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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

For best results, read this review out loud at the top of your lungs.

What madness drives this genius who turned his own body into living sound?

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: if you have even slightly above-average intelligence and live in the Marvel Universe, you have no hope for a normal life. Anybody with a science degree is fated to end up wearing spandex, so you can imagine that MIT is known for A) its science and engineering, and 2) its bodybuilding program. This is Ulysses Klaw, Ph.D. He was a physicist specializing in applied sonics. He designed a device that could convert sound into solid matter, but he needed vibranium to make it work. He invaded Wakanda to get some, and ended up killing King T'Chaka in the process. T'Chaka's son fought back, and Klaw's hand was shattered. Years later he returned to Wakanda, but after a fight with the Fantastic Four he fell into his own machine and was converted into living sound.

Klaw doesn't have a real body anymore: it's all just formed by his sound gauntlet. As long as that's not destroyed, he can heal any "wound" and is virtually immortal. That's why when AIM (the beekeeper guys) wanted to control him, they put a bomb in his gauntlet that they could detonate if he didn't obey. This figure uses the sculpt introduced for Silver Surfer, which is a nice choice: the body is silm and has no sculpted costume details; since everything is just being willed into existence by Klaw, a ton of extraneous detail would be out of place.

The most detail can be found on his face. The costume details are lightly etched in, and of course there are the facial details - eye sockets, cheeks, cleft chin and even ears, for some reason. His nose is square, though not flat like it should be, and his mouth looks like a speaker. You think he sounds like microphone feedback when he talks?

Klaw has no accessories, but his blaster arm is an entirely new piece. It doesn't just slip onto the wrist, so everything from the elbow down is unique. The sound converter may be larger than you expected it to be: it's often shown to be about the size of a glove, going up as high as the low-to-mid forearm, and only extending slighty farther than a human hand would; this version nearly reaches the elbow, and an entire hand could fit inside even before we get to the "bowl" of the weapon. It's huge, is what we're saying. So it's not quite comic-accurate, but it does look more intimidating and dangerous, so it may be a fair tradeoff.

There's no "wrist" joint in the device, so you won't be turning it at all. The rest of his articulation is the usual: double-hinged elbows, swivel bicep, swivel/hinge shoulders, neck and left wrist, hinged toros, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees and swivel/hinge ankles. He's mostly molded in red, not painted, so he does have that "toyish" look Poe talked about, but then again, his body is entirely synthetic, so who's to say what color solid sound should look like? His purple trunks and head-stripe are a nice rich color, and the black outlines are crisp. His skintone is almost caucasian, rather than the hot pink it's typically shown in the comics, but that may be for the best. His eyes are solid dots of silver set in black sockets, making him extra creepy.

Klaw comes with the left leg of the Series 1 BAF, Terrax. It's actually pretty nice, with stony grey skin, a red boot and a golden band that plugs into place to keep it from sliding around. As you can see from the picture, it's fun to play with the articulation even before the leg is on the body.

Klaw is definitely a character who fans of Marvel comics know, but he's a stange choice to get a Marvel Legend toy. His solid red body isn't terribly interesting, and even the giant silver cannon on his arm can't make up for that. Hasbro made this figure to appeal to us fanboys, not to the casual consumer - which may be why the only figures people are finding easily are him and the heavy-packed Iron Man.

-- 04/02/12

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