Comic Vine Review

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Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3 - Not Just Another Pretty Face Review

4

How does Basil "Clayface" Karlo deal with the new villain-run world?

The Good

Clayface, working with a new crew, tries to stage a robbery, only to find the heroes are gone, so everything is fair game.

Another good title for this issue is "Clayface 101" because the reader gets to know a lot about Basil's thought process and what makes him tick. The reader is also shown what is his powers and how they work. Not only can he turn his clay arms into spikes or mallets, but he can also impersonate people as well. This book is nothing but new reader friendly. There's quite a few of Batman's baddies that don't get the facetime they deserve because they're incredibly interesting characters, this issue does the New 52 version of Clayface justice.

It's a solid story, by writer John Layman, about an incredibly self-centered villain. It's night and day between this book and this week's FLASH, where the focus was on the Rogues working together as a team. Clayface is incredibly despicable. There's very little redeeming about him. He'll do whatever he has to in order to get respect, even if that means killing everyone around him, but all-in-all he comes off as hopeless, so the reader will feel for the character here.

Overall, this really is just a good story of a character trying to find his place in the world and climb to the top of the villain ladder, but failing miserably. While it sounds like a more comedic book, it isn't. It keeps a very serious tone throughout.

The Bad

The art is probably the weakest part of this issue. It's ok. Artist Cliff Richards does a fine job with telling a story through his artwork, but compared to the rest of what the Villains Month books have offered readers this week, it's on the lower end of the spectrum.

I love Guillem March's work, but I hated this cover. I didn't get a chance to see the 3D version, but the 2D version looks rough. The line work on the arms is pretty rough and overall, the cover feels very rushed.

The Verdict

If you're a fan of Clayface, you're going to really enjoy this issue, and if you've always wanted to delve into the mind of Clayface, you're in luck because that's exactly what this issue does. John Layman provides a good issue that lets fans get inside the mind of Clayface, to see what makes him tick. It's great for both new fans and long time readers alike. On the down side, the art was just ok and the cover seemed very rushed. Overall, I recommend this issue.

13 Comments
Edited by jwalser3

Really enjoyed this issue.

Edited by mightyrearranger

It's Karlo-Clayface? The preview panels showed him talking like I always imagined Hagen to sound, haha.

Eh, I'll still read it.

Posted by Mangakid1995

@mightyrearranger: Carlo is the only Clayface left after the reboot. In his first New 52 appearance it was implied that he killed all the other Clayfaces to absorb they're powers(?).

Posted by Dark_Guyver

I really liked the issue, but Karlo was written like some B list villain for hire. At least that's what it seemed to me.

Edited by Mulder15

Really enjoyable issue that made you feel for Clayface.

Edited by mightyrearranger

@mangakid1995: Ah, gotcha. Thanks for filling me in! Basil must have absorbed Matt Hagen's Ron Perlman voice too, haha.

Posted by d_bones

ah man I've gotta track this down love Layman

Posted by manwithoutshame

this was pretty good, I'm always game for a Clayface story.

Posted by detective38

Wasnt a big fan of this issue although I usually like clayface

Posted by SavageDragon

I really liked the issue, but Karlo was written like some B list villain for hire. At least that's what it seemed to me.

Clayface is definitely a B list DC villain or lower.

I thought this issue was meh.

Posted by superhero17

I loved this one!!