Two-Face

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Two-Face
TwoFaceYearOne.png
From Two-Face: Year One #2 (October 2008).
Art by Jesus Saiz and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #66 (August 1942)
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoHarvey Dent
Team affiliations
Suicide Squad
Notable aliasesApollo[3][4][5][6]
Abilities

Two-Face (Harvey Dent) is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and first appeared in Detective Comics #66 (August 1942).[7] As one of Batman's most enduring enemies, Two-Face belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery.

Once a bright and upstanding district attorney of Gotham City, Harvey Dent is hideously scarred on the left side of his face after mob boss Sal Maroni throws acidic chemicals at him during a court trial. He subsequently goes insane and adopts the "Two-Face" persona, becoming a criminal obsessed with the number two, the concept of duality, and the conflict between good and evil. In later years, writers have portrayed Harvey Dent as having dissociative identity disorder, with Two-Face being an alter, which stemmed from the abuse he received from his father during his childhood. Two-Face obsessively makes all important decisions by flipping a two-headed coin, with the other half scarred, given to him by his father. The modern version is established as having once been a personal friend and ally of James Gordon and Batman, as well as the best friend of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne.[8][9]

Two-Face has no superpowers, instead relying on his proficiency in marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat, which was further improved after being trained by Deathstroke and Batman. As a former lawyer, the character uses his expertise in criminal law, criminology, and police procedures to devise his crimes.[10][11]

In 2009, Two-Face was ranked #12 on IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.[12] The character has been featured in various media adaptations, such as feature films, television series and video games. Two-Face has been voiced by Richard Moll in the DC animated universe, Troy Baker in the Batman: Arkham series, Billy Dee Williams in The Lego Batman Movie, and William Shatner in Batman vs. Two-Face. His live-action portrayals include Billy Dee Williams in Batman (as pre-disfigurement Harvey Dent only), Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever, Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight, and Nicholas D'Agosto in the television series Gotham.

Publication history[edit]

Two-Face from Detective Comics #66.

Two-Face first appears in Detective Comics #66 with the name Harvey "Apollo" Kent;[7] later stories changed his name to "Harvey Dent" to avoid an association with Superman (Clark Kent).[13] The character only made three appearances in the 1940s, and appeared twice in the 1950s (not counting the impostors mentioned below).[14] By this time, he was dropped in favor of more "kid-friendly" villains, though he did appear in a 1968 issue (World's Finest Comics #173), in which Batman declared him to be the criminal that he most fears. In 1971, writer Dennis O'Neil brought Two-Face back, and it was then that he became one of Batman's most prominent arch-enemies.

In his autobiography, Batman creator Bob Kane claims to have been inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, specifically the 1931 film version which he saw as a child. Some inspiration was also derived from the pulp character the Black Bat, whose origin story included having acid splashed on his face.[15]

In the wake of Frank Miller's 1986 revision of Batman's origin (see Batman: Year One), Andrew Helfer rewrote Two-Face's history to match.[16] This origin, presented in Batman Annual (vol. 1) #14, served to emphasize Dent's status as a tragic character, with a back story that included an abusive, alcoholic father, and early struggles with dissociative identity disorder and paranoia. It was also established, in Batman: Year One, that the pre-accident Harvey Dent was one of Batman's earliest allies. He had clear ties to both Batman and Commissioner James Gordon, making him an unsettling and personal foe for both men.[17]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Acid is thrown onto Harvey Dent's face in Batman: The Long Halloween.

Pre-Crisis[edit]

The Pre-Crisis version of Two-Face is Harvey Kent, Gotham City's handsome young District Attorney. A mobster throws acid in his face during a trial, scarring half his face. Driven insane by his reflection, he renames himself Two-Face and goes on a crime spree, deciding with a flip of his lucky coin whether to break the law or perform acts of charity.[18] Batman and Robin eventually capture him, and he is rehabilitated thanks to plastic surgery.[19] Later stories, however, depict him as returning to crime after being re-disfigured. Writer Les Daniels wrote that the early Two-Face was "the most deadly serious of Batman's foes". He added that "Two-Face seemed to disturb even his creators, who cured him through plastic surgery at the end of his third appearance in 1943".[20]

Post-Crisis[edit]

The Post-Crisis version of Harvey Dent is depicted as having had an unhappy childhood; his father was a mentally ill alcoholic who beat him regularly, often deciding whether or not to brutalize his son based on a flip of his lucky coin. The abuse instilled in Dent his lifelong struggle with free will and his eventual inability to make choices on his own, relying on the coin to make all of his decisions. Dent is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder at a young age, but manages to hide his illnesses and, thanks to an unyielding work ethic, rises up through the ranks of Gotham City's district attorney's office until, at age 26, he becomes the youngest DA in the city's history. Gordon even suspected that Dent could be Batman, but discarded this suspicion when he realized that Dent lacked the vigilante's financial resources. Dent forges an alliance with Gordon and Batman to rid Gotham of organized crime. Mob boss Carmine Falcone bribes corrupt Assistant District Attorney Vernon Fields to provide his lieutenant Sal Maroni, whom Dent is trying for murder, with sulfuric acid; Maroni throws the acid in Dent's face during a cross-examination, horribly scarring the left side of Dent's face. Dent escapes from the hospital and reinvents himself as the gangster Two-Face. He scars one side of his father's coin, and uses it to decide whether to commit a crime. Eventually, Two-Face takes his revenge on Falcone, Fields and Maroni, but is captured by Batman, leading to his incarceration in Arkham Asylum.[21]

