"Full House": Annoyed that his current muscle isn't serving his needs as well as they could, Oswald Cobblepot muses aloud that it might be time to break his number-one man out of Arkham Asylum. This is met with a violent response by that number-one man,
- It's me. I'm behind you in the shadows. I'm going to speak now.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "Full House"
Annoyed that his current muscle isn't serving his needs as well as they could, Oswald Cobblepot muses aloud that it might be time to break his number-one man out of Arkham Asylum. This is met with a violent response by that number-one man, Clayface, who insists that he has finished paying his debt to the Penguin, and it is now his time.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon wonders just what precipitated Clayface's escape from Arkham. There is always some factor that explains why a breakout occurs at a particular time and not another. One of the guards explains that the man in the cell next to his, Mogsy, had died recently, and the two had been friends. Jim is surprised when Batman appears behind him, suggesting that Clayface left because he lost his audience. As a narcissist, Basil Karlo needs an audience, and doubtless, now that he is out, he will find one.
This supposition proves true in a quite literal sense when Clayface's next move is to kidnap civilians off the street for his audience. Having last caught Karlo in an abandoned theatre, Batman suspects that he will go to a similar venue. Impatiently, he runs a search for every casting office and theatre that might have opened one of Basil Karlo's movies. Unfortunately, it turns up so many that he can't possibly check them alone - and in further misfortune, he has managed to alienate most of his allies. Fortunately, Alfred has a few ideas, and he recruits Black Canary and Condor to check out the locations that he cannot.
Six months earlier, Karlo had gained control over himself, thanks to the clay sample the Penguin had given him, but that hadn't been enough. He'd needed to control his audience as well. For that, he sought the Joker. The madman provided him with a weak version of his toxin that would leave its victims laughing and alive. Now, Clayface forces his captive audience to take the poison intravenously, and the ensuing laughter signals the start of his show.
After searching all night, Batman finally comes up lucky on the last venue on his list, disturbed to discover the use of Joker Venom. Angrily, Karlo curses him for ruining his performance, but Batman is prepared for the fight this time, knocking him from a catwalk into a vat of chemicals. Fortunately, Canary and Condor catch up in time to help free the captives and inoculate them. When Jim Gordon arrives, he is reluctant to send Clayface back to Arkham, knowing that it will likely mean another escape. As before, Batman devises a specialized method for imprisoning the shape-changer.
Appearing in "Full House"
- Joker (Flashback only)