I’d put off reviewing Joker's Asylum: Two-Face
--by David Hine and Andy Clarke--for almost three years. The story was just that maddeningly frustrating to me, as was the fact that many people love the ending.
Just before its release in 2008, I was cautiously optimistic about JA:TF
when I read an interview with Hine
(the same one wherein he compared Harvey to the cult novel The Dice Man, a comparison which I've ranted about over at that link
), in which he mentioned that the story would involve Harvey meeting Holman Hunt, a man with similar facial scarring, thus creating a sort of “man in the mirror” effect.
Quoth Hine: "Essentially, Two-Face sets out to prove, that given the right circumstances, Holman could be converted to Two-Face’s way of thinking. Namely that the universe is a chaotic place where any values we attempt to impose are transient and ultimately meaningless. Take that, Alan Moore!"
Heh. Okay, so he's pretty much saying that he'd pulling a Killing Joke
scenario here. We agree on that, yes? Putting aside the fact that it's kinda been done to death, there already HAS been a story like that with Two-Face
. But sadly, that amazing story is completely forgotten, so I can't blame Hine for wanting to tell his own tale. Besides, who’s to say there isn’t more potential for that premise?
After all, many people *did* respond to JA:TF
, especially thanks to the ending. Hine had high aspirations there, "hoping that this will turn out to be a good old-fashioned twist-in-the-tail type of story that Uncle Creepy would have been proud of."
A fine goal, one with horror-geek cred.
So how did he do? You’ll certainly hear my thoughts, but in the end, you must be the judge. I mean that more literally than you might suspect.( Harvey meets the man he could have been--or, looked at it another way, the man who could become him--behind the cut )
Postscript: When I first posted this to About_Faces, my Batman fanblog
, David Hine opened an LJ account purely to respond to my review. I was surprised, to say the least, and also a bit nervous. Okay, a LOT nervous. But to his considerable credit, Hine was nothing but civil, and many other comics professionals would do well to follow his example when it comes to interacting with fans. Even passionate, opinionated geeks like me. :)
As such, I think it's only fair to give David Hine the last word here: "... perhaps you'd like to take this into account. This is 'Joker's Asylum'. This isn't me telling a comic book story about Harvey Dent. It's The Joker telling a story about Harvey Dent. Read it again from that perspective."