cyberghostface: (Two-Face)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily

'Eye of the Beholder' from Batman Annual #14 is probably the most important modern Two-Face story ever written. This was the issue that fleshed out Harvey Dent's origins and redefined his characterization as someone who was already struggling with his psyche before the acid hit. A lot of the material here was later used in 'The Long Halloween', the animated series as well as The Dark Knight.

Unfortunately this has yet to be reprinted by DC, either in trade or in digital format. I imagine the latter will happen sooner or later (Comixology is constantly adding old comics to the archive) but DC's treatment of this has always puzzled me.

Removed is a fairly extensive bit involving a killer who targets senior citizens. The killer, who also functions as a respected doctor, manages to escape justice in court. Harvey asks him how he did it and the doctor says that there are two him; one is the surgeon, the other being the murderous 'Rudy' who comes out whenever the need arises. He sees a similar duality Harvey and tells him his advice is to not to mix business with pleasure. That night, Harvey calls him up and tells him that he's taken his advice. The doctor's house explodes.

Of course this was all in Harvey's head.

Date: 2017-08-18 01:57 am (UTC)
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
From: [personal profile] alicemacher
This is such a good story, in concept, writing and layout (for example, I like the repeated use of tall, narrow panels for the sequences inside Harvey's mind). Also, the epilogue in which he re-scars half his face with his bare frickin' hands has always stuck with me. Brrr.

As for reprints, there has in fact been one I know of, in Batman: Featuring Two-Face and the Riddler, a trade released as a tie-in with Batman Forever. That's out of print; I managed to find a used copy. It also includes the initial Golden Age origin stories for both villains, as well as the classic Silver Age "The Riddle-less Robberies of the Riddler" (the first to specify he too suffers from a mental disorder), the Secret Origins Special "Original Sins" by Gaiman and others, among other tales.
Edited Date: 2017-08-18 02:02 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-08-18 02:44 am (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Two-Face would work better as the Punisher with a coin fetish. Which is how he's done, on occasion.

Date: 2017-08-18 07:12 am (UTC)
commodus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] commodus
Stories where Two-Face is a twisted vigilante are infinitely more readable and coherent than all that nonsense where he has giant coins and henchman.
Because here's the thing - no criminal is ever going to work for a former District Attorney. The idea of this guy then becoming a stereotypical mob boss has never made sense, even in a world where there are crocodile-men and clay-monsters.

Date: 2017-08-18 08:50 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Thing is, they're not working with the former District Attorney, they working with Two-Face, who is a very different person, and has done enough horrible things to the "Law and Order" cast of Gotham City that his past life could be overlooked.

Date: 2017-08-18 10:31 am (UTC)
commodus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] commodus
But a criminal, with a criminal's code of ethics, would not care about Two-Face, all they would see is someone on the side of the cops.
Honestly, it feels like mental gymnastics on the part of the writers because they always revert to villains being mobster archetypes. I mean, they even do it to The Joker, and expect us to believe that stereotypical 1920s goons would ever work for him, or that a guy solely obsessed with comedy-inspired crimes would have the inclination to run protection rackets or care about turf wars.
It's a big problem with Batman's rogues gallery in general.

Date: 2017-08-18 11:16 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Not sure I agree about that.

Yes Harvey did a lot of things against criminals as the DA, but Two-Face has done MORE nasty things against the forces of law and order. His track record is now definitely on the side of the bad guys.

Would I, as a basketball player, work with a captain who had been a baseball player? If the captain has proved that he understands basketball better than I do, then yes I would.

As for the Joker, I have more of an issue with a henchman working with a spree killer with the Joker's tendency to treat henchmen like toilet paper (Disposable, AND likely to get dragged through the shit first) than I do with them working for the older school Joker, a flamboyant criminal who had a long success record as a criminal in part despite, and in greater part BECAUSE, of his genius being quite so over-the-top.

Date: 2017-08-18 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tcampbell1000
Agreed, and I don't think criminals have such a code of ethics that too many of them are going to care. For every one who says "No way! Dent put away my brother, I'll never work for him," there's gonna be twenty more who say "Does this job pay money? It does? Will I be alive and out of jail at the end of it to spend it? I will? Then okay, we're good."

Date: 2017-08-18 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] silicondream
There's also Gotham's culture of corruption; criminals work with/for police officers and government officials all the time. Carrying water for the guy who iced your colleague last week? That's just business.

If anything, Two-Face is probably easier to deal with than the average corrupt lawman, because he's unequivocally an ex-lawman and his behavior now follows very clear rules. If you work for a crooked cop, you have to gamble that he won't suddenly decide to turn you in out of guilt/fear/greed. If you work for Two-Face, you just have to gamble on the coin.

Date: 2017-08-18 07:21 pm (UTC)
commodus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] commodus
That's a very good point. Harvey, at this stage, has pretty much went past the point of no return. And given how many people he's killed, it's not like he's going to be trying to double cross his own goons and turn into an informant or something.


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