Ethan Bennett is a male character who featured in The Batman cartoon series.
Ethan is one of the most respected members of the Gotham City Police Department, and Bruce Wayne's best friend. Whereas his partner, Detective Ellen Yin, sees things in black and white, Ethan sees the grey in most everything, and is more willing to allow the Batman to co-exist with the Gotham P.D. In fact, he often finds himself wondering if this caped vigilante he is pursuing is actually helping the city. During most of Season 1, Ethan defends Batman and his actions, while Yin often disagrees.
Ethan's superior, Chief Angel Rojas, orders the entire police force to take down every masked and costumed "freak" in Gotham City. Ethan protests, defending Batman as an asset to the city and crediting him with helping to capture the Joker. In response, an infuriated Rojas suspends him. (Episode: The Rubberface of Comedy)
Shortly afterwards, his skin began to take the form of clay as a result of exposure of Joker Putty. With his skin being rubbery, Bennett began to panic and tried to use his telephone to call help but his fingers were unable to manifest properly. In this state he began to move outside his apartment where the public became terrified of him. This led to the police coming to the scene and Ethan attempted to speak to them but his speech was slurred as his body was not under his control. As a result, the officers were threatened by Ethan Bennett as they did not know of his true identity and started to attack him. The incident led to the public referring to him as a Clayfaced creature and saw the Fire Department arriving at the scene. This resulted in the police attacking Bennett and the Fire Department spraying water on him that led to the pleading Ethan dissolving into clay that spilt into the sewer. He would later manage to regain some control over his body and formed an eye in the sewer where he witnessed the police chief declaring a campaign against "freaks". As a result, an angry Ethan as Clayface confronted his former superior Chief Rojas in his office and attacked him. Whilst fighting him, the Batman arrived in the scene and kicked Clayface back where Ethan attempted to plead to the Dark Knight for help. However, as his words came out slurred in his new form, Batman was unable to understand him and Bennett was forced to flee from the police station by escaping onto the neighboring roofs. (Episode: The Clayface of Tragedy)
Clayface returns where he goes to Arkham Asylum to kill the Joker, but Batman stops him. Clayface later goes on trial for his crimes, with Hugo Strange giving him a clean bill of mental health. He is put on probation: if he uses his powers again, he will be put back in Arkham. Clayface becomes Ethan Bennett again, and gets a job from his friend, Bruce Wayne. (Episode: Meltdown)
When the Joker breaks out of Arkham to wreak chaos, Ethan becomes determined to save others from his fate, and becomes Clayface again in an attempt to stop the Clown Prince of Crime. At first, he and Batman work together to bring the crazed supervillain down, but after Batman confronts him for his violation of court orders, Ethan feels betrayed. He becomes Clayface permanently (or so as the people of Gotham thought), and is put back in Arkham.
Clayface shape-shifts into the undead creature, Solomon Grundy, to loot Gotham City on Halloween, to take advantage of a supposed curse involving Grundy. He is encased in wax after a fight with Batman and put back in Arkham Asylum. (Episode: Grundy's Night)
Ethan later promises to give up his life of crime to use his powers for good. Together, Ethan and Batman confront Basil Karlo, the new Clayface. At the end of the episode, Ethan is cured from his condition when Batman fires an antidote into the two, and he is peacefully taken away to Arkham. (Episode: Clayfaces)
- In the episode "Artifacts", a computer screen set in the future indicated that Ethan would later be released for his good behavior, reinstated back into the Gotham PD and becomes the new Chief in the year 2027.
Personality and attributes
Powers and abilities
He was able to project his form as a stream of clay and propel himself at great distances thus allowing him to jump across rooftops. His shapeshifting nature meant he could harden his skin for protection and shape his limbs into weapons. (Episode: The Clayface of Tragedy)
- The Batman: "The Clayface of Tragedy" (2005)