Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Color Artist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by James Attias
Title Fades in: Batman: One Bad Day: Clayface. The scene: LA, sunset. A man’s looking in the mirror… or is he? Is this a man, or a monster? Read my review to find out!
The Many Faces of Clay
I’m going to jump in and not waste any time saying this is one of the best “One Bad Day” stories I’ve read. All of them have been good, Riddler was fantastic, and this one’s right up there with it! I loved it. So throughout this review, you’ll read me gushing over how good it was.
Basil Karlo has always been an actor, then events led him to become a living breathing mountain of clay, who from time to time would commit crimes around Gotham, impersonate people, and even commit murder. The thing is, unlike many, he tried to repent, even to the extent of joining Batman’s team (in the amazing Detective Comics run, written by James Tynion IV). He was on the road to recovery, but to knock his life off course all it took was One. Bad. Day.
When we jump into this issue, which is framed as a screenplay, which I loved, every now and then we’d see a scene-setting or a direction above a panel. Clayface is working as a waiter in LA, rehearsing lines, over and over, for what we can assume is an audition. He goes by the name Clay, some might say that’s too on the nose, but I liked it. As soon as we see he has friends and colleagues, we’re all rooting for him. Then we get a small uh oh, then another… then another. We’re reading this story just hoping that it’s going to be ok. Spoiler alert, this play’s a tragedy.
The Award for Best Screenplay Goes to:
I really can’t fault anything about this story. The art was wonderful, and the storytelling delivered something both scary and heartbreaking. Honestly, this is my favorite Clayface story ever. As a former (failed) actor myself, this story really hit me in the emotional feels. It did so as a Batman story as well. Pure gold. I just want to praise the entire creative team on this story. With perfect nods to The Killing Joke and The Gray Ghost. This ticks all of my boxes.
Batman: One Bad Day: Clayface is a triumph, it even deserves a standing ovation at the Cannes Film festival. I for one can’t praise Basil’s performance enough.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment