Ulysses Klaue was a black-market arms dealer, gangster, and international criminal who had worked alongside N'Jobu in order to expose Wakanda to the rest of the world, with Klaue stealing a stockpile of Vibranium as a result in 1992. During an encounter with Ultron thirteen years later, Klaue sold all of his Vibranium to the A.I. before losing his arm during an argument.
Remaining bitter against Wakanda, Klaue then joined forces with Erik Killmonger - the son of N'Jobu - to steal more Vibranium, as Klaue was now armed with his new weaponized prosthetic arm. However, Klaue was still being hunted down by Black Panther and all of the Dora Milaje, until he was eventually captured by Everett Ross after an extensive conflict while they were in South Korea. Having been rescued, Klaue was still ultimately betrayed and murdered by Killmonger as a means to enter Wakanda and challenge T'Challa for the throne.
Early Criminal Activities
Born in Netherlands, Ulysses Klaue began his criminal activities by operating as an arms dealer and assassin-for-hire primarily in South Africa. At one time, he was working as an enforcer for the criminal group known as the Intelligencia. In his criminal operations, Klaue had encountered HYDRA leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, and Tony Stark at a weapons convention. However, Stark ultimately didn't sell any of his weapons to Klaue.
At this point, Klaue already had tension against Wakanda, as his great-grandfather was killed by the Black Panther in the 19th century. Klaue was paid ten million dollars to assassinate Wakandan King T'Chaka at the Bilderberg Conference when he refused to negotiate about Wakanda's resources. When the attack failed, Klaue was then placed on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar as a potential threat to world security.
In 1992, Klaue was hired by Prince N'Jobu of the Golden Tribe to steal a cache of Vibranium, as a means to expose the country of Wakanda to the greater world. Although their attack was unsuccessful, Klaue managed to steal a quarter-ton of the precious metal(valued at $10,000 per ounce; over two billion dollars' worth). However, W'Kabi was orphaned in the process, and N'Jobu became violent when his part in the attack was uncovered, resulting in his death at T'Chaka's claws.
Due to this personal altercation with the Wakandans, Klaue claimed that he was the only man from the outside world who had managed to see Wakanda with his own eyes and came out of it alive. Though at some point Klaue received a branded scar with the symbol for 'Thief' as punishment for stealing the vibranium, he somehow remained free, a fugitive of Wakanda and the personal target of T'Chaka for many years.
Encounter with Ultron
Threatened by the Maximoffs
In 2015, while onboard his own ship inside of the Salvage Yard, Klaue was on the phone with one of his buyers, threatening him for a poor deal, noting that he did not care about all the man's excuses that he was swindled as Klaue had sent six short range missiles and was not satisfied with the result. Klaue threatened the man's life before hanging up.
Just as Klaue was continuing another conversation with a minister about their work together, the lights in the facility were cut out before Klaue could conclude their deal. Unsure what this could mean, Klaue took a handgun and readied himself for a firefight. However, before he could even react, Pietro Maximoff ran into the room and disarmed him of his bullets, moving too fast for Klaue to defend himself as he stood shocked by Maximoff's demonstration of his abilities.
Klaue found himself face to face with Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Klaue remained confident, mocking the pair for their youth. Klaue explained he was aware of who the pair were, noting that he was saddened to hear of the death of Wolfgang von Strucker, teasing the pair when he noticed that they were not aware of Strucker's murder. Klaue continued to mock and belittle the pair before stating he only dealt with the man-in-charge of their current organization.
The man-in-charge turned out to be the artificial intelligence robot named Ultron, who threw Klaue from his office window and told him that there was no man in charge and that he needed his Vibranium for his new body. Seeing himself to be vastly outmatched by the two enhanced soldiers and the robotic warrior, Klaue relented to Ultron's demands and, with his own mercenary by his side, opened the safe containing the Vibranium he had stolen from Wakanda.
