Clayface is one of the more memorable Batman villains out there. However, it is important to note that the name has been used for nine separate characters, which is not counting those who have shown up in alternate universes and the like. As a result, it can be more than a little bit challenging to keep track of which Clayface is which.
Here are five things that you may or may not have known about Clayface:
The First Clayface Was Basil Karlo
One of the better-known Clayfaces is Basil Karlo, an actor past his prime who was not given a role in a remake of a horror movie that he had starred in. As a result, he decided to dress up as a villain from another movie before murdering the people who would be playing important parts in the remake. As a result, Karlo had no superpowers from the start, though he managed to pick them up when the various Clayfaces forced a team called the Mud Pack for the purpose of defeating Batman and Robin.
The Second Clayface Was Matt Hagen
Matt Hagen was the second Clayface who could shape-shift because of his regular visits to a mysterious pool of protoplasm that made his body malleable. Curiously, while Matt Hagen has shown up in a wide range of Batman media, he was killed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, with the result that he was never actually a member of the Mud Pack in spite of his symbolic inclusion.
The Third Clayface Was Preston Payne
The third Clayface was a scientist named Preston Payne, who had given himself superpowers by injecting himself with an enzyme that he had found in a sample of Matt Hagen’s blood. Suffice to say that this was a terrible idea, seeing as how he started to melt people with no more than a single touch. Combined with a compulsion to melt people by feeling severe pain whenever he restrains himself, Payne went mad, so much so that he fell in love with a mannequin under the belief that she was the one woman who would not melt when touched by him.
The Fourth Clayface Was Sondra Fuller
Sondra Fuller was the fourth Clayface, who picked up superpowers similar to those of Matt Hagen with no need to visit a pool of protoplasm because of the Kobra organization’s super-tech. On top of those, Fuller had the rather unusual ability to mimic the powers of whoever she was mimicking, which made her an even more serious threat. Fuller was the one who broke Karlo out of prison, which kickstarted the formation of the Mud Pack.
The Fifth Clayface Was Cassius Payne
Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the fifth Clayface was related to Preston Payne. To be exact, Cassius Payne was the son of Sondra Fuller and Preston Payne, who had fallen in love following their experiences as part of the Mud Pack. When he was still a child, Cassius was kidnapped by another supervillain for the purpose of coercing his father, but even though he was recovered by Preston, their reunion was short-lived because his parents were arrested while he was sent off to a government-run laboratory. Later, it turned out that Cassius possessed superpowers beyond those of his parents, with an excellent example being the ability to impart Clayface-themed superpowers to normal humans when they bonded with a separated piece of his body.