Basil Karlo was a failing actor who, in an attempt to gain notoriety, infused himself with Clayface mutagen. Becoming the second person to use the name, he turned to crime and worked for a variety of criminals, including Lex Luthor.
Basil Karlo was shown to be a nerdy, unattractive, and untalented actor. Karlo was seen repeatedly turned down in auditions for a dog food commercial when he heard that Clayface was about to be cured. Karlo broke into Wayne Tech and drank a refined, purified sample of the Clayface Formula. That successfully turned him into Clayface II. Karlo assumed a handsome form, and believed that his rejection was the result of his poor appearance.
However, Karlo was once again rejected, causing him to snap and attack the producers. At first, he believed that incident would be the death of his career, but he then saw that being a super-villain gave him the media's attention (despite the fact that it also made him infamous), covered on nearly every channel (he stopped on the last channel, which showed his previous movie, The Revenge Of The Atomic Clone). He then went on a crime spree making it hard for Batman and Robin to stop him. Eventually after a battle with Batman, Robin, and the original Clayface, Karlo was injected with the Clayface Antidote, which seemingly restored him to normal. However, the episode's final scene showed that Clayface II still had his superpowers, thanks to Joker encouraging him that he isn't cured.
Karlo later reappeared in "The Batman - Superman Story Pt. 1" . He kidnaps Lois Lane while impersonating Clark Kent. where he, along with Bane and Mr. Freeze, was in the employ of Black Mask, who teamed up with Lex Luthor and kidnapped Lois Lane as bait for a trap to lure in Superman. He was eventually defeated by Batman and Robin and later fights Batman as he is about to save Poison Ivy from Luthor's clutches, but loses again.
Powers and Abilities
Like the previous Clayface, Basil Karlo was capable of shape-shifting. While a terrible actor, the refined mutagen allowed Karlo to be much more powerful than his predecessor. Furthermore, he drank the entire beaker of the mutagen while Ethan merely sniffed a bit of it. Karlo's shape-shifting was of higher quality and he could even produce more complex weapons, such a rotating drill. Karlo's larger size also gave him greater strength as well. When Karlo impersonates somebody, he is also able to speak with that person's voice.
Despite being able to become anyone, Basil Karlo was a terrible actor. As such, some, including Batman, were able to easily see through his deceptions. Due to his clay-like body, Karlo was also weakened when exposed to extremely cold temperature. Like Bennett, he would be frozen with gadgets, including Freeze Grenades.
The Batman Strikes!
- Issue #32
- Issue #39 (Cameo)
- Lex Lang (English)
- Wallace Langham (Later On)
- Tomohiro Nishimura (Japanese)
- In the comics, Basil Karlo was the original Clayface. Other people that adopted the alias of Clayface in the comics included: Matt Hagen, Preston Payne, Sondra Fuller, Cassius "Clay" Payne, Dr. Peter Malley, Todd Russell, and Johnny Williams (Ethan Bennett was created exclusively for The Batman).
- Ethan merely sniffed a bit of the mutagen that made him Clayface while Basil drank the entire beaker of it. This would explain alot including why Basil retained his power while Ethan didn't and while Basil is more powerful.
- Karlo is one of the few villains not to be captured by Rumor.