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Batman: Feat of Clay
Clayface (Batman)
Release Date: 1992
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Batman: Feat of Clay is a 1992 TV movie that was originally released as two episodes. It is part of Batman: The Animated Series.

PlotEdit

A strange meeting takes place in an abandoned tramway station in Gotham at three o' clock in the morning, between Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne. Fox gives a suitcase full of evidence to Wayne, which incriminates Roland Daggett in an illegal scheme to take over Wayne Enterprises through insider trading. When Fox asks what Wayne plans to do with them, Wayne, with a sinister smile, says he plans to destroy them... and a group of armed henchmen appear from the upper levels of the tramway and try to kill Fox.

Batman springs from the ceiling and stops one of the three thugs, but is stopped short of detaining the remaining two. Wayne, obviously an impostor, escapes, leaving behind a near-fatally wounded Fox, who identifies Wayne as his attacker when he is found by the police.

It is revealed that Wayne's impostor is actually Matt Hagen, a famous movie actor. Hagen has developed a serious addiction to "Renuyu", a dangerous experimental chemical developed by Daggett's laboratories, which allows him to reform his facial features into any appearance he wants. The chemical is necessary to cover the disfigurement he suffered in a car accident years before, and which he has kept secret from the public.

After learning of the botched attempt on Fox's life, Daggett orders his henchmen Raymond Bell and "Germs" (a severe mysophobe) to dispose of Hagen. When asked how they will find Hagen, Daggett chuckles and says that Hagen can be expected to come to them, as soon as his supply of Renuyu runs out.

True enough, Hagen breaks into Daggett Laboratories and immediately slathers the chemical on his face. When Bell and Germs appear, Hagen tries to pass himself off as Bruce Wayne, but they see through his act. Holding him down on the floor, they tip an entire vat of Renuyu down his throat, apparently killing him before placing him inside his car and abandoning him.

Turning up Bell's name as one of Daggett's henchman and a likely lead, Batman pursues him in the Batplane and forces him off the road, dumping his car to the river and dangling him high up in the sky by a mechanical arm. Batman demands to know who Fox was meeting, but Bell faints before he can confess.

Wayne enters the hospital where Fox is being kept and tries to clear his name, but as soon as Fox sees him, he summons the police, and Bruce is arrested.

Teddy Lupus, Hagen's stunt double and best friend (also the only other man who knows about his condition), finds Hagen's car in an alley. Approaching, he puts his hand on Hagen's shoulder, only to realize it has a consistency like that of clay. Hagen rises and looks into the rear-view mirror. Seeing that he has become a living golem of protoplasmic clay after the Renuyu saturation, he screams in horror.

In his trailer, Hagen remembers how he became addicted to Renuyu in the first place: he was horribly disfigured in a car crash years ago, and Daggett approached him, offering to let him be a tester for Renuyu. Hagen eagerly accepted, knowing that the substance could change his face in seconds, while plastic surgery would take years to correct his disfigurement. But after he became addicted, he was forced to become Daggett's henchman, often impersonating people illegally, just to keep his supply constant.

Now an animated mound of clay, he also remembers his past movies, and Teddy is surprised to see his face changing to a normal human's as he walks past his various movie posters. Hagen stops and practices, realizing that now he can imitate any face, any garment, any voice, any shape. Teddy is exultant, but Hagen bellows that the shape shifting takes too much effort, and he can't keep it up for long. "I'm not an actor anymore... I'm not even a man."

With revenge on his mind, Hagen reasons that Daggett will send someone else to finish off Lucius Fox, and that person will lead Hagen back to Daggett. He infiltrates the hospital disguised as a male nurse.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is released from prison on bail, thanks to some phone calls by [Alfred Pennyworth (DC Animated Universe)|Alfred]. Batman also infiltrates the hospital, on the same mission as Hagen. He catches Germs in the act of trying to suffocate Fox. Germs flees, but is cornered, to his horror, in a storage closet holding a vast collection of bacteriological and virological samples. Batman places one of these, supposedly an incurable disease, above Germs' head, and demands to know who impersonated Bruce Wayne for Daggett. When Germs hesitates, Batman punches the wall, causing the vial to teeter on the edge.

Germs breaks down and gives Hagen's name. Batman doesn't believe him, saying that he knows what Hagen looks like, and no makeup could make him resemble Wayne closely enough. Before Germs can tell just how Hagen did it, a police officer enters, and demands Batman hand over Germs. Batman asks for a second longer (revealing the vial to be mere seawater) but the officer attacks him with a massive clay arm, revealing himself to be Hagen, and abducts Germs.

Taking him to the roof of the hospital, he is about to throw him off the edge, but Germs is rescued by Batman. While Hagen tries to imitate Batman, he is unable to do it fully, and instead attacks him with an array of assorted weapons, from a fork to a massive block of solid clay. Batman, horrified at first at the extent of Hagen's powers, nevertheless realizes his true identity. He saves Germs, albeit barely, as Hagen escapes by throwing himself off the building and slithering away through the sewers.

Hagen, while hiding out at Teddy's house, makes his final plans to kill Daggett, much to Teddy's objections. Hagen finally snaps and lashes out at Teddy, giving himself a new name, Clayface, and leaving Teddy's house.

On Summer Gleeson's talk show, Daggett is giving an interview about the wondrous properties of Renuyu, as an instant and over-the-counter alternative to cosmetic surgery. An obese woman stands up in the audience, asking Daggett about rumors she's heard that Renuyu is actually highly addictive and has harmful side effects. Daggett, sweating slightly, denies any such thing, but then the woman asks him to demonstrate what an overdose of the stuff will do — and reveals herself as Clayface.

Batman sneaks into the studio's control room. Clayface strikes and nearly kills Daggett, but Batman saves Daggett by battling Clayface.

The fight carries up into the control room. Batman is no match for Clayface's powers, but then he plugs a tape in and turns on all the monitors. Clayface is deluged with images of himself from his acting days, and he loses control as his body reflexively starts to imitate all of them at once. Crashing into a panel, he screams as electricity surges through his body, and collapses. During his spastic transformations, his Bruce Wayne face appears long enough for arriving police officers to see it. Hagen's face briefly assumes its real — i.e., disfigured — appearance, and he laments that he has just had a spectacular death scene, but won't be able to read the reviews.

Lucius Fox recovers and is relieved to know that the Bruce Wayne who attacked him was an imposter. Later on, Batman conducts test on a small piece of clay left behind after Hagen's body was taken away. He finds that electricity has little to no effect on it, and comes to the terrible conclusion that Clayface is still alive.

Teddy, in front of the hospital, grieves for Hagen's death, while Clayface, disguised as a young woman, laughs in dark glee.

CastEdit

GalleryEdit

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