During the Batman: Dark Victory story arc, the serial killer Hangman targets various cops who assisted in Dent's rise to the D.A.'s office. Two-Face gathers Gotham's criminals to assist in the destruction of the city's crime lords. After a climactic struggle in the Batcave, Two-Face is betrayed by the Joker, who shoots at Dent, causing him to fall into a chasm, presumably to his death. Batman admits in the aftermath that, even if Two-Face has survived, Harvey Dent is gone forever.[22] During a much later period, Two-Face is revealed to have murdered the father of Jason Todd, the second Robin. When attempting to apprehend Two-Face, Jason briefly has the criminal at his mercy, but lets Two-Face's punishment be decided by the law.[23] Two-Face similarly serves as a 'baptism by fire' for Jason's successor, Tim Drake. When Two-Face has Batman at his mercy, Tim dons the Robin suit to save Batman.

In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Arkham's doctors replace Dent's coin with a die and eventually a tarot deck; but rather than becoming self-reliant, Dent is now unable to make even the smallest of decisions—such as going to the bathroom. Batman returns the coin, telling Two-Face to use it to decide whether to kill him. Batman leaves safely, but it is implied that Two-Face made his own decision to let Batman live.[24][25] In the No Man's Land storyline, in which Gotham is devastated by an earthquake, Two-Face claims a portion of the ruined city, takes up residence in Gotham City Hall, and forms a temporary alliance with Gordon to share certain territory. His empire is brought down by Bane (employed by Lex Luthor), who destroys Two-Face's gang during his destruction of the city's Hall of Records. Two-Face kidnaps Gordon and puts him on trial for his activities after Gotham City is declared a "No Man's Land", with Two-Face as both judge and prosecutor for Gordon's illegal alliance with him; Gordon later plays upon Two-Face's split psyche to demand Harvey Dent as his defense attorney. Dent cross-examines Two-Face and wins an acquittal for Gordon, determining that Two-Face has effectively blackmailed Gordon by implying that he had committed murders to aid the Commissioner.[26] During this time, Two-Face also meets detective Renee Montoya. Montoya reaches the Dent persona in Two-Face and is kind to him. He falls in love with her, though the romance is one-sided.[26] Eventually in the Gotham Central series, he outs her as a lesbian and frames her for murder, hoping that if he takes everything from her, she will be left with no choice but to be with him. She is furious, and the two fight for control of his gun until Batman intervenes, putting Two-Face back in Arkham.[27]

In the Batman: Two-Face - Crime and Punishment one-shot comic book, Two-Face captures his own father, planning to humiliate and kill him on live television for the years of abuse that he suffered. This story reveals that, despite his apparent hatred for his father, Dent still supports him, paying for an expensive home rather than allowing him to live in a slum. At the end of the book, the Dent and Two-Face personalities argue in thought, Two-Face calling Dent "spineless". Dent proves Two-Face wrong, choosing to jump off a building and commit suicide just to put a stop to his alter ego's crime spree. Two-Face is surprised when the coin flip comes up scarred, but abides by the decision and jumps. Batman catches him, but the shock of the fall seems to (at least temporarily) destroy the Two-Face personality.[28] In Batman: Two-Face Strikes Twice!, Two-Face is at odds with his ex-wife Gilda Grace Dent, as he believes their marriage failed because he was unable to give her children. She later marries Paul Janus (a reference to the Roman god of doors, who had two faces). Two-Face attempts to frame Janus as a criminal by kidnapping him and replacing him with a stand-in, whom Two-Face "disfigures" with makeup. Batman eventually catches Two-Face, and Gilda and Janus reunite. Years later, Gilda gives birth to twins, prompting Two-Face to escape once more and take the twins hostage, as he erroneously believes them to be conceived by Janus using an experimental fertility drug. The end of the book reveals that Two-Face is the twins' natural father.[29]

Batman: Hush[edit]

In the Batman: Hush storyline, Dent's face is repaired by plastic surgery, seemingly eradicating the Two-Face personality. Dent takes the law into his own hands twice: once by using his ability to manipulate the legal system to free the Joker, and then again by shooting the serial killer Hush. He manipulates the courts into setting him free, as Gotham's prosecutors would not attempt to charge him without a body.

Return to villainy[edit]

In the Batman story arc Batman: Face the Face, that started in Detective Comics #817, and was part of DC's One Year Later storyline, it is revealed that, at Batman's request and with his training, Harvey Dent becomes a vigilante protector of Gotham City in most of Batman's absence of nearly a year. He is reluctant to take the job, but Batman assures him that it will serve as atonement for his past crimes. After a month of training, they fight the Firebug and Mr. Freeze, before Batman leaves for a year. Dent enjoys his new role, but his methods are more extreme and less refined than Batman's. Upon Batman's return, Dent begins to feel unnecessary and unappreciated, which prompts the return of the "Two-Face" persona (seen and heard by Dent through hallucinations). In Face the Face, his frustration is compounded by a series of mysterious murders that seem to have been committed by Two-Face; the villains KGBeast, Magpie, Ventriloquist and Scarface, and Orca are all shot twice in the head with a double-barreled pistol. When Batman confronts Dent about these deaths, asking him to confirm that he was not responsible, Dent refuses to give a definite answer. He then detonates a bomb in his apartment and leaves Batman dazed as he flees.

