Batman and (Robin) Two-Face 25
Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Okay. Let me start off by continuing my rant from my review of the last issue. Peter J. Tomasi is one of my favorite writers and Patrick Gleason is easily destined to go down as one of the top ten best Batman artists of all time. Two-Face is easily my favorite Batman villain and quite possibly character in the DC Universe. So putting him into the “and Robin” slot of this ever-changing and always-evolving title makes complete and perfect sense. Especially to a lifelong Batman fan like me. But the near fatal stroke, right at the beginning of this story, was the fact that this creative team (who have up until this storyline, that is) pretty much ignored the line-wide reboot of the New 52 has finally crossed the line. Part of it is my reluctance to accept change. I get that. I also get that I need to get over it. But an even bigger part is that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have already told this story. And they told it masterfully. Batman: The Long Halloween (and even Batman: Dark Victory) are what I like to refer to as “perfect stories.” Not just perfect comics, but beautifully made tales that are timeless classics and would turn anyone onto the characters featured in their pages for the rest of their lives. So, my question, again, is this: Why are they changing that? But whatever. I’m just a fan. What do I know. I just have to get over myself and accept (and with a team like this, probably just go ahead and embrace) change. So there it is. I’ve given up. And given in. You’ve got me. Don’t ruin my favorite character.
The Irish mob story is a compelling and complex story, I’ll give Tomasi and Gleason that much. And I’m certainly hooked to see what happens next. Two-Face’s scene atop of the building across the street from the Gotham Police Department where he not only taunts, but flat-out threatens Batman is pure gold. He shows that, even though his origin is being drastically altered, he’s still the same Two-Face I know and love (and fear). But then the issue takes the focus off the “team-up” character and puts it back entirely onto that of Batman and Erin McKillen. There’s a twin subplot. There’s a flashback where we see her kill Gilda in front of Harvey. And then there’s a scene, in modern-day, where she is broken out of police custody by none other than Matches Malone, who drops her off at Wayne Manor. Where this story is going is a complete mystery to me, but it’s done well enough that I’ll be sticking it out. Maybe there’s a way to still save the Loeb/Sale classic. Maybe there’s a way that it can all still have happened in that way, even if it’s a little different.
Or maybe it’s just a new origin for an old character. Either way, I’m excited to see where Tomasi and Gleason take us next. They are in a very unique position in the DC Universe because, unlike most of the other books on the stands right now, they’re not under the “event” labels. They don’t have to tie directly into the stories being told in Forever Evil. Nor do they have to make sure everything matches up with the timeline of Zero Year. So, in that sense, this book is not only a good read, but a must-read. Because, as proven by the last two issues in particular, anything can happen and every story is fair game. Plus, check out those covers! The main one is reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series, while the variant is simply art in its purest form. Pick them both up if you’re a Bat fan. Or if you simply enjoy owning awesome artwork.
My Rating: 4.5/5