"The Challenge of Clay-Face": Batman and Robin are part of a charity exchange when they encounter Clayface, a super-criminal with the power to change his body into any shape imaginable thanks to its clay-li
Appearing in "The Challenge of Clay-Face"
- Clayface (Matt Hagen) (First appearance)
- Joe Shank (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Challenge of Clay-Face"
Batman and Robin are part of a charity exchange when they encounter Clayface, a super-criminal with the power to change his body into any shape imaginable thanks to its clay-like constitution. Clayface uses his extraordinary powers to steal the charity money by shaping his body into a giant python, a giant saw blade and finally a giant eagle, flying away with the money.At his hideout, Clayface changes back to his normal body and Matt Hagen recalls how he managed to get such amazing powers, earlier that day. A treasure hunter by nature, Hagen was exploring underwater, searching for hidden treasures. In this expedition, he found an underwater cave and he took a closer look. In the middle of the cave was a mysterious pool of a strange liquid and he decided to move closer. Unfortunately, Hagen tripped over a rock and fell to the pool. Immediately, his body was affected by the mysterious pool, which Hagen assumed was made of protoplasm of some kind. When he managed to reach the surface again, his body had changed and instead of a human, he was a clay human figure. Hagen's mind focused on his normal appearance and soon, his body changed and transformed back into his normal self. He then decided to test the limits of his new power and discovered that he could transform into anything he could imagine. Hagen finally realized his luck and decided to turn to crime using his new powers.
The Gotham Gazette dub the criminal as Clayface and soon, he attempts to steal valuable pieces of art from an art gallery. Batman and Robin arrive in time to confront Clayface, whose powers start to fade away. Clayface disguises himself as a museum guard and tricks the Dynamic Duo before escaping with the stolen art. When Batman finally realizes that Clayface didn't morphed into anything impressive, he deduces that maybe Clayface's powers were not working at that moment.
Hagen also realizes that his powers were gone and he decides to refresh them by going to the mysterious pool once again. This time, Hagen decides to count the time it takes for his powers to fade. In the meantime, Clayface gathers a small gang, steals from a museum in Gotham City Chinatown and later tries to steal from the Gotham Natural History Museum. However, Batman manages to locate them by inspecting the first crime scene and prevents them from stealing the second museum. In the confrontation, Robin is stunned and Batman tracks the small time crooks, while Clayface manages to remain hidden, transformed as a tree. As Clayface leaves the scene, Robin recovers and follows Clayface to his secret lair using the Whirly-Bat. As Robin breaks into Hagen's mansion, the criminal realizes that it has been 48 hours since he refreshed his powers and are now fading again. Batman arrives in the place shortly after and the heroes outmatch Hagen, who is now powerless. Batman tries to get Hagen to reveal the secret to his powers, but Hagen decides to remain silent and as he is locked in his prison cell, he promises that he would break free and return to the pool to renew his powers and bring Clayface back again.
Appearing in "The Man Who Impersonated J'onn J'onzz"
- a gang of crooks (Single appearance)
- Barry Clark (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Man Who Impersonated J'onn J'onzz"
When Barry Clark, an impersonation artist, sprains his ankle before attempting a grand comeback while imitating his friend J’onn J’onzz, the Martian helps out by imitating Barry imitating him, and performs Clark’s act before an appreciative audience. When a gang of crooks stumbles into Clark’s trailer and discovers the ailing mimic, J’onzz secretly appears and beats the gangsters, making it seem as though Clark is the real Martian Manhunter. The crooks are taken off by the police, and Clark shakes J’onzz’s hand.
Appearing in "The Secret Sentry of the Sea"
- Unnamed assassins (Single appearance)
- Peace Alliance members (Single appearance)
- a Yacht
Synopsis for "The Secret Sentry of the Sea"
Aboard a private yacht, a meeting of officials from two countries to negotiate a peace treaty is underway. In order to protect the vessel from attack, Aquaman and Aqualad are hired to defend the ship from attackers. No matter where the ship goes, it is attacked by those who are trying to prevent the treaty from happening. After stopping every attack with the help of their undersea friends, Aquaman soon learns how the ship is found by the attackers each time: A magnetic transmitter disguised as a swordfish. With the device destroyed, the ship manages to elude any further attacks, and sometime later after the treaty negotiations are a success, Aquaman is awarded by one of the countries that nominates the day "Aquaman Day" and raises a statue of the hero in his honor.
- "The Challenge of Clay-Face" is reprinted in Batman #213 and Batman in the Sixties.
- "The Man Who Impersonated J'onn J'onzz" is reprinted in Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Vol 1.
- "The Secret Sentry of the Sea" is reprinted in Showcase Presents: Aquaman, Volume 1.
- Clayface appears next in Detective Comics #304.
- Aquaman appeared last in Justice League of America #8. He appears next in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #30.
- Aqualad appeared last in Detective Comics #297. He appears next in Aquaman #1.
- Topo appeared last in Detective Comics #297. He appears next in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #30.
- Clayface's name is spelled "Clay-Face" (hyphenated) in this issue.
- This is the first issue to cost 12 cents.
- "The Challenge of Clay-Face" was adapted as the Jiro Kuwata Bat-Manga story "Clayface".
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