Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two-Face

Heavy Dark Knight spoilers ahead...

As anyone who's reading this should already know, Harvey Dent was a crusading Gotham City District Attorney, but when half his face was badly scarred in an accident he lost it. His physical deformity and the randomness of it all made him obsessed with duality and with chance, as evidenced by his ever-present coin, which he uses to make important decisions.

In the comics, Dent is often presented as mentally unstable even before becoming Two-Face. The Long Halloween, a storyline that the people behind the current movies have cited as a strong influence, has Harvey violent enough that he might be a murderer. The accident itself is also very different from the movie version, Dent is in the middle of a courtroom questioning when his mob witness pulls out a vial of acid and throws it at Harvey, badly scarring just one side of him.

The movie version is, of course, driven mad only by his own accident, the death of Rachel Dawes, and his scarring is from burns of the non-acidic variety received while being rescued. His apparent death would seem to rule him out for a subsequent movie, but...

Pros: Technically, no one ever took a pulse or anything, and in comic book stories that always leaves an opening, so Two-Face could still be very much alive. And he's an awesome villain. Harvey Dent's downfall was brilliantly portrayed in The Dark Knight, but I felt like Two-Face didn't get enough of his own story.

Cons: I find fake deaths to be infuriating. If Dent can surprisingly turn out to be alive, then so could Rachel or Ra's al Ghul or even Bruce's parents. Or whoever dies next. So, as a viewer, the drama is removed when someone is in a dangerous situation, since I know that even if they appear to die, it could be written away and the character would turn out fine.

How I'd do it: I guess if I had to, I'd flashback to Batman running away. Gordon checks Harvey's pulse to find that he's still alive. At first unsure what to do, Jim remembers that Harvey Dent is the hero that Gotham needs. He arranges for Two-Face to be secretly admitted to Arkham (and this is already suspending disbelief, since half of the guy is a local celebrity) where he would be cared for anonymously. But he breaks out, and then... I'd have him flip his coin and get the good side. He goes to the media and tells about his accident and how he was incarcerated without trial. He blames Batman and the culture of lawlessness he represents. Of course a later coin flip would be scarred side up and we'd get some fun violence.

Casting Guesses: Aaron Eckhart, obviously.

Verdict: Batman stopping him would help to redeem him in the city, and it would make for a pretty good story, but I would still feel cheated by bringing him back after his death scene. I guess it's possible, but I sure hope not.

7 comments:

First said...

I'd just assumed they were having a funeral with a body at the end but I suppose I could be wrong about it.

Bill said...

I think so too, but rumors of the "he's not really dead" variety are floating around all over the place, so I figured I ought to mention him here. Like I said, I wouldn't be very happy if he came back to life.

Greenlite said...

Some batman artist said "when Heath Ledger died, Harvey Dent is alive!"

I don't think Nolan will use him as this will make TDK really dumb.

But it's gonna be fun to watch the police chasing batman, batman chasing another villain, then Two-Face turns up and chases the same villain and police decided to chase him instead.

Or Dent leading a group of ppl killing Gotham's criminals while batman tries to talk him out of it is a fun idea too..but bottom line...he's DEAD and the only part we're gonna see from him is some flash backs at the most.

Anonymous said...

I prefer him not coming back. He's at his best when he's like a chesspawn in Batman and Joker's "game", half good, half evil, torn between the two extremes. TDK showed just that.

But if he did return, here's an idea for the "plot" he could use: Dent's paranoid mind comes to conclusion that people hate him now and regard him as a freak, especially Batman and Gordon, who denied "Two-Face's" existance and actions. In his insanity Dent decides to gather an army of freaks to take over the city (kind of a mix of Batman: Faces and Dark Victory) and prove that freaks are sort of a "higher race". He could continue what Joker started, "give the city a better class of criminal". That way we could also get to see other villains in small roles. What do you think?

Bill said...

It's not a bad idea at all, but I'm not sure it fits with the Two-Face character established in The Dark Knight. Too much organized villainy, not enough coin flipping revenge.

Anonymous said...

Two-Face should remain dead. If he's alive it cheapens the impact of The Dark Knight.

Anonymous said...

as much as I DONT want to see two face brought back, I can never resist the chance to wirte a plot. So batman runs from the police, but turns back to try and save harvey, not wanting the city to end up like he had. He saves him and gordon takes him to arkham. The longer he's in arkham, the more he needs the coin. Eventually it gets so bad, he can't make any decision without flipping his coin. A doctor (perhaps Dr. Strange even) decides to experiment with harvey. He takes away his coin and replaces it with a dice. When he gets used to that, he gives him a deck of tarot cards,and immediately draws the "Justice" card. This drives him over the edge, he escapes arkham, and begins killing people acording to there tarot cards. When he draws the "Knight" card, he knows it can only refer to batman. He goes after batman, and while batman tries to reason with him, shoots him in the leg. Batman becomes crippled and Harvey takes over the underworld. Bruce goes and gets harveys coin, and batman returns it to him. He tells harvey, that he can choose himself, or let the coin decide. Harvey flips the coind, and lets batman go. As batman flees from the scene, it is revieled that harveys coin landed scarred side up, he had chosen to let batman go free.