Saturday, November 9, 2013

Batman: The Dark Knight #24

What the fuck? I thought we were through with Clayface already!

Last issue, Batman and Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department finally captured Clayface. This month, Clayface is once again on the cover. Unless that's Cthulu. Or the Kraken. Batman with a really bad case of diarrhea?

This issue begins with Clayface explaining his criminal motivations to the man in the cell next to his, a fan of Basil Karlo. Clayface merely needed an audience. He needed the attention and the fame. He needed eyes on him and people talking about his performance. Clayface a criminal? No, no. He is an Artist!

Or a needy asshole. But why quibble over terms?

No need to quibble. Needy asshole it is!

Poor Clayface. His adult life as a super villain has turned out just like his high school years. He's just trying to fit in but none of the cool kids in the Crime Syndicate want him hanging around. At least his new jail buddy adores him. Although he's probably a paid actor himself helping to keep Clayface's mind preoccupied and prevent him from escaping.

Basil spent years trying to be noticed but nobody found him interesting. Probably because he didn't find anything interesting himself. He was so desperate for people to notice him that he was ignoring himself as well. He seemed to be into old horror movies judging by the posters in his room. I'm sure he could have found friends in that shared interest and then he wouldn't have been so desperate to be noticed. Sure, those friends would have been depressing middle aged men that could quote entire B movie scripts for no good fucking reason but at least he would have had some buddies! He could have sat around in an undusted (as opposed to dusty. This is a critically exact description I'm making here!), bitter smelling, dark apartment at a folding table with three or four older men playing marathon sessions of Magic the Gathering. One of the guys would probably have turned a set of cards into some old time monster movie playing card game that only he really knew all of the rules for playing it. I think there would also be many fleas and three mangy cats named Frohike, Byers, and Langly.

But instead of doing that, Basil simply grew older and more alone and less interesting. So he did what the rest of us wind up doing when stuck in that position. Make a deal with the devil while on the verge of sleep after crying for twenty minutes straight, lying in the slowly drying puddle of our own bodily emissions which we didn't even enjoy producing but we just needed to feel something.

Except Basil's devil wasn't imaginary.

Later Basil snorted the clay and found that he could mimic any face. He found that he could perfectly express any emotion. It took practice but he had a lot of time for that since he didn't have any friends and nobody particularly liked him. The jobs began pouring in and people started to like him. Just imagine if he'd been into practicing before snorting the Skinwalker Cube! I bet he could have made an honest living as an actor! But who fucking likes hard work? It's hard! And it's work! Fuck that shit. Let's go do some ecstasy instead!

Fame and fortune followed. But that's the kind of thing you should expect when you deal with the devil! He knows how to make good on a contract. Unlike that God fellow who works in mysterious ways by giving you cancer and allowing your daughter to drown when she was just barely two. Thanks a lot, God! I guess I learned something!

Yeah, like God is a dick. That's all I learned! At least when you deal with the devil, you know he's going to come back and try to screw you. But at least he'll have made good on the initial promise by giving you whatever you wanted. That's important! So after all the fame and fortune and discovering he could replicate other people simply by touching them, Basil finally gets the callback he's been dreading. The Penguin wants his due.

He should just transform into somebody with less stress.

Clayface is left with only one person in his life: The Penguin. And so he continued to do The Penguin's jobs until Batman caught him, he was thrown in Arkham, and he met his bestiest friend ever. Too bad his life story was so shitty and depressing that his bestie killed himself during the tale. Oh well! That's life!

Afterward, Clayface fakes a choking incident which the idiot doctors fall for. Look at him! Look at what his body can do! Do you really think he can choke? Or breathe, for that matter? I bet he doesn't even need to eat! How does he have any organs that do anything? He probably gets nutrients like a whale! You know, if a whale were a land animal and plankton were floating in the air. It's not a perfect analogy but that's what makes it an analogy! You don't use an analogy to make an apt comparison with the original situation! You use an analogy to muddy the water and make your side of an argument seem better by using shadow puppetry and legerdemain! Anyway, the big act wins Clayface an Oscar. And by Oscar, I really mean his freedom. Because now he's able to escape which means another fucking Clayface issue next month! I can't believe when this whole Clayface story began, I thought it was over after the first issue! I'm such an idiot.

Batman: The Dark Knight #24 Rating: +1 Ranking. It gets a thumbs up from me because it was nice to see some of Clayface's history, even though he was a pathetic jerk.

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