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  1. #1

    Default A historical-type Two-Face question for the experts...

    Hello, Batman fans. It is time for me to ask you a question. I hope you will enjoy the idea of answering it so much so that you decide to post a reply and then follow-through with your decision and do so. The question will not be so wordy as all this.

    The question concerns the character of Two-Face's particular pathology. I know there have been several attempts to reform him, cure him, return him to normal via cosmetic surgery, the loss/replacement of his coin, etc...

    Can some good person here list those instances here (no need for issue number specifics unless you are just an amazing dude who wants to impress us all) and describe what the ultimate result was? Obviously it's never stuck...but what are the in-story reasons why not?

    Thank you and have a great day, your lordships.
    DOUG STRANGE
    The white crow who disturbs the convenient silence...

  2. #2
    R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie Greg Anderson's Avatar
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    The most recent, popular one I can remember is the one from Jeph Loeb's run on Hush where Harvey gets "cured" and reconstructs his face. He then gets trained by Batman and becomes Gotham's new protector for a year when Batman leaves Gotham for a bit. When Batman returns, Harvey thinks he's going to be pushed aside and the Two-Face persona comes back due to paranoia and insecurity and he scars his face to become Two-Face again. While that particular issue was very well written with some nice scenes, the reasons for turning back into Two-Face was disappointing and I would have loved to see some stories focusing on Harvey as Harvey.

    There was also the "Two of a Kind" story where Harvey falls in love with this doctor who helps him overcome his issues and reconstructs his face. He's happy with her and everything is honky dory until the doctor's twin sister comes into their lives and she falls in love with Harvey and starts to bring trouble to their paradise. She ends up killing her twin to be with Harvey and Harvey gets so riled up that his Two-Face persona resurfaces and he takes coal from the fireplace and burns his face. He becomes Two-Face again and kills the femme fatale.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Retro315's Avatar
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    I believe back in the 40s, the very original Batman run had Two-Face only appear two or three times before having his face cosmetically repaired. But then, later when they wanted to use Two-Face again, they did, but he was Paul Sloane (Two-Face II, now known as Charlatan). Stories were a bit more shallow back then, but also more self-aware, and the gist was that it was actually the vanity, having an ugly half of his face, that cracked Harvey's psychosis open, and once his face was repaired he went back to being normal.

    The other examples of Harvey having his face fixed that I can recall are The Dark Knight Returns and then just before Batman: Hush, the basically "in-continuity" example. DKR is set many years later after Batman's career, so it makes sense that by then Harvey has been jailed, fixed and cured.

    Prior to Hush follows basically the same rules as the Golden Age stories; I can't exactly remember when Harvey got his face fixed, but in Hush he's running around secretly helping Batman much like he used to do when depicted as D.A. Harvey Dent, in the various Year One/Year Two style stories. Over the course of 52 he was even depicted as a vigilante, filling in for Batman during his vacation. Once Batman came back, his dark side took control again and he mutilated his own face, so I suppose the "fix" that came from cosmetic surgery proved to only be temporary and they reversed the notion that "the face drove him mad".
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  4. #4
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    Batman #329: ended with Harvey, in a rare showing of self-realization, compliance to turn himself in to Arkham, to one day become rehabilitated, to possibly be with Gilda, very much sane, again, even Batman himself believed he had a chance that time. About two years later, assumably never pulled through all the way, as if it never happened, back to old habits.

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    Last edited by ngroove; 11-25-2012 at 11:17 AM.

  5. #5

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    This is great stuff, guys. Keep it coming.

    Anything interesting happen with the coin? What happens to Harvey when he loses it? Has it ever been replaced with a coin that wasn't scarred up? Or one that was scarred on both sides?
    DOUG STRANGE
    The white crow who disturbs the convenient silence...

