Four Colour Thoughts – Detective Comics Annual #1

The Creators – James Tynion IV – Writer, Eddy Barrows – Artist, Eber Ferreira – Inker, Adriano Lucas – Colours, Sal Cipriano – Letters

The Players – Basil Karlo (Clayface), Batman

The Story – The origin of Clayface.

The Take – In a story entitled Clay, James Tynion IV and Eddy Barrows take the reader on a trip to the past, specifically looking at the life of Basil Karlo – better known as Clayface. The man never had it easy growing up and it is only touched upon, for the bulk of the tale has to do with Basil’s acting days and just what it is that happened to make him the monster/man he is today. It is a bit of a tragic story, but one comes to realize that as tragic as it might be, it is purely the fault of Karlo that he became what he is, hard upbringing or no. For the most part, Tynion IV makes the reader feel for Basil as the book rolls along and it is utterly compelling, but like most people upon the planet, they are prone to more than one of the deadly sins. Karlo’s is vanity and is coupled with a deeper desire to please his father, a man who is broken by his own demons and a man who visited his troubles upon his son while growing up. As far as origin stories go, this story of man to monster loosley ties into what is taking place in the ongoing Detective title and it not only gives backstory to one of the book’s more popular characters, but finally gives a Clayface a well-told and exquisitely drawn tale to call his own. As far as Batman goes, the book could have done without him but being a story about one of his villains, how could the hero not be a part of it? This also ties Batman straight into Basil’s roots, from the very first moments that the man decided to become a monster though that word is a little definitive for he did not decide so much as it was an accident. He did choose to be a villain, but not a monster and that part is a little sad to say the least. The book also touches upon Basil’s friend Glory Griffin and what happened to her to turn her into a villain/monster and that more than anything else was tragic as her only sin was being a friend to Basil. As it is, Tynion IV and the rest of the creative team do a fantastic job of putting the spotlight on Basil Karlo, the man looking for a little redemption in his life currently, by focusing on his past.

Worth It? – Yes

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