Despite escaping the explosion physically unscathed, Dent suffers a crisis of conscience and a mental battle with his "Two-Face" personality. Although Batman later uncovers evidence that exonerates Dent for the murders, establishing that he was framed as revenge for his efforts against new crime boss Warren White, a.k.a. the Great White Shark, it is too late to save him. Prompted by resentment and a paranoid reaction to Batman's questioning, Dent scars half his face with nitric acid and a scalpel, becoming Two-Face once again.[30] Blaming Batman for his return, Two-Face immediately goes on a rampage, threatening to destroy the Gotham Zoo (having retained two of every animal—including two humans) before escaping to fight Batman another day. Batman subsequently confronts White, while acknowledging that he cannot attack White, as there is no explicit evidence supporting Batman's deductions, vowing to inform Two-Face of White's actions when they next face each other.[31]

On the cover of Justice League of America (vol. 2) #23, Two-Face is shown as a member of the new Injustice League. He can be seen in Salvation Run. He appears in Battle for the Cowl: The Underground, which shows the effects of Batman's death on his enemies. In Judd Winick's Long Shadow arc, Two-Face realizes that someone else has taken over as Batman.[32] He hires a teleporter and manages to infiltrate the Batcave. When the new Batman investigates the cave, Two-Face ambushes him with tranquilizer darts, and in a hallucination he sees Dent in a red and black Two-Face themed Batman costume.[33] Alfred Pennyworth saves the hero from Two-Face's torture after subduing his accomplice, and with his help Batman convinces Two-Face that he is the real, original Dark Knight, informing Dent that his problem is that he cannot imagine Batman changing because he himself is incapable of seeing the world in anything other than black and white.[34] In Streets of Gotham, Two-Face has been at odds with Gotham's latest district attorney, Kate Spencer, also known as the vigilante Manhunter. Two-Face has recently been driven out of Gotham City by Jeremiah Arkham.[35]

The New 52[edit]

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. Here, Two Face's origin is revised significantly. Harvey Dent is a successful defense attorney whose clientele includes twin sisters from the McKillen crime family, Shannon and Erin. The sisters coerce Dent to become their family's legal retainer for life. They then place a contract on James Gordon and his entire family, despite Dent's protestations. The Gordons survive the attempt on their lives, but Dent, bound by attorney-client confidentiality, is unable to dissuade the McKillens from continuing their lethal vendetta. The violent attempt on the Gordons' lives prompts Bruce Wayne to initiate and fund Dent's campaign for district attorney. Dent becomes D.A. and has the McKillen sisters prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison. After Shannon commits suicide, Erin escapes by switching places with her sister's corpse. Blaming Dent for her sister's death, Erin breaks into Dent's house, kills Gilda in front of him, and pours acid on his face, transforming him into Two-Face.

Several years later, Erin McKillen returns to Gotham City to kill Two-Face, and thus reassert her control of her family's criminal operations. Her return sparks a climactic battle between her, Two-Face, and Batman. Two-Face scars McKillen with the same acid she used on him, but Batman stops him from killing her. Batman and Two-Face continue battling, with Batman trying to convince his foe to end his vendetta. Two-Face then calls Batman, "Bruce", revealing that he knows Batman's secret identity. Two-Face reveals that he struggled internally for quite some time over whether to kill his former friend, but decided not to because it would have violated his sense of justice. He disappears after the battle and Batman is unable to track him. Several panels of Batman and Robin #28 imply that Two-Face commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.

DC Rebirth[edit]

In the DC Rebirth rebooted universe, Batman decides to cure Two-Face, doing whatever it takes. Following a confrontation with Two-Face and his henchmen - Killer Moth, Firefly, and Black Spider - Batman takes Two-Face into his custody, until they both have to fight KGBeast. They defeat KGBeast, but are badly injured. Batman nurses Two-Face back to health, but Two-Face suspects Batman of trying to betray him and rubs acid in his eyes.[36] Two-Face and Batman mend their relationship somewhat in order to fight KGBeast, the Penguin, and Black Mask. Batman tells Two-Face that he can cure Two-Face's split personality. Two-Face does not trust Batman to help him, however, and so threatens to destroy Gotham City with poison gas unless Batman gives him the cure. In the end, Batman injects Two-Face with the "cure", which turns out to be a sedative that renders Two-Face unconscious. Batman then takes Two-Face back to Arkham.

In the Deface the Face story arc, Two Face goes to Batman for help. Harvey Dent had murdered a man whom he could not convict in trial. Two Face says, "...Harvey's the good one. He has to be. Otherwise, What am I?", and then decides to help Batman and Gordon bring down the terrorist group Kobra. In the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, Two-Face is among the villains who attend the underground meeting held by the Riddler.[37] In Harley Quinn: Rebirth, while Harley Quinn's Gang of Harleys is trying to find information about Man-Bat, they run into Two-Face in Arkham Asylum, where he makes threats towards the group.

Characterization[edit]

Skills and abilities[edit]

Before his transformation into Two-Face, Harvey Dent has a successful career as Gotham's district attorney, and is driven to bring an end to the city's epidemic of organized crime. Following his disfigurement, he becomes obsessed with the number two and the concept of duality, and thus stages crimes centered around the number two—such as robbing buildings with 2 in the address or staging events that will take place at 10:22 p.m. (2222 in military time). Two-Face is a skilled marksman, and regularly uses a variety of firearms such as pistols, shotguns, grenade launchers, Tommy guns, knives and rocket launchers during his battles with Batman. To further improve his proficiency in the use of firearms, Two-Face hires the sharpshooting assassin Deathstroke to train him.[11][38] He primarily wields dual pistols, and has become dangerously skilled with them. The Batman: Face the Face story arc reveals that Batman, shortly before leaving Gotham for a year, trains Dent extensively in detective work and hand-to-hand combat.

