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Clayface (real name Matthew Hagen) is a shape-changing supervillain with a monstrous mud-like appearance.

Physical appearance

Before his transformation, Matt Hagen was a muscular Caucasian male, with blond hair. As a Shadow, he wore the required uniform: a black, zip front jumpsuit, a harness for equipment, gloves, and shin guards.[1] After the transformation, Clayface became a large, humanoid mass of wet clay. He has sharp teeth set irregularly in his jaws, resembling dried clay. His eyes took on a blank white appearance after the transformation.[4]


Early life

Hagen was a member of the League of Shadows, but not a very good one. When he found he had terminal cancer, he devised a plan to gain access to the Lazarus Pit, by dating Talia al Ghul.[1]


Infinity Island
February 28, 22:07 ECT

Ra's al Ghul did not approve of the relationship, but after several pleas, he reluctantly agreed. When Talia told Hagen, he revealed his true motive. Talia, still not fully recovered from being rejected by Batman, was heartbroken, and out of spite, showed him to the pit. Once he was fully submerged, she closed the lid and locked it. Hagen was stuck.[1]

Infinity Island
August 25, 23:16 ECT

After Ra's al Ghul used the pit, Clayface walked out of it. He was confused, and did not know what happened to him.[5]

Infinity Island
August 25, 23:20 ECT

After Talia and Sensei were unable to stop the transformed Hagen, Ra's used his powers of persuasion to order him to sleep. Hagen was shipped to Gotham City to bother Batman, out of revenge for stopping his plans.[1]

Gotham City
August 26, 08:15 EDT

Clayface was delivered to the Wayne Foundation in a canister. Once he escaped, he was not fully aware how he got there and what Talia did to him. He attacked the guards, and Batman and Robin. Clayface could withstand all their actions, even two tasers, and managed to escape to the sewers.

Gotham City
August 27, 04:49 EDT

Batman had called in the Team to track Clayface, and not engage him until he had come up with a solution. Clayface discovered his pursuers, and attacked them.[1] He pinned down all the members, but they managed to free themselves. Clayface feigned defeat, and when his opponents were resting, struck them down and escaped.[6]

Gotham City
August 27, 05:59 EDT

He decided to take down all the members of the Team one by one. It helped that they had split up looking for him,[6] and he had studied them to learn more about them.[3] His first victim was Superboy, whom he trapped by pretending to be Miss Martian. He then lured the others into his trap, one by one.[6]

Gotham City
August 27, 06:07 EDT

Miss Martian was next. Clayface made her drop her guard by pretending to be Superboy and calling her "gorgeous"; it was easy to take her down.[6]

Gotham City
August 27, 06:10 EDT

Kid Flash similarly fell for Clayface's trick. He pretended to be Miss Martian again, and with the speedster distracted with the premise of a kiss, overpowered him.[6]

Gotham City
August 27, 06:13 EDT

Robin proved more difficult to trick. Clayface created two Kid Flash replicas to confuse him; it worked. Robin thought one of them was the actual Kid Flash, but was wrong, and Clayface attacked him from both sides.[6]

Gotham City
August 27, 06:16 EDT

The last to take down was Aqualad. He caught the deception sooner than the others, and was able to defend himself against the attack. But even he was not powerful enough. Clayface slammed him against the wall, and prepared to give the finishing blow.[6]

Luckily, Batman arrived on the scene and intervened, using a stronger taser against him. The electricity prevented Clayface from maintaining his form, and he dissolved into a puddle of mud on the ground.[4] He was taken to Arkham Asylum.[7]


Gotham City
January 1, 16:16 EST

Clayface was waiting to ambush Superboy in the Gotham City sewers. Miss Martian and Robin arrived to help, but still Clayface was confident he would win. Superboy threw a pill in his mouth, which solidified him from the inside. Clayface was then sent to Arkham Asylum.[8]


Gotham City
September 12, 21:39 EDT


Clayface expressed a desire to start over with his life and leave his criminal past behind, so Batman requested that Miss Martian give Clayface a psychic scan to ensure his honesty. When she deduced that Clayface's desire was genuine, it was agreed that Clayface should be given the opportunity to begin a new life under the name "Harlan Matthews". At some point, Will Harper hired him to work at Bowhunter Security and was pleased with Clayface's performance.[2]


Star City
February 23, 11:19 PST

Clayface worked with Jim and Roy Harper in guarding WayneTech hardware prepared to be shipped to the new WayneTech skyscraper. Unfortunately, Task Force X overpowered the Harpers, cornered Matthews, and reverted him back into his Clayface form to take him to Belle Reve prison and work under Amanda Waller. He failed to break free and was furious that he was forced back into the criminal life. However, members of the original team, dressed in Bowhunter Security uniforms, defeat Task Force X, with Miss Martian saving the pod containing Clayface from the swamp.

Clayface eventually joined the original team for a barbeque at Lucas Carr's house in Happy Harbor.[2]

Powers and abilities

Before his transformation, Hagen was in shape, but not very skilled at being a Shadow.[1]

After his transformation, he can change the density and size of his body mass, allowing him to take a variety of shapes and mimic the appearance of others.[6] As a result, he is able to fashion his form and limbs into weapons, like spiked anvils, and use them at any time he wants.[4]


Background information

  • In the comics there have been eight versions of Clayface: Basil Karlo, Matt Hagen, Preston Payne, Sondra Fuller, Cassus "Clay" Payne, Dr. Peter Malley, Todd Russel, and Johnny Williams.
  • This is the fourth animated appearance of Clayface, but the second animated appearance of the Matt Hagen version. Previous versions of Clayface include The New Adventures of Batman, the DC Animated Universe (Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures and Justice League) and The Batman.
  • The appearance of this Clayface bears a strong resemblance to the DCAU Matt Hagen, and the current comic incarnation of Basil Karlo. This version is named after Matt Hagen, but his origin is revised.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Weisman, Greg (w). Vecchio, Luciano (a). Atkinson, Zac (col). Sienty, Dezi (let). Chadwick, Jim (ed). "The Pendulum" Young Justice 12 (January 18, 2012), New York, NY: DC Comics
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Weisman, Greg (writer) (September 12, 2020). "The Prize". Young Justice. Season 3.9. Episode 001. DC FanDome.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Weisman, Greg (2012-03-06). Question #14508. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hopps, Kevin (writer) & Oliva, Jay (director) (March 4, 2011). "Downtime". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 8. Cartoon Network.
  5. Weisman, Greg, Kevin Hopps (w). Jones, Christopher (p). Davis, Dan (i). Atkinson, Zac (col). Sienty, Dezi (let). Chadwick, Jim (ed). "The Pit..." Young Justice 11 (December 21, 2011), New York, NY: DC Comics
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Weisman, Greg, Kevin Hopps (w). Jones, Christopher (p). Davis, Dan (i). Atkinson, Zac (col). Sienty, Dezi (let). Chadwick, Jim (ed). "...And the Penalty" Young Justice 13 (February 15, 2012), New York, NY: DC Comics
  7. Weisman, Greg (2012-03-03). Question #14491. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  8. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Divar, Tim (director) (April 28, 2012). "Happy New Year". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 1. Cartoon Network.