False Face was a criminal make-up artist and master of disguise who uses his skill to impersonate wealthy people. He
Batman and Robin encountered him just once, but False Face later became a villain in the 1960's TV series. (False Face should not be confused with Clayface, and has no ties to Black Mask's False Facers.)
False Face was a self-proclaimed master of disguise who created problems for Batman and Robin several years ago. False Face had a fairly simple pattern of crime, one that initially proved quite successful. He shadowed a wealthy prospective victim, learned their routines and then arranged for them to be delayed for a few hours while he used his expertise in disguises to transform himself into their exact double.
Little is known of the Caped Crusaders' first meeting with the villain, but on their second chance encounter, they found that he had impersonated a wealthy uranium tycoon named P.S. Smithington. As Smithington, False Face robbed a local Gotham City jewelry store framing the true Smithington for the crime. Batman managed to rescue the actual Smithington, but was unable to recover the stolen jewels.
At police headquarters, Commissioner Gordon supplied Batman and Robin with all of the details of the case, and the two gave chase. False Face, however, struck again. With more than half a dozen successful robberies to the bandit's credit by late 1957, Batman and Robin began trying to look ahead to prospective victims. Learning that rockabilly artist Wally Weskit was trapped in an elevator, the Dynamic Duo headed to the site of Weskit's evening performance instead. Sure enough, there was "Weskit", ready to claim a barrel of charitable donations. False Face had prepared for the likelihood of Batman's interference and wore an outfit as "Weskit" that resembled a doorman at the function. The Dark Knight was distracted long enough for False Face and his gang to escape.
Now that Batman was involved, False Face tweaked his plans again, specifically allowing the Dark Knight to tumble onto his next impersonation as explorer Arthur Crandall and leading him into a sixty foot tank. With the hero knocked unconscious, False Face entered the vat, intent on learning their nemesis' true identity. Returning to his hideout, False Face's gang eagerly pulled off the mask to reveal ... Arthur Crandall! Batman hadn't lost consciousness, after all, having slowed his fall by grabbing plastic sheeting that hung down from the tank's rim. Trading places with False Face, Batman pretended to be the villain while his gang led him back to their lair.
False Face's costume (seen in only one panel) consisted of a tuxedo and a black hood (with blue highlights) that covered his head, ears, nose, and upper lip. Batman removed the make-up from his captive to reveal "the real False Face ... a nervous frightened criminal". Unmasked, he was a white-haired, toothless man. False Face was taken to prison, whereupon he soon retired from his life of crime.
DC Comics reprinted "The Menace of False Face" in November, 1967's Batman #198, commenting, "You've seen him battle Batman on TV! Now read the story of the first clash ..." By this point, DC Comics had the much more versatile Clayface as a master of disguise in the Batman rogues gallery and False Face was never heard from again.
False Face's true name and background is unknown. There is little record of how he first developed his craft, or the means by which he formed his criminal gang.
False Face IIEdit
A female False Face appeared years after the original criminal in the pages of Birds of Prey #112. She and White Star targeted Lady Blackhawk so that False-Face could take her place in Barbara Gordon's organization. Zinda managed to elude them with the help of her taxi driver, Mahoud.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Each of the villains that used the name False Face was a master of disguise and could mimic the voice, accent, and mannerisms of another individual so effectively, that he or she could even fool his or her target's closest acquaintances.
In other mediaEdit
Batman (1960's TV Series)Edit
Main article: False Face (Malachi Throne)
Batman: The Brave and the BoldEdit
The original False Face is featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Corey Burton. His appearance was identical to the '60s TV series version of the character. In "Day of the Dark Knight!" he is seen amongst the several villains trying to escape Iron Heights Penitentiary. In "Night of the Huntress!" he is shown as an inmate trying to escape Blackgate Penitentiary. He makes a main appearance in "The Golden Age Of Justice!" when he steals the Golden Skull and disguises himself as an elderly woman named Mrs. Gatsby. His ruse is caught on to by Detective Chimp and Batman, and he is defeated. False Face then reappears in "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" as one of the many criminals caught under the hypnotic spell of the Music Meister.
A version of False Face appears in the Batman Beyond episode "Plague" voiced by Townsend Coleman. This version has the ability to assume anyone's identity by merely rearranging his face in mere seconds. This ability comes from years of genetic manipulation and surgery. False Face was hired by Kobra to smuggle a deadly virus from Saint Denis to Gotham City so that Kobra can mass-infect the entire city. Little did False-Face know that he was secretly infected with it. He ended up running afoul of Terry McGinnis and the Stalker when he tried to evade both of them. He ended up succumbing to the virus and dying after a battle with Batman.