Batman and Two-Face 24
Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, each and every month… The dream team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are amazing on the pages of Batman, but they are not the only superstars at DC right now. In fact, I would argue (and have many times before) that Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are their equals. Which is perfectly fine with me. You will never hear me complaining that there are too many good books on the shelves nowadays. And the cinematic feel of Capullo and Snyder’s work is matched by the emotional complexity of Gleason and Tomasi’s. This issue is just another installment of comic book greatness, much as we’ve come to expect, yet still can truly appreciate.
The issue does what all comic books should do, simultaneously referencing past stories (from the events of Batman Incorporated, Batman, and even Batman and Robin itself) without alienating potential new readers, while also building something new, fun, and exciting. Not a single frame is wasted with this creative team, as we learn about the crime families calling a meeting to discuss how to properly take Gotham City back from the freaks, namely Batman and Two-Face. We see Harvey’s morning ritual, which consists of a daily game of Russian Roulette to start his day. We also get to see the inside of the various crime family’s meetings, which is a nice touch and something that has always separated the Bat titles from the rest of the DC books out there. And then, much to even my surprise, we get a retelling (and re-imagining, at that) of Harvey Dent’s transformation into Two-Face at the hands of a seemingly brand new character in the DC Universe, who, in current times, has just been captured and “welcomed” back to Gotham after a long leave of absence… by the Batman.
So you’re probably wondering why I didn’t give this a perfect 5-star review… I get that. And, well, I’m going to be completely honest here. I totally support everything that Gleason and Tomasi have done on both this book and when they were on Green Lantern Corps. I’ve been a huge fan of Tomasi’s as far back as when he was an editor for DC Comics. I have complete and total faith in them to continue being rockstars and deliver time and time again, for the rest of their tenure not only on this book, but in the medium in general. But, even though this is a perfect book and there are no actual complaints, I’m going to knock it down to a 4-star review because it actually caused me quite a bit of anguish. Batman: The Long Halloween (and Batman: Dark Victory, the very much under-appreciated sequel) by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale remain, in my opinion, not only the best Batman (not to mention Two-Face) stories ever written, but quite possibly some of the finest pieces of any form of fiction of all time. And by changing Two-Face’s origin, this negates the impact of those stories. Completely. Though I can appreciate and will undoubtedly learn to embrace this change, it is, as it stands, very disappointing. I blame editorial, not the creators. The creators’ jobs are to do just that: create. But it’s the editors’ jobs to rein them in a bit and tell them when they have crossed the line. This act, no matter how well-intentioned or even successfully pulled-off it may have been or may end up being, crosses that line. And this fan is not happy.
My Rating: 4/5