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"Feat of Clay: Part I" is the twentieth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series, and the first of a two-part episode. It originally aired on Fox Kids in the United States on September 8, 1992.

Synopsis[]

A strange meeting takes place in an abandoned tramway station in Gotham at three o'clock in the morning, between Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne. Fox gives a suitcase full of evidence to Bruce, which incriminates Roland Daggett in an illegal scheme to take over Wayne Enterprises through insider trading. Bruce, with a surprisingly rather sinister smile, says he plans to destroy them...and a group of armed henchmen appear from the upper levels of the tramway and try to kill Fox.

Batman springs from the ceiling and stops one of the three thugs, but is stopped short of detaining the remaining two. Wayne, obviously an impostor, escapes, leaving behind a near-fatally wounded Fox, who identifies Bruce as his attacker when he is found by the police, before passing out.

It is revealed that Bruce's impostor is actually Matt Hagen, a former famous movie actor. Hagen has developed a serious addiction to "Renuyu", a dangerous experimental chemical developed by Daggett's laboratories, which allows him to reform his facial features into any appearance he wants. The chemical is necessary to cover the disfigurement he suffered in a car accident years before, and which he has kept secret from the public.

After learning of the failed attempt on Fox's life due to Batman's interference, Daggett orders his henchmen Raymond Bell and "Germs" (a severe mysophobe) to dispose of Hagen, whom Daggett decides is no longer of any need for them (and who will likely testify against Daggett if his Renuyu supply is cut off and his disfigurement revealed). When asked how they will find Hagen, who was apparently a master of disguise even before his addiction to Renuyu, Daggett says that Hagen can be expected to come to them as soon as his supply of Renuyu runs out.

True enough, Hagen breaks into Daggett Laboratories and immediately slathers the chemical on his face. When Bell and Germs catch him, Hagen fails to pass himself off as Bruce Wayne. A fight ensues until Bell and Germs subdue Hagen and pour an entire vat of Renuyu down his throat before placing him inside his car and leaving him for dead. Once they leave, however, Hagen lets out a dull groan as his body begins to mutate.

Turning up Bell's name as one of Daggett's henchmen and a likely lead, Batman pursues him in the Batwing and lures him away from the city by hacking into Bell's stolen police radio and fooling him into thinking the police are searching for him. Outside the motorway, Batman forces him off the road, dumping his car into the river and dangling him high up in the sky with a mechanical arm from the Batwing. Batman demands to know who Fox was meeting. Though Bell acknowledges that it wasn't Bruce Wayne, he faints before he can reveal who it was. Police helicopters arrive and demand that Batman hand Bell over. Batman drops Bell into a swimming pool, which awakens him, and the police arrest him.

Meanwhile, Bruce sneaks into Fox's room in the hospital through the window to clear his name, but Fox, visibly frightened, summons the police guarding his door, and Bruce is arrested.

Teddy Lupus, Hagen's stunt double and best friend (also the only other man who knows about his condition), finds Hagen's car in an alley. Approaching, he puts his hand on Hagen's shoulder, only to realize it has a consistency like that of clay. Hagen rises and looks into the rear-view mirror. Seeing that he has become a living golem of clay, he screams in horror.

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