Respect Ulysses Klaw, Sultan of Sound
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In hindsight, since Klaw is a rather old Marvel character who has been rather active, except for some of his temporary deaths, finding that he had a respectable number of comic appeareances shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did.
In the other hand, I should have been more surprised to discover than between crappy team-up perfomances and jobbing to the Black Panther, Klaw managed to bag himself a number of decently impressive feats during his long career.
Thus, although Klaw's main claim to fame is likely to remain him being cut to pieces by Doom as part of the scheme to drain Galactus' power in Secret Wars, I'll be presenting in this thread some of Klaw's more impressive appeareances.
Though there has been a relatively recent retcon in the third Black Panther series (apparently, Klaw is now supposed to be a South African assassin, rather than a power-crazed inventor/explorer who discovered the existence of vibranium in then primitive Wakanda), I'll reference Klaw's origin story as depicted in his first appeareance ever (Fantastic Four v1 #53).
In these, he is a power-hungry scientist who has discovered a technology that allows him to turn sound into solid mass, but which requires vibranium to function. As a result, he travels to Wakanda with a gang of mercenaries and when the Black Panther's father refuses to give him the rights to the Wakandan vibranium deposits, he has his mercenaries gun down the Wakandans.
Alas, an extremely young T'Challa finds one of Klaw's sonic converters (which one of the hired goons had forgotten) and scares away the gang after using it to blow up Klaw's hand. Years later, Klaw comes back, sets up a lab in a Wakandan cavern and builds a large scale sonic converter that he uses to create "sonimals", powerful animal constructs created out of solidified sound.
He sends out some of these critters to terrorize Wakanda, but the Fantastic Four (who happened to be visiting) deal with the sonimals, while Black Panther tracks down Klaw himself and blows up his lab. Klaw, trapped under a mountain of rubble decides to jump into his own sonic converter and turns himself into the being of pure sound that will go on to appear in two hundred plus comic issues.
Powers (I): Sonic Body
Following his passage through the sonic converter, Ulysses Klaw ceased to be a flesh-and-blood human. His body these days is a construct of solidified sonic energy, of unusual complexity and density.
In this sonic form, Klaw has none of the biological requirements of living humans, has a great deal of superhuman strength (enough to lift a small tank or win a fistfight against the Vision in maximum density mode) and is extraordinarily difficult to kill (Lyja the Laserfist once blew a hole through Klaw's chest to no effect and Doom famously cut Klaw into many small pieces without harming him). His unusual physical configuration also makes him impervious to telepathy and other attacks designed to disrupt the human nervous system. Finally, Klaw can use his sonic claw to modify his sonic body as he would any other sonic construct, which has been used at times to his advantage in combat (for example, in Fantastic Four Unlimited #5 Klaw made himself as small as Ant-Man to prevent the hero from escaping).
At the same time, the sonic body is not without its vulnerabilities. Just like any other sonic construct, Klaw usually cannot sustain his form in vacuum (he did in one instance, overcome this weakness with an AIM-designed replacement for his usual sonic horn, but that particular device has since been destroyed and Klaw's most recent replacements don't grant him that protection) and powerful enough physical attacks can trigger vibrations that cause him to lose sonic energy, to the point that blows from individuals with vast superhuman strength can weaken him enough to leave him in a temporary comatose state. For the same reasons, Klaw is hugely vulnerable to superbeings capable of draining his sonic energy (a list known to include Dazzler, Guardian of Alpha Flight and Miss Marvel), vibranium and, generally, any type of attack that disrupts the harmonic energies that form his body.
Powers (II): Sonimals & other animated sonic constructs
The prosthetic device that Klaw wears in the place of his right hand is a miniaturized version of his original sonic converter, that allows Klaw to manipulate sound in a variety of ways. The most unusual of these forms of sound manipulation is Klaw's ability to transform sound into solid matter and shape it according to his whim.
