Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episodes 20 and 21 – Feat of Clay – The Origin of Clayface

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“Feat of Clay,” is the two part episode that explores the origin of Clayface. The premise is an out of work actor is being used by Daggett to frame Bruce Wayne in order to take over Wayne Enterprises. He does this by giving the actor (Matt Hagen) cream that allows him to change his face. Batman is investigating why Lucius Fox believes he tried to kill him and the mystery unfolds from there.

Here is my assessment of the episode:

Pros: Clayface – Is awesome, his insecurities make him a fascinating character, and you get why he wants revenge…sadly though he isn’t nearly as complex as Two-Face or Mr. Freeze though. I can understand why he is part of the main rogues gallery though. His power is cool (shape-shifting via being made of clay) and his look is cool too (he looks like Oogy-Boogy from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Mr. Daggett – Is a great baddie. First corrupt businessman who has felt like a real threat. I can see why he was used later in “The Dark Knight Rises.” He is corrupt, driven and smart. His goons tend to be smarter than most and more dangerous.

Batman – You see the cons of Batman in this episode. When he is mad he is incredibly ruthless, from holding someone above the ocean in the Batwing and dropping him from such heights he would die if it weren’t a cartoon. It shows just how fine of line Batman walks, and no he isn’t completely good. He is flawed.

The ending – Is pretty great. Clayface out powers Batman by the nature of his ability, but Batman outsmarting him and using his ego against him makes for a fantastic win. The twist adds to it too given he manages to outsmart them all (fake his own death) and is still alive to reek havoc.

Okay: The story – Interesting idea but it wasn’t as executed as well as it could have been. It was sort of all over the place and Matt Hagen just isn’t as fleshed out as he could have been. It isn’t bad, but isn’t good.

This was a good episode that I’d recommend. Not a favorite episode, but a good episode.

I’d give it an 8 / 10.

 

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