So, it was another draw, 50/50 between Two Face and Mr.Freeze, but due to all so being the character that drew last time as well with i think both Catwoman and Ivy, i’m looking at why i like Two Face….
Before i even start referencing comic books, i want to jump straight into his psyche. His whole character is based on the conflicts of opposites. From the moment he began as District Attorney (DA) Harvey Dent, he was portrayed as an opposite: Gothams white knight, a hero with a face who strides in the daylight, opposed to Batman, a masked vigilant who hides in the shadows.
Then, especially in Dark Knight Rises origin story, we see his other side. Harvey ends up with a split personality disorder and his two half’s argue what is right and what is fair. Which is true justice, that comes down to your opinion, but Harvey is as much two faced as he appears.
I love his characters obsession with the chaos of chance and what is fair. That the only true justice is chance, 50/50. With the flip of his coin, he decides what to eat, what to wear, which bank to rob and weather or not to kill. Everything to him can be simplified to a black or white (or as in some issues red or white) one or the other.
Famously, he carries two six shot revolvers, one black and one white. He all so has an obsession with the number 2 and for things to be even or split in half. Famously in one comic, i can’t remember which, he robs Gotham’s second national bank at 2:00 pm on the second of the February…..
…. This is evidence of how gimmicky a villain he originally was. In his first appearance in Detective comic number 66 (August 1942), his origin was explained in equally as gimmicky a manner: He had acid thrown on him by Sal Maroni in a trial. This was enough to turn him to a life of crime, give him a split personality disorder and make him obsessive, homicidal and by most accounts, insane. Sorry, but that was just lazy writing as far as i’m concerned.
His face and sanity was reformed in the 1940’s and then others had a go at being Two Face instead as there was still a demand for his character after the writers returned him to being Dent, so Dent’s butler, the actor in his biography play and a petty criminal all copy cat the villain.
Only, unlike many others villains, Harvey remains reformed and sane till the 1970’s!
He is re-introduced in Earth two and in the crises of infinite earths in the seventies, but Harvey on what i term the “normal comics” doesn’t return till even later, though in this period he is reintroduced as having split personality for the first time. This was a good move in my mind as it’s a recognized mental disorder that needed awareness rising for it at the time, and commonly one personality will be more vicious and discontented than the other. Even violent, so it was important that the disorder was all so shown accurately, and the writers did it well with care and attention.
Despite using the coin to make every decision in his life, including going to the toilet, he is not completely bound by it. He can choose for himself still, as was seen when the docters at Arkham tried to wean him off the coin by offering him more choice with die and then taro cards, but he simply can’t live without it, so Batman returns it and asks him to flip it to decide weather he should kill Batman. He tells Batman it lands scar down, so he lives, but is revealed after Batman leaves to be scar up….
Portrayed as more of a gang lord than a super criminal, he goes after other gang lords and villains to deal out his twisted version of justice. This is best seen after Gotham earthquake as he takes city hall as his territory and then makes an agreement with Commissioner Gordan to help him take down other gang lords, in return for some of there territory’s. Only after Bane destroys his gang, Two Face puts Gordan on trial in the town hall and Two Face represents the prosecution and the judge, but Gordan is smart enough to call on Two Faces other half (Dent) to defend him. There then ensues a great split personality trial where Two face argues for and against Gordan and then decides his fate as well….
Two Face’s comic appearances have always been great for me to read. His story lines are thrilling and because of the nature of his actions always being in two minds, all his crimes and evil doings are well explained, for the simple reason of the writers can’t say “He did that because he’s a villain”. Half of him is still Dent, who was a hero for a long time….
Something you may not know about Dent, long before he was two face, Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy) was his first fiance, but this love is never rekindled and only referenced once in the whole of the Batman franchise, so, make up your own minds 😉
Another thing you may not know about Two Face is that he saved Batman’s life. After he, the Joker and Penguin poisoned Batman, his coin flip instructed Two Face to give Batman the antidote. He has all so helped Batman in other situations when the coin toss has landed in Batman’s favor.
Other than the comics, he makes appearances most notably n Batman, the brave and the bold, Batman: Arkham City and in the movies The Dark Knight and Batman Forever. His is all so referenced in Batman and Robin (his costume is seen in Arkham Asylum) and in Batman: Arkham Asylum right at the end, announced over police radio as robbing Gotham’s second National bank (again…).
His character is entertaining, well explained and interesting. He is believable because of how understandable he is and how straight foward his actions are (or become once explained). He is a great read and an awesome looking character.
That Other Guy