Klaw's most frequent creations are sonimals, sound constructs given the form of African animals (Klaw would seem to have a predilection for gorillas, panthers, snakes and elephants). The larger of these constructs tend to display strength in the class 50-80 range, have shown in some cases the interesting ability to reflect any attacking force that doesn't destroy the sonimal outright and in at least one instance were shown to phase through solid matter (Avengers #126).
In spite of the above, however, Klaw isn't restricted to modern animal shapes and over the years the sonic converter has been used to generate chimeric monsters, dinosaurs, robotic warriors, machinery, humanoid disguises for Klaw and sonic clones of the villain (sometimes called echoes).
As a point of interest, some of these constructs have shown autonomous sentience and the ability to survive on their own for extended periods of time, though they are weakened progressively by the loss of sonic energy.
Finally, in a particularly memorable instance (Marvel Fanfare #14), Klaw created construct replicas of the Fantastic Four (plus the Fantasticar) and Scarlet Witch to battle the Vision. These "perfect" F4 constructs were identical in appeareance to the originals and could somehow mimic their powers (including the flames of the Human Torch), which allowed them to defeat the Vision.
Powers (III): Walls, cages & other inanimate sonic constructs
In addition to animated constructs capable of more or less independent action, Klaw is fully capable of making inanimate things out of solid sound that in some cases have been shown to be more impressive than his animated constructs (particularly in terms of overall durability and resistance against harmonic disruption).
The bubble pictured above, for one of the very best examples, resisted a dual repulsor blast from Iron Man, a Mjolnir impact and energy bombardment by the Vision (all at the same time), as well as the forcefield disrupting effect of the Scarlet Witch's hex power. Moreover, it was designed to negate the Vision's phasing powers, but to let through Solarr's energy blasts. All in all, a pretty damn impressive construct.
Klaw also has a thing for combining sonic cages with ultrasonic bombardment to incapacitate or torture his victims. This may be seen in the image above, with several Avengers and Freedom Force as the victims, although he has also done it to a then depowered Reed Richards and several others over the years. In fact, he weaponized the concept with the construct he calls cohesive sound, a mass of tentacles that strangle a victim and grow larger and stronger by absorbind sound and vibrations caused by attempts to break it.
In addition to forcefields, Klaw has also created sonic restraints (as seen in the image above, which shows him restraining the Thunderbolts), platforms to carry flight-less allies, rockets to ferry around entire allied teams, stairs and such.
These exceptionally durable constructs, however, explicitly require Klaw to concentrate. Klaw being distracted weakened a cage construct enough for Vision to escape from it and knocking him out outright destroyed the construct that was being used to keep the Avengers and Freedom Force imprisoned.
They also have an additional vulnerability against silent attacks, as explained by the Thing here. While Klaw's sonic walls can absorb an almost indefinite number of class 80 strikes by absorbing the vibrations caused by the impacts, sustained high-intensity pressure in a small spot can rather easily overcome such barriers by exhausting the vibrational energy of the sonic wall without providing additional energy input.
To finish this post, it is worth remarking that Klaw can make constructs without line of sight and through obstructions, as long as there is a medium for him to transmit his sonic waves to the target location. However, he has certain range limitations in regards to fine control over his sonic constructs, according to Black Panther (a twenty city block radius is mentioned).
Powers (IV): Sonic Beams
In addition to the ability to create construcs of solid sound and other subtler forms of sonic control, Klaw's sonic converter can also fire sonic beams and blasts of substantial power.
Focused blasts have been used to stagger the Thing (Fantastic Four #56), one-shot the Human Torch (Fantastic Four #119), blast away the Vision (Marvel Fanfare #14), overwhelm Quasar (Marvel Two In One #57), blast through the shields of a distracted Invisible Woman (Fantastic Four #326), one-shot the Vision (Avengers Deathtrap: The Vault) and other feats of roughly similar caliber.
