Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #20: Feat Of Clay, Part 1

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Feat Of Clay, Part 1 was first broadcasted on September 8, 1992 with a script by Marv Wolfman from a story Wolfman wrote with Michael Reaves and directed by Dick Sebast.

Bruce Wayne is framed for the attempted murder of Lucius Fox. The real perpetrator is an actor and master of disguise named Matt Hagen, who was disfigured in a car accident years ago. In order to keep his fame, he secretly started working for Roland Daggett, who provides him with a monthly supply of an addictive face cream known as Renuyu (a pun on “Renew You”) that can temporarily reshape his face back to normal, and who wants to take Wayne Enterprises over for marketing expansion. For botching the murder, Hagen’s supply is cut off, and when he breaks into Daggett’s lab for more Renuyu, he pays the price dearly when Daggett’s men drench his face in the formula and force him to swallow liters of it to avoid drowning. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is arrested and taken into custody, charged with the assault on Fox.

I kind of have a special appreciation for Clayface as one of Batman’s villains because to be honest, my biggest fear in life is shape shifters, some people have clowns as their greatest fear, some people have ghosts as their greatest fear but for me, shape shifters are my biggest fear mostly because of the idea that somebody you respect could actually not be that same person but somebody else entirely. Hell, I’m more afraid of Pennywise from It because he was a shapeshifter more than he was a clown, that’s how bad it is.

So, Clayface is one of those great villains that I like a little more than I think most people do. It also helps that the series did a good job of bringing the character to life in this with the brilliant voice of Ron Perlman to perfectly fit that character so well.

With that said, this is another one of those two parters where one part is not as good as the second part. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a terrible episode by any means but I can honestly tell you that the second half of this episode, which I’ll talk about tomorrow, is the far superior episode.

Probably the biggest flaw I have with this and I don’t think I’ve talked about this yet with the other two parters, I hate that they used two different animation studios for the two parters. To me, I think it kind of stings the continuity of the show a little bit when you have one episode with a different animation style than the other. The animation in part 1 is done by AKOM and the animation in part 2 is done by TMS and these two studios have very different animation styles to them and like I said, it kind of stings the continuity of the show a little bit by getting another animation studio to do two different parts. I know that you have to get these out quickly but would it have really killed them to just have the same studio do both parts.

On the other hand, it is interesting to see how two different animation studios show their different approaches to this universe and there is a reason why they got TMS to do the second part of the episode but we’ll delve more into that when we get to part 2.

For the most part, this is a very competently made episode, the story focusing on Matt Hagen is very interesting and the action is nicely handled and again, the animation is top notch.

But overall, the first part of Feat Of Clay is a decent episode but part 2 is absolutely the far superior episode. Still, Part 1 is something that I should say you should watch to get an idea of what’s going to happen in part 2 and you will not be disappointed by the first part, it’s still a decent episode and it still has its’ enjoyable moments to it but just wait til’ tomorrow for the second part.

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