Would U Buy It #75: "Batman: The Mud Pack"

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7512/02/10Batman: The Mud Pack(Blog) (Forum)The Mud Pack [story arc](Back) (Next)

We all have trade paperback (TPB) collections we'd like to see. Here's one of mine:

Proposed Title:Batman: The Mud Pack.
Collecting 6 Issues:
  • Secret Origins #44
  • Detective #604-607
  • Batman #550
Covers: (click to enlarge)
TPB Cover: Secret Origins #44

The Clayface characters have always intrigued me. I think they're a little bit underated, and that the bigger, Hulk-size form that Clayface has now does him a disservice. He can change his shape - a master of disguise who could easily lose Batman in a crowd. Instead, he's smashing stuff and slugging it out with the Bat because he can. Doesn't make sense to me. Still I like the Clayfaces - The Mud Pack - and obviously, this is their story. I think it's great, and it takes place during the time when Batman was still highly tormented by the death of Jason Todd. I've always wanted to see this in TPB, but would you?

3/13/12 Update: Thanks to The Qu, who reminded me of the Mudpack issue of Secret Origins. Good call, Qu, because SO #44 is actually the start of the Mudpack story arc in Detective (see the note in the corner box of SO #44). Although Detective #604 is a standout cover, I think I'd use the Secret Origins #44 cover as the cover to the TPB.

Just for kicks, I decided to round this TPB out to six issues, adding Batman #550. It appeared 8 years, 3 months after the last issue of the Mud Pack storyline, but it's the origin, death, and only appearance of Claything - a short-lived offshoot of the Mudpack as a group. It's also the first appearance of DEO agent, Cameron Chase. It has no relation to the previous five issues in the collection, but think of it like an "easter egg" feature on a DVD... or just as what it is: a bonus tale.

Would you buy it? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading.

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22 Comments
22 Comments
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

I read this awhile back and thought it was a cool idea, all the Clayfaces teaming up to give Batman trouble. You never really see an other villain with the same name teaming up. One thing that bugged me about Basil Karlo is that He's supposed to have the powers of Lady Clayface (who can change shape and mimic powers) and Preston Payne(corrosive touch). But he only uses generic shape-shifting. 

Posted by Sydpart2

I think what Morrison did with Preston Payne in Arkham Asylum was awesome. I'd honestly like to read more Clayface stories like that...but I think this would be cool

Posted by The Qu

One could easily throw in the Secret Origins issue for the Mudpack as well, if one needed to fill out the paperback, since DC doesn't like having short paperbacks. And yes, I'd buy it- Clayface is my Bat rogue.
 
Like anyone is going to see this comment.

Posted by Caligula

i'd buy it

Posted by cbishop
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
"I read this awhile back and thought it was a cool idea, all the Clayfaces teaming up to give Batman trouble. You never really see an other villain with the same name teaming up. One thing that bugged me about Basil Karlo is that He's supposed to have the powers of Lady Clayface (who can change shape and mimic powers) and Preston Payne(corrosive touch). But he only uses generic shape-shifting.  "
 
I love that they all team-up here, but I think the Clayfaces are sorely underused.  However, I had to laugh when I came up with the derivative name of "Claything" for my own characters, only to see DC use the name a couple of months later (in the issue that intro'd the DEO's Chase to the DCU).  It was complete coincidence, but kind of a "Really?  They're going to monopolize all of the names?" lol  ...I came up with something else since then. ;) 

@Sydpart2 said:
"I think what Morrison did with Preston Payne in Arkham Asylum was awesome. I'd honestly like to read more Clayface stories like that...but I think this would be cool "
 
Are you talking about the issue where he was talking to the manequin like it was his wife, and then escaped?  That's the only Arkham story I've read with Payne.  (I realize there have probably been others.)

@The Qu said:
"One could easily throw in the Secret Origins issue for the Mudpack as well, if one needed to fill out the paperback, since DC doesn't like having short paperbacks. And yes, I'd buy it- Clayface is my Bat rogue.  Like anyone is going to see this comment."
 
Well, I don't know about anyone at DC, but I saw it!  When I am on my own computer again (instead of a friend's) I'll add it here, and credit you with the suggestion! :) 

@Caligula said:
"i'd buy it "

Thanks, Cal'.  You don't mind if I call you "Cal'," do yo... <gulp>  Wh-wh-what're the l-l-lions for?
Posted by The Qu

Oh, thanks!
 
By the way, the story with the manniquen was by Moore. Morrison had Payne as a much more amorphous... thing that was used as an allegory for STDs. Arkham Asylum was kinda weird that way.

Posted by StrongProtector

I did buy it a long time ago and it remains one of my favorite storylines ever. 

