Batman and Two-Face (Robin) 27
Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
I could literally talk for days and days about how great this creative team is (and have), but I won’t do it here. Not because this issue wasn’t great (because it was), but mostly because you’re all probably getting pretty tired of hearing me spout my constant praise for Peter J. Tomasi’s excellent characterization (he’s unparalleled, as far as I’m concerned) and Patrick Gleason’s beautiful yet dark images of Gotham’s favorite citizens. This issue is plugging right along in a sort of back-and-forth narrative style (which is surprisingly uncomplicated and flows quite nicely). We get more of the retold (and slightly altered, although thematically unchanged) origin of Harvey Dent, the man destined to become Two-Face.
The story continues as Erin, Harvey, and Batman are in the middle of a shootout with Erin’s old clan. That’s right. They sold her out (which should come as no surprise. I mean… Wouldn’t you? She’s terrible!) and shit has really hit the fan. But ironically enough for her, it comes at a perfect time. She’s about to be maimed by Two-Face. So they have an impromptu three-way “temporary truce” between the three of them and try to escape from the gang, which Bats and Erin do. But poor old Harvey is caught on the other side of a blast that separates the short-lived alliance members. So Batman and Erin (who is all sorts of angry and double-crossy right now) have to spend the next issue saving Two-Face, who is going to be publicly executed on television if they don’t arrive in time to stop it. The flashback sequences in this are amazing. It’s just an added bonus that the current story is advancing at an action-packed pace. Showing how Harvey became the District Attorney that threatened to save Gotham City from itself was something that we’ve rarely seen in the pages of a Batman comic before this. And though I am still a little perturbed that they are altering the events from the seminal Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Batman: The Long Halloween story, this was the one thing those two creators sort of just left out of that classic tale.
And then there’s the two-page spread that solidified Tomasi and Gleason as the premiere Batman team. That’s right. Sacrilege. (Don’t worry, Batman is still great, too!) Batman talking about how he struggles each and every day with his role as protector and hero for a city and lifestyle that has given him nothing but tragedy. He’s pretty much telling Erin she’s evil and Harvey he’s lazy. They’re all very similar in their histories and the lots they’ve been given in life, but what makes Batman a hero and them villains is how he dealt with his. The references to the death of Damian and his trials and tribulations that he went through before the title became Batman and Two-Face were what separates this book from the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo one that everyone (myself included) are absolutely in love with. That book is the one you read for an epic story that adds new twists on old themes. This is the book for die hard lifelong fans like me. This is the book that goes deeper and darker into what it means to really be a character in such a terrible universe. This is, by far, the best book on the stands right now. Granted, I am a little biased. Two-Face has been, currently is, and always will be my favorite comic book character. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Especially if this storyline ends the way I think it’s going to end.
My Rating: 5/5