbiote away from Malus, and onto Wizard, but it then abandons him for Kasady (Whom Superior Spider-Man had brought to the scene). As Carnage attempts to kill Wizard, Klaw, whose consciousness had been projected onto the "sound wall" of the universe by the explosion, focuses the last of his strength into creating a bolt of lightning that brings down Carnage, separating the symbiote from its host. Klaw reflects that that could be his final act, as his essence spreads further into the sound wall, and will soon be too thin for him to retain his consciousness.
Powers and abilities
Courtesy of a vibranium-powered sonic converter, Ulysses Klaw was converted into a being composed of psionically "solidified" sound, giving him a somewhat inhuman appearance. The character is described as having superhuman durability and strength sufficient to lift tons of matter. The molybdenum steel sound generator that serves as a prosthetic appliance on Klaw's right wrist is able to transform ambient sound to perform a series of functions, including the projection of intense high-volume sonic waves and blasts of concussive force and the creation of mobile sound/mass constructs. The sound converter was invented by Klaw and later improved by AIM scientists and technicians.[volume & issue needed] Klaw can also sense his surroundings using sonar. When he fought Volcana while trying to abduct Molecule Man he demonstrated the ability to create "cohesive sound".[volume & issue needed] This was essentially an entangling/crushing construct that absorbed ambient noise to increase its size and strength. The noise from the target's struggles to remove the construct would make it larger and stronger. Volcana was only able to escape it by changing into her ash form.[volume & issue needed] After Klaw became temporarily commingled with the ship of the cosmic entity Galactus and reconstructed by Doctor Doom, he became able to create semi-autonomous creatures that he could direct to attack his foes and his creatures are similarly made of solidified sound and display a similar superhuman strength level as Klaw himself.
Klaw is unable to regain his original organic form. He has a susceptibility to vibranium, which can cause his mass/energy form to temporarily collapse. He is also subject to temporary mild insanity when forced to exist as sonic energy without humanoid form for long periods of time. As a result of his transformation, Klaw was at first unable to exist outside a medium that allows the propagation of sound waves (i.e. in a vacuum) without the technological improvements made to his sonic converter by AIM. But after being reconstituted by A.I.M. his "solid sound" body has different properties than normal sound waves and is not affected by a vacuum.[volume & issue needed] It was demonstrated that in this form that Klaw could also generate and direct sonic attacks through physical objects without needing his emitter by merely touching the material.
Ulysses Klaw holds a Ph.D. in physics and is an expert physicist specializing in applied sonics.
In other media
- Klaw appeared in the 1967 Fantastic Four animated series, voiced by Hal Smith.
- Klaw appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. He had a cameo appearance in the episode "Attack of the Arachnoid".
- Klaw appeared in the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series, voiced by Charles Howerton. His hand remains intact during T'Chaka's death. In retaliation for T'Chaka's death, T'Challa ends up attacking Klaw, costing Klaw his right hand. In the episode "Prey of the Black Panther", Klaw returns years later to attack Wakanda sporting a sonic inverter; he ends up fighting the Fantastic Four and Black Panther. During one of those fights, Klaw is transformed into his solidified sound form. The Fantastic Four and Black Panther defeat him by having him absorbed by the Vibranium pile.
- Klaw has a non-voiced appearance in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes. In the episode "Frightful", he is shown as a member of the Frightful Four.
- Klaw appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by A. J. Buckley. In the episode "Hulk Talk Smack", he and Screaming Mimi are sent by Doctor Doom to recover a fractal from the library. Later, they are sent with Melter and Toad to search for a fractal at the local reservoir.
- Klaw appears in the BET/Marvel Black Panther animated series, voiced by Stephen Stanton. This version has a cybernetic hand that can convert into a sonic weapon. His history of killing T'Chaka remains intact with the series. Similarly to the "Who is the Black Panther" story arc, he assembles Batroc the Leaper, Juggernaut, Radioactive Man, Black Knight, and some mercenaries to help him invade Wakanda.
