The Claw of Bast

CLAW OF BAST

Classification: Magical artifact

Creator: an unknown Egyptian sorceror

User/Possessors: Dr. Doom
   Khafre,
   Reed Richards

First Appearance: (mentioned) Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (September, 2000)
   (appeared) Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#3 (December, 2000)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The magical item known as the Claw of Bast was reputed to have the ability to give life to the dead or dying, heal the sick or deformed, or provide power to it's user. It could only be used nine times by nine separate users, at which point it was said to lose it's power. Apparently it was most effective when used in accordance with a syzygy, a planetary alignment that only occurred once every several decades. At some point it was split into three pieces... The Claw itself, the Eye, and the Sceptre. The Sceptre and Eye acted as a key to the Claw of Bast's compartment in the Sphinx, when they were combined.

History: (Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1(fb) - BTS) - Supposedly created by an ancient Egyptian sorcerer, the Claw of Bast was used 7 times before it came under the possession of Khafre. Being the last known owner of the Claw, Khafre had it split into three pieces, and hidden away before his death, hoping it would provide him with the power he would need to later conquer (or destroy) the world, when he was awoken.

(Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (fb)) - After Reed Richards rescued the Prince Bayan from the evil General Lao-Tse, the Prince gave him the Scepter of Bast, before departing. Alyssa Moy, who was working with Reed Richards, suggested he pawn it off, but Reed told her it would be disrespectful to sell a gift.

   Back in Paris, where he was staying, Reed met with Professor Van Nuys, who had been studying the Claw of Bast, hoping it would cure him of his Sebert Syndrome. Not able to say much, Van Nuys was able to give Reed a clue to check his house. When Reed arrived, he found that he wasn't alone, as Ko-Gar was there as well, looking for the same information. Seeing that Reed had the Scepter, Ko-Gar attacked him, but Reed was able to outsmart him and escape. Later, Reed met up with Professor Frankie (Francesca) Fisher, who gave him more information on the Claw, and convinced him to take her with him on his quest.

(Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#2 (fb)) - After an eventful flight, Reed and Frankie met with Alyssa Moy, who told them that the Claw was actually in two pieces. Alyssa took them to the Eye of Bast, the other part, and stole it. The three were forced to retreat, but Frankie was caught by Ko-Gar, who believed the glass replica in her possession to be the true Eye of Bast. Ko-Gar brought Frankie to his master, Doom, who was hoping to use the Claw to restore his face. Alyssa and Reed were forced to head to Latveria to rescue her.

Khafre controlling the Sphinx

(Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#3 (fb)) - After Reed, Alyssa, and Frankie escaped Doom's castle, they headed toward the Sphinx in Giza, where they could complete the Claw of Bast. There, they found that the Eye and Scepter were the key to enter the Claw's compartment, and Frankie jumped to activate it, after which the three of them entered the Sphinx. Once inside, they found that Doom had been following them. Doom combined the three pieces, and took the Claw of Bast, but before he could use it for himself, the claw activated, and the Sphinx itself came alive, filled with the vengeful spirit of Khafre.

   Doom's men opened fire on the Sphinx, but Khafre easily disposed of them. Meanwhile, Alyssa managed to distract Doom long enough for Reed to freeze him with a Cryo Sphere. Prying the Claw from Doom's hand, Reed held it up, while Frankie used an ancient Egyptian transfer spell, causing Khafre's energy to be transferred out of the Sphinx, leaving it lifeless once more.

   Reed returned to Professor Van Nuys, and used the Claw, empowered by Khafre's energy, one last time, curing the Professor of his illness. After unleashing the last of it's energy, the Claw was destroyed.

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Peter David and Duncan Fegredo.

    This story was narrated by Reed Richards, who was telling it to his son, Franklin. Franklin was skeptical of it all, but after Reed finished telling it, General Lao-Tse attacked him, proving it was at least partially accurate.

    In case it isn't overly clear, the Claw's eighth use was Doom accidentally awakening Khafre, and the ninth was Reed exorcising Khafre from the Sphinx. Through Frankie Fisher's quick thinking, Khafre's energy was transferred into the Claw, which Reed was able to use one more time, to cure Professor Van Nuys.

It's quite likely the Claw of Bast was empowered by the god/goddess Bast, although it's never stated as such in the series.
    Similarly, there may well be some connection between the Eye of Bast that was part of the Claw of Bast, and the Eye of Bast utilized by the Children of Bast in the Hyborian era. Perhaps the one seen in this profile is a fragment of the one that Conan stole.

    I don't recall if this was hinted at in the story or whether I came up with it on my own, but the sorcerer creating the Claw of Bast might have been the Sphinx (Anathna-Mut)
--Snood.
Sphinx could not have been the sorcerer who created it. The letters page to Doctor Strange III#33 explains that the Sphinx never had true magical powers per se; rather he was mutated by the Caretakers of Arcturus per the Book of Vishanti. As happened later with the Caretakers' other specimen, the "Mad Merlin", the Sphinx used his powers to simulate true sorcery, as in his battle with Moses. Then, after he was defeated by Moses, the Sphinx found the Ka stone.
--Per Degaton

Within the Marvel Universe, the court sorcerer of Pharoah Ramses that confronted Moses was Anath-Na Mut (later the Sphinx). Within the DC Universe, the court sorcerer of Pharoah Ramses that confronted Moses was Nabu, a Lord of Order who later empowered Dr. Fate. This occurred in Spectre III#14 (1994).
--Wolfram Bane

Profile by: Zerostar

Clarifications:

The Claw of Bast has no known connection to...

The Eye of Bast has no known connection to...

The Sceptre of Bast has no known connection to...

The Sphinx possessed and animated by Khafre would seem almost certain to have been the same one as:


Eye of Bast Eye of Bast

One-third of the Claw of Bast, the Eye of Bast was held in a museum in Romania, where Alyssa Moy was on the board of directors. Alyssa convinced Reed and Frankie Fisher to steal it and replace it with a fake. Later, the three used it to open the Claw of Bast's compartment in the Sphinx, and combined it with the other pieces to complete the Claw.

--Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#2 (fb) (Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#2 (fb), #3 (fb)

 

Khafre

Height: (normal) 5'6 "; (as Sphinx) 66'
Weight: (normal) 160 lbs.; (as Sphinx) 150 tons

Khafre

An Egyptian king involved with the construction of the Sphinx @ 2500 B, Khafre was able to come into possession of the Claw of Bast, under unknown circumstances. Ordering the Claw of Bast to be hidden, Khafre had his soul placed in the Sphinx upon his physical death. Awoken when Doom stole the Claw from the Sphinx, Khafre killed several of Doom's men, before Reed Richards and Frankie Fisher transferred his energy from the landmark into the Claw, which they then used to cure Professor Van Nuys.

--Before the Fantastic Four#1(fb)-BTS (Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (fb) - BTS, #3 (fb)


 

Sceptre of Bast

Sceptre of Bast

After Reed Richards rescued Prince Bayan from the maniacal General Lao-Tse, the Prince offered Reed the Sceptre of Bast, which he claimed his court mage had created, after forseeing Reed's intervention. Alyssa Moy, who was with Reed, tried to convince him to pawn it off, but they were lucky they didn't, as it proved to be quite valuable as one-third of the legendary Claw of Bast.

--Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (fb) (Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (fb), #2 (fb), #3 (fb)




Professor Roderick Van Nuys

Professor Van Nuys

One of Reed Richards' former teachers, Professor Roderick Van Nuys suffered from Sebert Syndrome, a disease that left him wheelchair-bound, and rapidly declining. Upon discovering of his condition, Van Nuys began a search for the Claw of Bast, hoping it could cure him. Unable to find it himself, he was able to give Reed Richards a clue that led him to the item. After Reed discovered the Claw and defeated both Khafre and Doom, he returned to Professor Van Nuys, and used the last of the Claw's power to cure him.
Professor Van Nuys was definitely a cat person.

--Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (fb) (Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1 (fb), #3 (fb)


 


Images:
Claw of Bast: Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#3; page 13, panel 1
Sphinx: Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#3; page 15
Eye of Bast: Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#2; page 15, panel 3
Khafre: statue of Khafre from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; photo by Jon Bodsworth
Sceptre of Bast: Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1; page 8, panel 3
Professor Van Nuys: Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1; page 13, panel 1


Other appearances:
Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards#1-3 (September-October, December, 2000) - Peter David (writer), Duncan Fegredo (artist), Bobbie Chase (editor)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 12/30/04

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