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Klaw (Marvel Comics)

Klaw battles the Fantastic Four on the cover of Fantastic Four #56 (Nov. 1966).
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Fantastic Four #53 (Aug 1966)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Ulysses Klaue
Team affiliations Frightful Four
Masters of Evil
Fearsome Foursome
Abilities Expert physicist
Superhuman strength and durability
Sound manipulation

Ulysses Klaw is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He 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 of Klaw is featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as arcade and video games, animated television series, and merchandise such as trading cards. Andy Serkis plays the character in the film Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Publication history

The character first appeared in Fantastic Four #53 (1966) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography

Early life

In Fantastic Four Unlimited #1 #1 in Ulysses Klaue was the son of Nazi war criminal Colonel Fritz Klaue of the Blitzkrieg Squad led by Baron Strucker. He was sent to Wakanda to learn their secrets by Adolf Hitler. After World War II he moved back to Belgium and later anglicized his name to "Klaw," and raised his son with tales of Wakanda.[1]

Ulysses Klaw first appears in a flashback in Fantastic Four #53 (Aug 1966) as 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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. The Panther manages to subdue Klaw and Solarr before he could make good his threat.[7]

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 repulsed the invaders, Klaw flees into the Sheenarean dimension, and unable to salvage anything substantial from his allies, uses their technology to return to Earth.[8]

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.[9]

Klaw found 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 backfired.[10] He found himself imprisoned within his own gun-hand, which was 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.[11]

After that, Klaw fights the Thing, Ka-Zar, and American Eagle.[12]

Klaw's career would soon take a downward spiral, after an encounter with the mutant Dazzler resulted in his humanoid form being dissolved and his sound energy being blasted out into space, where it ended up being collected by Galactus.[13] His energy was found by Doctor Doom during the limited series Secret Wars. Doom restored Klaw to normal. Sadly, the loss of his physical form had repercussions; Klaw now had the mind of a child and was quite insane, a symptom of which was speaking in rhyme. Doom exploited 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 possessed Klaw after losing his powers, which led to Klaw tricking Doom into giving up his stolen Godhood and teleporting the two back to Earth, where Klaw's mental state slowly healed.[14]

Klaw fought 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 performed a delicate scientific procedure on the Human Torch (whose powers had gone out of control), Klaw threw 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, would quickly be captured by the rogue Watcher Aron, who ultimately returned Klaw and his fellow villains to prison after the Fantastic Four broke free.[15]

Klaw's imprisonment would not last. Escaping during the Acts of Vengeance story line, Klaw was taken in by A.I.M., who planted a pain-control device into his gun-hand to control him. He was sent to attack the reformed supervillainess Volcana, in hopes of luring out her lover Molecule Man but abandoned the battle when his gun-hand was destroyed.[volume & issue needed] Klaw was later recruited by the "Pacific Overlords" group, led by Doctor Demonicus, but turned against the group and instead aided the West Coast Avengers in defeating them when it became apparent that Demonicus had become a thrall of a dangerous demon.[volume & issue needed] He later joined Justine Hammer's version of the Masters of Evil, fighting the Thunderbolts on several occasions.[volume & issue needed] When Earth's vibranium deposits began 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 travelled to Wakanda with the goal of absorbing the sound energy of the imminent explosion to become even stronger. Captain America was able to defeat him when he used the damaged shield to absorb Klaw's attack. The blast realigned the shield molecules so that the shield was repaired and the vibranium cancer destroyed.[16]

Klaw was featured in the opening arc of the fourth Black Panther series, a flashback story that featured the origin of the title character. The character ultimately resurfaced again, having (through unknown means) successfully uploaded his sound based essence onto the Internet and was downloaded, via BitTorrent, by the Wizard to fight the Fantastic Four again as part of a new incarnation of the Frightful Four.[17]

Klaw was later seen with Wizard's Frightful Four when it comes to helping Intelligencia capture Mister Fantastic.[18]

Chameleon later poses as Klaw in order to infiltrate Intelligencia and be ready for the Sinister Six to attack them.[19]

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.[20]

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 strength and durability. 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]

As a result of his transformation, Klaw has the inability 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. He also has the inability to regain his original organic form. He has a susceptibility to vibranium, which can cause his mass/energy form to collapse. He is also subject to temporary mild insanity when forced to exist as sonic energy without humanoid form for long periods of time.

The character later becomes a creature composed of sound waves, and while apparently more powerful has a susceptibility to vibranium, which causes his mass to deteriorate. In some appearances this new form shows susceptibility to atmospheric vacuums (as sound cannot exist without a medium), 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 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.

Other versions


In the last issue Klaw is among the enthralled villains defending Krona's stronghold, and is defeated by Black Lightning.[21]

Marvel Zombies

Klaw is infected by the "zombification virus" when a zombified Mister Fantastic bites him. As described in Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, and Ultimate Fantastic Four, this infection made him battle the zombie Fantastic Four and the Ultimate Fantastic Four.[volume & issue needed] Klaw tried to revive himself, however the zombie Spider-Man stopped him, only for him to accidentally chop one of his legs off while trying to catch him in his web. Klaw is killed when zombies Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Quicksilver, Wasp and Colonel America expose him to radiation which devours him completely.[volume & issue needed]

Heroes Reborn

In the Heroes Reborn universe, created by Franklin Richards, Klaw appeared as a member of Loki's Masters of Evil.[22]

In other media



Video games

  • Klaw is an unlockable character in Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics.


  1. ^ Fantastic Four Unlimited #1 #1
  2. ^ Fantastic Four #53
  3. ^ Fantastic Four #56
  4. ^ Avengers #54-55
  5. ^ Avengers #83
  6. ^ Fantastic Four #119
  7. ^ Avengers #126
  8. ^ Ka-Zar Vol. 2 #16-20
  9. ^ Fantastic Four #187
  10. ^ Black Panther Vol. 1 #14-15
  11. ^ Marvel Two-in-One #57-58
  12. ^ Marvel Two-in-One Annual #6
  13. ^ Dazzler #9-11
  14. ^ Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #6-12
  15. ^ Fantastic Four #326-333
  16. ^ Captain America (vol. 3) #22
  17. ^ Fantastic Four #547
  18. ^ Hulk Vol. 2 #19, March 2010
  19. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #676
  20. ^ Superior Carnage #1-5
  21. ^ JLA/Avengers #1
  22. ^ Avengers Vol. 2 #8
  23. ^ "Marvel Super Hero Squad Voice Cast". 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ New Stills, Behind-the-Scenes in High Resolution; Serkis Confirmed as Klaw". Stitch Kingdom. February 3, 2015. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015. 

External links