W-logo CHARACTER W-logo
Real name Basil Karlo
Debut Detective Comics #40 (June 1940)
Created by Bob Kane
Affiliations The Society
Injustice League
Abilities Shape-shifting, body made out of mud.

Clayface is a shapeshifting arch-foe of Batman and a member of the Injustice League.

Character History

The original Clayface, Basil Karlo, is an actor who is driven mad when he hears of a remake of the classic horror film he had starred in, The Terror, even though he is to be one of the advising staff. Donning the mask of the film's villain, Clayface, he embarks on a murder spree among the cast and crew of the remake. He is foiled by Batman and Robin. He reappears after the prison ambulance he is riding in plunges off a cliff. He once again dons the mask of Clayface and targets Bruce Wayne's fiancee. Once again, the Dynamic Duo foil the evil Karlo,who vows a terrible revenge on Batman and his allies.

Karlo was able to escape again when Gotham City was struck by the great Cataclysm. He was able to capture Batman and was about to kill him, but he got into a feud with Mr. Freeze on who has a right to kill the Caped Crusader. With that distraction, Batman soundly defeated both of them.

During the "No Man's Land" storyline, Basil Karlo holds Poison Ivy, who is in charge of producing fresh vegetables for the remaining people in the city, prisoner in Robinson Park. Poison Ivy eventually battles and defeats Karlo, sinking him deep into the ground. Later, he seeks to increase his already formidable powers by absorbing Wonder Woman (a clay construct similar to him), giving him an amount of powers that bordered on invulnerability. While he is successful in absorbing the heroine, he is ultimately forced to release her.

He later joined up with the Injustice League. Clayface was among the members of the Injustice League seen in Salvation Run, when he is shipped by the Suicide Squad to a distant planet. Upon his escape from the prison planet, he can be seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. In the second issue of Final Crisis, he triggers an explosion at the Daily Planet.

Powers and Abilities

  • Malleable Clay-like Body: Being chemically altered gave him the ability to regenerate body mass, change shape, size, density and shapeshift into any form he could think of.
  • Superhuman Strength
  • Superhuman Speed
  • Superhuman Agility
  • Superhuman Stamina
  • Superhuman Durability
  • Poisonous Touch: kill with a poisonous touch capable of reducing flesh to protoplasm.