Saturday, March 19, 2016

GOTHAM Casts Brian McManamon as Clayface

Looks like Blackgate prison is about to get more crowded.

ComicBook.com has revealed that the Fox series Gotham, which was recently renewed for a third season, has cast Brian McManamon as Basil Karlo, the original version of DC Comics supervillain Clayface.  The character was announced for Gotham Season 2 one year ago at WonderCon, along with Mr. Freeze and The Mad Hatter.

McManamon is an actor and writer who has appeared on the television series Gossip Girl and Project Beth.  He confirmed his appearance on Gotham last week via his official Twitter account showing him bald in a motion-capture suit, although he did not specifically mention his character.

Created in 1940 by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the first Clayface first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #40 as Basil Karlo, an actor driven insane with anger after hearing that a remake of the classic horror film he had starred in, The Terror, would be shot without him acting in the film, even though he was to be one of the advising staff.  Donning the costume of the film's villain he once played, Clayface, he began killing the actors playing characters he killed in the order and way they died in the film, until he was defeated by Batman and Robin.

Decades later, the character was brought back,with Karlo stuck in a prison hospital, until the fourth Clayface, Sondra Fuller, visited him out of curiosity. Karlo proposed an alliance of all living Clayfaces to kill Batman.  The group, calling itself "The Mud Pack," was defeated,  but Karlo injected himself with samples from his successors, Matt Hagen, Preston Payne and Sondra Fuller, giving him the abilities to shapeshift and melt with a touch.  He became the self-declared "Ultimate" Clayface, but was defeated by the combined efforts of Batman and Looker of the Outsiders by overloading his abilities, making him melt into the ground.  He literally sank into the Earth's crust after losing control of his powers.  He survived, however, but his body sported crystals similar to quartz that endow him with greater powers.

In The New 52 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Poison Ivy broke Basil Karlo out of Arkham intent on marrying him, which turned out to be a ruse, with Poison Ivy messing with Karlo's mind.  Karlo later returned with a new plan to use his DNA-duplication abilities to impersonate Bruce Wayne and take control of Wayne Enterprises.  He even guessed that Wayne is Batman's true identity, but Batman planted false evidence to suggest that he anticipated Karlo's attempt to take his DNA and tricked him into taking a fake sample. Batman eventually stopped him by trapping him in a security system that could only be deactivated with Karlo's original DNA, reasoning that Karlo has changed too much for his original DNA to be present in his system.

McManamon will be the second actor to portray Clayface in live action, after Kirk Baltz on the WB series Birds of Prey.   Clayface has appeared in a number of animated projects, including The New Adventures of Batman (voiced by Lou Scheimer and Lennie Weinrib as Matt Hagen), Batman: The Animated Series,The New Batman Adventures and Justice League (voiced by Ron Perlman as Matt Hagen), The Batman (voiced Wallace Lagham and Lex Lang as Basil Karlo), Young Justice (voiced by Nolan North as Matt Hagen), and Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayham (voiced by Dave B. Mitchell as Basil Karlo).

Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox at 8 p.m. EST.

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