- "Tell me something. What do you know about Wakanda?"
"It's a third world country. Textiles, shepherds, cool outfits."
"All a front. Wakanda, explorers have searched for it for centuries. The Golden City. It's a technological marvel. They called it El Dorado. They looked for it in South America, but it was in Africa the whole time. I'm the only one who's seen it... and made it out alive."
- ―Ulysses Klaue and Everett Ross
Ulysses Klaue was a black-market arms dealer gangster who had worked alonside N'Jobu in order to expose Wakanda to the rest of the world, with Klaue stealing a stockpile of Vibranium as a result. During an encounter with Ultron, Klaue sold all of his Vibranium to the A.I. before losing his arm during an argument. Remaining bitter against Wakanda, Klaue joined forces with Erik Killmonger, the son of N'Jobu, to steal more Vibranium with Klaue now armed with his new Weaponized Prosthetic Arm. However Klaue was still being hunted down by Black Panther and all of the Dora Milaje and was eventually captured by Everett Ross after an extensive conflict as they were in South Korea. Having been saved by Killmonger, Klaue was ultimately betrayed and murdered by Killmonger as a means to enter Wakanda and challenge T'Challa for the throne.
Early Criminal Activities
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 high-ranking HYDRA operative 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 in the Netherlands when he refused to negotiate about Wakanda's resources. When the attack failed, Klaue was placed on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar as a new potential threat to world security.
- "Klaue has escaped our pursuits for almost thirty years. Not capturing him is perhaps my father's greatest regret."
- ―T'Challa about Ulysses Klaue
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 the attack was unsuccessful, Klaue got away with what came up to be a billion dollars worth of Vibranium and earned a branded scar with the symbol for 'Thief' as a form of punishment for stealing the metal. Due to this personal altercation with the Wakandans, Klaue claimed that he was the only man from the outside world who had seen Wakanda with his own eyes and came out of it alive.
Encounter with Ultron
Threatened by the Maximoffs
In 2015, while board 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 deals with the man-in-charge of their organisation.
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 mercenary by his side, opening his 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
- "Oh, we're going to be rich, boy."
"Better sell that quick."
"It's already sold."
- ―Ulysses Klaue and Erik Killmonger
In the wake of losing his arm to Ultron, Klaue used some vibranium mining technology from Wakanda to build himself a new Prosthetic Arm. Klaue then teamed up with Erik Killmonger to find vibranium weapons to sell on the black market. Using the cover of a paramedic, Klaue followed Killmonger to the Museum of Great Britain where Killmonger poisoned a guide, allowing Klaue and Limbani to arrive and secure the area.
As he went to aid the poisoned Museum Director, Klaue and Limbani then pulled out their firearms and executed all but one of the security guards. Putting away his weapon, Klaue told the guard he would be allowed to go free, but instead Klaue shot him in the back of the head just as he tried to flee, telling Killmonger that spreading out the crime scene would help them appear to be amateurs rather than professional mercenaries.
Killmonger then showed Klaue the axe they were looking for, with Klaue using his Prosthetic Hand to shatter the glass before they confirmed that the axe was indeed from Wakanda and had been made from vibranium. Taking the axe, and a mask which Killmonger liked, they escaped with Linda, pulling Killmonger out on a stretcher before they made their escape, with Klaue smiling at the easy and highly successful raid of the museum.
When the 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 for the Vibranium artifact with an unknown American buyer.
Deal at the Jagalchi Market Casino
Klaue later traveled to Busan, South Korea to trade the Wakandan artifact with an unknown buyer for a handful of diamonds. The buyer turned out to be CIA operative Everett Ross. Although the deal started out smooth, it was soon sabotaged by the presence of the Dora Milaje. Realizing the deal was a set-up, Klaue opens fire on Ross, whom uses the briefcase of diamonds as a shield to deflect the shots. As he makes his escape, he is cornered by the Black Panther. Klaue responds by activating his prosthetic arm's sonic cannon, firing it at the Wakandan king, only for him to use a table as cover. Having caused money to explode across the casino, he makes a comedic remark about how he 'made it rain.' He then flees the scene via SUV.
Captured by Black Panther
- "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, he was reminded by Nakia and Okoye that people were watching. Klaue further mocked T'Challa by calling the Wakandans savages, hoping to gain a reaction from him. Ultimately, T'Challa spared Klaue, and reluctantly handed him over to Everett Ross and the CIA while Klaue continued laughing in his face.
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
- "You...you want to go to Wakanda? They're savages! This is what they do to people like us."
"I don't worry about no brand. Check these out. Each one is for a kill."
"You can scar yourself as much as you like. To them, you'll just be an outsider. You're crazy to think that you can just walk in there... Ah, and to think I saw you as a crazy American."
- ―Ulysses Klaue and Erik Killmonger
Klaue was taken to an old junkyard where their getaway plane is waiting, and expressed his thoughts to return back to Johannesburg, South Africa to continue his criminal activities. After loading the artifact onto the plane, Erik Killmonger asked to be transported to Wakanda, but due to the friction between him and T'Challa, Klaue refused.
With this, Killmonger shot Klaue's henchman Limbani in the back of the head. Sensing this betrayal, Klaue was quick to retaliate by taking Killmonger's girlfriend, Linda, hostage and threatening to kill her. Reassuring his girlfriend that everything would be alright, Killmonger shot through her to get to Klaue. However, the bullet did not successfully go through her and Klaue fled.
Whilst hiding behind the wreck of a car, Klaue opened fire on Killmonger but ended up being shot himself instead. 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, N'Jadaka shot Klaue in the head, killing him.
With Klaue dead, 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.
- "So if you're going to fiddle with my brain, and make me see a giant cuddle fish, 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."
- ―Ulysses Klaue
Klaue was a very greedy and cunning businessman and arms dealer, who would go to great lengths to get himself satisfied with results. He only cared about the profit he made from selling weapons and showed no regard for life. He also had a tendency to mock people even if they possess much greater power than him. Such was the case with Ultron where Klaue's persistent mocking and comparing the robot with Tony Stark caused the A.I to go into a rage and slice his arm off.
Klaue thought of himself in the highest regard, and thought very lowly of everyone else. Klaue thought especially low of the Wakandans, believing them to be savages despite their technological advancements. This was one of the reasons he was ultimately betrayed and killed by Erik Killmonger.
Powers and Abilities
- 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.
- 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 Weapon-dealing days, and also with N'Jobu, when he exposed Wakanda, Klaue seems to be an expert businessman.
- 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.
- Glock 17: Klaue pulls the Glock series 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: To be added
- 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."