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I only deal with the man in charge...
~ Klaue

Ulysses Klaue is a major antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He serves as a minor antagonist in the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron and the secondary antagonist of the 2018 film Black Panther.

He was portrayed by Andy Serkis who has also played Gollum and the Witch-King of Angmar, Mr. Grin, Capricorn, Spike , and Supreme Leader Snoke.

Personality

So if you're going to fiddle with my brain and make me see a giant cuttlefish, then I know you don't do business and I know you're not in charge, and I only deal with the man in charge.
~ Klaue to Wanda Maximoff, describing himself

Ulysses Klaue is confident, devious, manipulative, greedy, and horrifyingly ruthless. He commits murder and mayhem with glee and commands his army of henchmen with an iron fist. He claims to be terrified of cuttlefish, though this may just be part of his taunting Wanda Maximoff.

Klaue is a nefarious black market arms dealer, smuggler, and gangster who operates out of South Africa. He is obsessed with gaining Vibranium metal at any cost and has successfully stolen it from Wakanda once. Klaue is known to Tony Stark from the Stark Industries' time as weapons dealer. After a run-in with Ultron that results in the loss of his arm, Klaue comes into conflict once again with Wakanda through his partnership with Wakandan exile Erik Killmonger.

Biography

Early Life

Nothing is known about Klaw's early life other than that he was born in South Africa. It is, however, known that before the events of Age of Ultron, he successfully stole a large quantity of vibranium from Wakanda. He escapes alive but scarred, becoming one of the few people outside of Wakanda who knows the truth of the country's wealth and technological advancement.

Deal with Ultron

In Age of Ultron, Klaw is first shown talking with an associate, whom he threatens to kill. As he takes a second call, the lights go out and Klaw, who has picked up a gun, is disarmed by Quicksilver. Klaw recognizes the Maximoffs and, after toying with them dismissively, demands to speak to "the man in charge."

The one in charge is Ultron, who pays Klaw several billion dollars for vibranium. But this relationship quickly sours: Ultron says something Klaw recognizes from Tony Stark and accuses Ultron of being "one of his." This enrages Ultron, who cuts of Klaw's arm, then apologizes while kicking Klaw down a flight of stairs. Klaw manages to escape with his life when the Avengers interrupt Ultron's monologuing.

Teaming with Killmonger

Some time later, Klaw reappears working with Erik Killmonger to steal artifacts from a museum in London. He gleefully kills multiple people during the heist and reveals what he calls "just a taste" of the power of his prosthetic hand.

In Wakanda, T'Challa and the Wakandan Council discuss the theft and Klaw's history with Wakanda. We find out that the last time Klaw was in Wakanda—some 30 years prior—he killed many people, including the family of W'Kabi, head of Wakanda's Border Tribe and best friend to T'Challa. T'Challa plans to apprehend Klaw at an underground gambling establishment in Korea, where Klaw will be selling vibranium to an unknown buyer. W'Kabi blames T'Challa's father for not bringing Klaw to justice long ago and exacts a promise from T'Challa: kill Klaw on sight or bring him back to Wakanda as his father failed to do.

T'challa, Nakia, and Okoye (with Shuri assisting remotely) arrive at the club and find that the mysterious buyer is CIA agent Everett Ross. A chaotic firefight ensues, Klaw and his henchmen escape with T'Challa and the others in pursuit. After a road chase in which the powerful sonic cannon in Klaw's prosthesis temporarily gives him the upper hand, Klaw is eventually taken into Ross's custody.

Klaw glibly mocks Ross during his interrogation and reveals the true nature of Wakanda. Before Ross has much of a chance to question T'Challa about Klaw's claims, Nakia runs in with a warning that something is up out back. Just then, Killmonger and his partner in crime and seeming love interest blow through the wall and free Klaw. But this relationship also sours quickly: Killmonger wants to go to Wakanda, but Klaw refuses and takes Killmonger's girlfriend hostage, using her as a human shield. Killmonger assures her that everything will be fine, then kills her with no hesitation or remorse. After a bit of a gunfight, Killmonger fatally shoots Klaw, who was at a disadvantage with only one arm.

