Two-Face: Year One
was a mess.
I don't know any other way to describe the most recent retelling of Harvey's origin, released to coincide with the release of The Dark Knight
. The odds were against it from the start, as the main problem with retelling origins is that you've got to interest people in reading a story they already know, or at least think
They may have read it multiple times in flashbacks and expositions, or maybe they just have one specific version they adhere to as the definitive version. For me, the definitive Harvey story is Eye of the Beholder, by Andrew Helfer and Chris Sprouce
. For most others, it's The Long Halloween
, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Either way, TF:YO was met with opposition and apathy before it was even released, and in the years since, it's shown no signs of being embraced by fans nor creators nor canon any more than Michael Green's recent Joker origin Lovers and Madmen
(BUNNY!) managed to escape the shadow of Alan Moore's Killing Joke
This isn't to say there shouldn't be new attempts at retelling origins. When it comes to Harvey, if they held steadfast to the classic Golden Age origin (or even the tweaked Bronze Age origin
), we never would have gotten Eye of the Beholder
in the first place. The question is always "What's this new take going to bring to the old story?"
To its credit, TF:YO had a couple novel and intriguing aspects to bring to the table. Unfortunately, for a slew of reasons, the final story was problematic to say the least. Maybe that's why it was seemingly ignored upon release, getting virtually no coverage from comic sites/blogs (I don't recall seeing a single review), or maybe the truth is more depressing than that: maybe people just didn't care.
But while I
certainly cared, I also found myself alternately annoyed and bored, particularly by the poor pacing and awkward misuse of flashbacks. It read like a movie hacked apart and frankensteined together by a bad editor.
So in the interest of a cohesive story, I've decided to try something a bit different with this Two-Face Tuesday, and present the story edited into chronological order. Thus today, I offer you Two-Face, Year One: The Hefner's Cut!( A different look at a different look at Harvey Dent, behind the cut )