Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3 Clayface
By John Layman, Cliff Richards, and Matt Yackey
Villains month enters it’s third week, and Batman: The Dark Knight readers are treated to a story about Clayface. As DC’S special month winds down, readers may think all the best villains were all ready used in the first two weeks, but Lex Luthor and Deathstroke are a couple of other big name antagonists to come out this month as well.
We start out with a brief flashback of the life of Basil Karlo before we jump ahead to Clayface, who also does the monologue for this issue. As the story unfolds, we see that maybe there isn’t much of a difference between Karlo and his villainous counterpart, as he attempts to stop a resistance group trying to take the world away from the bad guys.
John Layman has his feet in the Batman universe due to the fact that he writes Detective Comics, but Clayface can be a tough character to write. Layman does a good job paralleling his life as Karlo and Clayface. He also allows the reader to get underneath the surface of the brutish villain, and see him as more than just hired muscle. Layman also gets points for bringing in former villains in the book like White Rabbit, it’s always nice to see a little continuity.
Cliff Richards Does a solid job filling in on the issue. He has a wonderful 2 page spread of Clayface murdering some people, which should be a nice eye opener to start the book. Richards really shines during fight scenes, and there are several in the issue. The way they are laid out make it easy and enjoyable for the reader. Any of the bar scenes are great as well, seeing former foes in the background makes the panels all the more enjoyable. A good effort on a good issue.
Clayface comes off very likable and conniving in this issue, which make for a pretty interesting read. He’s generally a character that is forgotten, but this issue makes him relevant and dangerous. Layman and Richards do a decent job of making this one shot issue worth the cover price.