"Not Just Another Pretty Face": Basil Karlo was not always a criminal. He was once a popular actor with ambition, until his career was ruined by his temper. He had been ad-libbing on the set, and his director had berated him for it. Unfortunately, Karlo's instinct w
- NO. Callin' me an idiot... That was the mistake.
- — Clayface
Appearing in "Not Just Another Pretty Face"
Synopsis for "Not Just Another Pretty Face"
Basil Karlo was not always a criminal. He was once a popular actor with ambition, until his career was ruined by his temper. He had been ad-libbing on the set, and his director had berated him for it. Unfortunately, Karlo's instinct was to punch the director in the face, and it ruined his career necessitating a turn to crime. Even now, though, that instinct hasn't changed.
Basil Karlo is now Clayface, and while traversing Gotham City's sewers on his way to a bank robbery with some thugs, he suggests taking a detour to hit a jewellery shop on the way. When he meets resistance from the others he lashes out, and kills every one of them. At first he worries that he will have to lay low, but when he returns to the surface he finds that Gotham has fallen into chaos with the news that the Justice League is dead. With them out of the way, he can do anything he wants.
What he wants right now is a drink at Bar 8, where many of Gotham's crooks hang out. There, he learns that the Secret Society is recruiting, and wonders how he can get recruited. He learns from Great White Shark that there is a gang of ex-military types who are attempting to form a resistance against the Society, and that he had hoped to curry favour by taking them out. In response, Clayface knocks the man unconscious, and steals his plan.
When he arrives at the resistance's supposed location, he notices that it seems more like a camp for the homeless, and decides to take on the appearance of a homeless person to fit in, and perhaps see what lies beneath the surface. When he is confronted with antagonism by younger, clean-shaven men, he knows he's found the resistance. He kills his opposition, stealing one of their number's identities, and enters the base. Once there, he kills everyone he sees, and tries to contact the Secret Society to report on his success. He is horrified to learn, however, that the Society engineered the resistance. The soldiers were under the Society's command. They call Clayface an idiot for his "initiative," and that insult sends him into a rage. Somehow, in his spree of anger-fuelled destruction, the self-destruct sequence for the hangar, and Clayface was caught in the explosion.
After laying low and nursing his wounds for weeks, Clayface hears tell of a new job, and agrees to join it as muscle - but he has already concocted his own plan, and he knows it will get him back on top.
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- Cover gallery for the Batman: The Dark Knight series
- Images from Batman: The Dark Knight Vol 2 23.3: Clayface