Dealing with Ultron
Klaue handed Ultron the Vibranium he required, but reminded him of its incredible worth and the personal cost he had been through to get it, having been branded by T'Chaka's soldiers. As Klaue noted that the Vibranium was worth billions, Ultron then responded by filling Klaue's bank account with billions of dollars, which he hacked from financial databases.
Their alliance was cut short when Klaue overheard Ultron making a comment about keeping his friends and enemies rich and noted that Ultron was quoting Tony Stark, questioning if he was another one of Stark's robotic designs. This comment caused Ultron to go into a rage as he deemed it an insult to be compared to the Iron Legion, claiming that Stark's designs were hollow men and insisting Stark was nothing as he furiously grabbed Klaue's arm.
Without warning, the enraged Ultron then sliced off Klaue's left arm, only for the limb to also be cauterized from bleeding due to Ultron's heated metal hand. While Klaue stepped back, unable to quite grasp what had just happened, Ultron then apologized immediately while Klaue and his Mercenary could only stare on in horror at the assault. Despite apologizing, Ultron's rage continued as he demanded not to be compared to Stark and kicked Klaue down the stairs.
Knowing he stood no chance in a battle with Ultron, Klaue made his escape. When the Avengers then arrived to confront Ultron and the Maximoff twins, Klaue escaped the scene, clutching the remainder of his amputated arm. Klaue ordered his own soldiers to kill both the Avengers, Ultron and the Maximoff twins, leading to a battle in which Ultron had escaped with all the Vibranium and Klaue's soldiers were quickly defeated by the combined efforts of the Avengers.
Work with Killmonger
Stealing Vibranium Weapons
In the wake of losing his arm to Ultron, Klaue converted Vibranium mining tool from Wakanda to prosthetic arm. In 2016, Klaue and Erik Killmonger teamed up to find vibranium weapons to sell onto the black market. Using his cover as a paramedic, Klaue had followed Killmonger to the Museum of Great Britain where Killmonger poisoned Director Thomas, as Klaue and Limbani to arrive.
As he went to aid the poisoned the museum director, Klaue and Limbani then pulled out their firearms and executed all but one of the security guards. Putting away his weapon, Klaue then told the guard he would be allowed to go free, but instead Klaue shot him in the back of the head just while he tried to flee, telling Killmonger that spreading out the crime scene would help them appear to actually be amateur thieves rather than some professional mercenaries.
Killmonger then took Klaue to see the specific axe on display which they were looking for, with Klaue using his new prosthetic hand to shatter the glass in order to steal it. While Killmonger had looked on, Klaue used this prosthetic to remove the rust before they confirmed that the axe was indeed from Wakanda and had been made from vibranium, telling Killmonger that they would be rich while breaking the axe head from the wooden handle so he could steal it.
Once they had their axe, Killmonger recommended that they sell it quick, as Klaue indicated that it he already had a buyer. While Limbani and Klaue packed the axe away, Killmonger noted that whatever they tried the Wakandans would likely turn up to take him into their custody, although Klaue indicated that this would simply make the deal even more entertaining for him, as Killmonger also took the oppurtunity to take an African mask which he liked.
They then escaped with Linda, pulling Killmonger out on a stretcher before making their escape, with Klaue smiling at the easy and highly successful raid of the museum. When their robbery became public knowledge, Klaue resurfaced back on Wakanda's radar, and due to the Vibranium used in the Battle of Sokovia traced back to him, Shuri was given information that Klaue was going to Busan, South Korea to negotiate a deal with his buyer for the Vibranium artifact.
Deal at the Jagalchi Market Casino
Seeking to make a large profit, Klaue later traveled to Busan, South Korea with the intention to trade the Wakandan artifact which he had recently stolen with Erik Killmonger with their unknown buyer for a suitcase full of diamonds. As Klaue made his arrival, he kissed the woman hiding the casino as he entered, with Klaue's bodyguards being unchallenged by the casino's security despite their guns setting off the alarms.
