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"Mortal Clay": Preston Payne, "Clayface III," recalls the events following his last encounter with Batman and how he risked everything for the love of his life, the store mannequin named "Helena".

Quote1.png It's funny... we used to be so much in love, and all we wanted was a normal life, a place where we could be together... Now that we've got all that, the love has gone. Funny. Quote2.png
Clayface III

Batman Annual #11 is an issue of the series Batman Annual (Volume 1) with a cover date of July, 1987.

Synopsis for "Mortal Clay"

Preston Payne, "Clayface III," recalls the events following his last encounter with Batman and how he risked everything for the love of his life, the store mannequin named "Helena".

Following Helena's trace, Clayface III takes up residence in the department store that houses her, hiding all day and coming out only at night to be alone with her. Although they begin very much in love, their relationship takes a turn for the worse when Clayface begins to suspect she is committing infidelities. He finds her missing one night from her usual spot, and after wandering through the store finds her in her underwear in the lingerie section, unaware that she was purposefully moved by the staff members of the department store. The next night, she has been moved back and they continue their relationship. Later, Clayface finds a security guard taking a necklace off of her neck (stealing it to give to his wife), which he can only assume is a token of an affair they've had. After they leave her sight, he brutally murders the man.

The next day, when the body is found, the Gotham City Police Department summon Batman, who deduces Clayface's presence in the store. He tries to confront the villain that night, and finds Clayface waiting in ambush for him, believing Batman is also having an affair with Helena. Clayface almost kills Batman, but at the last moment, he looks into Helena's eyes and sees that she's taking joy in men fighting over her. Batman is able to talk Clayface down, and offers to help him.

As Clayface ends his recollection, he finds himself locked in Arkham Asylum, sharing his cell/room with Helena, although Clayface is beginning to contemplate a divorce. However, he dismisses the idea, choosing to wait instead, and thinks to himself happily, "After all, she can't live forever."

Appearing in "Mortal Clay"

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Synopsis for "Love Bird"

The Penguin is released from prison on parole, and claims to have completely reformed. Nonetheless, Batman insists that he is pulling something, and has the Penguin under constant surveillance to find out what.

However, Penguin is romantically seeing a woman whom he met through the mail and shares a passion for birds, just like he does. She insists that for them to work, the Penguin must give up his life of crime completely, and he professes to Batman that he has gone legitimate with an umbrella factory. When Batman sees several known felons entering the building, he bursts in to investigate, and after fighting the warehouse of thugs, confronts the Penguin. The Penguin is forced to reveal that although his business was legitimate, he has been breaking the law. His employees are all ex-cons who have a lot of trouble getting steady work, and he has been hiring them as a sympathetic gesture. This, however, counts as "consorting with known felons," which is a violation of his parole.

Although the Penguin does go back to jail, Batman personally explains the matter to the prison authorities and to Penguin's partner, who soon visits Penguin in prison.

Appearing in "Love Bird"

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Other Characters:

  • Dovina Partridge (Single appearance)






See Also

Recommended Reading

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