Villain Spotlight: Clayface

Why hello again my precious little scene stealers. I welcome you back to another edition of the Villain Spotlight, which has been going on for much longer than most other Villain Spotlights that are apparently being introduced this month. I do not say that bitterly, more longingly as I am unfortunately not a part of it, regardless of how many letters I have sent out or how many hatchets I have driven into the front doors of a certain few DC higher ups. Once again, I am not bitter. However, since it is indeed a month for villains, I would be remiss if I didn’t continue to supply you with what you all want…sweet, sweet villainy. So let’s get to it. I wasn’t sure exactly who to pick for this week, but after some careful consideration, I decided on one of my favorites. Someone who is just so attached to my childhood in animated form, that after making the choice, it just seemed like a natural decision. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very proud to bring to you the wonder of the silver screen, the brown menace and malleable malady…..Clayface!!


Now for simplicity’s sake, I am going to mainly use my favorite Clayface, which is the original Basil Karlo. Now for those of you who know me, you will immediately know why I choose him. He is a horror actor, and your boy Arthur is all about that. So much so that he has a black room filled with blood and powerful sealing spells just in case certain things decide to make an appearance. I’m talking about demons guys….whatever. Basil Karlo, being the consummate professional that he is, goes batshit crazy (see what I did there? He’s a Bat villain… this thing on?) when he hears that his classic movie, The Terror, would be remade without him in it, as he would be just in an advisory role. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that he says with passion and gravitas, and proceeds to do what any other sane person would do, and kill all of the actors involved in the movie. Right. He dons the mask of the films villain, a clayface monster, and kills every actor according to the order that they die in the film, which screams professionalism. As the cherry on top of this murder sundae, he plans to kill the film’s clayface killer last, but is unfortunately stopped by the Dynamic Duo before he can complete his Oscar worthy performance. They put him away, and his dreams of finishing his master works are dashed….until he reappears in 1941.

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Clayface returns to us in the back of an ambulance. As he is being transferred to somewhere where they keep Clayfaces in check, the vehicle goes off a cliff, but he survives and immediately sets out to do what all of us would do after surviving something like that; kill Bruce Wayne’s fiancé. Unfortunately, that doesn’t go as planned as per usual, and the combined efforts of Batman and Robin put him away again. Queue a slight vacation period. While Karlo sits in prison, a few other people have taken up the mantle of Clayface, albeit with actual superpowers and morphing abilities similar to actual clay. The current Clayface of that time, Sondra Fuller, decides to visit Karlo in prison, and an alliance is born. Karlo comes up with a plan to team up with all of the Clayfaces that are running around, and take down the Bat and Bird. This plan fails as well, but with the added benefit of Karlo injecting himself with DNA from the other Clayfaces, and acquiring their powers of shapeshifting and clay stuff. This effectively makes him the self styled Ultimate Clayface, and he is rather pleased with the outcome. However, much like all other Clayface plans, his newest falls short and he gets his powers overloaded and he melts into the ground like so much grilled cheese. Delicious. He melts so much and so hard that he fuses with the Earth’s crust. He survives, as all villains do, but with another added power of acquiring little quartz crystals in his body that make him even stronger once his powers get back under control. Not good for the Bat, awesome for us. It’s kind of funny to be honest. I always thought Clayface was an unstoppable monster, but he always seems to get his ass kicked. It’s rather unfortunate, but necessary to the overall appeal of the character. It shows how that even though Batman is human, he is able to overcome and beat these monsters. It’s more of a credit to Clayface than the Bat because we all love the Bat, but where would he be without his awesome Rogue’s Gallery?

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Eventually he resurfaces again, and goes back to it with the Bat. He actually even goes so far as to capture him, but Mr Freeze has his own idea on who should be allowed to kill the Bat, and the two get into it….hard….with no penises, but all kinds of brutal attacks. In their feud, Batman is able to escape and bring them both down before they can cause some real damage. Clayface at this point, seems to take more interest in fighting other villains, and gets into it with Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy, literally is one of Batman’s most powerful villains, and I say this because she freaking is. No question about it. She is one with the Earth, and even though she is essentially evil, she is only trying to be a super Vegan…..which is okay as long as she doesn’t tell us about it all the time. She beats his ass and melts him into the earth again, and he is shown a nice bit of humility at the hands of the green goddess. So what? I have a hard on for Poison Ivy. Grow up. He also tangles with Wonder Woman and almost kills her, but she is able to beat him back and separate him from a piece of mystical clay that would have made him almost invulnerable. He’s already difficult enough to deal with, but with that, he would have been nigh unstoppable, and I would have been extremely happy to see that. For reals, guys.


Now like I said earlier, I know there have been multiple Clayfaces, but I really just loved Karlo the best out of all of them. I thought his motivation, albeit slightly misguided, was perfect for his accomplishments. We can all sympathize with the man who just wants to see his work not be ruined, although most of us would not go on a murderous rampage over it, but you can kind of see where the guy is coming from. I felt legitimately bad for him. It was almost the same sort of thing I felt when I heard they were remaking Evil Dead. I was appalled, and wanted to completely stop everything from being completed on that film. But……I wound up loving it. Maybe if he had just waited a couple months before murdering everyone, he may have actually enjoyed the remake of his movie. If it had Hayden Christensen in it though, I would have fucking killed everyone on earth to stop it from being made if I was Karlo. You can believe that. Well folks, that is going to be all for this week from the land of Harkness and Villainy. Also, the Horror of Horrors is looking real good this week as Lillith once again takes the reins with her look at what people call “ the Asshole of the Sea”, the Great White Shark. Trust me guys, there’s one spot in there that will make you piss yourselves. As always, check out everything else with the Geeks, and look for us at Comic Con in NYC this October. I promise not to steal all of your girlfriends…….

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About Arthur Harkness

I like things, and things like me back

Posted on September 6, 2013, in COMICS!, Features, Geekology, Villain Spotlight and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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