The buyer turned out to be CIA agent Everett Ross as Klaue went downstairs and greeted Ross, who immediately made a sarcastic comment regarding Klaue's impressive entourage. When Ross then questioned if Klaue had a mixtape coming out, Klaue jokingly asked one of his bodyguards to give Ross the Soundcloud link so he could listen to it himself, which Ross turned down, insisting that he did not wish to listen to Klaue's own taste in music. Ross then noted on how many people Klaue had brought with him, with which Klaue insisted that they were not there to threaten Ross, rubbing Ross' shoulder as he claimed he could do the deal with Ross all by himself.
Klaue then demanded the diamonds he had been promised, as Ross removed Klaue's hand from his shoulder and had another agent bring them over before requesting the Vibranium weapon Klaue had also promised. Klaue proceeded to pull the artifact out from his trousers, jokingly claiming that he had considered buying a fancy suitcase but had decided instead to save some money by instead simply putting the Vibranium artifact in a simple paper bag for transportation.
Although the deal started out smooth, it was soon sabotaged by the presence of the Dora Milaje, as Klaue's bodyguards were ambushed by Okoye wielding her Vibranium Spear. Realizing the deal was a set-up, Klaue furiously opened fire on Ross, who then used the briefcase of diamonds as his shield to deflect the shots before taking cover behind a table while Klaue demanded that his men get the diamonds to run before they could be captured or killed by the Wakandans.
As he made his escape, Klaue had managed to shoot several guards coming to stop him while avoiding Nakia, before he charged up the stairs and found himself cornered by T'Challa. Realizing he was out of bullets and cornered, Klaue responded by commenting on how much T'Challa now looked like his own father T'Chaka before Klaue then activated his Prosthetic Arm's sonic cannon, firing it at full force towards the Wakandan king, only for him to use a table as cover as the power of Klaue's sonic blast knocked him off the ledge.
Due to the blast from his prosthetic arm causing money to explode across the casino while also throwing the Black Panther down onto a table below, Klaue overlooked the destruction and the money falling around then and made a comedic remark about how he had just made it rain before hysterically laughing. He then fled the scene via SUV with his men while still excitedly laughing and celebrating their seemingly successful clash against the Wakandan warriors.
Captured by Black Panther
- "Klaue! Did you think we would forget? Look at me, murderer! Where did you get this weapon?"
"You savages didn't deserve it. Whoa, mercy, King! Mercy!"
"Every breath you take is mercy from me!"
- ―Black Panther and Ulysses Klaue
While Klaue got into his car and attempted to escape, T'Challa soon recovered from the sonic blast and chased after Klaue. Klaue's gang split up to try and confuse the Wakandans. Once Okoye and Nakia caught up to him, he decided to hang from the side of the SUV and used his prosthetic arm to fire a sonic blast at their vibranium car, completely shattering it until only metal shards and the driver's seat were left.
Eventually, T'Challa caught up and caused Klaue to exit his vehicle. As he prepared to execute Klaue where he stood, Klaue, noticing that people were watching and recording the encounter, pretended to beg for mercy to incriminate T'Challa, forcing the Black Panther to hand him over to Everett Ross and the CIA.
Now in the CIA South Korean Black Site in Busan, Ulysses is placed in an interrogation room on his own. He begins to taunt T'Challa on the other side of the one way mirror. A few minutes later, Everett Ross enters and starts to interrogate Klaue, now singing 'What Is Love'. Klaue asks Ross how much he really knows about Wakanda.
Upon hearing Ross' answer, he explains that it is actually a technological marvel and not the third world country everyone believes it to be; smirking, he reveals that his arm is made from modified Wakandan mining technology and that, contrary to what the world at large believes, he had not stolen the country's entire supply of vibranium but only a tiny fraction of it. Klaue further sows doubt in Ross's mind by suggesting he ask T'Challa what his Panther suit and claws are made from. Once Ross leaves the room, Erik Killmonger breaks into the facility and extracts Klaue by breaching the wall next to him with charges, severely injuring Ross while he made his escape, still handcuffed to the interrogation chair.
