Ulysses Klaw

Ulysses KlawFinally, Andy Serkis‘ mysterious role in Avengers: Age of Ultron has been officially revealed, and as many suspected already, he’s going to be Ulysses Klaw. His part in the story is still undisclosed, but since we know that in the comics Ultron gets a new Vibranium body to improve himself, and that Klaw has been trying to put his hands on Vibranium all his life, it’s likely he’ll be a mercenary hired to get some precious metal for the robot’s use. Since among the future Marvel projects there’s also a Black Panther movie, it’s almost a promise that we’ll see more of Serkis’ villain in future installments (maybe in a form closer to his solid-sound body from the comics). Waiting to learn something that goes beyond speculation from the movie, let’s see who this iconic villain is in the comics.

Ulysses Klaw’s family history is unavoidably linked to Wakanda, a small and hyper-technological African nation. One of his great-grandfathers, a racist and a self-proclaimed conqueror, had tried to invade Wakanda, only to be killed by the nation’s king and protector, the Black Panther. Even Ulysses’ father, the Blitzkrieg Squad‘s leader and Nazi operative Fritz Klaue, tried to steal the precious and rare metal Vibranium from Wakanda during World War II, but his mission was thwarted by that time’s Black Panther. Klaue’s failed project became an obsession, which he klawcomics1passed on to his son, Ulysses Klaw (the family had changed name after the war). Ulysses grew up to be a brilliant physician, and specialised in the study of sound: after reaching notoriety for his work in Rotterdam, Holland, and in AntwerpenBelgium, Klaw had the world recognize his theories about the possibility of turning sound into solid objects. However, there was still one element missing for Klaw’s theory to become reality: Vibranium, the only metal capable of completely harnessing soundwaves the way he needed. The only place on Earth in which Vibranium could be found in natural mines was Wakanda, so the family’s curse came haunting him as well. Klaw joined a mercenary group in order to reach Africa, and then followed his own plans to obtain the metal…most of the time sacrificing the lives of the locals if they didn’t comply to his requests. When Wakandan king T’Chaka learnt about this, he faced the invader as the Black Panther, but in the following fight, although Klaw was severely wounded, the one to be killed was the king (the Belgian government paid Klaw for the killing, believing that Wakanda would have been lighter on exporting Vibranium without the conservative ruler). Before he could flee from the scene, Klaw was confronted by Prince T’Challa, who destroyed his right hand using one of his own sound machines and forced him and his men to retreat from Wakanda. Back in Belgium, Klaw had his right hand replaced with a sonic-force blaster of his own invention, and started to plan his return to Africa.

After ten years of plotting and experimenting, Klaw finally came back to Wakanda, only to find T’Challa had become the new Black Panther and the new king. The scientist started stealing Vibranium once again, and he built a giant sound converter he wanted to use to kill the king and take over the country…but the Black Panther wasn’t alone this time, as the Fantastic Four were in Wakanda. Klaw tried to battle both the king and his superhero friends, but klawcomics2odds weren’t at his favor, and his weapons weren’t enough: he then made the gamble of his life, and jumped into his sound converter, hoping to gain the power he needed to face his enemies. Instead of dying as everybody expected, Klaw emerged from the destroyed machine as a being composed of living sound, capable of manipulating and harnessing sound in whatever form and way he liked. This time, Klaw proved to be more than a match for the five superheroes combined, but he eventually was knocked out by Mr. Fantastic, who used Vibranium knuckle guards in order to be able to touch him. Imprisoned, Klaw had all the time in the world to study his new body and powers, so that he wouldn’t have fall for such a simple trick as the one Mr. Fantasic had used to keep him trapped. Eventually, however, he was freed from prison by the Crimson Cowl (an alias at the time used by Ultron), who recruited him to be a part of the new Masters of Evil: the Cowl’s plan was to infiltrate Avengers Mansion with the unwilling help of their brainwashed butler, Edwin Jarvis, and to destroy the World’s Mightiest Heroes, an offer that Klaw gladly accepted, since Black Panther was at the time a member of the Avengers. The villains at first overpowered the heroes, but as always happens the situation was soon turned upside down, and the Avengers managed to defeat the Masters of Evil because of the betrayal of one of their members, the Black Knight. Klaw was imprisoned once again, but he was now far too powerful for any known prison to contain him…

