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Basil Karlo (New Earth)

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Information-silkReal NameBasil Karlo
Information-silkCurrent AliasClayface
Information-silkAffiliationMud Pack, The Secret Society of Super-Villains
Information-silkBase Of OperationsGotham City
Information-silkIdentitySecret Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusSingle
Information-silkHeight5' 11"
Information-silkWeight180 lbs (82 kg)
Information-silkEyesBlack Yellow
Information-silkHairBlack None
Information-silkUnusual FeaturesUnique Physiology
Information-silkUniverseNew Earth
Information-silkCreatorsBob Kane
First Appearance

Quote1 Your power is useless. I am a force of nature unto myself. Quote2
-- Clayface src


Basil Karlo (New Earth) 005

Basil Karlo was an actor who was driven mad when he learned of a remake of his classic horror film The Terror, even though he was to be one of the advising staff. Donning the mask of the film's villain, Clayface, he embarked on a murder spree among the cast and crew of the remake. He was foiled by Batman and Robin.[1] He reappeared after the prison ambulance he was riding in plunged off a cliff. He once again donnned the mask of Clayface and targeted Bruce Wayne's fiancee, Julie Madison. [2] Once again, the Dynamic Duo foiled the evil Karlo.

Much later, Karlo languished in a prison hospital, when Sondra Fuller visited him out of curiosity. Karlo proposed an alliance between all living Clayfaces to kill Batman. Even though the Mud Pack, as the group called itself, was defeated, Karlo managed, by tricking his allies, to imbue himself with abilities similar to those of Preston Payne and Sondra Fuller. He was defeated by the combined efforts of Batman and Looker of the Outsiders, by overloading his abilities, making him melt into the ground. Sinking into the earth's crust when he lost control of his power, he managed to survive, and now his body sports crystals similar to quartz that endow him with greater powers. Karlo was able to escape his underground prison when Gotham City was struck by the great Cataclysm. He was able to capture Batman and was about to kill him, but he got into a feud with Mr. Freeze about who should kill the Caped Crusader. With that distraction, Batman soundly defeated both of them.

During the "No Man's Land" storyline, Basil Karlo held Poison Ivy, who was in charge of producing fresh vegetables for the remaining people in the city, prisoner in Robinson Park. Poison Ivy eventually battled and defeated Karlo, sinking him deep into the ground. It appears that the Ultimate Clayface is destroyed in this battle, but he resurfaced as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains. Later, he sought to increase his already formidable powers by absorbing Wonder Woman (a clay construct similar to him), giving him an amount of power that bordered on invulnerability. While he was successful in absorbing the heroine, he was ultimately forced to release her.

Basil Karlo was among the members of the Injustice League and was among the villains seen in Salvation Run. He can be seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. In the second issue of Final Crisis, he triggered an explosion at the Daily Planet.

Black Mask attempted to control Clayface by implanting a device in his body. He escaped Black Mask but was captured and imprisoned by the Outsiders.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit





  • Basil Karlo was also a Clayface, albeit a non-powered one, in both Earth-Two and Earth-One continuities.
  • The character is a pastiche of famed horror actor Boris Karloff. The name 'Basil Karlo' comes from Karloff and actor Basil Rathbone.


  • Basil Karlo is also known as The Ultimate Clayface and Clay Thing.
  • Basil Karlo used to use a "clayface mask" to terrify people during his crimes. He discarded the mask after gaining his unique physiology.


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Batman Villain(s)
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