Betrayed and Murdered
Klaue was taken into an old junkyard where their getaway plane was waiting, as he and Erik Killmonger discussed if he always sold to the CIA like he had done with Everett Ross, as Klaue explained he simply sold to the highest bidder. Klaue had then expressed his thoughts to return back to Johannesburg, South Africa to continue all his criminal activities, while also promising that while he would lay low for some time he would still ensure Killmonger would get paid.
While loading the equipment and the artifact on the plane, Killmonger asked to be transported to Wakanda, but due to the friction between him and T'Challa, Klaue had refused. With this, Killmonger then shot Klaue's henchman Limbani through the back of the head. Seeing the betrayal, Klaue then quickly retaliated by taking Linda, Killmonger's girlfriend, hostage and threatening to execute her. Reassuring Linda that it would be alright, Killmonger shot through her to get to Klaue.
However, the bullet did not successfully go through Linda and Klaue was able to flee for his life. Having been wounded by the impact of the bullet, Klaue ran through the junkyard but struggled to stay on his feet before taking cover and waiting for the perfect shot to execute Killmonger. Whilst hiding behind the wreck of a car, Klaue opened fire on Killmonger but had ended up being shot directly into the stomach instead, falling backwards in utter agony and dropping his gun.
While Klaue bled out, Killmonger approached and revealed the tattoo indicating his royal status after Klaue revealed a brand on his neck as a result of his previous Attack on Wakanda. Realizing that Killmonger was actually N'Jadaka, a claimant to the Wakandan throne, Klaue began laughing at him, having previously thought him nothing more than a deluded American. Annoyed and losing his patience as Klaue had continued to laugh, N'Jadaka shot Klaue in the head.
With Klaue dead, Erik Killmonger bagged his corpse in a body bag. Upon arriving at Wakanda's border in the getaway plane, Killmonger presented Klaue's corpse to the Border Tribe leader W'Kabi. Klaue's body was then presented to the Golden Tribe, using it as a token to prove himself worthy of the throne.
- "I made it rain!"
- ―Ulysses Klaue
Klaue was a very greedy, cunning businessman and arms dealer, who would go to great lengths to get more than satisfactory results. He only cared about the profit made from selling illicit weapons and showed no regard for life, be it human or otherwise. Klaue also had a tendency to mock people even if they possessed much greater power than him. Such was the case with Wanda and Pietro Maximoff where Klaue's mocking of their juvenile status despite their clear and present danger to him and his outfit of business.
He was smart enough to notice subtle details however, like making note of the comparison the robot known as Ultron had with Tony Stark, despite this causing the A.I to go into a rage and slice his arm off. He often thought of himself in the highest regard, and thought very lowly of everyone else. He thinks especially low of the Wakandans, believing them to be savages despite their superior technological advancements. This was one of the reasons he was ultimately betrayed and killed by Erik Killmonger. Klaue is also somewhat of an eccentric claiming to be afraid of cuttlefish as well as making his own music and mixtapes, even going so far as to start singing parts of it whilst being captured. These traits are accentuated at the loss and replacement of the hand that Ultron took. Events of which seemingly unhinged Klaue completely.
Klaue became all the more volatile, belligerent and hysterical. Gone was his persona of a suave yet debonair shark like gunrunner, replaced only by a giddiness if not outright childlike glee at the violence and mayhem he often left in his wake. This was all the more evident by his outburst prone fits of anger and vulgarity, showing a warped sense of humor by keeping vibranium pieces marked fragile inside his trousers, cackling insanely after wrecking a gambling den and taunting his captures while in a CIA bunker without a care in the world. During a car chase he asked his mercenary to put on music, saying "What do you think this is? A funeral?". This shows how he can make light of a dangerous situation.
