DC Animated Universe

"Mudslide" is the third episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It first aired on September 15, 1993. It marks the second and final appearance of Clayface in the series.


Clayface falling apart

Clayface starts melting away.

At Tarnower Financial, a middle-aged guard goes to check the parking lot while his much younger colleague, Billy, keeps watching at the main entrance. The old guard returns a minute later, however, having forgotten to check Mr. Tarnower's office. However, as he goes into the lift, strangely sweating, Billy sees the guard in the parking lot on a security camera, meaning that the guard in the lift must be an impostor.

Billy sets off the silent alarm and gives chase and catches the impostor in Tarnower's office, breaking into the safe behind a portrait of Tarnower. However, from behind the portrait emerges Tarnower himself, berating Billy for leaving the door unguarded, but Billy suddenly remembers that Tarnower is missing his accent and is actually on holiday in Hawaii, prompting Tarnower to extend his arm and knock Billy out.

Before he can finish Billy, Batman appears. The impostor takes on Billy's appearance and tells Batman he caught a thief, but Batman examines Billy's body and finds a strange, clay-like residue on Billy's body. Realizing who the impostor is, Batman turns around but is knocked down by a mace made of clay. Indeed, the impostor is revealed as Clayface, which has finally resurfaced. Clayface, however, does not finish Batman but instead flees the building.

Batman gives chase and notices Clayface quickly losing his energy and leaving a trail of clay wherever he goes. He offers to help Clayface become human again, but Clayface, assuming that Batman will likely send him to Arkham Asylum for the treatment, refuses. Clayface finally collapses onto a bin and starts to melt away until his colleague, Stella Bates, arrives in her car and rescues him.

Clayface and Stella share a moment

Clayface and Stella share a moment.

Stella takes Clayface to her laboratory and uses a machine to put him in a plastic coating to keep him together, a procedure which knocks him out cold for a while, until he wakes up and lashes out at Stella for watching an old movie of his, ashamed of his former self. Clayface immediately apologizes and Stella shows him a way to increase and restore his powers, allowing him to take the form of Matt Hagen permanently: an isotope called Mp40, the only source of which is found at Wayne Biomedical Labs. Willing to risk his life, Clayface vows to remove the plastic coating and steal the Mp40 from Wayne.

Batman, meanwhile, takes a sample of Clayface's body back to the Batcave and learns that as a result of his Renuyu overdose, Clayface's cellular structure is starting to break down, meaning that in a sense, he is dying of old age, and committing robberies to fund treatment to keep himself alive. Also remembering Stella from the Tarnower Heist, he tells Alfred to look through Hagen's career records for any sign of a relationship with a female doctor.

An intrusion occurs at Wayne Biomedical Labs and Batman finds Clayface, disguised as a woman, fleeing the building with a canister of Mp40. He pursues Clayface onto a train, where Clayface's body starts to give up again and he "melts" back into his own form, scaring the passengers out. Batman and Clayface then fight alone, until Batman sprays him with a freezing gas to get the canister back, but Clayface jumps out of the train window and lands in a truck's cargo hold, breaking into pieces. Nonetheless, he thaws out shortly after and laughs at the Mp40 canister he salvaged.

Batman returns to the Batcave, where he and Alfred finally learn the identity of the female doctor from Hagen's movie Dark Interlude (the same movie Stella was watching) and Batman finds her location in the bank's records, tracking her to her laboratory by the ocean.

Clayface smothers Batman

Clayface tries to smother Batman.

At the lab, Stella starts pumping the Mp40 into Clayface, who is once again inside the plastic coating. The procedure appears to be working and Clayface almost changes into Hagen again, until Batman arrives and turns the machine off. He reveals that he found Stella's name in film logs and tracked them to her lab from bank records. Though he once again offers Hagen a different way to cure himself, Stella lunges at Batman, only to smash headfirst into a pile of test tubes when Batman dodges. Clayface, now enraged, breaks out of his coating and proceeds to absorb Batman, hoping to drown him, despite Stella's pleas. However, Batman uses his grappling gun to blast his way out of Clayface's body.

Clayface falls to his doom

The curtain goes down for the last time?

Batman and Clayface take the battle outside, where the rain weakens Clayface, giving Batman the upper hand. However, Clayface, determined to kill him at any cost, pushes him off the cliff, only to have Batman pull him off as well. Batman holds on with a grappling hook as Clayface is barely able to hold onto his leg. Batman tries to hold him, but Clayface accepts his fate as his arm finally breaks off, sending him plunging into the ocean below where he dissolves. At the edge of the cliff, Stella mourns Clayface as Batman takes her to the authorities.


Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • According to Bruce Timm, the reason they did not use Clayface much is that he was too expensive to animate, as well as too difficult to come up with a good story for.
  • The initial idea for this episode came from Alan Burnett.[1]
  • Eric Radomski has stated he directed this episode as a result of the network not wanting to pay for an extra director, leading to him and Bruce Timm to split seven episodes that weren't previously assigned to anyone, and adding them to their normal workloads.[1]
  • At the time of this episode's production, Clayface was intended to be dead at the end. Michael Reaves was surprised they were able to get away with killing Clayface in this episode.[2] Later on, The New Batman Adventures episode "Growing Pains" would explain his survival.

