A number of villains have used the name Clayface
and have all been
published by DC Comics
The first Clayface first appeared in Detective Comics #40. The villain
first known as Clayface was a well-known movie actor named
Basil Karlo. Karlo mostly starred in horror pictures and was
famous the world over. When one of his movies was remade
starring a younger actor, Karlo became enraged. Dressing as one of
the characters he had played in the movie Clayface, Karlo went
on a rampage killing two of the actors from the new movie. Only through
the timely intervention of Batman and his teen partner Robin was
Clayface stopped and captured. Karlo was sent to Arkham Asylum but
has escaped a number of times.
The second Clayface was an adventurer known as Matt Hagen. He first
appeared in Detective Comics #298. Hagen
discovered an underground grotto while searching for sunken treasure.
Within the grotto was a pool of liquid that when Hagen submerged himself
in it, transformed his body into a claylike substance. Hagen soon learned
that he could reshape himself and he saw a way to use his new found
ability to disguise himself and commit a series of robberies. Hagen
like Karlo before him called himself Clayface. Hagen too had a number
of run ins with Batman, and was sent to prison. During the Crisis on Infinite
Earths, Hagen was killed.
The third Clayface first appeared in Detective Comics #478. Preston Payne
had a pituitary condition known as acromegaly. The condition caused
Payne's extremities to become enlarged. Visiting Hagen in prison
prior to his death, Payne got a blood sample from him that he used
to create a formula that when injected in his blood allowed him to
change shape. Changing his form to that of a handsome man, Payne
was enjoying the attention of a beautiful woman, when he began to lose
his control over his form. Payne's features and form began to run
like hot wax and his date became alarmed and screamed. When Payne
grabbed her, his touch turned the poor woman into a protoplasmic slime.
Payne ended up wearing an exoskeleton that gave him super strength and
helped him to hold his form together. Payne also lost his mind due
to his situation. He attacked a number of people until he was stopped
The fourth Clayface was Sondra Fuller. The only female Clayface first
appeared in The Outsiders #22. Fuller was the victim of an
experiment by the villain Kobra which gave her powers similar to the
second Clayface Matt Hagen but with improvements. Fuller could not
only adopt the form of another, if the person had special powers, she
also assumes those as well. Hence when she assumed the form of
Outsider Looker, she gained the heroine's telepathy powers.
Sondra Fuller and Preston Payton were involved in a brief romance that
produced a son they have named Cassius. What powers the child has
remains to be seen.
Three of the villains named Clayface have teamed up at one point calling
themselves the Mudpack. Lead by the original Clayface Basil Karlo, the team
was comprised of Karlo, Clayface III (Preston Payne), and Clayface
IV (Sondra Fuller). The Mudpack attempted to rid themselves of
their foe, Batman and nearly succeeded except for the timely
help of Batman's former teammate in the Outsiders, Looker.
Karlo later turned on the other members of the Mudpack and used
them to give himself powers that combined their abilities. The
amount of power that Karlo gave himself was more than his form could
stand and eventually destroyed him.
Clayface appears in Batman: The Animated Series, as Matt
Hagen, an actor who is transfomed by the use of an experimental and dangerous makeup that allows the user to
rework their face at will (sort of a face lift in a jar). The cartoon character mixed elements of the the first two
My thanks to Servo5678
for keeping me straight on the animated series.