Posted by cbishop
@StrongProtector said: "I did buy it a long time ago and it remains one of my favorite storylines ever.  "

You bought it as the single issues, you mean?  It hasn't been released in a trade paperback, has it?
Posted by about_faces
@The Qu: Seconding this. The Secret Origins issue makes for a nice supplement to this story, especially since we never actually see the individual Clayfaces explored as characters. These days, he's a rather generic character, with barely an identity other than being a monster.
Posted by about_faces
@Sydpart2: Wait, what did Morrison do with the character than was different from what was already there? Personally, I think Moore's take on Preston was the best, and even that wasn't at all removed from the character's other great appearances by Len Wein and Alan Grant.
Posted by Sydpart2
@about_faces said:
" @Sydpart2: Wait, what did Morrison do with the character than was different from what was already there? Personally, I think Moore's take on Preston was the best, and even that wasn't at all removed from the character's other great appearances by Len Wein and Alan Grant. "
It was the way he presented him, he took the idea of Payne being infectous to a really disgusting extreme. Basically he had a kind of nutso leprosy and everything he touched smoked or boiled or just started to rot
Posted by about_faces
@Sydpart2: I dunno, isn't that kind of what Payne was always like? Really, if you're just talking physically here, I think that credit goes to McKean. The only thing Morrison did, from what I understood, was to just really push the idea of Preston as "Walking AIDS."
Posted by Sydpart2
@about_faces said:

" @Sydpart2: I dunno, isn't that kind of what Payne was always like? Really, if you're just talking physically here, I think that credit goes to McKean. The only thing Morrison did, from what I understood, was to just really push the idea of Preston as "Walking AIDS." "

well McKean definitely helped but I think Morrison was the one that deserves the credit since everyone else focused more on the shape shifting aspect of clay face and he's the one that made it a lot creepier. Like I could honestly see the version of Clayface from Arkham Asylum in a Nolan movie...maybe not as instant of an effect with the boils and such but still the idea of leprosy on steroids is just so disturbing. And I think that if someone took the concept farther and detailed what kind of different effects the different bodily fluids would have. It could be really interesting to see someone use say their vomit as a weapon, or to see a boil rapidly expanding till it pops and pus flies everywhere. Taking the idea of the disease style Clayface to an extreme could be incredibly disturbing which would make that Clayface much more memorable...here is what I think a live action Payne would look like...only with skin in differing degrees of rot and thus differently colored.
 http://www.milesteves.com/gallery/d/443-4/Melting-man-72.jpg
Posted by cbishop
@about_faces said: " @The Qu: Seconding this. The Secret Origins issue makes for a nice supplement to this story, especially since we never actually see the individual Clayfaces explored as characters. These days, he's a rather generic character, with barely an identity other than being a monster. "

I'm definitely agreed about the Secret Origins issue.  As soon as I have my own computer linked to the Net again, I will add it.  It's a definite plus for the suggested TPB. :)
Posted by Sharkey

I managed to read it recently, I thought it was a really good storyline (despite how outdated the art felt). The Secret Origins issue was really cool as well, I liked in particular the scene where Preston Payne is yelling at a blank television. :)

Posted by cbishop

It's been a long time since I read it, but I vaguely remember that scene.

Posted by Ryonslaught

i would buy it! I only own the very first issue detective comics #604 and wondered what happened :)

Posted by trailofdead

I read this along with the Secret Origin issue when they first came out...like 20+ years ago. I really loved it then. I hunted down the first appearance of Payne in Detective Comics #478...that's how much I got into Clayface. I think it's time to reread this.

Posted by cbishop

@Ryonslaught: I could probably track this down, but I'd still like to see the trade. I still need to add the Secret Origins issue suggested in the comments.

Edited by cbishop

okay, there was a response to trailofdead in the previous comment too, but for whatever reason, CV's programming cut it out when I posted. So again... I have the entire Secret Origins series, and missed it when it was cancelled. I might have part of the Mud Pack issues, but don't remember. Over 35 years, I have sold and rebuilt my collection a couple of times. I have a list on the computer now, so I don't have to remember lol. 
 
3/13/12: As promised, now that I have my own Internet connection, I have added the suggested Secret Origins #44, and added a Mud Pack relative: Claything, from Batman #550.  More fun than Playdough!

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
Posted by cbishop
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:

Alternately instead of the Chase story you could use the Clayface story from Batman Villains Secret Files and Origins 2005 (featuring art by Mike Mignola!)

Mignola is awesome, but the BVSF&O '05 story features that Hulk-sized Clayface that I have come to despise.  They kind of "monsterfied" Clayface with that appearance (and bizarrely, gave Parasite nearly the same look, but in magenta, instead of brown [and somewhere along the way, I think Venom had looked the same, over at Marvel]).  Not a fan of that version.  Besides, the Secret Origins issue has his origin, so I'd just as soon leave the Secret Files out of it, and leave the Claything story in, so that we get the last Clay-fam character in the book (and his complete story, at that [until someone decides to resurrect his remains from the DEO storage]).