Klaw sneers at Killmonger's supposed stupidity for wanting to go to Wakanda, showing him a brand they gave him while he was there as a sign of what happens to outsiders, and asks Killmonger what makes him think he can get in. Killmonger shows him the hidden markings under his lips (his true name, N'Jadaka), revealing that he is a Wakandan exile. Klaw simply finds it amusing to be played by someone he thought to be "...Just some crazy American", and laughs maniacally before Killmonger finishes him off with another shot. Killmonger brings his body to Wakanda and delivers it to W'Kabi in order to be allowed to enter the country.

Abilities

Klaue had possessed many abilities, such as:

  • Cleverness: Klau manages to sneak into Wakanda, and seems to have a knack for escaping dangerous situations and evading capture.
  • Physical Strength: Though not shown to be enhanced, Klaue is a strong and capable combatant.
  • Firearm Skills: Fittingly for an arms dealer, Klaue seems comfortable and skilled in a shootout.
  • Vast Resources: Klaue has amassed a considerable amount of wealth and an army of henchmen as a black market arms dealer.
  • Expert Assassin: He is an incredibly skilled individual at executing assassinations when getting paid.

Weapons

  • Beretta 90Two: This gun was Klaue's weapon of choice in Avengers: Age of Ultron and he used it as his own personal sidearm.
  • Salient Arms International Glock 17: Klaue used this custom Glock as his sidearm in Black Panther.
  • SIG Sauer P226R: In Black Panther Klaue used this pistol during his confrontation with Agent Everett Ross in South Korea.
  • Sonic cannon: After losing his arm in Age of Ultron, Klaue has a prosthetic one outfitted with a sonic weapon of varying intensity.

Relationships

Family

  • Great Grandfather †

Allies

  • Intelligencia - Former Employers
  • Baron Wolfgang von Strucker † - Acquaintance
  • N’Jobu - Ally
  • Klaue's Army - Subordinates
  • Klaue's Mercenaries - Subordinates and Right-Hand
  • Erik Killmonger - Employer and Killer

Enemies

  • T'Challa - Archenemy
  • T'Chaka † - Former Target
  • Ultron
  • Quicksilver
  • Scarlet Witch
  • The Avengers
    • Steve Rogers/Captain America
    • Tony Stark/Iron Man - Former Acquaintance
    • Thor
    • Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
    • Clint Barton/Hawkeye

Quotes

Klaue: Shoot them!
Mercenary: Which ones?
Klaue: ALL OF THEM!
~ Klaue's last words to his mercenary before he escaping.
Ultron: Upon this rock, I will build my church. Vibranium.
Klaue: You know, it came at great personal cost. It’s worth billions...
Ultron: Now, so are you. It’s all under your...dummy holdings? FInance is so weird. But I always say, "Keep your friends rich and your enemies rich, and wait to find out which is which."
~ Ultron and Klaue discussing on their deal

Trivia

  • In the comics, Klaue was once a chemist and a scientist and not a criminal.
  • In the comics, Klaw was T'Chaka's killer. However, in the MCU, it was Helmut Zemo who caused the king's death.
  • All the Phase 2 movies featured a scene where someone loses an arm or hand, in reference to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In Age of Ultron, that someone is Klaue. Those Star Wars references are Kevin Feige's ideas, as he himself is a fan of Star Wars.
  • Klaue claims to be terrified of cuttlefish.
  • Klaue is the number one enemy of Wakanda throughout the first half of Black Panther (and consequentially most of the MCU up to that point), being the first ever to smuggle Vibranium, damage their property and cause casualties and get away with it, and Erik Killmonger is still working with him and keeping a low profile at the beginning of the film, after which he kills his partner and ends up taking the throne as a result.

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Klaw (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Ulysses Klaue
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