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This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.
Clay Stoner fights evil as Odd Man, a two-fisted private detective with a clown-like costume.
He is the sole super hero protector of the crime-ridden River City. His bizarre clothing and high-tech weaponry serve to confuse and humiliate the hardened gangsters he fights against, literally turning the underworld upside-down. Odd Man uses gags and gimmicks to disorient and defeat his opponents.
His first recorded battle was against two super-villains Pharaoh and Queen of the Nile, who believed they were reincarnations of ancient royalty. Investigating robberies of Egyptian artifacts as private detective Clay Stoner, he suspected local museum curators. By night, he would stalk the criminals throughout his city protecting the collectors they preyed on. Pharaoh would mummify his victims in plastic before stealing their valuables, then present them to his Queen. He knew there was a link between the Pharaoh and the museum curator, so he broke into the curator's home, but she and the Pharaoh surprised Odd Man and sealed him in a sarcophagus. Odd Man had prepared for that special plastic that the Pharaoh had used and escaped from the tomb in time to defeat the jewel robbers.
Odd Man was at one point shown to be affiliated with the Hero Hotline service, although his membership was not expanded upon. Later on, he applied for a position as a field agent at Project Cadmus. Dabney Donovan posted the opportunity online and there were many heroes auditioning. It eventually went to reformed criminal Heat Wave. Clay shook hands with Superboy and told him he had had loads of fun, but he couldn't stay for unexplained reasons, and walked off leaving the boy with the impression that he had indeed met a very odd man.
Stoner appeared again during Infinite Crisis, and was present at Stonehenge when all of the magic users gathered to summon the Spectre in conclusion to the Day of Vengeance. He was also there for the Battle of Metropolis against the Secret Society of Super-Villains. There, he fought against and apparently punched out the serial killer Onomatopoeia. He was also present at Booster Gold's funeral during 52, where he was one of the pallbearers along with Beefeater, Blimp, Honest Abe, Mind Grabber Man and Yellow Peri. Clay admitted at the ceremony that he did not even know Booster, and had simply taken a job offer. Although he was disturbed by this, it was explained that Gold was a time traveler.
From all indications, The Odd Man is an intelligent, perceptive, and physically adept hero.
- Intimidation: The Odd Man seems to be extremely well versed in how to intimidate and psychologically dominate and manipulate his opponents, and his crazy mismatched appearance and menacingly gleeful disposition is known and feared by the criminal underworld of River City
- Interrogation: The Odd Man could be most definitely be considered to be an expert in interrogation, with such knowledge that he designed a special headquarters that he can use to interrogate criminals. The room can be made to shift 45 degrees on its axis. It also features a disorienting floor plan, and uses his zany gadgets to scare the information he needs out of his suspects, such as using his shoes to walk on the walls and therefore terrify his suspects.
- Stealth: He is very familiar and skilled at sneak attacks and blending in with his environment despite his garish costume.
- Gadgetry: A gifted gadgeteer, he has built a number of ingenious, if low-tech, weapons to use in his war against crime and appears able to devise more as needed. In his battle against the Pharaoh, his only recorded adventure, it took him only 24 hours to devise a spray capable of dissolving the glue-like, plastic compound from the Pharaoh’s Mummifier Gun.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): He is an untutored, if self taught martial artist who can, nevertheless, hold his own in a fight, whether it be against a whole gang of petty thugs or some of the lower level supervillains the DC Universe has to offer. Odd Man is an extremely capable fighter, supposedly defeating Onomatopoeia in comba, who happens to be known as one of the most deadly assassins in the DC universe. He combines a sort of street fighting and boxing style with his extreme, tactless and unpredictable acrobatic ability to great affect when push comes to shove and due to his long, if dragged on career as a costumed crime fighter, he has progressed to being one of the more highly capable combatnents when it comes to the more obscure of DC characters.
- Acrobatics: The Odd Man’s agility is remarkable. For instance, it allowed him to dodge many attacks by the Pharaoh’s Mummy Gun, and also employs a variety of gadgets and weaponry that exploit and further enhance his extreme acrobatic abilities.
- The Odd Man was originally intended to be a more regular character, although he does not appear very often. Steve Ditko created him during the DC Explosion, when many new characters were produced, and he was planned to run as a back-up feature in the Shade, the Changing Man title. However, Shade was cancelled along with many others during the DC Implosion for sales reasons, and Odd Man's first appearance wouldn't be published until they printed it in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2. This story eventually appeared regularly in Detective Comics #487.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 13 Appearances of Clay Stoner (New Earth)
- 13 Images featuring Clay Stoner (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Clay Stoner (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Clay Stoner (New Earth)