Ulysses Klaw is an extremely intelligent, yet extremely vicious man; a brilliant physician and engineer, he’s also a cold-blooded murderer and a pitiless conqueror, who uses his great intellect for a personal benefit only, most of the time sacrificing the lives of many for his own purposes. With a body made of solid sound, Klaw is able to do by himself most of the things he used weapons for, and much more: being quasi-solid, he’s impervious to most damages, and resistant to physical assaults; he’s also unable to age or to grow sick, and gained superhuman physical attributes since he’s no longer bounded by matter. His prosthetic sound converter allows him to absorb ambient sound and to transform it into a variety of ways, from generating extremely powerful blasts of energy to creating three-dimensional constructs of solid sound he can control with his force of will. Ulysses Klaw is an extremely powerful being, unique in his nature, a threat like the world had never seen before, with a neverending obsession with Wakanda and Vibranium, still the only natural element that can physically harm him.

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7 Comments

  1. […] The prince came back to his homecountry, but a bad welcome was awaiting for him: the adventurer Ulysses Klaw had arrived to Wakanda to try and steal the Vibranium, and T’Chaka, who tried to stop him, […]

  2. […] the disguise of the Crimson Cowl, he gathered the second Black Knight (son of the original), Klaw, Melter, Radioactive Man and Whirlwind, forming the second incarnation of the Masters of Evil. […]

  3. […] country; Shuri, as a princess, swore her loyalty to him, but kept training as a warrior. The day Klaw invaded Wakanda with his mercenaries, Shuri did her part, and she faced Igor Stancheck, the […]

  4. […] he’ll come back to his homeland with no good intentions (possibly allied with the mercenary Klaw). We don’t know anything else as for now, but he surely looks menacing…and he’ll […]

  5. […] W’Kabi was born in the hidden African nation of Wakanda, in an unspecified village. As a young man, he was a skilled warrior serving in the national army, and he met Chandra, a girl who would have become his wife. From Chandra he had two sons, Kono and an unnamed little one. W’Kabi was a respected member of his village, and as an adult he became the elder, leading his people and representing them in national matters. Because of his role, he moved to the Royal Palace along with his family, and joined the Taifa Ngao (the “Shield of the Nation“), the council of tribal elders. Along with his fellow councilmen, he briefed King T’Chaka on the villages’ situation, and adviced him in his policy, always with the greatest respect for his decisions and a total obedience. It was in this period that, due to his skills and experience as a warrior and a chieftain, T’Chaka named W’Kabi the new Chief of Security in the palace, a prestigious title, but also a dangerous one, that included the duty of protecting the king and the other important personalities of the government. Due to an unknown menace he repelled, W’Kabi lost an arm, and he replaced it with a bionic one, a weaponized limb that made him an even more proficient combatant. This duty, however, often put him at odds with his wife Chandra, and the two of them always fought for the tasks the king appointed him with (sometimes even in front of their children, despite W’Kabi always tried not to). Despite the problems with his wife, W’Kabi never thought of renouncing to his responsibilities…not even when, despite his guard, King T’Chaka was killed by a foreigner, the mercenary Ulysses Klaw. […]

  6. […] trying for the queen and for Wakanda: King T’Chaka was killed by a foreigner mercenary, Ulysses Klaw, and the young T’Challa took his place in the lead of his country. Ramonda witnessed her […]

  7. […] king. Wakanda faced a grave danger when it was invaded by the forces of the European mercenary Ulysses Klaw, who wanted to steal the country’s Vibranium; as the king, in the garb of the Black Panther, […]


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