Relationships[edit]

This section details the character's most notable relationships across various interpretations of the Batman mythos:

Gilda Dent[edit]

Gilda Dent[a] is Harvey Dent's wife. Her character debuted in Detective Comics #66, alongside Harvey, and became a recurring character in Batman stories involving Two-Face.[40]

Bruce Wayne[edit]

Batman's alter-ego Bruce Wayne is a close friend of Harvey Dent, while before becoming Two-Face, Harvey was also one of Batman's earliest allies, predating Batman's partnership with James Gordon.[9] Their friendship goes back to Harvey's first appearance in Detective Comics, in which Batman refers to him as his friend and emotionally asks him to give up his life of crime.[41] Because of this relationship, Two-Face is one of Batman's most personal enemies.[42] In the comics, it is shown that Bruce considers Harvey's downfall a personal failure, and has never given up in rehabilitating him.[9]

It is established canonically that Harvey knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. The character's knowledge of Batman's secret identity was introduced in the story The Big Burn from Peter Tomasi's 2011 Batman and Robin ongoing series,[39][43] and is shown in subsequent comics such as Scott Snyder's All-Star Batman.[43] In Detective Comics #1021, Harvey admits to Batman that he has been keeping his identity secret from his Two-Face personality in order to protect him.[42]

Renee Montoya[edit]

Renee Montoya and Harvey Dent have a complicated relationship, introduced by writer Greg Rucka in the sixteenth issue of 1999's Batman Chronicles,[44] in which Renee reaches out to Two-Face's Dent persona and is kind to him.[45] Their relationship continues with the "No Man's Land" crossover storyline;[44] in one issue, Harvey sends Renee flowers for her birthday and Renee visits him in Arkham Asylum.[46] Harvey eventually develops romantic feelings towards Renee, which Renee doesn't return.[39] This one-sided love would turn into an unhealthy obsession with her, which would lead to her professional and personal ruin;[47] in the five-part Gotham Central story arc Half A Life, Two-Face attempts to destroy Renee's life by framing her for murder, outing her as a lesbian, and orchestrating a prison escape to make her a fugitive, so she would have nothing to keep her from returning his love.[48][49][50]

Years after the release of Half A Life, Rucka would reunite the two in Convergence: The Question in 2015, following his return to DC Comics after his departure from the company in 2010.[51][52] In the story, Renee saves a remorseful Harvey from killing himself, and convinces him to be a good man.[53]

Rucka has talked about the characters' relationship in an interview with Comic Book:

Renee and Harvey have always had a very odd bond, as far as I’ve written them, going back to the very first Renee story I did for DC, "Two Down". It’s never been just cop-and-criminal between them. There’s a peculiar understanding between them; Renee, to me, has always been able to see the path of Harvey’s madness in a way that even Batman has never negotiated. I’m not sure I’d ever call them friends, especially after what he’s put her through, but Renee has always been sympathetic to him, at least, and that care, that guardianship, drives much of our story.[54]

Christopher Dent[edit]

Christopher Dent is Harvey Dent's abusive and alcoholic father, first introduced in the definitive Two-Face origin story Eye of the Beholder (Batman Annual #14). The trauma Harvey received from his father's constant abuse fueled the inner torment that eventually turns him into Two-Face.[55][56]

Other characters named Two-Face[edit]

Wilkins[edit]

The first impostor was Wilkins, Harvey Dent's butler, who uses makeup to suggest that Dent had suffered a relapse and disfigured his own face. This would give Wilkins the cover to commit crimes as Two-Face.[57]

Paul Sloane[edit]

Paul Sloane becomes the second impostor of Two-Face.[58] An actor, Sloane is disfigured by an accident on the set of a biography film about Two-Face. This occurred when a prop boy working on the film got jealous at the fact that his girlfriend developed a crush on Sloane. This causes the prop man to switch out the water with actual acid that was to be used for the trial scene. Sloane's mind snaps, and he begins to think that he is Dent. Sloane recovers some of his own personality, but continues to commit crimes as Two-Face. Sloane is reused in later Earth-Two specific stories as Two-Face II of Earth-Two where the original Earth-Two Two-Face remains healed.[59] Sloane is revived in the current continuity as a successor Two-Face,[60] though not replacing Dent as done in the earlier Earth-Two specific storyline.