Moreover, Klaw can adjust the properties of his blasts to maximize their power. For example, in Marvel Two In One #57, he showed the ability to absorb with his body the vibrations caused by physical attacks (in the relevant case, punches from the Thing) and fire them back in the form of a suped up sonic blast. In an even better example, in Dazzler #9, Klaw used his knowledge of Quasar's energy powers to adjust the vibrational properties of his attacks in such a way that they became super-effective against Quasar and his constructs allowing him to soundly defeat Wendell Vaughn.
Klaw can also fire AoE blasts of highly respectable power. The image above (from Thunderbolts #20) shows Klaw taking down the entire line-up of the Thunderbolts with a single AoE blasts and other examples of this kind of attack have allowed him to knock around a group of minor Avengers (Avengers #83), one-shot Scarecrow, Rhino and Armadillo, all at the same time (Avengers Deathtrap: The Vault), and KO in one-shot the Thing, Black Goliath and Quasar (Marvel Two In One #57).
As for the image above, it is perhaps Klaw's greatest feat of destructive power, the sinking of Demonica Island (seen in West Coast Avengers #95). As a result of accidentally firing down a sonic blast, he caused a series of powerful earthquakes that eventually destroyed this accidental island artificially created by Doctor Demonicus.
To finish with this section, it is worth commenting that Klaw requires use of the sonic converter for ranged sonic attacks, but even with his weapon gone he is capable of releasing deadly sonic attacks through contact, such as when he pulverized Volcana (Fantastic Four Annual #24)
Good thread, keep it up
Klaw needs respect.
Originally posted by StiltmanFTW
Good thread, keep it up
Klaw needs respect.
Powers (V): Lesser sonic powers (I)
In addition to the mostly destructive abilities detailed in previous sections, Klaw can also manipulate sound in a number of subtler (but no less useful) ways.
Though he has used it only rarely, Klaw is capable of using sound for hypnotic purposes as explained in the image above (from Marvel Two In One Annual #6). This hypnotic ability seems to be more effective with animals than with humans, but he has shown the ability to briefly control humans in a number of instances with a good example of this in Fantastic Four #187, when he hypnotized a random person into taking a wand which contained the mind of the Molecule Man.
Yes, somehow Klaw can make images out of non-solid sound, which makes about as much sense as the Flash making his uniform out of speed. In any case, he can do this and has used the ability a number of times (Avengers #126, Thunderbolts #18 and others).
Vibrational Machine Control
Being honest, it is kind of a random scene in Fantastic Four #326 and as far as I know Klaw has never used it again. Nevertheless, in this issue Klaw showed the ability to control machines remotely, activating a bunch of engines from a distance using vibrations, before using the sound of the engines to fly up to the Baxter Building.
Powers (VI): Lesser sonic powers (II)
Closely related to but distinct from the sonic beams, Klaw can use ultrasonic vibrations for AoE attacks.
In the image above (from Black Panther I #15), Klaw turns a random mass of metal into an emitter of such which he claims will eventually "tear apart" Black Panther. Though he was taken out before he could prove his claim, Klaw has shown the ability to disintegrate bullets with vibrations (Dazzler #9) and has repeteadly threatened with turning the organs of his victims into jelly, although stuff keeps happening before he can actually do so.
In the other hand, he has been allowed by the writers to use less destructive ultrasonics to incapacitate his victims with vertigo in a few instances (image is from Fantastic Force #1, but he has also done it in Daredevil #237, Black Panther III #28 and a couple other appeareances).
Super Sound Detection
Calling it super-hearing is probably inaccurate, since instead of Klaw hearing stuff it is the sonic converter that detects the sound sources in the fashion of a passive sonar. At any rate, this is good enough to detect an invisible Susan Storm thanks to her heartbeat (Fantastic Four #187).
Though it seems small beans in comparison to all the previously listed stuff, it is worth noting that Klaw can manipulate normal sound to his advantage.
Known things he can do include magnification of natural sounds (as in the image above, from Fantastic Four #56), their nullification (Fantastic Four #119) or their mimicry (he has, in a number of instances, been stated to copy the voice of other characters).
