ClayfaceBack to Villains Main > Clayface
Real Identity: Matt Hagen
Affiliation(s): Secret Society
Appearances (BTAS): Feat of Clay, Feat of Clay Part Two, Mudslide, Holiday Knights and Growing Pains
Appearances (JL): Secret Society Part One and Part Two
Appearances (BTAC Comics): Mentors Part 1
Powers: Shape-shifting abilities, can transform body into deadly weapons
Voiced By: Ron Perlman
Matt Hagen was a famous Gotham actor until a horrible car crash disfigured his face permanently. While recovering at a special clinic, Hagen was approached by the industrialist Roland Dagget to be a test subject for a new miracle cream called Renu-U that could temporarily rejuvenate skin. Hagen used this cream to jump start his film career but in exchange, he had to perform criminal activities often impersonating corporate rivals.
Hagen decided to steal enough of the cream so that he could end his dependence on Dagget but his move was easily predicted. Hagen was forced to ingest massive amounts of the cream and in the process; the cream soaked every cell of his body and transformed him into living clay. As Clayface, he attempted to get revenge on Dagget while spoke at a live spot on the Gotham Insider. Batman used multiple recorded images from Hagen's career to overwhelm his shape shifting process. Clayface was electrocuted while smashing the console and was assumed dead.
Clayface survived but soon realized he was losing cellular integrity and would die if not cured. He found help from Stella Bateson, a doctor who consulted on one of Hagen's medical drama films. She discovered a new experimental isotope MP-40, a mutagenic adaptagen that could restore and even increase Clayface's powers. The only one was kept at Wayne Biomedical. Clayface stole it but led Batman straight to Stella's home. A fight spilled outside in the midst of a rain storm. Clayface fell to his doom in the river below.
The tide carried Clayface's remnants near a seaside factory. Clayface then merged with dumped chemicals that made him whole again. However, he still needed time to completely reform and adjust. Clayface used his new found powers to create a separate entity to act as a scout and figure out where he was. The agent was flawed, lost its memory and ran away. The two shared a psychic link to which Clayface used to pursue the agent to Gotham. The agent befriended Robin, Tim Drake, who named it Annie. Annie realized what she was and allowed herself to reunite with Clayface. Robin and Batman stopped Clayface.
On one Christmas Eve, Clayface resurfaced. This time, he used his powers to split into four innocent looking children and started a theft and pick pocket ring on unsuspecting shoppers. The Gotham City Police Department assumed it was a normal shop lifting ring and went undercover. Among the sting were Detectives Renee Montoya and Harvey Bullock, dressed as an elf and Santa Claus, respectively. When Clayface was found out, Barbara Gordon was on the scene and as Batgirl, she instructed Montoya and Bullock to shoot down a Christmas display in order to electrocute and knock out Clayface.
Sunny, Deathstroke's partner, devised a plan to create a situation where he could organically introduce himself to Batman and his allies without drawing any suspicions. She pretended to be a nameless drug dealer offering a cure to Clayface for his condition. Clayface, still desperate for a cure, fell for it and the "antidote" only increased his paranoia and savagery. Clayface's rampage was only fueled by a downtown theater advertising a reboot of "Gangbuster," a movie he originally starred in and considered his greatest role. He was insulted they went ahead with a remake and did so without him. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl responded before he could destroy the theater. Robin tried to wrangle an arm with rope but was unsuccessful. Batman threw a Batarang then dodged a counterattack. They surrounded Clayface but before they could close in, he split in half and bolted in opposite directions. Batgirl and Robin pursued one while Batman went after the other.
Robin ran into Annie, who pleaded for his help. Batgirl tried to warn Robin but he became angry and threw a freezing capsule at her. She began to revert back to Clayface and took a jump kick from Robin. Robin declared that was for Annie. Clayface still fought back and wrapped a tendril arm around Robin's neck while swiping at Batgirl. Deathstroke leaped down and sliced Clayface's head in half with a sword coated with a fast-acting sedative. Deathstroke promised Clayface would wake up in six hours with nothing more than a bad headache. Batgirl thanked him. Batman arrived with the other half of Clayface frozen and over his shoulder. He already deduced he was Deathstroke based on a code name associated with a mercenary matching his description.
Years later, Clayface was siphoned into separate canisters that kept him dormant. The canisters came into thee possession of a black market collector named Morgan Edge. Gorilla Grodd was intent on recruiting Clayface to his Secret Society as the final member. The Society stormed Edge's island compound and freed Clayface. Unlike his new teammates, he did not desire revenge against his enemy. Instead, he just wanted to be human again. Grodd promised to restore Clayface back to a human and powers intact. Clayface obliged. Batman deduced Clayface's escape and tracked him down to a chemical plant. The first confrontation between the Society and the Justice League followed. In the second encounter, as the Society picked off League members one by one, J'onn Jonzz managed to impersonate Clayface and convice Killer Frost to frreze the real one. This solidified the League's survival and a final battle procedded at the Gotham Stadium. Clayface was defeated when the Flash propped several commercial fireworks into him.