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, the Paul Sloane character, with a near-identical history to the Pre-Crisis version, appears in Detective Comics #580-581. In Double Image, Harvey Dent (as Two-Face) employs the Crime Doctor to re-disfigure Sloane. Dent does this out of jealous bitterness and the hope that Sloane would commit crimes based on the number two, thus confusing Batman. At the end of the story, Sloane is once again healed physically and mentally.[61]

Paul Sloane is introduced into Post-Zero Hour continuity as a criminal called the Charlatan in Detective Comics #777 (February 2003). In this incarnation, Sloan (now spelled without a silent e) had been hired by the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, the Mad Hatter, the Scarecrow, and Killer Moth to take Two-Face's place in a scheme to kill Batman. They had originally offered Two-Face the part in the scheme, but his coin landed on the non-scarred side. During his impersonation of Two-Face, Batman discovered that this Two-Face was an impostor when he killed a security guard without consulting the coin. When the real Two-Face learns about this, he captures Sloan and disfigures his face. Scarecrow then experiments on him with fear toxins. Driven insane and deprived of fear, the Charlatan becomes obsessed with both getting revenge on the criminals who hired him and completing his mission to kill Batman. Charlatan is defeated by Batman and incarcerated at Arkham Asylum.[60]

George Blake[edit]

The third impostor of Two-Face is petty criminal George Blake who passed himself off as a manager of an anti-crime exhibition. However, he is not actually disfigured, but is wearing make-up. Furthermore, his makeup is worn on the opposite side of his face to Harvey Dent or Paul Sloane, which easily enabled Batman to identify him as an impostor. Batman defeats George Blake and clears Harvey Dent's name.[62]

Batman as Two-Face[edit]

Also noteworthy is a 1968 story where Batman himself is temporarily turned into Two-Face via a potion.[63]

Harvey Kent[edit]

As mentioned above, Harvey Dent does return as Two-Face in the 1970s.

With the establishment of the multiverse, the Two-Face of Earth-Two (i.e., the character seen in the original Golden Age stories) is said to be Harvey Kent, who had not relapsed following his cure.[59] The last appearance of the Golden Age version of Two-Face was in Superman Family #211 (October 1981), depicting him as a guest at the marriage of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (Catwoman). He meets Lois Lane and Clark Kent, and his shared name with the latter creates confusion.[59]

Two-Face-Two[edit]

In Batman #700, which establishes Terry McGinnis as part of the DC Universe canon, it is revealed that Two-Face-Two kidnapped the infant Terry, along with an 80-year-old Carter Nichols, and tried to disfigure them in the style of the Joker. His plans were foiled by Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin and Batman's biological son. Unlike the original Two-Face, this version of the character was born deformed with a second face, rather than being scarred by acid or fire, and flips two coins instead of one. He is then killed when a machine falls on him.[64] Another Two-Face-Two is briefly mentioned during the course of the DC One Million storyline, when the Batman of the 853rd century comments how this villain was defeated when the second Batman convinced him that the law of averages proved his coin-tossing would ultimately cause him to make more 'good' decisions than he would 'bad' ones.

Alternative versions[edit]

A number of alternate universes in DC Comics publications allow writers to introduce variations on Two-Face, in which the character's origins, behavior, and morality differ from the mainstream setting.

The Dark Knight Returns[edit]

In the alternate future setting of The Dark Knight Returns, plastic surgery returns Dent's face to normal, but at the unforeseen cost of permanently destroying the good-hearted Harvey Dent personality. The monstrous Two-Face is left in permanent control—to the extent that one of his henchmen now refers to him only as "Face". He attempts to blow up the Gotham Twin Towers with his face swathed in bandages, with the intention of dying in the explosions. He then sees both sides of his face as scarred, or as he later says to Batman when he captures him, "At least both sides match". Later in the series, his psychiatrist (who is characterized as completely inept) describes Dent's condition as "recovering nicely".[65]

Batman Black and White[edit]

Two-Face has a brief short story in the first issue of Batman Black and White, in the comic titled "Two of a Kind" featuring him receiving plastic surgery to regain his original identity as Harvey Dent, only to suffer a relapse when his fiancée - his former psychiatrist - is revealed to have a psychotic twin sister, who kills her sister and forces him to become Two-Face again in order to take his revenge.[66]

Elseworlds[edit]

