Creatures of Clay - Child’s Clay
Credits: Alan Grant (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Bob Smith (inks), Todd Klein (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: After Batman electrocutes Lady Clayface, she reveals to him that the Abattoir kidnapped her baby after he discovered their hideout. He’s ordered her and Clayface to kill Batman and kidnap Graham Etchison before they can see their child again. Batman races to Clayface and Abattoir’s meeting place, just as Clayface turns on Abattoir. Their fight is interrupted when Clayface’s son attempts to grow wings and fly off the nearby fire escape. Batman is forced to allow Abattoir to escape in order to rescue the baby. Clayface is taken into custody and his son is sent to STAR Labs.
Review: Okay, five issues later and Abattoir is still on the loose? This is ridiculous. I think it’s fairly obvious that Grant has no interest in this Abattoir storyline, and is merely using him as a plot device for the Baby Clayface story he was going to tell anyway. Judging the Shadow issues on their own, it’s actually a defensible move, since Abattoir’s story has nothing to do with this book and he’s capably filling his role as the true villain that’s brought the Clayfaces back into crime. But if you’re trying to read the entire Abattoir arc in its entirety, watching him constantly get away is just tiresome. Regarding the Clayface story, I think Grant is still doing a admirable job of giving the relapsed villains some depth, and I guess Bret Belvins’ Baby Clayface is kind of cute. I don’t know if this arc is typical of Shadow, which I assumed to be the “gritty” more realistic Batbook, but I enjoyed it.