Robb Ghag reviews Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3: Clayface…
“It’s the biggest audition of Clayface’s life as he attempts to impress the Secret Society and join their ranks. Desperate to prove himself more than a monster, Clayface sets a scheme into motion that quickly unravels! Will he make his mark—or dig his own grave?”
Although Clayface has become a very popular villain in the world of Batman in almost every other medium, this hasn’t really translated into the world of comics.
When Clayface shows up in the Arkham video games, it’s a grand design and his motion and battle scenes are epic. When Clayface was involved in Batman: The Animated Series, or even the Justice League series of cartoons, those again, were grand battles and he was always one of the main stage villains.
We are however left with an almost laughable villain in Basil Karlo, a.k.a. Clayface, in the comics genre. This issue unfortunately is wrought with disappointment. First and foremost the artwork is very weak, and I don’t know if it is Cliff Richards to blame, or just the structure of the issue written and structured by John Layman.
The story doesn’t really lend itself to any real ‘point’ but it definitely gives an insight into Clayface’s character. It’s true that although he would be able to mimic anyone’s shape or look, he just doesn’t have the brains to execute any of his grand designs. It seems Layman and Richards decided to follow suit.
I will say the cover is well done and is a callback to the animated character of Clayface I remember as a kid, and even lends itself to the 3D, so well done to Guillem March & Tomeu Morey.
Robb Ghag works for an Arts & Entertainment Brokerage in Toronto Canada. An Animation and Film school graduate, he specializes in Risk Management of Animation and VFX studios throughout North America.