"Two Down"

Oct. 31st, 2009 12:58 pm
ext_396464: (Default)
[identity profile] xdoop.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily

This is from Batman Chronicles #16. It's written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Jason Pearson and Cam Smith.

The story takes place during "The Road to No Man's Land," after Gotham City was destroyed by an earthquake.

Renee is busy overworking herself, so Gordon orders her to take a break. She visits her parents' grocery store, where they tell her that her brother Benny left a few days ago to help in the neighborhood and hasn't come back.  Renee goes out to find him.

An angry Renee asks Benny "Don't you know who he is?!" Benny answers "Of course I know! But he's been helping us, Renee..."

"Dawn, and I still don't know what to make of him."

Renee and Harvey are underground when Renee hears someone calling for help.

The ceiling collapses. Renee pushes Harvey and the man out of the way, but gets buried under the rubble.

Harvey flips his coin.

Later, Renee wakes up to see Harvey and her mother looking down on her.

Later, Renee's father gives her a bullet that he found. "Just in case."

"...something's going to happen... and it'll all end..." We see Batman watching from a distance.

Harvey, Renee, and Benny battle the men when...

"Then try, detective. I'll watch."

Batman watches them leave. "Okay."

Date: 2009-10-31 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeyl.insanejournal.com
Every time I look at that cover now, the next thing I think about is Batman sucker punching Renee and taking her gun while she's left gurgling in blood. Glad to see this was not the case and Renee actually stood up to Batman like this.

Date: 2009-10-31 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damar148.insanejournal.com
Funny, it reminds me of Renee shooting Batman because she hated him.

Date: 2009-10-31 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] warpedhand.insanejournal.com
It reminds me that for every example of Batdickery, there are a bunch where he isn't, really.

Date: 2009-10-31 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kusonaga.insanejournal.com
Are you thinking of Gotham Central? That wasn't Renee.

Date: 2009-10-31 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeyl.insanejournal.com
Never said it was, just said that's what I think would happen next.

Date: 2009-10-31 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
People crap on No Man's Land, but I actually like it. Even the parts where the JLA doesn't swoop in and rebuild everything (you know, like they always do in Bosnia, Afghanistan, etc.) make sense, because to rebuild a city you have to start with the people, which I think is the message of the story: you can't throw infrastructure at a problem, the people affected by the problem have to fix the problem.

Date: 2009-10-31 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taggerung301.insanejournal.com
I've always enjoyed No Man's Land too
especially since Cass was introduced during this time

Date: 2009-10-31 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] warpedhand.insanejournal.com
I mean, as long as you accept that this is about the people of Gotham, and not the Justice League, and at the end of the day it's comics, it's a good story. You can't think about "well why didn't the people not involved do this?", because that's not the point, and it does somewhat break the story, because again, comics.

Date: 2009-10-31 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottyquick.insanejournal.com
People crap on No Man's Land

Wait, they do?

Date: 2009-11-01 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlbarnett.insanejournal.com
except Gotham is an average American city, not torn by sectarian strife, corrupt govenment, etc...

And before anyone says anything, I think everyone knows what I mean. Gotham had a normal society before the quake and no significant groups within that would want it to be prevented from returning to that normal society.

Date: 2009-11-03 06:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bariman1987.insanejournal.com
The JLA didn't step in because Batman told them to.

Batman: This is MY CITY. I'll fix it.
JLA: Really, Bruce? You'll use your super-strength to dig people out of the rubble; your super-speed to deliver food, water, and medical supplies; your invulnerability to go into hazardous situations, such as fires, gas leaks, and toxic spills, and clean them up; your cosmic energies to repair key infrastructure; and your telepathy to coordinate everything?
Batman: ...I'm Batman.

Even then, the JLA doesn't have to rebuild everything. They could just render basic humanitarian aid. But they didn't, because the US Government declared that Gotham City was no longer part of the USA, enforced with a military blockade and orders to shoot at anyone going in (and possibly out too), and because Batman said so.

Date: 2009-11-03 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
They could just render basic humanitarian aid.

Because Gotham City U.S.A. deserves it more than Afghanistan or Bosnia or where ever it sucks to live because of warlords, starvation, and ruin...right?

Date: 2009-11-03 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
Let me add to that previous post.

Yes, the JLA should have helped, despite what Batman said. The story where Superman fixes the power plant just so people can go nuts to prove the JLA shouldn't be there is a bad idea. They should be dropping Cornucopia machines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembler_(nanotechnology)) to clean up the water supply, recycle waste, etc. No doubt, no question.

HOWEVER. If you accept the premise that the JLA doesn't stick its nose into other disaster areas in China, Bosnia, Brazil, etc., you're left with one of two options:

1. The JLA is specifically a group that puts America first, because it's America.

2. They realize the dangers of trying to be gods and fix everything, and hold back to saving people only in times of the most dire crises.

I'm more comfortable with the second, even though I don't like it.

Date: 2009-10-31 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taggerung301.insanejournal.com
it's a shame that two-face was never fully redeemed
they tried to "fix" him a ton of times over the years, but he always goes back to being the bad guy
I really feel sorry for Harvey

Date: 2009-11-01 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goobalicious.insanejournal.com
I really feel sorry for Harvey

Same. It might be residual Batman:TAS pain, but Harvey will always make my heart hurt a little.