  • In the Gotham by Gaslight timeline, He was responsible for dealing with the case against Bruce Wayne, who was framed for being Jack the Ripper. After a successful case, Harvey and Bruce's friendship was destroyed. During Convergence, this Dent was stationed on Telos, Harvey Dent, at this point having been scarred on half his face and become the villain Double Man, as well as other members of Batman's Victorian rogues gallery, were summoned by Mister Atom of Earth-S to battle Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family. [67]
  • In the Elseworlds story Batman: In Darkest Knight, Harvey Dent is the Gotham District Attorney and distrusts Green Lantern (who in this reality is Bruce Wayne) because of his vigilante tactics, made even worse due to Commissioner Gordon's distrust of Lantern due to his sheer power. Sinestro, after becoming deranged from absorbing Joe Chill's mind, then scars Dent's face and gives him powers similar to those of the main continuity's Evil Star. He calls himself Binary Star and works with Star Sapphire (who in this reality is Selina Kyle).[68]
  • In The Doom That Came To Gotham, an Elseworlds story based on "The Doom That Came To Sarnath", At The Mountains Of Madness and the overall works of H. P. Lovecraft, Harvey Dent is hideously mutated on the right side of his body by Talia al Ghul, and used as a conduit for a ritual intended to resurrect her father, the ancient sorcerer Ra's al Ghul, to bring about the end of Gotham City and the world. He is euthanized by Batman by the end of the story.[69]
  • Two-Face also appears in the Elseworlds Daredevil/Batman: Eye for an Eye crossover book, partnered with Marvel villain Mr. Hyde for the purpose of using Hyde as an "incubator" to grow an organic microchip, giving Hyde drugs to speed up this process (regardless of the fact that this would kill him). It is also revealed in this book that Harvey Dent had once been friends with Matt Murdock, who is secretly Daredevil. Prior to his disfigurement, Dent believed in giving criminals a chance at rehabilitation, while Murdock believed in final justice; having reversed his outlook to what Dent had once believed, Murdock talks Two-Face out of killing Hyde without Two-Face using his coin. Two-Face, however, insists that that act is merely "the last of Harvey Dent".[70]
  • In the Elseworlds story Batman: Masque, a pastiche of The Phantom of the Opera, Dent takes the role of the Phantom, as a former dancer who is disfigured after he sustains a serious burn to the left side when he was caught in the middle of a confrontation between Batman and a criminal.[71]
  • In the Elseworlds book Batman: Crimson Mist, the third part of the trilogy that began with Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, in which Batman becomes a vampire, Two-Face, having only recently been disfigured, forms a new gang accompanied by Killer Croc as his muscle and forges an alliance with Commissioner Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth to stop Batman when his insane thirst for blood drives him to kill his old enemies. After Batman is believed killed in the old Batcave, Two-Face turns on the two men, forcing Alfred to flee and rescue Batman while Gordon kills Two-Face's men. As he confronts Gordon, Two-Face is interrupted by Batman, restored to life after Alfred sacrificed himself so that his blood could restore his master. Batman drives two crossbow bolts into each side of Two-Face's head - "One for each face".[72]
  • In the Elseworlds story Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Cat-woman, explorer and adventurer Finnegan Dent is revealed to be stealing the sacred artifacts of an African tribe in the lost city of Mnemnom. During an encounter with Batman and Tarzan-Tarzan had been visiting Gotham to attend to business when Batman learned about Dent's true agenda, teaming up with the Dark Knight to help him stop Dent from raiding the city-half of Dent's face is mauled by a lion, prompting him to decide to remain in Mnemnom and establish himself as its ruler on the grounds that society would have no place for a man with half a face. He is last seen being sealed away in a tomb of the rulers of Mnemnom after he triggers an explosion in a fight with Tarzan and Batman, Tarzan informing Dent as he takes the unconscious Batman to safety that taking Dent back to Gotham to face trial is Batman's idea of justice rather than his; he later tells Batman that Dent died when the falling rubble that knocked Batman unconscious crushed him.[73]
  • In the Elseworlds story Batman: Two Faces, Two-Face is depicted in the Victorian era, opposed by his friend Bruce Wayne after Bruce uses a potion on himself that he devised to try and cure Two-Face's split personality. Wayne's serum allows him to act as a superhuman Batman, but he eventually learns that the potion has also given him a split personality in the form of a ruthless murderer known as the Joker. When Bruce realizes the truth about his new state, he delivers a confession to Gordon and Two-Face before allowing himself to die as he transforms into the Joker once again, Dent taking Wayne's perfected serum to stabilize his mental state and allow him to act as the new Batman.
  • In the Elseworlds story Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham, model Darcy Dent has half her face scarred when a rival model hires a hitman to lace her facial cream with acid. Unlike the regular Two-Face, Darcy does not rely on a coin toss to make her decisions, nor does she suffer from any type of personality disorder. Her motive is simply revenge against those responsible for her disfigurement, and her motif is mutilating her victims' faces and wearing a half business suit with a spiked metal bikini.[74]

Thrillkiller[edit]

In the Batman: Thrillkiller universe, there are two versions of Two-Face. One is Detective Duell, a corrupt officer on the Gotham City Police Department, whose face is scarred in a manner similar to the version of Two-Face in the mainstream continuity. Duell is arrested at the end of Batgirl and Robin: Thrillkiller #1-3.[75] In the sequel, Batgirl and Batman: Thrillkiller '62, Harvey Dent is the new District Attorney. He appears at the end as the new Mayor of Gotham.[76]

Earth-Three[edit]

The new Earth-Three features a heroic female counterpart to Two-Face: Evelyn "Eve" Dent—"Three-Face"—the mother of Duela Dent (a nod to the classic film, The Three Faces of Eve). Her original affiliation is to the heroic Riddler Family (like the similar Batman Family); it included herself, Quizmaster, Jokester, and Riddler's/Joker's Daughter (her daughter Duela). They were later part of Alexander Luthor's Justice Underground, opposing Ultraman's Crime Syndicate.

Evelyn has three personalities (Irrational, Practical, and Hedonistic). To portray this, she wears a costume that is divided in three parts. Her right side favors loud fabrics like polka-dots, stripes, or plaids; her left side favors animal prints like tiger or leopard; and the center is a wide stripe of green. Over her leotard she wears a leather jacket that is a brown bomber jacket on the right and a black biker jacket on the left. Her face is not scarred but is instead usually painted all white with a vertical green center stripe and dark green or black lipstick; sometimes she is shown with her face parted into light green on the right, white in the middle, and mauve on the left. Her black hair is divided into cropped short on the right (sometimes dyed pink or red), worn shoulder-length on the left, and a mohawk in the center. She carries a revolver in a holster slung on her right hip.

She later has a cybernetic left arm after Superwoman mutilates her and leaves her for dead.

