Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman and Robin #23.1

So if you haven't read Forever Evil #1 by now, I guess I should remind you again that the power to Gotham is cut, but for some reason, perhaps a generator, the power to the batsignal is still working, and Two Face is being super brooding, standing on top of it, flipping his coin. Before Harvey's coin can land, Scarecrow shows up and snatches it out of the air, an act that Harvey doesn't take kindly to. Before Scarecrow gets his brains blown out, he manages to get Harvey to listen to him, and offers him a new coin, and invitation to the Secret Society. Harvey flips the coin to see if he'll join, and it lands on heads, so he tells Scarecrow he'll join under one condition, his decisions chosen by his coin flips are final, and not to be questioned.
With Scarecrow gone, Harvey goes back to his original decision, flipping a coin on whether or not to save Gotham or watch it bleed. The coin tells him to save the city, and with Batman "dead," he adopts the roll of protector, and takes to the streets with plenty of guns and ammunition.

Harvey eventually finds his way to the courthouse where he finds some of the villains from the Terminus arc of this title, attempting to hang a few court workers Harvey used to know. Harvey, being in his old office, is feeling a bit nostalgic, so he decides to hold court on the criminals he finds inside.

Court comes into session, and each trial is very short, heads gets life in prison, tails gets death. Bootface, doesn't really like this turn events, but his trial lasts about two seconds before he gets to be known as bullet face, as he turns up tails, and dead. As Harvey attempts to continue his trials, some dude from the Society, who is either a no name or I just don't recognize, bursts in and informs Harvey of their plan to hang some of Gotham's finest from the bridge for the world to see, and they start killing everyone in the room. This of course is in violation of Harvey's agreement with the society, so the deal is off, and he starts shooting everybody back as a resignation from the Society.

With the Court session ending in a blood bath, Harvey goes back to making new decisions, and once again, heads is save Gotham, but this time tails is make it bleed... and it comes up tails.


The Good:

Man, I'm super bummed that Guillem March apparently left to do his own stuff for awhile. That's totally cool, but this issue really made me miss seeing a book drawn by him, as he's really good at drawing Two-Face. I've always said March really excels at drawing two things in particular: women (haters gonna hate) and creepy, gross looking dudes. Two Face definitely falls in line with some of the stuff he did on books like Azrael or some Batman issues he did pre-New 52. March's Two-Face just looks perfect, honestly, he doesn't do much to change up the classic design, but his stylistic touches make Harvey look better (relatively speaking) than he has in other recent portrayals.

Aside from the art, Tomasi writes a darn good Harvey Dent, and unlike any of the other Batman titles this week, this was the one issue to actually tie into anything involving Forever Evil/The Secret Society, outside of Gotham simply being in a black out. That tie to the actual event that's taking place gave this issue a sense of purpose, that was somewhat lacking from other books this week.

The Bad:

I'm not going to sit her and pretend that I haven't seen Harvey hold his own version of court before. As enjoyable as it was, that set up still is somewhat of a cliche.

The Bottom Line:

This was just a solid Two-Face story from start to finish. Tomasi wrote him well, March portrayed him beautifully (in a grotesque sort of way) and those two elements combine to make a pretty enjoyable issue. Is the set up of Two-Face conducting his own trials anything new? Not really, but the actual tie-in to the Secret Society justifies it this time around. Of all the Batman branded books this week, Two-Face was definitely the strongest of the bunch.


1 comment :

  1. Other than the Joker, Two-Face us my favorite Batman villain. I find him to be a very tragic figure, and that, if he wanted to, could really have been one of Gotham's protectors. I haven't read this issue yet, though I really do now.