Powers and Abilities
- Cybernetic Enhancement: After Ultron sliced off his left arm, Klaue replaced it with a prosthetic arm using repurposed Wakandan mining technology, similar to that of the Wakandan Maglev Train. The sonic and electromagnetic technology within the arm allows it to double as a powerful sonic arm cannon.
- Energy Projection: The arm is capable of projecting concussive pulse waves from a port in the wrist. The pulse is capable of crushing vehicles and repelling targets with a single shot. Due to the sonic and electromagnetic properties of the pulse, it is able to momentarily disrupt the nanotechnology within the Upgraded Panther Habit.
- Sonic Frequency Projection: The hand can also emit a powerful frequency capable of shattering glass.
- "Why didn't you just shoot him right here?"
"Because it's better to leave the crime scene more spread out. Makes us look like amateurs."
- ―Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue
- Expert Assassin: Klaue worked as an assassin for hire, being hired to kill T'Chaka at the Bilderberg Conference. He accepted not only for the money, but due to his personal feud against the Black Panther for killing his great-grandfather in the 19th century.
- "I can kill two birds with one stone."
- ―Ulysses Klaue
- Expert Marksman: Klaue has many years of experience with handling firearms with great precision. He was able to effortlessly take down multiple security guards in the Museum of Great Britain, and proficiently fired his arm cannon againts T’Challa and Okoye.
- Expert Thief: Klaue managed to steal Vibranium from Wakanda; although he got branded as a thief, he was not arrested.
- Expert Businessman: Due to being acquainted with Tony Stark in the latter's weapons dealing days, and also with N'Jobu, when he exposed Wakanda, Klaue seems to be an expert businessman.
- Expert Engineer: After losing his arm to Ultron. Klaue, having been provided Wakandan mining equipment, had retrofitted it into a prosthetic arm cannon of his own design.
- Ulysses Klaue's Prosthetic Arm: After losing his left arm because of Ultron, Klaue replaced it with a new prosthetic, which also incorporates an advanced sonic cannon, used by the Wakandans for mining purposes.
- Beretta 90two: Klaue used this gun as his personal sidearm, but it was taken and dismantled by Pietro Maximoff to prevent him from using it.
- Salient Arms International Glock 17: Klaue pulls a suppressed Glock series pistol when killing watchers when he first meets Erik Killmonger.
- SIG Sauer P226R: Klaue uses the sidearm during the shootout in South Korea against Everett Ross.
- Vibranium: Klaue successfully stole billions of dollars worth of vibranium from Wakanda with the help of the Wakandan prince N'Jobu, in which he later sold the remaining cache to Ultron.
- In the comics, Ulysses Klaw, or simply Klaw, was the killer of King T'Chaka, and lost his right arm when a teenage T'Challa blasted it off in retaliation with his own sonic cannon. He replaced his missing limb with a prosthetic sonic emitter, and was transformed in a living construct of sonic vibrations eventually.
- Klaue claims to be terrified of cuttlefish. He even stated that a documentary on cuttlefish terrified him.
- Klaue's S.H.I.E.L.D. file explains that he was born in the Netherlands but has Belgian citizenship, and was a former member of the Intelligencia.
Behind the Scenes
- Klaue's S.H.I.E.L.D. file has exactly the same content as his Marvel Database entry.
- Chadwick Boseman describes Klaue as a threat to Wakanda, as one of the few outsiders to enter the country and his access to vibranium, comparing him to Osama bin Laden.
- Paul Kulik and David Conk were stunt doubles for Andy Serkis in the role of Ulysses Klaue.
- Donald K. Overstreet was a stand-in for Andy Serkis in the role of Ulysses Klaue.
- According to Andy Serkis, Klaue's mixtape includes "everything from Mozart to jazz, actually. And Pink Floyd."