Gotham by Gaslight[edit]

In Gotham by Gaslight, Two-Face is a serial killer called "The Double Man", as mentioned in Countdown: Arena.[77]

Tangent Comics[edit]

On the Tangent Earth, Harvey Dent is an African-American man with psionic powers and is that world's Superman, although he has no other similarities to the Two-Face character.[78]

Flashpoint[edit]

In the Flashpoint alternate timeline, Harvey Dent is a judge. When the Joker kidnaps Dent's children, Dent asks Thomas Wayne (that universe's Batman) for help in their search, agreeing to do anything asked. Dent warns Wayne that he will shut down everything Wayne owns, including Wayne Casinos, unless his children are saved.[79] Chief James Gordon locates Joker with Dent's children in Wayne Manor, and goes in without any backup. Gordon is tricked into shooting Dent's daughter, as she has been taped to a chair and disguised as Joker. Joker then appears and kills Gordon before Batman arrives.[80] Batman rushes in and manages to save Dent's daughter by resuscitating her. Batman then moves them away from Joker.[81]

The Batman Adventures[edit]

In The Batman Adventures, which is set in the continuity of Batman: The Animated Series, Two-Face is on the verge of being cured when the Joker convinces him that his fiancée, Grace Lamont, is cheating on him with Bruce Wayne. His evil personality takes hold once again, and he kidnaps Grace. Batman and Robin foil his plan and send him back to Arkham. Grace, meanwhile, realizes that Dent will never be cured and leaves him.

In another issue, Two-Face's life is thrown into chaos when he loses his coin during an unplanned breakout from Arkham, and replaces it with a quarter. Little Jonni Infantino, the mastermind behind the breakout, threatens to hurt Grace if Two-Face doesn't provide information on one of Rupert Thorne's thugs: Weird Tony Hendra, one of Harvey Dent's last cases as District Attorney. Two-Face runs into a pay phone and warns Grace to get out of her apartment before Infantino can get to her. Later on, Grace is seen crying at a Chinese restaurant, calling Bruce Wayne to tell him that Dent saved her life; it is implied that Grace still loves him. Batman and Robin overpower Infantino and his gang, but Two-Face tries to kill him anyway.

In the story "Lucky Day", Two-Face and his gang take a game show hostage to get revenge on one of the contestants - Lester Dent, his father; Two-Face indicates Lester is a gambling addict who brutalized him and Harvey's mother whenever he lost.

According to Ty Templeton, series writer Dan Slott had many ideas for Two-Face's stories for the series, but the series was canceled before many of these ideas could be made.[82]

Batman: Earth One[edit]

Jessica Dent as seen in Volume Three of Batman: Earth One.

In the graphic novel, Batman: Earth One, Harvey Dent has a twin sister named Jessica, who was a friend of Bruce Wayne from preparatory school. Harvey Dent occasionally would bully Bruce, due to his maternal family's reputation (who are Arkhams instead of Kanes) of eventually would become insane, leading at one point, that the two boys had a fight. After the twins reach adulthood, Harvey becomes Gotham City's District Attorney, and Jessica as the president of the city's board of supervisors. They are also political enemies of Gotham's corrupt mayor Oswald Cobblepot. Jessica takes over Cobblepot's term as mayor following his confrontation with Batman, which resulted his death and his crimes are posthumously outed.[83]

In Volume Two, Jessica discovers that Bruce is Batman, and they each reciprocate the romantic affection they had for each other since childhood. However, after Sal Maroni kills Harvey, Jessica is disfigured following the incident when she presses her face against Harvey's burns, her final exchange with Bruce suggesting that she has developed a split personality with her brother as the other identity.[84]

Jessica is essentially the villain of Volume Three, as her new split-personality manifests as a hallucination of Harvey as the 'traditional' Two-Face, driving her to trigger a gang war.[85]

Batman Beyond[edit]

In the Batman Beyond universe, Two-Face is revealed to be reformed into Harvey Dent again. Though not a district attorney again due to his terms being already ended, he helped the city set up a law preventing deceased villains to have public graves in order to prevent martyrdom, including hiding their corpses from the public eye.[86]

Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit]

In the Injustice: Gods Among Us prequel comic, Two-Face crashes a live broadcast on a Gotham news channel, having murdered a guest speaker and taken his place. His obsession with duality appealed to by the recent actions of Superman due to the destruction of Metropolis and with half the nation in favor of his recent actions and the other not, Two-Face himself admits, "I couldn't stay away. I tried. But the coin...". Two-Face flips his signature coin to decide which of the anchors he will kill when the coin is vaporized by a blast of Superman's heat vision before it has a chance to land in his hand. Shocked, infuriated and at a loss, Two-Face brandishes his gun at the Man of Steel but the weapon is easily destroyed. Two-Face is then subdued by the news station's security guards and he is last seen back in Arkham Asylum in a straitjacket when Batman and Nightwing confront Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Robin.[87] While still bound and restrained, Two-Face witnesses the heroes arguing and attempts to attack Robin during Harley Quinn's riot, but is knocked out by one of Green Arrow's boxing arrows.[88][89]

DC Comics Bombshells[edit]

In an alternate history set in 1941, issue 13 of the DC Comics Bombshells comic depicts Harvey Dent as the newly elected mayor of Gotham City. Despite having been elected on a platform of supporting World War II refugees from Europe, he becomes an anti-immigrant isolationist in office, who vows to crack down on vigilantes under the slogan "Make Gotham Golden Once More". Tim Drake acknowledges this as a "heavy-handed-but-uncomfortably-timely political allegory" of Donald Trump, whom Dent is drawn to resemble. During the issue, it is revealed that Dent's change is due to him being mind controlled by Hugo Strange, and Dent is freed from the professor's influence at the end. After Dent was saved, he dedicated himself to aiding the Batgirls in their cause. During a battle between Killer Frost and the Reaper, Harvey saves Alyssa Yeoh and Nell Little from one of Killer Frost's blasts, causing half of his face to get frozen and blackened from severe frostbite. Harvey's facial damage doesn't drive him insane, as the Batgirls remind him that since he got it from risking his life to save them, it shows that he's more whole than two-faced. He is seen in their lair serving as their butler similar to Alfred Pennyworth.[90]