Date: 2009-10-31 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] proteus_lives.insanejournal.com
If Renee was ever to have a hetero relationship, I think it should be with Harvey. I like villain/hero pairings.

Date: 2009-10-31 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kusonaga.insanejournal.com
Gotham Central's Half A Life shows how even if Renee were straight, that wouldn't be a good idea.

Date: 2009-10-31 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkknightjrk.insanejournal.com
Considering he's the one who forcibly outed her, I don't think that's in the cards anymore.

Date: 2009-11-02 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freddylloyd.insanejournal.com
Two-Face's bad luck to become infatuated with a woman who goes only one way.

Date: 2009-10-31 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com
I like this look on Renee, much more than the jheri curl look she's been sporting lately.

Date: 2009-10-31 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkknightjrk.insanejournal.com
Hey, she's just letting her Soul Glo. :D

Date: 2009-11-01 01:27 am (UTC)
kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Renee Montoya)
From: [personal profile] kingrockwell
Lately? Lately like when? She's got a short, wavy thing going lately. The only thing I can think of that might fit that is one issue of Crime Bible, and each of those was handled by a different artist.

Date: 2009-10-31 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teekoness.insanejournal.com
Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take for thehefner to show up?

Date: 2009-10-31 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bitemetechie.insanejournal.com
As thehefner's girlfriend, I can say with some certainty that he is not, in fact, that predictable.


Okay, let's be honest, I had to stop him from posting.

Date: 2009-10-31 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.insanejournal.com
... can I post something now? Pleeease?

Date: 2009-10-31 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bitemetechie.insanejournal.com
Okay, okay, just please don't start any fights.

Date: 2009-10-31 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.insanejournal.com

Okay, so this is one of my favorite Two-Face stories ever, and I was always dissatisfied with the direction Greg Rucka eventually took the saga. I understand his argument for how it was near-impossible for Harvey not to fall in love with Renee for all the kindness she showed to him, but I find it disappointing and frustrating that what could have been a fascinating dynamic of a platonic friendship (see also: Bane and Scandal) was so utterly wasted and ruined in the way it was.

I know "Half A Life," is a beloved storyline, but every time I read it, I feel lousy. Because I think about this above story, and the story where Harvey remembers Renee's birthday, and I think, "Man, by the end of things, it just sucked for EVERYBODY."

That said, I keep holding out hope for what xdoop posted here:


I really, really want to see this dynamic continue to be explored and developed. Not only do I want to see Renee forgive him, but I want to see that Harvey himself has moved on a bit or gained perspective. I'd want to see him beg her forgiveness first, honestly, but I fear Rucka might still have him be obsessed with her.

I'm also still frustrated with the fact that DC ignored that Sane!Harvey was protecting Gotham during 52 rather than Batwoman. Those issues where Renee and the Question were in Gotham should have had them meeting up with Harvey, who was in a clearer state of mind during that point than she'd ever seen in him before. Plus, it would have been a prime moment to remark upon Renee's platonic friendships with face-themed men!

Nothing quite frustrates me as pissing away something with potential, so I'm hoping Rucka finally does continue this story soon.

See, Techie? I'm a good boy, I am!

Date: 2009-10-31 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaybee3.insanejournal.com
Yes. It was strange. And Rucka obviously does know how to write strong platonic relationships where the feelings are strong on both sides (Renee/Vic in 52). And then of course they had Robinson (in an obvious editorial decision) turn Harvey from good to bad within the space of a few issues in "Face the Face", the first Batman storyline following OYL. He even scarred himself this time (which he's done before). So his turn to good was all a waste and now they have him killing people like no tomorrow or running from Black Mask in the current books.

Date: 2009-10-31 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teekoness.insanejournal.com
As much as I love Half a Life, I always felt it a shame that they turned the relationship into Harvey having a freaky crush on Renee. I would've liked their relationship to continue in some form.

Hmmm... I wonder if he'll show up in the Question side-feature.

Date: 2009-10-31 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
A guy with two faces, a woman with no face. There is a certain balance to that combination.

Date: 2009-10-31 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] retro_nouveau.insanejournal.com
I love the relationship they have. I'm not sure what it is, and where it stands now, but so much the better. Tragic, quirky, slightly wrong, never meant to be, but still something there. More please!

Idea - Zatanna says "Syawla nrut pu sdaeh!" over the coin and voila! Instant hero. No mind wiping necessary!

Harvey looks really, really good here. Renee, um, ... ok.

Bruce was a lot more "let punches fly first and ask questions later" than usual.

Date: 2009-10-31 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] retro_nouveau.insanejournal.com
Not "sdaeh", duh, they're "sdaeh" on both sides. "Syalwa nrut pu dehctarcs edis nwod!"


Date: 2009-11-01 07:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thosefew.insanejournal.com
He's been given trick coins before. He invariably finds out, but his responses are varied.

Date: 2009-11-01 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yaseen101.insanejournal.com
Actually, I remember one comic where the Arkham doctors tried that by giving him a trick coin but it only served to make him even more crazier.

Date: 2009-11-01 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ar_feiniel_.insanejournal.com
I like this!


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