Vibranium Cancer Klaw (I)
Except for a brief period in which he suffered from power depletion (and was later repowered to higher than usual levels) in Black Panther I #14-15, Klaw's power level has remained relatively consistent. The exception to this can be found in the September 1999 and April 2000 period, when he appeared in a considerably powered up form in a couple of Captain America and Black Panther story arcs.
In a nutshell, as a result of stuff dealing with Captain America's shield breaking, vibranium deposits all over Marvel Earth started suffering from "vibranium cancer". This disaster caused vibranium objects all over the world to start releasing all energy they had previously absorbed with explosive results and there was fear of the vibranium deposits in Wakanda going critical with potentially lethal results for the entire African continent. At the time, Klaw was jailed in a vibranium cage following a defeat at the hands of the Thunderbolts and the explosion of his cell powered him up.
Klaw then went to Africa, where he intended to witness the destruction of his main weakness, and absorb the vibrations released by the detonation of the vibranium deposits which would have made him "the loudest sound on Earth". In Wakanda, he encountered and fought Captain America, who intended to prevent the vibranium explosion with a device created by Tony Stark. In spite of being overwhelmingly more powerful, Klaw accidentally absorbed the harmful vibrations that had shattered Captain America's shield, repairing it and giving Cap a weapon that proved exceedingly effective against Klaw despite his newfound power.
In the battle against Captain America, Klaw manifested a previously unseen number of sonimals, which he turned into a shockwave the moment Cap made a defense against the swarming constructs. He also displayed the ability to fly around as a mass of pink energy (prior to this story arc, Klaw had used constructs to fly).
However, despite being fragmented by Cap's shield, Klaw would come back shortly afterwards and keep for a while his augmented powers.
Vibranium Cancer Klaw (II)
A few months after his shattering, enemies of Black Panther manipulated the metahuman Vibraxas into helping Klaw reform. Immediately afterwards, Klaw started efforts to trigger World War III between Wakanda and the rest of the world. Step one in his program involved use of his flight-capable energy form to fly straight through the USS Roussos, an aircraft carrier which sank as a result of the attack.
Right afterwards, he went to the undersea nation of Lemuria, where he took down the local leader and copied his voice to order a full scale nuclear attack against Wakanda. From there, he flew at the speed of sound to New York were he located Black Panther and, after using his sonic powers to isolate him from allies, attacked T'Challa.
The attack? Klaw turned himself into a train and tried to run over the Panther.
Battle continued for a short while, with Klaw creating a baseball team of constructs to attack Panther, but upon getting hit a few times with vibranium claws, Klaw decided to escape and prepare for a rematch. He escaped by turning into energy ("40 GHz elliptical Z-band impulses"
and running through the power cables.
In any case, shortly afterwards, Klaw came back for that rematch. This time he tried to use vibrations to control a great volume of water shaped into his likeness, protecting his true corporeal form from direct attack by keeping it inside the giant water body.
Unfortunately for Klaw, Panther managed to use a vibranium dagger and knowledge of Klaw's sonic frequency to drag his solid sound body out of the water and, after stabbing him with the vibranium knife, actually tried to end Klaw once and for all. Although Klaw was saved by an enraged mob, which regarded Black Panther as a criminal dictator who had killed thousands by sinking an American carrier, he seems to have lost his enhanced power levels in subsequent appeareances.
Klaws of the Panther (I)
In the years since his brief power-up, Klaw has mostly faded into mediocrity. He enjoyed a brief stay in the Vault, got captured by heroes several times, helped Miss Marvel discover her ability to absorb sonic energy, did a number of (not terribly successful) team-ups and played a role as a minor associate of the Intelligencia in their war against the Hulks. However, he was the main villain in the mini-series Klaws of the Panther and there he got some elbow room, which allowed him to collect a few more feats and regain some of his lost major threat cred.