Batman '66[edit]

Two-Face appeared in "The Lost Episode" of Batman '66.[91]

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[edit]

In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover, Two-Face is mutated into a mutant baboon as one of the various other Arkham inmates by Shredder and Foot Clan to attack Batman and Robin. Batman is captured, but Robin manages to escape. The Ninja Turtles and Splinter then arrive, where Splinter defeats the mutated villains, while Batman uses his new Intimidator Armor to defeat Shredder and the Turtles defeat Ra's al Ghul. Later, Gordon tells Batman that the police scientists have managed to turn Two-Face and the rest of the mutated inmates at Arkham back to normal and are currently in A.R.G.U.S. custody.[92]

Emperor Joker[edit]

In the "Emperor Joker" storyline, when the Joker stole the reality warping power of Mister Mxyzptlk, he warped reality in his own image. Here, Two-Face was a small plushie-like creature that was a servant of Harley Quinn. He had a penchant for double entendres, such as quipping to the reader "If you think I'm small, you should see my silver dollar!"[93]

Thy Kingdom Come[edit]

In Thy Kingdom Come storyline, when Power Girl was briefly transferred to another version of the pre-Crisis Earth-2 by Gog, she learned that the Joker of this world once attempted to deal with the aging and 'retirement' of Batman's old Rogue's Gallery by repeating the events of Two-Face's creation, attacking new District Attorney Harvey Sims to create a new Two-Face just as he was proposing to Helena Wayne, only for the Joker's attack to leave Sims disfigured and confined to the hospital rather than driving him insane.[94]

Batman: White Knight[edit]

Two-Face has a minor appearance in the 2017 series Batman: White Knight. Dent, along with several other Batman villains, is tricked by Jack Napier (who in this reality was a Joker who had been force fed an overdose of pills by Batman which temporarily cured him of his insanity) into drinking drinks that had been laced with particles from Clayface's body. This was done so that Napier, who was using Mad Hatter’s technology to control Clayface, could control them by way of Clayface's ability to control parts of his body that had been separated from him. Dent and the other villains are then used to attack a library which Napier himself was instrumental in building in one of Gotham City’s poorer districts. Later on in the story, the control hat is stolen by Neo-Joker (the second Harley Quinn, who felt that Jack Napier was a pathetic abnormality while Joker was the true, beautiful personality), in an effort to get Napier into releasing the Joker persona.

In other media[edit]

Harvey Dent made his live-action debut in 1989 Batman film, portrayed by Billy Dee Williams.

Tommy Lee Jones portrays Dent in Batman Forever.

Aaron Eckhart portrays Harvey "Two-Face" Dent in The Dark Knight.

Nicholas D'Agosto portrays Dent in the live-action television series Gotham.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Grace Dent in some iterations.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gotham Season 2 Features 'Serialized' Story; Bill Cosbey Getting Batman Credit". Screen Rant.
  2. ^ Daniels, Les (1999). Batman: The Complete History. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 45. ISBN 978-0811824705. Nearly everyone seems to agree that Two-Face was Kane's brainchild exclusively
  3. ^ Sigmon, Ryan (July 26, 2017). "Split Decisions: The 8 Most Heroic (And 8 Most Sadistic) Aspects Of Two Face". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved April 6, 2021. ...So much of what makes Harvey Dent an intriguing character is that he has the same dual nature of Batman. Harvey is a man who wants to make a positive difference in Gotham after experiencing a difficult childhood. He becomes District Attorney at age 26 and is nicknamed "Apollo" for his dashing good looks. The world seems to be his oyster...
  4. ^ Anderson, Troy (October 27, 2016). "The 15 Best Two-Face Stories". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
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  6. ^ Dillon, Bryant (February 28, 2018). "Fundamental Comics: 'Batman: The Long Halloween' and the Price of Justice". Fanbase Press. Retrieved April 6, 2021. Gilda Dent refers to her husband as “Apollo,” and it has been speculated that this is a possible reference to the Harvey Apollo character who became Two-Face in the 1940s Batman newspaper comic strip.
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  8. ^ "Two-Face". DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. Retrieved August 1, 2021. Harvey became a daring district attorney, unafraid of Gotham’s corrupt politicians and mobsters. He worked alongside Batman and Commissioner James Gordon, as well as businessman Bruce Wayne, to improve Gotham City.
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  84. ^ Batman: Earth One Volume Two (May 2015)
  85. ^ Batman: Earth One Volume Three (June 2021)
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  88. ^ Injustice: Gods Among Us #15
  89. ^ Injustice: Gods Among Us #16
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  91. ^ Batman '66: The Lost Episode
  92. ^ Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6. DC Comics/IDW
  93. ^ Emperor Joker #1
  94. ^ Thy Kingdom Come

External links[edit]

  • Two-Face at DC Comics' official website
  • Two-Face at the DC Database Project
  • Mastracci, Sharon (2017-03-01). "Public service in popular culture: the administrative discretion of commissioner gordon and harvey dent". International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior. 17 (3): 367–388. doi:10.1108/IJOTB-17-03-2014-B005. ISSN 1093-4537.