Wikia

DC Animated Universe Wiki

Clayface

Talk21
3,375pages on
this wiki
Clark inquires
Can you confirm this?

This article contains material with no references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Please remove this tag once every source has been cited.

Batman rogue
JLR logo
Clayface
ClayfaceTNBA
Information
Real name: Matthew Hagen
Species: Metahuman
Hair: Black
Eyes: Black
Relatives: Annie (creation/"daughter")
Base: Gotham City
Affiliations: Secret Society
Rogue of: Batman
Justice League
Abilities: Shapeshifting
Professional actor/impressionist
Voiced by: Ron Perlman
Kevin Conroy[1]
Mari Devon[2]
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.[3]
Rob Clotworthy[4]
Michael Rosenbaum[5]

"You've upstaged me for the last time, Batman. Time to bring down the curtain."[6]

Matthew "Matt" Hagen was once a noted actor who became the villain Clayface after over-exposure to Renuyu.

History

Early Career and Transformation

At one time, Matt Hagen was a famous actor, but he became facially disfigured after a car accident. Finding work became difficult, and he feared the worst for his career. Things took a change, however, when he was visited by Roland Daggett, who offered Hagen a second chance. Daggett had developed the Renuyu cream, an untested drug that could reconfigure a person's face, and Hagen was the perfect specimen to try it. Though Hagen agreed to use the cream, he didn't realize the true nature of the situation.

Daggettdeal

A mangled Hagen accepts Daggett's offer.

Ever the businessman, Daggett demanded that Hagen commit various crimes using his ability to impersonate people. Daggett's main competition was Wayne Industries; as a result, Hagen began impersonating Bruce Wayne, and attempted to murder Lucius Fox. Hagen failed, and Daggett had his supply of the Renuyu cream cut. Addicted to the formula, Hagen broke into Daggett Labs in an attempt to steal the drug. Unfortunately, two of Daggett's thugs surprised him and hyper-saturated the actor in the formula by drowning him with a canister of Renuyu.

Fakedeath

Hagen fakes his death.

However instead of killing him, the cream bonded to Hagen's cellular structure and turned his entire body into clay. The transformation gave him the ability to manipulate his body into any shape or form he desired. His true form, however, was that of a hulking humanoid mass of living clay. Though his friend Teddy tried to stop him, Hagen fled and went after Daggett. Batman intervened and they battled until Clayface (the name Hagen had adopted) escaped through the sewers. Arriving at Gotham Insider, Clayface interrupted Daggett's commercial about Renuyu and tried to kill the businessman only to be stopped once again by Batman. Following Clayface at the AV Room, Batman used multiple images of Hagen's early movies to make Clayface emotionally unstable and cause him to lose control of his abilities. In desperation Clayface tried to kill Batman, but destroyed a screen and electrocuted himself. However, his stasis was momentary; the police left with a shell, and the true Clayface escaped in a form of a woman. [7]

Decay and Regeneration

Clayface returned a few months later, but he was falling apart.
Clayface falling apart

Clayface falling apart

The Renuyu formula was destabilizing his cellular structure, and he needed to restore it or dissolve altogether. Seeking help to keep himself alive, he visited Dr. Stella Bates, a doctor who had worked on one of Hagen's film's as a medical consultant. It is implied that Dr. Bates had fallen in love with Hagen or more precisely his screen persona. Clayface, in turn, subtly manipulated her by reciting lines of dialogue from his films that she thought were directed at her literally, hence reinforcing her belief that he loved her. She found a way to keep Clayface alive through an experimental isotope named MP-40, which would also restore if not increase his powers. The isotope, however, was property of Wayne Biomedical. Clayface broke into the labs and tried to steal the chemical, but only managed to grab a small amount due to the arrival of Batman. At Bates' lab, Clayface underwent some of the restoration process, but Batman interrupted him, inciting a struggle. The battle coursed its way outside the building, into the rainy night, and peaked at a riverside cliff. Clayface threw himself at Batman, but his weakened state (amplified by the absorption of the rain water) made him slow and cumbersome, and Batman dodged his attacks long enough for Clayface to start falling apart. Though the Dark Knight tried to save him, Clayface still plummeted off the cliff, falling to his presumed death. [8]
ClayfaceHolidayKnights

Clayface's Shop-lift scheme is interrupted

However, Clayface survived. Though dissolving in the water, he remained composed long enough to reach a nearby factory, where he was doused with unknown chemicals that were being dumped into the river. The chemicals restored him, but he was at a complete loss. The restoration granted him the ability to separate his body into different entities, and he created a small spawn of himself to search the area. However, the spawn became amnesiac after its separation from the host, and left Clayface, thinking itself to be a mere child. Clayface wanted to complete himself, and after collecting his bearings pursued the girl. Meanwhile, Robin discovered the girl, named her Annie, and tried to help her find her identity. The trail led them back to the sewers, where Clayface waited. The familiar territory restored Annie's fledgling memory, and after a struggle, she was reabsorbed back into Clayface. In rage, Robin attempted to force Clayface to restore her, but the villain stated that was impossible. Although Clayface was defeated and taken to Arkham Asylum, Robin silently complained that he should be charged with murder for Annie's fate. [9]