Following the destruction of most Wakandan vibranium in Doomwar, Klaw starts collecting Savage Land Vibranium for his Master Plan in association with AIM. He lures the new Black Panther to Antarctica by copying Ka-Zar's voice and once she arrives there, she discovers that Klaw is going to run with the SLV he has collected and nuke the place to get rid of the rest of anti-metal. After a brief fight, during which Klaw shows that he can repair damage to his body, he runs away with the nukes about to detonate. Luckily, Storm arrives in the last second and EMPs the nukes, preventing their detonation.
Alas, Klaw uses his sonic blaster to cause a eruption in a nearby volcano and forces the heroes to stay behind to contain the damage.
After tracking down SLV shipments with Wolverine's help, Black Panther manages to capture an AIM goon that starts spilling the beans. Unfortunately, Klaw shows up and, in a rare chance to show what his blasts can do to humans, splatters the mook and then blasts a piece of Wolverine's arm before running away.
Klaw reveals afterwards that he became aware of the ongoing interrogation of the goon, as well as other signs of disloyalty from his AIM associates, thanks to his superhuman hearing. In the long run, all this does him little good, since Black Panther manages to capture more talkative AIM goons with the help of Spiderman (the single Avenger available for a team-up at the time). This second AIM goon helpfully explains that Klaw has developed an improved form of sonic mind control and that their gathering SLV has the sole purpose of turning orbital satellites into a network of projectors capable of firing this sonic mind control signal all over the planet. Klaw calls this the Scream and he intends to use it to become absolute master of the world.
Good work solid respect Thread, guys like Wizard, Trapster, & Stiltman need fans like you
Klaws of the Panther (II)
With new intelligence about AIM and Klaw's master plan, the Black Panther and Spiderman storm the AIM facility from where a device required for the Scream is supposed to launch to an AIM-controlled space station. Klaw is a peeved about all this and decides to intercept the intruders himself, so Spiderman tries to fight on his own against Klaw while Black Panther runs ahead and tries to disable the device on his own. Spiderman manages to buy some time by dodging sonic blasts like crazy, but his webbing gets torn, his physical attacks are not enough to hurt Ulysses and generally things end with Spidey getting severely beat up, although he amuses Klaw enough to leave him be.
After all, the Sultan of Sound expects that he will be able to make use of strong slaves such as Peter Parker in the future. Because, as it turns out, Black Panther couldn't disable the Scream-generating device.
For there is actually no such device. Rather, there is a young woman (the daughter of the head scientist of this particular AIM cell) called Joya who has been transformed into a sonic being like Klaw. Now, they call her MUSIC and she is a thousand times more powerful than Klaw himself. She is also the source of the Scream and she is already in orbit, in an AIM controlled space station.
So the world is screwed, essentially.
Black Panther and Black Widow actually manage to infiltrate the AIM space station, but don't do so in time to stop the Scream which apparently was everything Klaw expected and then some.
A brief fight in the control center of the space station ensues, and if Panther and Widow vs Klaw would have been long odds even in their best day, when Klaw starts drawing power from MUSIC to boost himself they are left with one single chance, which boils down to murdering Joya in cold blood. At this point, Klaw starts ranting that if they do that, he is atomizing them and their little dogs too. Also, he can create a new MUSIC out of some other foolish young woman, so it doesn't really matter if they kill this one so...
Well, much like Doctor Gero in Dragonball, Klaw seems to have failed to put much thought into insulting a being of his own creation whose power dwarfs his. This turns out for him about as well as it did for Gero, when MUSIC gets over her fear of Klaw and shouts him into space.
And that pretty much is that both for the storyline and for the thread.
I have some minor feats not included here, but they are heavily situational stuff and so I don't feel comfortable putting in a thread about Klaw's general capabilities though if something new happens I might do further updates.
Any case, hope this turns out to be of use for someone and those who read it enjoyed the trip.
A very good respect thread, keep it up.
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