Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Klaw first struck a chord with readers in Fantastic Four #53 (1966). In a flashback, mad scientist Ulysses Klaw safaris into the African nation of Wakanda for its uncommon mineral vibranium, needed to power his “sound transformer.” King T'Chaka forbids this interloper access; Klaw responds by ordering his aides to shoot the king before the horrified eyes of his son, T'Challa. The grieving lad defiantly fires Klaw's own weapon at him, destroying the scientist's right hand. Flash forward to the present, as an unforgiving Klaw resurfaces wearing a sonic prosthetic, seeking revenge against the adult T'Challa—now the superhero Black Panther—who, aided by his friends the Fantastic Four, defeats this self-proclaimed Master of Sound. At story's end, Klaw cryptically crawls into the aural vortex of his sound transformer. Three issues later (#56, 1966), Klaw was back, re-created into a crimson-hued robotic-like being of living sound. With his sonic claw channeling his powers, Klaw pummeled the FF with concussive blasts and near-deafening acoustic surges. This story was adapted to animation in an episode of Hanna-Barbera's Fantastic Four series (1967–1970), in which the villain's name was altered to “Klaws.” FF #53, Klaw's origin, was retread as “Prey of the Black Panther” in the third cartoon incarnation of Fantastic Four (1994–1996). In this version, Klaw, played by Charles Howarton, was a businessman, not a scientist. After his two initial comic-book outings, Klaw was back in print in 1968 as one of the Masters of Evil, challenging a different super-team, the Avengers. Since then, he has proven one of Marvel Comics' most durable do-badders, continuing his grudge against the Black Panther but also battling Ka-Zar, Quasar, the Thunderbolts, and Captain America, and joining forces with Dr. Doom, the Molecule Man, the Frightful Four, and other villains.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.