Clayface escaped and returned to Gotham City, where he committed a series of thefts on Christmas Eve. Separating his body into a group of homeless children, he sent them to steal from Gotham Mall during the holiday season. Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya were undercover researching the thefts when Clayface finally appeared. With the help of Batgirl, the three electrocuted and imprisoned Clayface. [10]

Secret Society

Clayface&Grodd

Clayface with Gorilla Grodd shortly after his rescue from Morgan Edge.

A few years later, Clayface was captured by black market collector Morgan Edge after being quarantined in bio-hazard containers. Desiring one more adept for his team, Grodd and the Secret Society broke into Edge's mansion and freed Clayface from his imprisonment. Unlike his new teammates, though, Clayface didn't want revenge, money, or power. He merely wanted to be human again. Grodd promised Clayface a cure that would allow him to look like his former self, yet retain his shapeshifting powers. Clayface accepted the offer and joined the Society. Batman tracked Clayface to a chemical factory, where the Secret Society attacked the Justice League. Though the fight ended poorly for the Justice League, they survived. However, immediately following the fight, the League's escalating personal differences erupted, causing the League to disband and literally walk away from each other. The Secret Society capitalized on the situation and began to capture the heroes one by one. In the second battle, J'onn J'onzz battled Clayface, posed as him, and duped Killer Frost into freezing the real Clayface (who had shapeshifted into J'onn's own form during the fight). J'onn continued the impersonation until Grodd planned to execute the Justice League in front of thousands of fans at Gotham Football Stadium. When J'onn freed the rest of the League, Clayface was unfrozen as well. The Justice League regrouped on the spot and fought the Secret Society once more, this time on a grand stage. The League was ultimately victorious, and during the battle, the Flash shoved several fireworks into Clayface which Hawkgirl ignited. The fireworks exploded and burned Clayface into nothing. It is unknown if Clayface survived this experience.

Abilities and equipment

"What gave me away?
"You overplayed your part, 'yo'.
"
— Clayface
Batman[11]

Clayface's unique cellular structure allowed him to transform his body into any shape or form he desired. Previously a talented actor, this gave him the capability to impersonate people with ease, allowing him to escape arrest frequently. Additionally, Clayface could extend his limbs a considerable distance, and could also control his size and density, granting him some level of superhuman strength. Also, because of this, he was able to fashion blades, spikes, and massive blocks out of his form. Finally, his amorphous body was able to absorb various objects, which he'd use to suffocate opponents. After he was revived by the chemicals at the factory, Clayface had the ability to separate himself into different entities at once. And while he faked death by electrocution in his first run in with Batman, it was later proven voltage had no detrimental affect on his clay body. In later circumstances however, Batman was able to restrain him with an electrified Batarang. It was never revealed why this worked.

Background information

There have been eight Clayfaces over the years—several of them even formed their own club, the Mud Pack—and the DCAU's Matt Hagen takes elements from the first two. The origin story is, however, original to the DCAU.

The first Clayface, Basil Karlo, was an actor, and originally nothing but a man in a mask. Created by Bob Kane, Karlo was based on Lon Chaney, "The Man of a Thousand Faces" (a name also used for Hagen in "Feat of Clay"), and named after Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff.

Matt Hagen was a treasure hunter who was turned to living mud after finding a mysterious pool of protoplasm. His powers were temporary and he needed to return to the pool, until he managed to recreate the protoplasm, which had a lasting influence on the Clayface legacy. Hagen was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and later revived by the Mud Pack with the protoplasm formula. Other Clayfaces include Preston Payne, Sondra Fuller, Cassius Payne (the son of Payne and Fuller), Peter Malley, Todd Russell and Johnny Williams; most of them were affected by Hagen's formula.

Much like Two-Face, Clayface's appearance underwent little change for his appearances in The New Batman Adventures. His appearance was a bit lighter and had sharper edges (like most characters at this point), but overall his form was quite similar to his original look. However, when Clayface used his shapeshifting ability on The New Batman Adventures and Justice League, there was a noticeable visual difference from his previous shapeshifting on Batman: The Animated Series. On a DVD special feature, Bruce Timm credits this improvement with a new studio who better understood how such a power would "flow" visually.

The creators of Batman Beyond originally planned on having Clayface appear in Batman Beyond however it was eventually forgotten.

Appearances

Batman: The Animated Series

The New Batman Adventures

Justice League

Video Games

References


Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki