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Matt Hagen

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Clayface
Clayface-20051029014547123 640w
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Real Name:

Matt Hagen

Gender:

Male

Color:

Light brown/tan

Element:

None

Type:

Mimicry/Brawler

Series:

Batman

First appearance:

Batman: The Animated Series Episode 4

"I'm not an actor anymore. I'm not even...a man!" ―Matt Hagen, Feat of Clay Part 2

Matt Hagan, AKA Clayface is a recurring supervillain featured in Batman the Animated Series, a 90s adaptation of the Batman mythos of DC Comics. He is voiced by Ron Perlman

Character OverviewEdit

Matt Hagen was an actor struck by tragedy when he fell victim to a car crash which considerably disfigured his face beyond repair. In his moment of vulnerability, he was approached by a shady businessman named Roland Daggett who offered him a special experimental make-up cream that could not only repair his face in a matter of seconds, but also give him the ability to reconstruct it as he saw fit. Using it, he would become a great actor, but would be bound by criminal activities to sustain his career. Through a series of events, he would later be transformed into the insane monster known as Clayface to cause havoc wherever he went, secretly wanting to become human again.

AppearanceEdit

As Hagen, he appeared as a handsome man of American descent with short black hair and eyes. After the accident, his face was horribly disfigured, featuring wrinkled and sunken skin with his nose gone and at the barebones. After becoming Clayface, he becomes a hulking humanoid creature with creamy tan skin, yellow eyes and a misshapen mouth featuring visible teeth with his lower mandible extended.

PersonalityEdit

As an actor, Hagen loved being able to play great parts. When the Renuyu addiction began, he started growing a bit aggravated overtime and after his transformation, he became insane and started to reject his human persona. Deep beneath his deep-seated rage however, all he desired more than anything was to be human again.

Special AbilitiesEdit

Matt Hagen possesses the basic slime abilities of shapeshifting, liquefying, texture temperament and weapon formation. As an actor, Hagen was proficient in playing pretend genuinely which also made him an ideal candidate of spying. When his body was fully saturated by an excessive overdose of Renuyu, he gained the ability to reconstruct his entire body as he saw fit either through reflex or more dramatic changes through concentrated. Not only could he mimic any body shape and gender but could also change his voice box accordingly to add to his deceptions. At first, the shapeshifting wore down his mind considerably to the point of having to relax first but soon after was he able to maintain shapes without the pain.

Later on, he gained the ability to send out pieces of himself as fully functional clone constructs which he could then reabsorb and gain the knowledge they had obtained.

SynopsisEdit

Matt Hagan was an actor who was struck by tragedy after a car crash nearly ends his life. Although he survived, his acting career seemed to be doomed as his face was destroyed beyond repair. In his moment of desperation and despair, he was approached by a mysterious businessman named Roland Daggett who offered to him an experimental facial make-up cream that could do in seconds what would take even the best surgeons years to accomplish. Although he was required to carry out questionable tasks, this option would allow him to continue his career and go on to assume his greatest movie roles. One day, he was to impersonate Bruce Wayne and lure his partner, Lucius Fox into a trap to where he would provide him with the incriminating evidence to arrest Daggett. When Fox asks him what he was to do with it, he stated with a sinister smile that he was going to destroy them and armed henchmen appear, ready to assassinate Fox. However, Batman crashes in at the last minute and stops the whole operation.

Hagen is able to escape in all the confusion and returns to his trailer, the cream having worn off on his way back, although Fox has already identified Wayne as his assailant as he passes out when the authorities retrieve him and send him to a hospital. His partner and stunt double Teddy Lupus then appears to an enraged and desperate Hagen who is rummaging through his belongings for more cream. He snatches the cream out of Lupus's hand and discovers there was a bit more than he though, although Lupus stated that he didn't hold out on him, there wouldn't be enough for him this time. Hagen becomes tired of doing criminal activities for Daggett and resolves to steal enough for himself. He sneaks into the lab to try and take a fresh batch for himself, disguising himself as Wayne again as assurance after he is able to get some on his face. However, he is caught by Daggett's henchmen, but tries to forward his deception but because of his suspicious appearance, they are able to see through this and they attempt to apprehend and presumably kill him. However, one of them happens upon an idea and decides to give Hagan "all of the stuff he could want" and douses an entire batch of it down his throat, throwing him back into his car and leaving him to die. By the time Lupus finds him, his body has mutated beyond recognition, transformed into a hulking monster and howls in anguish when he awakens to see his reflection in the rear view mirror.

