Wednesday, December 18, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman and Two-Face #26

Erin McKillen is seated at a table in Wayne Manor, with Bruce telling her that Matches Malone ransomed her off to the highest bidder, and knowing that they shared a past, "contacted" Bruce who "saved" her from being auctioned to one of the families who may want her dead. Erin doesn't take to Bruce's form of hospitality that well, and once she's untied, hits him, and asks if she can leave, calling her cousin to pick her up.

While Erin waits for her cousin, Bruce finds her in the manor and the two begin to talk about Shannon, Erin's deceased twin, who Bruce admits to being pretty fond of when they were children. And here we learn what happened.

After Harvey put Erin and Shannon away, and after two failed appeals, the McKillen sisters come up with a pretty morbid plan on how to escape prison, but the catch is, only one of them gets out. So they draw straws, and Shannon "wins." She tells her sister that she loves her, then proceeds to hang herself in her cell. Erin calls over the guard who was seemingly aware of the plan, as it seemed that for her cooperation, it was promised that her son would get a life saving operation, presumably from an organ donation. With that, the guard calls over the medical staff, and the plan goes into action from there. For legal reasons, Erin needs to confirm her sisters body, but when the doctor leaves Erin and the guard alone, some body switching takes place, and Shannon's body is placed in Erin's cell, as Erin is taken out of the building by some medics who believe they're handling a corpse.

Back at Wayne Manor, Erin's cousin shows up, leaving Bruce to share a few words with his old friend before she leaves. Once Erin is gone, Bruce knows that his work isn't done, and suits up, believing he'll be able to catch both Erin and Two-Face under one net.

Long story short, Erin's cousin betrays her, drugs her, and brings her to Gilda Dent's grave, where Two-Face is waiting. Turns out the crime families would much rather have Erin's cousin in charge, than Erin, who is never in Gotham and a bit erratic. Before Two-Face can get his revenge, Erin decides to spill the beans that once he kills her, the crime families are just going to kill him, as they'd discussed prior. This doesn't please Two-Face, and when Two-Face isn't pleased, bodies drop.

As Two-Face opens fire on the crime families that have surrounded him (lighting up Erin's cousin, specifically), Batman shows up, and starts fighting off the crime families as well. Two-Face "thanks" Batman for the save, but causing a giant grave statue to collapse on him, leaving him trapped in a dug out grave, where Two-Face intends to leave him.


The Good:

This issue continues to fill out the backstory quite nicely, and I find it interesting that it's beens structured in such a way, where the McKillen backstory is told in reverse, so we know the end, but the context comes later. I've said time after that time that one of the biggest faults of the New 52 is the introduction of new characters, and having readers just be expected to care about them up front. By telling Erin's backstory in reverse, Tomasi avoids that pitfall and gives us the reason to care (she is who created Two-Face in this continuity) and introduces us to who the characters are later. If this very tragic story about Erin and her sister came first, then it'd be yet another case of "why should I care?" in the New 52. Context is everything, and the way the story has been told so far, while jarring with that first issue, has given us that much needed context and sense of place in the New 52 continuity.

The Bad:

Not a whole lot to complain about with this issue. I will say that Pat Gleason and Doug Mahnke have a lot in common in that different inkers can drastically change what their finished art looks like, more so than other pencillers. Keith Champagne inks a couple of the later pages of this issue, and it's noticeable to those who care to take notice of these sort of things. Not saying it's a bad ink job or anything, I just think Mick Gray fits Gleason best, and gives a bit more detail to the finished art... I mean, look at that cover.

The Bottom Line:

I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't expecting much from this arc, but surprisingly, it's been pretty damn strong. We're getting the meat of these new characters and who they are now, and like I've said above, some major holes that can be found in the concept of New 52 continuity are avoided by Tomasi's clever way of telling the backstory. This issue really backs up the changes in the continuity, supporting those changes with honest character motivation rather than "Fuck it, it's the New 52, let's just change shit!" which happens all too often.



  1. someone just straight up copied part of your summary of this issue:

    1. Thanks. I'm waiting for approval on my account to comment, but feel free to point it out if you can while I'm waiting.