Warning: Spoilers for DC’s Spring Breakout! #1!


Martian Manhunter surpasses Clayface as DC’s best actor through a battle showcasing his shapeshifting powers.
Martian Manhunter outsmarts Clayface in an epic battle by using his understanding of acting as a strategy.
Manhunter’s serious approach to shapeshifting and acting earns him the title of Justice League’s best actor.

Martian Manhunter of Justice League fame has just proven himself to be the ultimate method actor. Usually, when readers think about acting in the realm of DC Comics, they usually think about Clayface. As skilled as the former Basil Karlo is at performances — thanks to his shapeshifting abilities — J’onn J’onnz has surpassed him as DC’s best actor.

Martian Manhunter and Clayface have an Oscar-worthy battle for the ages in DC’s Spring Breakout! #1 for the story “Shape-Shift in the Park” by Morgan Hampton and Paul Pelletier. It’s a fight where both men showcase their “acting” abilities, taking on different forms and characters to combat each other.

Martian Manhunter not only shows how he uses his shapeshifting powers to overwhelm Clayface, but showcases how he has a better grasp of acting than Clayface ever had, becoming the Justice League’s ultimate actor.


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The story begins with Martian Manhunter taking a break from his Justice League duties and opting to enjoy some Shakespeare in the Park. Unfortunately, the crowd isn’t a big fan of the solo actor’s performance, leading to them flinging rocks in his direction. This actor is no fan of the slings and arrows of misfortune being hurled at him, especially when he mistakes J’onn as the sole culprit. That’s when the actor starts showing his true colors: a moldy beige beast transforming into the robust Clayface.

Martian Manhunter springs into action, but he knows that simply fighting Clayface isn’t the easiest way to beat him. To beat Clayface, one must attack his ego, and so the Justice League’s most important member opts to out-act the theatre enthusiast. He does so by shapeshifting into several different heroes – including Superman, the Flash, and Aquaman Jackson Hyde – at a rate that Clayface struggles to keep up with. Through his actions and his monologue, Martian Manhunter illustrates his take on acting and earns himself a win at this battle’s conclusion.

Martian Manhunter Understands Acting Better than Clayface

J’onn J’onzz Can Translate Acting into Fighting

Acting and shapeshifting have always gone hand-in-hand for Clayface, but this battle match-up showcases how shapeshifters in general make the perfect actors, which is certainly the case for Martian Manhunter. Clayface traditionally uses his shapeshifting abilities strictly to hide or to deceive through disguise. As the one Justice League member that Superman is afraid of points out, many of Clayface’s disguises and his reasoning for disguising are rooted in his ego. Martian Manhunter, though, sees the opportunity to use shapeshifting as both a means of entertainment for the onlooking crowd and, most of all, a means of strategy against his opponent.

This distinction in how both character use shapeshifting is the biggest factor in deciding which is the better actor. Clayface is merely a showboat, and his acting ambitions are rooted in that same showboat mentality. He wants to bethe show, whereas Manhunter understands there is more to the show than just the actor at the center of it. There is the actor’s “dance partner” (so to speak), the paying audience, and, of course, the craft of acting. Martian Manhunter approaches both with such seriousness that it’s hard to deny him the honor of being the Justice League’s best actor — if not the best actor in the DC Universe.

DC’s Spring Breakout! #1 is available now from DC Comics.


Writer: Joey Esposito, Thomas Krajewski, Meghan Fitzmartin, James Reid, Mike W. Barr, Patrick R. Young, Morgan Hampton, Cameron Chittock Artist: Vasco Georgiev, Wes St. Claire, Gavin Guidry, Scott Kolins, Kenya Danino, Nico Bascuñán, Paul Pelletier, Marco Santucci Inker: Norm Rapmund Colorist: Ivan Plascencia, Rico Renzi, John Kalisz, Emilio Lopez, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Arif Prianto Letterer: Jame, Tom Napolitano, Josh Reed, Carlos M. Mangual, Nico Bascuñán, Becca Carey Cover Artist: John Timms

“}]] Clayface vs. [SPOILER] is Oscar-worthy.  Read More