They manage to make it back to the trailer without being noticed, Hagen distraught over the fact that not even Renuyu could repair this damage considering that it had caused it in the first place. Lupus remains optimistic, saying they have been through worse. He reflects on how the ensuing events occurred in the first place, but Lupus reminds him that after the accident he had his best roles in spite of his more shady dealings. He then goes on to see and review the portraits of the various characters he played as during his illustrious career, unexpectedly changing his face to match each one as he goes by. Lupus notices this and Hagen decides to experiment, concentrating on one of his familiar roles and is able to successfully change his entire shape. With this, Lupus is ecstatic that they could go on again with his newfound powers. However, his form quickly vanishes and he reels in pain, stating that maintaining the shape required focus. Unable to deal with this, he goes mad and abandons his human persona. He then decides to use his powers to instead get revenge, first approaching Germs, Daggett's right-hand man and attempts to kill him after Batman cornered him, knocking him out of the way first. He then takes Germs up towards a roof and attempts to drop him off but Batman is able to stop him beforehand. Shortly enough a battle ensues between the two, Hagen transforming his arms into various weapons to attack. The series of transformations begins to take their toll on Hagen's mind and as the police arrive, he decides to retreat, jumping off the roof and splattering into a puddle, sliding down towards the sewers to escape.

He later appears at his own residence, frustrated by his inability to remain human. Lupus tries to cheer him up but he is unable to cope with it all, calling himself Clayface. In his anger, he forces Lupus out of the house, wishing to be alone. Clayface would later make a surprise appearance at a televised interview featuring Daggett discussing the local distribution and marketing of Renuyu, disguised as a chubby female interviewer. In his progressive rage and revealing the side effects of using it, he transforms into his monstrous form, ready to kill Daggett himself. However, Batman arrives at the scene and does battle with him, although Batman is able to bind Daggett before he escapes. Clayface attempts to roll him over as a giant ball and crashes into a wall where he disappears. He then ambushes Batman from behind after jumping out of a vent and manages to bind him to a wall, proclaiming that he has figured out the full extent of his power. Batman then pushes him into a control room and recovers. However, Clayface corners Batman and knocks him into the control panel, attempting to suffocate him by smothering him with his body. As Batman wriggles about, his hand accidentally pushes down a switch, activating a few monitors that displays a portrait of one of the characters he played. He stops and retracts his goop, freeing Batman and giving him some air. He then begins tampering with the controls and activates more monitors to display the rest of his roles.

Clayface begins to reel in anguish as Batman tries to assure him through help that he could continue his movie career. Unfortunately, Clayface is still beyond the point of reasoning. The various memories of his movie roles begin to pile up and clog his mind as his body begins to subconsciously shapeshift uncontrollably. Unable to keep up with so many forms, he begins to spin around and knocks Batman down as a twirling abomination of conflicting textures and shapes, accidentally damaging the control panel as well. As the police arrive, they witness Clayface morphing again, this time into Bruce Wayne as his mind begins to give way. Trying to stop the pain, he plunges his hands into a monitor and shocks himself in the process. Downed and dying, he turns back into Hagen and faces Batman stating "You know what I'd have given for a death scene like this? Too bad I won't get to... read the notices.", shifting into his disfigured appearance and again back into Clayface as he dies.

Batman reveals however that he heard between the lines and through experimentation that Clayface had faked his death, having left a crumbling shell of himself in the hospital to avoid examination. As Lupus bids farewell, a lady nearby begins to laugh maniacally and her voice changes, revealing that Clayface was still alive.


Clayface returns later in Mudslide, having resumed his crime spree, trying to rob a bank. However, Batman is alerted to the scene and tries to subdue him. Unfortunately, Clayface's powers still prove too much for the Caped Crusader. Just as he moves in for the kill, a nearby grandfather clock sets off and stops him. He holds his head in pain and retreats, jumping out of a window for a quick escape. However, just as he begins to reconstitute after splattering, his movement becomes noticeably sluggish. Batman notices this and tries to help him but Clayface rejects this. Before Batman can capture him, a car drives by and tries to run over him, clearing the way for Clayface. The drive inside opens up for him and takes him away. It is later revealed that Clayface's condition has been worsening as the effects of the Renuyu have been further destablizing his body. The person taking care of him, Dr, Stella Bates, had agreed to help him return him to his human form as Matt Hagen as she had been smitten by the former actor for his roles in his movies. Clayface subtly manipulated her infatuation with him, reciting lines from his roles.

