Feat of Clay is the second of a two-part episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 9, 1992.
In his trailer, Hagen remembers how he became addicted to Renuyu in the first place: he was horribly disfigured in a car crash years ago, and Daggett approached him, offering to let him be a tester for Renuyu. Hagen eagerly accepted, knowing that the substance could change his face in seconds, while plastic surgery would take years to correct his disfigurement. But after he became addicted, he was forced to become Daggett's henchman, often impersonating people illegally, just to keep his supply constant.
Now an animated mound of clay, he also remembers his past movies, and Teddy is surprised to see his face changing to a normal human's as he walks past his various movie posters. Hagen stops and practices, realizing that now he can imitate any face, any garment, any voice, any shape. Teddy is exultant, but Hagen bellows that the shape shifting takes too much effort, and he can't keep it up for long. "I'm not an actor anymore... I'm not even a man."
With revenge on his mind, Hagen reasons that Daggett will send someone else to finish off Lucius Fox, and that person will lead Hagen back to Daggett. He infiltrates the hospital disguised as a male nurse.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is released from prison on bail, thanks to some phone calls by Alfred. Batman also infiltrates the hospital, on the same mission as Hagen. He catches Germs in the act of trying to suffocate Fox. Germs flees, but is cornered, to his horror, in a storage closet holding a vast collection of bacteriological and virological samples. Batman places one of these, supposedly an incurable disease, above Germs' head, and demands to know who impersonated Bruce Wayne for Daggett. When Germs hesitates, Batman punches the wall, causing the vial to teeter on the edge.
Germs breaks down and gives Hagen's name. Batman doesn't believe him, saying that he knows what Hagen looks like, and no makeup could make him resemble Wayne closely enough. Before Germs can tell just how Hagen did it, a police officer enters, and demands Batman hand over Germs. Batman asks for a second longer (revealing the vial to be mere seawater) but the officer attacks him with a massive clay arm, revealing himself to be Hagen, and abducts Germs.Taking him to the roof of the hospital, he is about to throw him off the edge, but Germs is rescued by Batman. While Hagen tries to imitate Batman, he is unable to do it fully, and instead attacks him with an array of assorted weapons, from a fork to a massive block of solid clay. Batman, horrified at first at the extent of Hagen's powers, nevertheless realizes his true identity. He saves Germs, albeit barely, as Hagen escapes by throwing himself off the building and slithering away through the sewers.
Hagen finally snaps, and lashes out at Teddy, and giving himself a new name, Clayface.
On Summer Gleeson's talk show, Daggett is giving an interview about the wondrous properties of Renuyu, as an instant and over-the-counter alternative to cosmetic surgery. An obese woman stands up in the audience, asking Daggett about rumors she's heard that Renuyu is actually highly addictive and has harmful side effects. Daggett, sweating slightly, denies any such thing, but then the woman asks him to demonstrate what an overdose of the stuff will do — and reveals herself as Clayface.
While the above is taking place, Batman sneaks into the studio's control room disguised as a janitor and plugs in a series of tapes into all the VHS players in the room. Clayface strikes and nearly kills Daggett, but Batman saves Daggett by battling Clayface. The fight carries up into the control room. Batman is no match for Clayface's powers, but then he turns on all the monitors. Clayface is deluged with images of himself from his acting days, and he loses control as his body reflexively starts to imitate all of them at once. Crashing into a panel, he screams as electricity surges through his body, and collapses. During his spastic transformations, his Bruce Wayne face appears long enough for arriving police officers to see it. Hagen's face briefly assumes its real — i.e., disfigured — appearance, and he laments that he has just had a spectacular death scene, but won't be able to read the reviews.
Lucius Fox recovers and is relieved to know that the Bruce Wayne who attacked him was an imposter. Later on, Batman conducts test on a small piece of clay left behind after Hagen's body was taken away. He finds that electricity has little to no effect on it, and is forced to conclude that Clayface faked his death, and is still alive.
Teddy, in front of the hospital, grieves for Hagen's death, while Clayface, disguised as a young woman, laughs in dark glee.
- Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth
- Ed Asner as Roland Daggett
- Ed Begley Jr. as Germs
- Mari Devon as Summer Gleeson
- Dick Gautier as Teddy
- Ron Perlman as Matt Hagen / Clayface
- Brock Peters as Lucius Fox
- Story Marv Wolfman & Michael Reaves
- Teleplay Michael Reaves
- Directed by Kevin Altieri
- Music by Shirley Walker
- Animation Services by Tokyo Movie Shinsha Co., LTD.
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|Feat of Clay Part I||It's Never Too Late|