- Klaw appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Mark Hamill. In the episode "The Man in the Ant Hill", he leads a small band of mercenaries to a S.H.I.E.L.D. research facility in Africa in order to steal a sample of Vibranium. After killing the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents guarding the facility, Klaw and his men attempt to take the Vibranium from Hank Pym running the project. Ant-Man's abilities easily defeat the mercenaries, but Klaw escapes before Ant-Man can capture him as well. Klaw was later mentioned as the one who hired Whirlwind to obtain the Sonic Disruptor for him. Later in the episode, Klaw sports the Sonic Disruptor over his right hand and assists Man-Ape in killing T'Chaka in order to seize control of Wakanda's vibranium deposits. In the episode "Panther's Quest", Klaw ends up fighting Ant-Man until the Grim Reaper blasts Klaw into the Vibranium mound, turning him into a sound being. Klaw attacks the HYDRA Agents in retaliation. Ant-Man and Iron Man managed to use the Vibranium to contain the Sonic Emitter, enabling the Vibranium to absorb Klaw.
- Klaw appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Matt Lanter. He appears as a member of the Frightful Four.
- Ulysses Klaue appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series, voiced by David Shaughnessy (in Avengers: Ultron Revolution), and by Trevor Devall (in Avengers: Black Panther's Quest). This version has his signature sonic converter in place of his left hand. In the episode "Thunderbolts Revealed", while in the middle of a Vibranium deal with Helmut Zemo, he ends up fighting the Avengers and the Thunderbolts. While fleeing from both groups, Klaue runs into Citizen V, the one who had secretly hired him to steal the Vibranium. Upon being defeated, Citizen V places a device on Klaue's unconscious body and others on the Vibranium containers. Later on, the device goes off, merging Klaue with the Vibranium as a Vibranium version of himself. It takes the Avengers and the Thunderbolts to defeat him. When Citizen V is outed, Baron Zemo uses the remnants of Klaue's energies as a giant energy monster. Captain America and Songbird were able to cause the energy monster to fall apart. In the episode "Panther's Rage", Klaue reassembles and hires Crossbones to take out T'Challa. After Crossbones's failure, Klaue goes to Wakanda, where he ends up stealing some Vibranium, including Captain America's shield which Black Panther 'reclaims'. While in his hideout in the Himalayas, he combines the Vibranium into a special armor, which he wears to confront the Avengers and Black Panther. After the Avengers and Black Panther use a tactic to defeat Klaue, he is taken back to Wakanda to answer for his crimes, and his Vibranium armor put in Wakandan custody. In the episode "The Night Has Wings", Ulysses uses special collars on a bunch of bats who mutated to giant size upon nesting in a Vibranium cave for centuries, making them the source of a Wakandan monster myth. After Black Panther thwarts the weaponizing plot, Klaue flees from the giant bat. Afterwards, he is approached by Killmonger who gives Klaue water and money in exchange for information that Klaue had found in the caves.
- Ulysses Klaue appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda, voiced by Trevor Devall.
- Andy Serkis portrays Ulysses Klaue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This version of the character is an Afrikaner arms dealer and is not shown to have any superhuman powers.
- Klaue first appears in the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron. As revealed in the movie's storyline, Klaue is an old acquaintance of Tony Stark before the events of Iron Man. Klaue was literally branded a thief when he successfully stole a large amount of Vibranium from Wakanda. Klaue was one of the people essential to Ultron's plan, where he was forced to give Ultron the Vibranium he possessed before being compensated when the android filled his bank account with billions of dollars. Klaue accidentally enrages Ultron by pointing out the android's similarity to Stark, which causes Ultron to sever half of Klaue's left arm. Wounded and enraged, Klaue is evacuated from his base by a minion during the Avengers' fight with Ultron.
- Ulysses Klaue returns in the 2018 film Black Panther. After the events of Age of Ultron, he has replaced his left arm with a prosthetic that contains a retractable piece of advanced Wakandan mining equipment as a sonic disruptor arm-cannon. It is revealed that years ago Klaue received help from a rogue Wakandan prince named N'Jobu to steal vibranium from the country. He later allies with N'Jobu's son Erik Killmonger. Following a sting on a Korean casino, Klaue is apprehended by Black Panther and interrogated. After springing him from CIA custody, Erik kills Klaue and brings his body to Wakanda as an offering to gain access to the throne.
- Klaw appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
- Klaw appears as a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
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