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EthanBennett.jpg

Detective Ethan Bennett has been a good friend of Bruce Wayne's since they were both kids. He is the detective in charge of capturing the Batman.

History

During most of Season 1, Ethan defended Batman and his actions, while his partner Ellen Yin often disagreed, even considering Ethan's defense statements further confirmation that Batman was a vigilante. He and Yin worked on Stopping Joker penguin Mr freeze and Man Bat during their first appearance in Gotham. but Batman would always arrive to beat them first. Secretly though, Ethan actually advocated the Batman’s ability to clean up the streets of Gotham. He was even captured by Man Bat and planed to be killed before Batman saved him. One time He was lured into a trap by Joker and planed to be tossed in the river along with every other powerful authority in Gotham. Thankfully Batman saved them.

Soon Ethan's superior, GCPD Chief Angel Rojas, ordered the entire police force to take down every masked and costumed "freak" in Gotham City. Ethan protested, defending Batman as an asset to the city and credited him with helping to capture Joker. In response, an infuriated Rojas threatened to suspend Ethan, and told him to figure out where his loyalties lain. Ethan decided to prove that he's a good cop, and attempted to take down Batman, but during a fight with Joker and his henchman Punch and Judy, both Batman and Joker escaped. Later, when he investigated a break in at a museum, Ethan was captured by Joker, brought back to his hide-out, and subjected to psychological torture, which drove him to the brink of insanity. Yin and Batman rescued Ethan, but not before he was exposed to Joker's "Joker Putty" Formula; and inhaled it. Ethan began to immediately cough, and the formula took effect. (When the "Joker Putty" touched a surface, it turned it to just that: a malleable putty. Joker was about to spray Ethan with it, and said that he wanted to know what it did to humans, when Batman knocked it out of his hands with a Batarang, and caused Ethan, still tied to his chair, to inhale the fumes.) Batman captured Joker, who taunted Ethan as he was taken away. When Ethan told the media that Batman saved him and caught Joker, Rojas suspended him.

At home, a depressed Ethan, still sick from the Joker Putty fumes, turned on the shower, and the hot mist in the room allowed the putty to take full effect, and Ethan's skin melted. Ethan, horrified by his transformation, and unable to speak clearly (due to his throat full of clay) sought help in the city, but was attacked by the police, who used a fire hose to wash him down a drain. Ethan then kidnapped Rojas by disqusing himself as Yin and attempted to kill him, but was foiled by Batman and Yin. Ethan demonstrated his ability to shape shift and mimic voices, and claimed that he could be anyone that he chose. Yin and Batman tried to reason with him, but Ethan claimed that Joker "didn't just melt my body, he melted my mind. I'm a freak inside and out!" After a fight with Batman, Clayface nearly killed him, but was stopped by Yin, who begged him not to cross the line and get blood on his hands. Clayface turned back into Ethan, and commented that he never thought he'd see Yin defend Batman, before he sadly asked: "Yin, what's become of us?" before he allowed himself to melt down a drain. During a talk between Bruce and Yin in a diner, Ethan appeared for a few seconds, and the two ran after him. However, Ethan disappeared before they could find him. They commented: "He could be anywhere. He could be anyone.


Sometime later, Clayface decided to kill the Joker in a bid of rage, an accomplishment to which he almost succeeded when he disguised himself as an Arkham Asylum caretaker. However, Batman, disguised as an inspector, saved the Joker. He then froze Clayface, though he left an opportunity for the Joker to escape in the inspector disguise. After spending several months in Arkham, Ethan was showing signs of rehabilitation, provided he didn't use his powers as Clayface and remained human. Hugo Stange gave him a clean bill of mental health. Bruce personally vouched for Ethan at his trial and offered a job at Wayne Enterprises. Despite the gesture, not everyone was as polite or forgiving as Bruce Wayne. Several people, including Ethan's new coworkers constantly saw him as Clayface, not Ethan Bennett. When Joker arrived at Wayne Industries to steal from the vaults, Ethan used his powers to stop said villain because he wanted to save other from his fate. However during a fight with Batman in an elevator,The Joker's words spoke to Ethan, plus combined with the temptation, Ethan decided to become the criminal Clayface full time. Reluctantly, Batman tossed an ice capsule at his friend, stopping Clayface once again. He is then sent to Arkham where Bruce and Yin relaise that Ethan is gone for good.


The next Halloween, Clayface resurfaced as one of Gotham's most famous urban legends: The Swamp Zombie, Solomon Grundy. According to a local legend, 150 years ago, the founders of Gotham City dumped their construction waste into the lake, polluting it and turning it into the swamp it became known as. Seek revenge, the construction workers used black magic, combined with the rare lunar eclipse of Halloween night, to create the Swamp Zombie that would leave the founders destitute. But Grundy's rage wouldn't stop there, and the legend states that he would return to haunt the descendants of the founders and bring about their ancestor's fate. Using this as a cover, Clayface disguised himself as Grundy and attack the founders, intent on taking their money. As pointed out by Batman, no one would think to look for the look in the swamp, and with everyone looking for Grundy, Clayface would walk away with a fortune. Batman tracked his former friend to the final founding descendant, the owner of the Gotham Wax Museum. The two battled once again, ending with Batman dumping hot wax and encasing Clayface sending him back to Arkham.


The character was incorporated (to a limited extent) into The Batman Strikes! comic book series after his appearance in the animated series. In the comic book, Clayface pulled a stunt similar to turning into Solomon Grundy and turned into Catwoman to frame her for his robberies. Afterward, Clayface began a series of "copycat crimes" based on cases that he solved as a detective. In "Hit and Run", he turned into Joker and stole the Batmobile to get Batman to find Joker's hideout so that he could get his revenge. In "Escape," Clayface was manipulated by Hugo Strange to steal a chip that would help him get rid of the "voices" in his head. However, Strange used it to control him, and turned him into a giant that was designed to wreak havoc on the city. He was eventually freed by Batman, and the two worked together and stopped Strange.


Ethan's final appearance had him capturing the Joker in a dog food factory by disguising himself as Punch and Judy where he willingly turned Joker and himself in to the police. Finally ready to pay for his crimes, a cure was fashioned by siphoning off a sample of the Clayface gene. Ethan was thinking of joining the police force as Clayface, however Bruce wanted Ethan to be cured first. This sample, however, is stolen by has-been actor, Basil Karlo, who uses it to become an even more powerful Clayface. Ethan uses his powers one last time to stop Karlo fighting alongside Batman and Robin. The fight ended with Batman using the cure on the two of them. While the cure finally worked on Ethan, Basil remained Clayface. You never hear of him again after than episode except for a brief mention of him as Chief Bennett in season 4.


Powers and Abilities

Shape-shifting

Instantaneous Regeneration

Elasticity

Limited Invulnerability

Superhuman strength & stamina

Trivia

Ethan Bennett is an original character created for The Batman and never appeared in the comics Ethan Bennett shares similarities with Two-Face, as both were close friends with Bruce Wayne and supported Batman, but were tragically turned into villains. Ethan however redeemds himself while Harvey Dent Doesn't.

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