Production inconsistencies[]

  • After Clayface dissolves in the ocean, a brief outline of his remains rises to the surface, and it seems to have stopped raining. However, in the next shot, it hasn't stopped yet.
  • When Stella first put the plastic coating on Clayface, her position relative to him would change shot-by-shot, despite it all happening in real-time. In shots with the machine, she would be behind him, while in other shots she would be in front of him or to his side.


  • As in "Feat of Clay", Clayface targets Wayne Enterprises during his criminal activities, this time by robbing Wayne Biomedical. He previously attempted to help Roland Daggett acquire it through insider trading.
The Dark Interlude

The Dark Interlude poster as seen in Batman: Arkham Knight.

  • A poster for the film The Dark Interlude appears in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight in Barbara Gordon/Oracle's study, and the movie's tagline is "She cured more than his body, she cured his heart". Hagen and Stella appear on the poster and are credited as the film's main stars. Given that Basil Karlo is Clayface in the Batman: Arkham continuity, however, it can be deduced that Hagen didn't become Clayface in this universe.
  • Clayface refuses Batman's help to become normal again, yet by stealing the Mp40 canister from Wayne Biomedical, he unknowingly accepts it.
  • The episode also contains several references to the moviemaking industry, given Clayface's background as an actor:
    • Stella's surname, Bates, as well as a past occupation is a homage to Norman Bates, the psychotic motel owner played by Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Batman mentions she once owned a motel in the past, akin to the Bates Motel, although Clayface is presented here as the psychopath and not Stella.
    • When he is placed in the support suit that gives him structure, Clayface looks similar to an Oscar statuette.
    • Towards the end, Clayface yells "STELLA!" a la Marlon Brando's Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.
    • The movie Stella watches, which Alfred later identifies as The Dark Interlude, has a plot that is very similar to that of the 1939 film Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis
    • Also, when The Dark Interlude finishes, the Warner Bros. logo is shown with the words "The End" without any end credits, which was how film studios ended their films during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
    • During the final confrontation, Clayface uses several movie-related terms, such as "You've upstaged me for the last time", "Time to bring down the curtain", and "Time for your final bow" when referring to how Batman has interfered with his plans and how he will kill him for it. Clayface also says "Curtain's going down" just before falling to his death.
    • The name of the isotope, Mp40, is a likely reference to the MP 40 submachine gun, a weapon first used in World War II and that has been seen in numerous war films.
    • The machine that Stella uses to place Clayface in his plastic coating vaguely resembles the table where Victor Frankenstein creates his creature, as seen in 1931's Frankenstein by Universal Pictures.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne/Batman
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred Pennyworth
Security guard (uncredited)
Rob Clotworthy Billy
Pat Musick Stella Bates
Susan (uncredited)
Ron Perlman Clayface
Mr. Tarnower (uncredited)
Senator Eric Chandler (uncredited)
Marcia Wallace Fiancée


Alfred: Don't take this the wrong way, sir, but your goose is cooked.
(He turns to a roast goose fresh out of the oven)

Batman: Hagen! I offered to help you become human again! The offer still stands.
Clayface: I don't need your help, Batman!
Batman: Have it your way.

Batman: It seems that Clayface is losing his integrity.
Alfred: I wasn't aware that he ever had any to begin with.

Batman: And that woman helping him, what's her stake in this?
Alfred: Perhaps she enjoys mud baths.

Clayface: You cured more than my body. You cured my heart.

Stella: A new isotope...MP-40. An experimental mutagenic adaptogen. I believe it can restore, even increase your powers, perhaps permanently, you can become Matt Hagen again forever.

Child: Look at that lady, Mommy. She's got mud all over her. (Clayface's disguise fails) Eww. Mommy, she's melting!

Clayface: That's it...run. Run for your measly lives. Run from Clayface!

Batman: No time to explain now, Alfred.
Alfred: There never is.

Clayface: How did you find us!?
Batman: I suspected that you must have used a medical consultant on some of your films, and I found Dr. Bates's name in an old film log. Dr. Bates once owned a motel, but sold it to raise money for this, I expect. This is the address the bank had in its files. It's over, Hagen! The lab boys can take it from here!

Clayface: You've upstaged me for the last time, Batman. Time to bring down the curtain.

Clayface: Time for your final bow, Batman.

Clayface: Think, Stella! Do you want Matt Hagen, or this?

(Batman almost forces his way out of Clayface's body)
Clayface: No, you DON'T!

Clayface: Too late. Curtain's going...down!
Batman: HAGEN!!!
(Clayface falls into the ocean and dissolves)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Knight Vision: That Master of Dark Deco, Eric Radomski, Looks Behind the Mask of the Animated Batman" by Bob Miller - Comics Scene #43 (June 1993)
  2. "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)