In Black Panther, the hero will be facing off with Erik Killmonger as a potential usurper to the throne of Wakanda, but it would seem that T’Challa’s greatest threat is actually Ulysses Klaue, one of the character’s biggest enemies from the comic books.
Klaue’s presence in the film is certainly no secret, but details of his involvement in the plot have been sparse until now. In an interview with EW, Chadwick Boseman, who plays the titular hero, spoke about his character’s journey as well as the primary obstacle he must contend with to protect his people:
Klaue is the real villain. I can say that I identify with Killmonger’s character. It’s going to be a fun character. He definitely has a different point of view. They are polar opposites. A superhero movie is only as great as its villains. I think they both provide a piece of that.
Boseman also talked about Klaue’s plans to weaponize vibranium, and what evil he could accomplish with it. In describing the terrorism Klaue is capable of, Boseman called him the “Osama bin Laden of the movie.”
It was suspected that Klaue would be in the film ever since the character, played by Andy Serkis, appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron as an arms dealer who provides Ultron with a supply of vibranium. It was his confrontation with Ultron that cost him his hand. To fans, this was the perfect set-up for the character to follow in the footsteps of his comic book counterpart.
Having first appeared in Fantastic Four #53, the character goes by the name “Klaw” and uses a vibranium-powered sonic converter which serves as a weapon of immense power for the supervillain. It allows Klaw to manipulate sound, making him a formidable foe of not just the Panther, but also the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. For the movie version of the character, he’ll either need the sonic converter or a different upgrade in order to be a physical match for Black Panther.
In the comics, the weapon replaced his missing hand, which he lost in an encounter with T’Challa. In the comics, T’Challa attacked Klaw because he murdered his father, T’Chaka. This aspect of T’Challa’s origin was reworked in Captain America: Civil War with Baron Zemo being the one who engineered T’Chaka’s death in an effort to frame the Winter Soldier.
In Black Panther, T’Challa and Klaue will share a different history, but we can be sure that even though this Klaue isn’t the killer of the late king of Wakanda, the two will still be bitter enemies.
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