Detective Comics: Clayface Is A Wild Card


James Tynion IV explains why Clayface is such an essential addition to Detective Comics

Detective Comics #934 launches tomorrow, and with it, a very different dynamic. As opposed to Batman often being portrayed as a loner, Detective Comics will very much be a Bat-team book. With Batman and Batwoman being equal partners a leading the team of Red Robin (Tim Drake), Cassandra Cain (who is now called “Orphan”) and most surprisngly, former (?) Batman foe Clayface, specifically the original Clayface, Basil Karlo. James Tynion IV explains why he added Clayface to Detective Comics:

"You need a wildcard. You need a character that you’re not really sure why they are there, or what they are up to. And, in a very practical sense, you want a character that has a very different power-set than anyone else on the team. Right at the beginning, I remember sitting down and trying to figure out who would be the perfect person for that team and for that position, and Clayface just kept coming back to me. Clayface is such an interesting character — there has been so many different iterations of Clayface over the years. He’s been part of the Batman mythos for decades.For me, the most powerful iterations of Clayface have always been those that have the tragic past, and that’s what I wanted to do with Basil Karlo here. The prime version of Clayface as I see it, is the man whose life was destroyed by an accident and kept pulling himself towards the worst parts of humanity. Deep down, if Basil had never become Clayface, he would never would have become a horrifying villain in Gotham City. That wasn’t his plan. His plan was to become one of the great actors. That’s what he wanted more than anything, and that’s what always been the perfect balance because, as Clayface, he can be any person.But as established by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Clayface has lost track of being able to transform back into his actual form. He can’t hold himself together anymore into the man he was. He’s lost himself in the role, and there’s something so tragic, and something so human in that. I wanted to play with a character that is on a redemption arc and isn’t as altruistic as the other characters are. He doesn’t necessarily want to be one of the greatest heroes in the world, but he wants to be the best version of himself because he knows that his life twists down a dark path. It’s really neat to play with a Batman that wants that for him."

Next: Detective Comics #934 Preview

Tynion elaborated saying that Clayface was what he felt really brought Detective Comics together as book and that it helps show that Batman/Bruce Wayne is at heart an optimist who pushes for redemption even in his worst villains. Maybe somebody should tell the guys handling DC movies that (though I think they have finally gotten the message). Detective Comics #934 goes on sale tomorrow.

h/t CBR