Batman: The Dark Knight 23.3
Special “Villains Month” Title: Clayface 1
John Layman, Cliff Richards

Forever Evil Crossover

Spoiler alert! You have been warned!


The Batman: The Dark Knight tie-in (more accurately, a Detective Comics tie-in) to Villains Month and Forever Evil showed me yet again that I’m still not a John Layman fan. At all. He’s not very good at characterization, which is the entire basis of not only writing Batman characters, but superhero comics in general. The characters sell themselves, true, but there’s a difference between writing a book that gets people to buy more books and writing a book that gets people to buy other books. This writer has been producing a lot of the latter ever since he took over head writing duties on Detective Comics almost a year ago.

The story is simple, much like Clayface. I can respect that. And the Cliff Richards artwork is great, so it’s not a total loss. But the fact that Clayface’s origin is shown, rather than told, is completely unnecessary. We don’t need to see it again. He’s got a temper. He’s dumb. And he doesn’t like being called dumb. We get it. So when he’s not invited to join the Secret Society, because he’s dumb, he gets mad and tries to win them over by crushing the resistance. I called bullshit (actually did this aloud, in all my nerd-rage glory) when it was revealed that the Society actually planned this and knew he would break up the resistance, which they set up, and they did it just so they could… Call him dumb? I know this is probably a little harsh, but really, Layman? That’s the story you want to tell in a high profile gimmick month? I’m sorry, but shut the f*ck up.

Villains Month

Save the buck and buy the regular cover. Or just buy another book entirely and accept that this one is nothing more than a poorly-paced characterization-fail of a filler issue by a writer who should not be in charge of such important and iconic characters. Sorry, Layman. You need to go.


My Rating: 1.5/5