It’s time to get a little muddy today – in honor of National Mudpack Day.
Mud Pack is the colloquial name for Basil Karlo, Preston Payne and Sondra Fuller, the four original Clay Face personalities. That’s how we’re tying in National Mudpack Day and comic books.
The unofficial holiday celebrates the practice of mixing water and dirt to smear on one’s self. Mud packs are reputed to be therapeutic. Rumored benefits include increased circulation, the easing of muscle tension, releasing of toxins and boosting of immunity.
Our Mud Pack is a fictional group of Batman villains.
The Golden Age Clay Face is Karlo, first introduced in Detective Comics (1937) 40. The addled and aging actor was not invited to reprise a movie role and goes on a murder spree.
He next appeared in Batman (1940) issue 208 and Detective 496.
Matt Hagen is the heir apparent, first appearing in Detective Comics 298. Rather than acting, the second Clay Face is a treasure hunter. His discovery of a radioactive ooze does not go well and he finds himself a literal clay being.
Preston Payne is next in line for the title. His first appearance is Detective 477. A STAR Labs employee, his is a more tragic origin. The search for a cure goes unfulfilled and ending in tragedy.
Sondra Fuller is the fourth installment in the line-up. She first appeared in Outsiders (1983) 21, transformed into a shape changer by Kobra technologies.
Cassisus “Clay” Payne is the love child of Payne and Fuller. He first appeared in Batman 550.
Clay Face number six also debuted in Batman 550. Dr. Peter “Claything” Malley is a clone of Cassius Payne.
Todd Russell premiered in Catwoman (2002) issue one. Russell is more of a serial killer preying on prostitutes.
Finally, to date, is Johnny Williams. Williams first appeared in Gotham Knights 60 and was a former firefighter who became the mud monster after a mishap at a chemical plant fire.
Several other versions have cropped up throughout the DCU and in other media.
So, if you’re getting dirty, make sure your hands are clean before reading any comic books featuring the above-mentioned villains.