  6. #6
    Fortuna Favet Fortibus The Lucky One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro315 View Post
    I believe back in the 40s, the very original Batman run had Two-Face only appear two or three times before having his face cosmetically repaired. But then, later when they wanted to use Two-Face again, they did, but he was Paul Sloane (Two-Face II, now known as Charlatan). Stories were a bit more shallow back then, but also more self-aware, and the gist was that it was actually the vanity, having an ugly half of his face, that cracked Harvey's psychosis open, and once his face was repaired he went back to being normal.
    Yep. Harvey Kent only appeared in (I think) two stories as Two-Face before plastic surgery restored his face. After that there were literally three other Two-Faces (one was an actor doing a TV movie about Two-Face who was injured in the same way; one was Kent's butler who was casting suspicion on his master; can't remember the third), before the last Golden Age Two-Face story. In that one, Kent (now renamed Dent) tried to stop some bank robbers but the explosive they had set blew up in his face, undoing the plastic surgery and making him revert to crime. He got caught and went to jail, and that was the last Two-Face story for 17 years. Finally Denny O'Neil brought him back in 1971 for Batman #234, and you know the rest.

    As an interesting little sidebar, once the existence of Earth-2 was established, it was decided that the Earth-2 Harvey Kent (not Dent) had never had his plastic surgery undone and never reverted to crime. There was a "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" story in Superman #211 where Clark and Lois are attending Bruce Wayne's marriage to Selina Kyle and overhear someone planning to kill "Kent." Naturally they assume it's Clark, only to find that the assassin is actually targeting wedding guest Harvey Kent, the former Two-Face. Cool little continuity bit, that.

    -D
    "I love the nostalgic, myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past."
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  7. #7
    Fortuna Favet Fortibus The Lucky One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Strange View Post
    Anything interesting happen with the coin? What happens to Harvey when he loses it? Has it ever been replaced with a coin that wasn't scarred up? Or one that was scarred on both sides?
    In Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth (or whatever the subtitle was), the therapists had replaced his coin with a die, then Tarot cards, and then with I-Ching cards in an attempt to give Harvey more choices, believing that eventually they could transition him into a healthy, normal worldview again. It didn't work; he just became paralyzed by indecision because there were too many choices.

    In The Dark Knight Returns [spoilers], Harvey had plastic surgery that fixed his face and howed an unscarred coin as a PR move to reflect that he was a whole man again. The problem is that he was still unbalanced, it was just that the "good" half was his outer face and the "evil" half was his internal face, how he saw himself.

    I don't remember if he's ever lost it for good. There have been stories where Batman won by throwing a bunch of coins up in the air, distracting Two-Face. Once Batman used a fake coin that had been hollowed out to make it always stand on edge, switched it with the real coin, and made a bet with Two-Face that if the coin stood on its end when flipped, Harvey would surrender and turn himself in.

    There was a story in Batman Chronicles early in No Man's Land where the coin kept coming up good side up, so Two-Face kept helping to rescue people from collapsed buildings and doing good deeds. At one point the coin skittered away and he couldn't see what it showed, and he had to decide on his own whether to rescue someone or let them die. Renee Montoya helped him make the right decision. It also led into a cool story later in No Man's Land where Two-Face put Jim Gordon on trial with himself as prosecutor, and Gordon called Harvey Dent as his defense attorney, forcing Two-Face to argue a case against himself.

    -D
    "I love the nostalgic, myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past."
    ~Walt Disney

    The Impulsive Buy
    Mutant Reviewers From Hell

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Lucky One View Post
    There was a story in Batman Chronicles early in No Man's Land where the coin kept coming up good side up, so Two-Face kept helping to rescue people from collapsed buildings and doing good deeds. At one point the coin skittered away and he couldn't see what it showed, and he had to decide on his own whether to rescue someone or let them die. Renee Montoya helped him make the right decision. It also led into a cool story later in No Man's Land where Two-Face put Jim Gordon on trial with himself as prosecutor, and Gordon called Harvey Dent as his defense attorney, forcing Two-Face to argue a case against himself.
    I like this. High-five. Sorry I'm too stupid to come up with anything more cogent than that right at this moment.

    Mostly I'm just excited that my lame-o little fanfic idea has apparently never been done before. Hooray.
    DOUG STRANGE
    The white crow who disturbs the convenient silence...

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