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Alternative versions of Two-Face

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Alternate versions of Two-Face
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #66 (August 1942)
Created byBill Finger
Bob Kane
See alsoTwo-Face in other media

As a fictional character and enemy of Batman, Two-Face has been represented in a variety of different stories that redefine elements of the characters appearance and personality. Each work typically establishes its own continuity, and sometimes introduces parallel universes, to the point where distinct differences in the portrayal of the character can be identified. This article details various versions of Two-Face depicted in works including various alternative universe stories.

Possible futures[edit]

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".[1]

Flashpoint[edit]

In the Flashpoint alternate timeline, Harvey Dent did not become Two-Face. Instead, he is now a judge and has a wife and twin children. When the Joker kidnaps Dent's children, Dent asks Thomas Wayne 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.[2] 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.[3] Batman rushes in and manages to save Dent's daughter by resuscitating her. Batman then moves them away from Joker.[4]

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.[5]

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.

Elseworlds[edit]

Elseworlds titles are stories that take place in their own separate continuities and often feature different interpretations of mainstream continuity characters.

Batman: In Darkest Knight[edit]

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).[6]

The Doom That Came To Gotham[edit]

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.[7]

Daredevil/Batman: Eye for an Eye[edit]

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".[8]

Batman: Masque[edit]

In the Elseworlds story Batman: Masque, a pastiche of The Phantom of the Opera, Harvey 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.[9]

Batman: Crimson Mist[edit]

In the Elseworlds book Batman: Crimson Mist, the third part of the trilogy that began with Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, where Batman became a vampire, Two-Face, having only recently suffered his accident, 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, citing it as "One for each face".[10]

Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Cat-woman[edit]

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.[11]

Batman: Two Faces[edit]

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.

Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham[edit]

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 based 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.[12]

Other universes[edit]

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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

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 Jonni 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 takes 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.[18]

Batman: Earth One[edit]

In the graphic novel, Batman: Earth One, 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 in his death and his crimes are posthumously outed.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22][23]

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.[24]

Batman '66[edit]

Two-Face appeared in "The Lost Episode" of Batman '66.[25]

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.[26]

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!"[27]

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.

References[edit]

  1. The Dark Knight Returns
  2. Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #1 (June 2011)
  3. Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2 (July 2011)
  4. Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #3 (August 2011)
  5. Batman Beyond #2
  6. Batman: In Darkest Knight
  7. The Doom That Came To Gotham
  8. Daredevil/Batman: Eye for an Eye
  9. Batman: Masque
  10. Batman: Crimson Mist (December 1998)
  11. Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Catwoman #2
  12. Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham #1
  13. Batman Black and White #1
  14. Batgirl and Robin: Thrillkiller #1-3 (1997)
  15. Batgirl and Batman: Thrillkiller '62 (1998)
  16. Gotham by Gaslight #1
  17. Tangent Comics: The Superman #1 (September 1998)
  18. "The Comic - Ty Templeton". Batman Adventures: Tribute.
  19. Batman: Earth One
  20. Batman: Earth One Volume Two
  21. Injustice: Gods Among Us #14
  22. Injustice: Gods Among Us #15
  23. Injustice: Gods Among Us #16
  24. DC Bombshells #13
  25. Batman '66: The Lost Episode
  26. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6. DC Comics/IDW
  27. Emperor Joker #1

External links[edit]


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