She revealed that she could keep Clayface alive and stable through an isotope named MP-40 which gave him a much slimmer and rubbery appearance that gave him better control over any goo that may have detached from his body. Unfortunately, not only was the isotope temporary and rare, but the only major source in the world was located at Wayne Industries where it was being produced in mass quantities. Clayface disguised himself as a female scientist after breaking into Wayne Industries and then taking a sample, making his escape via a train. Before he could settle down and relax however, his form began to melt and regress back into his familiar monstrous form. Batman is able to track him down and does battle with him, even being able to freeze him for a bit. Desperate, Clayface jumps out of a window again and shatters into a garbage truck, reforming seconds later with the sample in hand. With the isotope secured, Clayface gives it to Stella and the procedure to cure him begins. Unfortunately, Batman makes an untimely appearance to confront Clayface just as his human form is being restored. The stress and anger builds up inside of him and causes him to break his powered up form as Stella yelps in despair. The two do battle with Clayface managing to smother him again in his mass, but Batman is able to escape by firing his grappling hook to pierce his head and catch a ceiling light to pull the rest of him away from him. The battle soon moves outdoors as Clayface corners Batman to a cliff. Unfortunately, he himself is at the disadvantage as rainfall is constantly pelting at his form and causing him to dissolve. Batman and Stella once again tries to offer him help but at this point he is beyond reasoning and he lunges at Batman, taking both all the cliff. Batman is able to catch a hold with his grappling hook with Clayface holding onto him by his leg. Unfortunately, he slowly begins to slip away, finally falling off and plummeting into the ocean below where his form seemingly dissolves within the watery depths.

However, it appears that Clayface had somehow survived this encounter as shown in Growing Pains, an episode of the sequel series, The New Adventures of Batman and Robin. Clayface had been able to keep his form together long enough to drift towards a pipe leading into a factory due to unknown chemicals floating in the water. Too weak and disoriented to continue on at this point, Clayface spent sometime recuperating in the pipe as his form writhed about. At the same time, he had split a portion of himself off of his body which formed into a teenage girl called Annie, who wandered into the city to survey for him. However, because of his weakened state, the girl was amnesic and he had no control over her. When he finally regained his strength, he pursued her, taking on the form of a man who referred to himself as her father. While she was being pursued however, she was being protected and looked after by Robin, Batman's partner. Clayface finally corners the two into a factory and does battle with Robin, but the boy seems to be no match for him. When all hope seemed lost, Annie, who had remembered everything, sacrificed herself by shoving herself into Clayface, willingly rejoining with him in the process. Robin demands to bring her back, but because she was a mere spawn of him, she could not be brought back, even if he wanted to bring her back out. Enraged, Robin throws a bladed boomerang at him. Although it misses, it strikes a vat of solvent which then spills onto Clayface, dissolving a portion of his form. Noticing his opportunity, Robin throws another and creates a second leak. The encroaching flood effectively corners Clayface and backs up him into a corner. Robin moves in for the kill but Batman stops him before he can move in for the kill. Using this distraction, Clayface lashes at them one more time using elongated gullotine blades but accidentally strikes the vat. The sparks that generate from the grinding ignites the solvents however and causes a violent explosion that fries his body and renders him unconscious. Although he is taken back to Arkham Asylum, Robin reasons that he should be charged for murder, having "killed" Annie.

Clayface later makes a reappearance in a holiday episode, splitting himself into various homeless children to shoplift on Christmas Eve. When he was cornered by the police, he resumed his form to terrorize his captors. Due to a timely appearance by Batgirl however, he was subdued and electrocuted by her and taken back to Arkham Asylum.

TriviaEdit

  • The 90s TAS depiction of Clayface was in fact a clever fusion of the first two Clayfaces in the DC Comics, taking on the name Matt Hagen, his acting career derived from the first, Basil Karlo.

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