Was Killing Off [SPOILER] In Black Panther A Mistake?

Staff Writer: Liam Gillin

Before we begin with this article, just be aware that there will be massive spoilers involved. So, let’s just get that out of the way. If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet but intend to, do not continue reading for the sake of preservation.

Throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems that villains hardly ever get to stick with it for very long. This means that, in turn, there is really no consistency in the arch nemeses of each character.

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From left to right: dead, dead, alive, dead, dead.

Just to throw out some examples, Iron Man went through three main antagonists in three movies. In the Netflix extension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Hand has been defeated in The Defenders. However, from what history we have of The Hand in any Marvel comic books, we’ll see how long that lasts.

I mean, sure, Captain America has HYDRA and Thor has Loki, but it rarely seems to go beyond that. Netflix seems to do better with its original series, such as with Kingpin in Daredevil and, apparently, with Purple Man in Jessica Jones. Yet, when it comes to the films, they dispatch the brilliant villains they create before we can really get any decent screen time for them.

I, personally, was looking forward to seeing more of Crossbones after Captain America: Civil War, but then he was killed off. I let my hopes up a little too high, probably.

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Crossbones, a truly menacing villain, assumes this persona after an entire movie and then gets killed off at the very beginning of the next.

Almost every Marvel solo movie, even when a sequel is planned, has killed off a major villain that held the potential for so much more. If only they were given more screen time…

Black Panther made this mistake AGAIN when they killed off the eccentric Belgian supervillain Ulysses Klaue; AKA “Klaw” as he is better known in the comics. Although, in the MCU, it looks like he might be South African, judging from his accent…

Asking Woodstock High School student Cian Gillin if he thought that killing off Klaw was a bad idea, his was response was: “No. I don’t think that it was or wasn’t a mistake. Besides, he didn’t add anything to the story other than being the crazy bad guy.” This is not true.

My point is that they could have broken the streak with one of the most major villains in the MCU to date, having such a pivotal role to play. He had his hand in killing T’Challa’s father in Captain America: Civil War, he is the only outsider who has been to Wakanda City and lived, and he is just an overall funny and charismatic villain for the franchise.

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I have always been intrigued by Ulysses Klaue, or “Klaw”, as he is known in Marvel Comics.

Explaining this to student Gillin, he reworded his answer with: “Well, I’m opposed to killing him off, but I guess the wat they did it was bad. It should have been T’Challa who killed him.”

Now this is another great point. If Klaw killed the current Black Panther’s father, T’Chakka, why did Erik Killmonger kill him in the MIDDLE of the movie? It’s just anti-climactic. Only shortly after getting his sonic energy device from the comics, no less!

Erik-Killmonger-Vest-by-Michael-B-Jordan

This character was only just introduced, yet he is the one to kill the villain who murdered another character’s father?

Although, I must admit that the design for Ulysses Klaue’s… Well, er… “Klaw” was a little dumb. And perhaps even, dare I say, suggestive albeit intriguing to see such ingenuity in the design but that can be a topic for another time.

Allowing Ulysses Klaue to survive into Infinity War was an ideal opportunity, and a squandered one.

While Ulysses Klaue may seem like a stereotypical villain who moves the franchise along, I saw an extremely nuanced antagonist with quite a few likeable qualities. Klaw was rarely afraid to take himself all that seriously, even outright SINGING during his interrogation scene in Black Panther.

 

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“What is love! Baby, don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me! No more!”

 

I desperately wanted to see more of this character! I had to see more of him! However, when he was killed off, I found myself severely disappointed.

After all, bringing Klaue’s corpse to Wakanda was not Killmonger’s only “in” to see T’Challa and the other chieftans. He had the Wakandan “lip symbol” and he was of royal blood! The chieftans even say that, by tradition, T’Challa is required to accept Erik Killmonger’s challenge by combat for the throne.

When you get down to it, there was no reason that Ulysses Klaue should have been killed, and that made it all the more frustrating for me. They could have broken a bad streak, but instead the writers made the same mistake as before.

Overall, this character had a great deal of potential to offer. More than likely, in my opinion, he would have made an amazing addition to Infinity War. Sadly, we will not see this dream become reality.

 

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