56. Klaw, The Murderous Master of Sound

Fantastic Four Issue Fifty-Six 56

Issue Fifty-Six

Klaw makes his first appearance as his fully-sonic form. He once again tries to destroy the Fantastic Four as a way to lure the Black Panther out into the open.

Sure. Why not? That part of the formula is the same, but there is a slightly different angle on how it plays out this time. ┬áJohnny is still out trying to breach Maximus’s negative zone barrier, so that leaves just three members back in New York to face Klaw. Klaw very ably manages to separate them — Reed and Ben are still making forays into “sub-space” — and goes one-on-one with first Sue, and then Ben.

Sue gets caught off-guard and spends much of the fight leaning backwards with the back of her hand pressed against her chin. No big shakes for women’s equality, but at least she’s getting some screen time. Reed manages to get Ben out of the “sound barrier” in a very dramatic fashion, just in time for him to take a bullet for Sue. The engagement then turns into an endurance game, seeing how much The Thing can withstand what Klaw throws at him.

Fantastic Four Issue Fifty-Six 56There is a brief interlude where Johnny and Wyatt starts to befriend Lockjaw, and then we rejoin the conflict at the Baxter Building. Reed has now escaped and is just in time to intercept a rocket packet from T’Challa that has some vibranium knuckle-dusters in it. This, luckily, is the only thing that Klaw is powerless against.

There are some great touches to this tale, and Klaw’s sound form is supremely creepy, especially when the tale is essentially one of a home invasion, but it lacks real meat, in a character sense. Also, the villain here isn’t really outsmarted so much as pummeled into submission, so Reed comes off as little more than a thug.

EVALUATION: 6/10 Fantastic Four Issue Fifty-Six 56

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