Batman: The Animated Series just kept rolling out the second-tier villains and making them not only relevant but brilliant. For two episodes following Mr. Freeze’s debut, the series gave us another baddie slightly less sympathetic but many times more monstrous. Written by Marv Wolfman and Michael Reaves and directed by Dick Sebast and Kevin Altieri, the two-part “Feat of Clay” introduced young fans to the shapeshifting behemoth known as Clayface, and a bunch of nightmares were born.
In the comics, there have been eight different people who’ve gone under the name Clayface, dating all the way back to 1940. For the cartoon series, the creators decided to give the character first incarnation Basil Karlo’s backstory but the second incarnation’s name, Matt Hagen. Hagen is a matinee idol, award-winning actor, and self-proclaimed Man of A Thousand Faces. Before the episode begins, he’s in a terrible car accident, leaving his face disfigured to the point of grotesquery. However, he’s found a bit of solace in the form of a “Renuyu” formula from Daggett Industries, the chemical R&D plant founded by Roland Daggett. The cream allows Hagen to reshape his face, but it only lasts 24 hours, and Daggett begins squeezing him for nefarious …read more