Issue #49, Detective Comics (March 1941)
Batman and Robin in “Clayface Walks Again!”
Moody!Monday, Batfans! And a very happy New Year to you all. 2012 is upon us, and all I can hope is that the Mayans simply ran out of room. I’d really hate to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with the destruction of the known universe.
Although, there’s a certain poetic awesomeness to it all, when I stop to consider it.
Nah. I think I’d rather enjoy 2013, considering there will be Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 movies coming out. Perhaps I’m just a *touch* selfish in that regard. My geek squee would be snuffed out and that just wouldn’t be fun for anyone.
Least of all, me.
So you’re probably wondering where the last week of snark went. Simply put: it took a holiday. But it’s a new year, and there is much snarking to be had in between eagerly anticipating upcoming geekery (in the form of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, among others).
We had a quiet, non-holiday holiday season. No major theatrics. Nothing went too crazy. And we rang in the new year surrounded by the Feline Mafia, with serious Skyrimming and a fabulous gifted bottle of cherry mead. Tasty stuff.
I hope the rest of you had a faboo holiday!
And on THAT note…
When last we saw our duo, they were saving Fort Stox from an underhanded infiltration of baddies via underground cavern. Just when you think that everything is well, along comes someone from their shadowed past who bears a pretty gruesome grudge against our heroes. But I’m getting ahead of the story. Oh hey, you might have been asking yourself “whatever happened to Skele!Julie?”
We get a first-hand view of just how a starlet is born:
And like that, a star is born:
Now, if you’ll remember, Portia!Storme (née Skele!Julie) was engaged to none other than our very own Brucie before running off to be a big shot out in Hollywood. Looks like it’s time to have a little chat with her betrothed:
Bruce takes a mild offense at being told he doesn’t “do” anything:
Unfortunately, Brucie’s answer is completely NOT what she wants to hear:
But wait! There’s more:
Bruce maintains a stiff upper lip through all this devastating news:
Dun-dun-DUUUUUN! Famous last words of a has-been starlet to her super-hero ex-fiancé. But I’m sure she’ll be JUST FINE because HOW COULD SHE NOT BE?
Meanwhile, elsewhere that evening, a storm rages as a prison ambulance lazily rolls along a wet road on the side of a mountain, bearing a very special passenger:
Suddenly, the truck skids on the wet road and goes plunging off the embankment, leaving the car a twisted wreckage of steel that no one could’ve possibly survived:
Baddie!Basil heads for the nearest movie makeup supply store, as you do, and offs the owner:
Before racing to the back:
Moments later, he’s finally ready to face his adoring public:
The next day, the papers all scream about how Clayface has escaped, and word makes it to our heroes. Looks like it’s time to go to work:
It’s off to the Bat!Mobile and into the night, destination? Argus Studios, where all the Clay!Face shenanigans went down, ‘lo those many months ago:
Meanwhile, somewhere else on the lot, Clay!Face meanders about trying to find the perfect spot for his incendiary bomb because he’s determined to burn down the studio. Suddenly, Clay!Face stumbles upon a lone bat in his belfry and decides that it’s time to take him out while he still has the element of surprise. He grabs a nearby firehook and flings it at our unsuspecting hero:
Narrowly avoiding being skewered, Batsy is on the offensive and manages to tackle the retreating baddie, right into a miniature set of a city:
Clay!Face makes a desperate swipe for something, ANYTHING, to take down his nemesis:
With the Batman down for the count, Clay!Face decides it’s time to bring in something bigger and heads for a random truck. He puts it in gear and points it at our hero before dashing off, content that he’s finally ended Batman for good.
He spies Robin skulking about the shadows and takes him down:
Leaving the young sidekick thusly unconscious, Clay!Face figures this is as good a place as any to start the blaze and pops the bomb into the wooden set:
Back at the tiny city, Batsy comes to, only to find himself in the path of a speeding truck. He makes a leap and flings himself beneath the oncoming vehicle, just barely managing to get out of the way:
Back at the blaze, firemen work to try to put the thing out, while onlookers talk about how they saw a KID in there too, and speculation abounds as to whether he’s going to make it. That’s when Batman arrives and springs into action:
One of the firemen tries to stop him from going into the inferno:
Batsy swings in through the fire, searching desperately for his downed sidekick, before finally spotting him. Thankfully, Robin isn’t quite crispy yet. Outside the flames:
Suddenly, Batsy reappears, Robin tucked under his wing like a potato sack:
Safely at home later, Bruce vows to avenge Young!Dick’s goose-egg:
Elsewhere, Portia!Storme is headed home from a long day of being a mega super star when she spots Clay!Face on the street. The next morning, she heads to the studio to voice her concern:
The next day, the paper headlines scream about Portia being threatened and how she’s being guarded by … guards.
Of course, Clay!Face isn’t the only subscriber to the newspaper, and Bruce is determined to do something to help. He dons his cowl and conspires with Portia to come up with a plan to catch this dastardly foe. The next morning, Clay!Face sneaks into the studio and blends with the extras:
Suddenly, outside, Batsy and the Boy Wonder show up and demand entrance, claiming that Portia is in danger. In a rare case of caution bred by being somewhat intelligent, the guards tell them no.
They race onto the set, with the remaining conscious guards hot on their heels, and make it in time for Robin to sweep Portia off her feet while Batsy stays behind to take down their followers:
Unfortunately, there are too many guards, and the pair have to run away, just as Clay!Face gains a little altitude in one of the set’s towers.
He takes aim with his bow:
Clay!Face, his vengeance complete, dashes off…Batsy trailing behind. Our villain waits at the top of the stairs, and then flings himself at our hero, knife in hand:
Batman reacts quickly, grabbing Clay!Face and rolling down the stairs with him until they reach the floor. The battle rages on, punches thrown between the two, with the baddie seeming to get the upper hand. But just as quickly, Batsy sucker punches Clay!Face and takes him down:
With Clay!Face out of the way, Dead!Portia comes back to life, and flings off her robe to reveal:
The plan is revealed and explained in detail, leaving the agent dizzy. Everything has been resolved, but there’s still ONE final offer: