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The Real Face Of Dr. Claw From Inspector Gadget Is Shocking - In The Worst Way

Every good hero needs an awesome archnemesis. Batman has the Joker. Sherlock Holmes has Professor Moriarty. And Inspector Gadget, the incompetent sleuth with an array of tools built into his robotic body, goes toe-to-toe with the villainous Dr. Claw.

Dr. Claw instilled terror in young viewers throughout the original "Inspector Gadget" cartoon from 1983, which is pretty impressive considering the audience usually only got a glimpse of his metal-gloved hand and arm. His feline companion, M.A.D. Cat, is the one typically visible in frame while Dr. Claw slams his fist on the desk whenever Inspector Gadget, Penny, and Brain foil the latest scheme he cooked up. When it came to this particular faceless TV character, there was always a hope that each new episode would reveal his face — but it never came to pass.

Now, fans did see the villain's visage in the live-action "Inspector Gadget" movie, where he was played by Rupert Everett. But people no doubt wanted to know what the real, animated Dr. Claw looked like beyond his cool-looking arm. As it turns out, his face eventually came to light, but it's probably not what anyone expected.

Who was Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget?

Dr. Claw is the head of the antagonistic M.A.D. organization, which stands for "Mean and Dirty." What makes him such an intriguing adversary is that there's not much known about him other than the fact that he hates Inspector Gadget. In an amusing bit of dramatic irony, Dr. Claw never seems to realize that Inspector Gadget's niece, Penny, and their dog, Brain, usually wind up doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to foiling his plans. Of course, because of this, he's constantly heard screaming his catchphrase whenever his plans fail: "I'll get you next time, Gadget! NEXT TIME!"

A common plot line in any given "Inspector Gadget" episode involves Dr. Claw sending various henchmen to cause havoc, only for them to fail by the end. Sometimes, Dr. Claw himself will head out into the field, but he'll always manage to elude capture.

His personality has shifted slightly across different iterations of "Inspector Gadget," though. For instance, Dr. Claw is far dumber in the 2015 animated reboot series than he was in the '80s. Suffice it to say, when most people think of Dr. Claw, they think of the one from the original show, who's considered by many to be one of the best animated villains of the 1980s.

An Inspector Gadget theory teased a wild Dr. Claw rumor

Given Dr. Claw's inherent mysterious nature, it's no surprise that "Inspector Gadget" fan theories have emerged to fill in the blanks. One theory only adults would likely pick up on is that Dr. Claw is actually the original Inspector Gadget who wants revenge on the cyborg or robot that replaced him. 

The theory effectively states that Inspector Gadget had to have been a real human at some point. Perhaps he was in an accident, necessitating all of the robotic enhancements, sort of like a kid-friendly version of RoboCop. But what if the organization that created Inspector Gadget didn't get it right the first time? The show's hero may be a cyborg or even a fully robotic entity, given certain human features that make him more palatable to the masses. If that's the case, perhaps the original Inspector Gadget has been tossed aside in favor of something more shiny and new. The fact that Dr. Claw has a mechanical hand suggests he could've been the original human who was experimented on before being discarded. 

Such a theory would explain Dr. Claw's intense hatred for Inspector Gadget: he's the original Gadget, and he wants to eliminate this copy that stole his life. It would also explain why his face is hidden throughout the original '80s show. Perhaps he has a horrific disfigurement he doesn't want to be seen. Alas, this theory can be thoroughly debunked because we know what Dr. Claw's face looks like. There's no disfigurement ... but it's still probably not what you'd expect. 

What does Dr. Claw's real face look like?

Dr. Claw's real face wasn't finally shown in the "Inspector Gadget" series. In fact, it was years after the original cartoon went off the air when his face finally came to light (in 1992, to be precise), courtesy of an action figure. And, since it came with a sticker over the packaging, one had to actually buy the toy and open it up to gaze upon Dr. Claw's face. And boy, the reveal must've been disappointing for so many. 

Honestly, Dr. Claw kind of looks like the dumb younger brother of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" villain Judge Doom. It's a bit hard to imagine the deep, intimidating voice from the animated series coming from that mouth, which is sculpted in a ridiculous, teeth-gritted grimace. It also debunks the previously mentioned "Inspector Gadget" fan theory since he looks nothing like his nemesis, and it's even more of a letdown that his hand is apparently the only mechanical thing about him. After this reveal, the franchise got more lax in showing Dr. Claw's face. In addition to appearing in the flesh in the live-action film, half of his face is also seen in 1993's "Inspector Gadget" SNES game. 

It may be unfair to be overly harsh about Dr. Claw's real face. After all, it's not inherently terrible. But when people have spent years with a certain image or expectation in their heads, virtually anything would probably come up short. In the end, Dr. Evil's big reveal is proof positive that sometimes it's better to leave things to the imagination.