The new trailer for Marvel’s Black Panther promises a rollicking fusion of superhero adventure and high-concept Afrofuturism, with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa battling his enemies for the future of country, and possibly more. Amid the frenetic action, the footage also introduces our first look at classic Marvel Comics villain Ulysses Klaue (aka Klaw) with his signature weapon, something fans have been waiting for since Avengers: Age of Ultron.
However, in director Ryan Coogler’s film, it looks decidedly different from the comics.
Near the end of the trailer, arms dealer Klaue (played by Andy Serkis) flees a pursuing Black Panther in an SUV. “Let’s have some fun,” he tells the driver before hanging out the passenger’s window to fire a projectile from his prosthetic left arm. (The fingers of his hand part of allow the weapon to shoot unobstructed.)
In the comics, Klaw uses Vibranium (the same nearly indestructible material used for Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit) to create all sorts of outlandish weapons. Vibranium is “vibration-absorbent,” and thus has been used to justify all sorts of comic book super-science. In Klaw’s case, he’s become a master of using Vibranium to manipulate sound waves. He eventually replaces his lost arm with a sonic cannon, which he uses to blast enemies with deafening sonic blasts.
The Klaw of the comics is Black Panther’s arch-foe, as he killed King T’Chaka, the father of T’Challa. Klaw tried to flee, but lost his arm in a fight with the future king of Wakanda. Years of fighting superheroes took its toll on him, and his body was completely destroyed, but Klaw returned as a being made of pure sound, which turned out to be a deadly upgrade.
The Klaue of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is different. An arms dealer rather than an assassin, Klaue first appeared in Age of Ultron as a supplier of illicit Vibranium. After his arm was ripped off by Ultron himself, Klaue replaced it not with a sonic emitter but rather with “a piece of advanced Wakandan mining equipment.”
The trailer puts the focus on T’Challa and his rival Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan), but Boseman says that Klaue is “the real villain” of the movie. We’ll have to wait until the movie comes out to see what other sonic abilities Klaue will threaten the Wakandan royal family with.
Opening Feb. 16, 2018, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, with Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown and John Kani.
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