Today we step away from Two-Face’s origins and look into the continued effects of the Two-Face personality on Harvey Dent’s fragile psyche. Believe it or not, Harvey Dent has undergone reconstructive surgery several times in order to rid himself of his horrible scars, further continuing the power struggle within his mind between Harvey and his evil alter-ego.
There’s a lot of background to establish here. In a previous story called “Hush,” a criminal with a talent for cosmetic surgery and a grudge against Bruce Wayne restored Harvey Dent’s face in order to suit his own needs. However, what the villain, named Hush, did not count on was that this time, Harvey Dent’s personality would emerge as a force for good, betraying Hush and seemingly making a full recovery from his past psychological problems.
During a major event in the DC Universe, Batman and other heroes were to leave for a year on an important mission. Remembering the force for good that Harvey Dent once was, Batman trained Harvey and left Gotham in his care.
Before Batman returned, several villains were murdered, and naturally, given Dent’s criminal past, Harvey was blamed, and with Two-Face starting to reassert himself within Harvey’s mind, it’s possible that he is responsible.
We open in a trashed motel room filled with shattered mirrors and glass. Harvey is having a conversation with the Two-Face personality, who is trying to force him to admit that he liked his days as a criminal, taunting him by saying it was “better than sex and drugs.” Harvey is left to wonder why Two-Face is back and realizes that while he was Gotham’s protector, he was finally happy and had inner peace.
But then, Batman came back and took all that away. He tells Two-Face the story of how Batman handpicked him for the job, trained him and even took him on a few missions. When the subject of the murders comes up, Two-Face denies it, and says that when Batman was accused of murder once upon a time, the people stood up for him, but with Harvey, they all turn on him in a heartbeat.
Harvey is silent for a while until he finally, and reluctantly, agrees with his evil counterpart. Harvey finally admits that he did love his time as Two-Face and reaches into his pocket for his signature coin, which he kept as a souvenir. With a flip of the coin coming up on the bad side, Harvey enters the bathroom with a knife and a flask of acid and intentionally scars his face, giving in to Two-Face now and forever.
This is a slow issue with a lot of exposition, but sometimes that’s necessary in a story. This issue is a solid character examination of Harvey Dent and it works well to that effect.
The artwork in this issue is very good and fitting of a Batman book–dark, but still colorful. A particularly nice touch is the broken glass everywhere in the room, which makes it impossible for Harvey (who sees Two-Face every time he looks in a mirror) to look away from the one thing he wishes not to see.
Wes Serafine can be contacted at