about_faces (about_faces) wrote,

IMPOSTORAMA: The Fake Two-Faces! No. 4: Batman! Wait, what?

Yeah, I'm skipping ahead. I just found this one, and I can't wait to post it. Paul Sloane and George Blake will have to wait.

So for all intents and purposes, there wasn't a single Harvey Dent appearance in the Silver Age of comics. He essentially bypassed the entire era until the birth of the Bronze Age, where Denny O'Neill brought him back.

However, an impostor Two-Face DOES make one single Silver Age appearance. The twist here is that the impostor isn't just another crook trying to frame Harvey or take up the mantle! So who... is... Two-Face?

Yeah, didn't see that one coming, did you? Wait'll you see the actual story itself!

Written by Jim Shooter, drawn by Curt Swan.

I imagine many of you might be asking yourselves, "Wait, who the frell is Kralik?" We'll get to him soon enough.

Superman and Batman interrupt an evil experiment by the criminal scientist Dr. Aaron (oh those wacky criminal scientists and their evil experiments!):


Days later, the World's Finest are special guests at the Metropolis State Fair, where there's an entire hall dedicated to statues of their various foes over the years:

Note the color scheme: it looks like they're basing this Harvey Dent on either the design for Paul Sloane's impostor Two-Face!

So, yeah, essentially Kralik is another General Zod, only not actually Kryptonian. At least, not as far as we know.

He's never given any explanation, since--contrary to what this story would lead you to believe--he's never actually appeared anywhere before this. This is his first appearance, an original character who we're instantly supposed to accept as Superman's most fearsome enemy, based entirely on his strength levels matching Superman.

I mean, really, I can see him qualifying as the "toughest foe" over Parasite, especially since I'd certainly find Parasite more fearsome. Not only can he steal your powers, but he also weakens you to boot, and he's creepy on top of all that! But no, give the title to the generic nobody! I have to wonder if Shooter actually had plans for the character.

Superman and Batman find themselves strangely compelling to dress up as Kralik and Two-Face until--holy Robert Louis Stevenson, Batman! Yes, I hate myself too--our heroes believe they are Kralik and Two-Face! Even their faces contort and change! SILVER AGE!

And thus "Kralik" and "Two-Face" go on respective crime sprees, trying to lure out Superman and Batman. Bat!Two-Face, in particular, really seems to relish getting into character:

But soon, the World's F... fiendish... n... est run afoul of one another. How, you might wonder, would even a fake Two-Face manage against a guy who is ostensibly like a combination of Zod and Khan Noonien Singn? Well, you might forget two things: 1.), not-Two-Face is actually Batman, and 2.) it's the Silver Age, baby:

Robin eventually discovers what's been happening, but is soon taken out by Dr. Aaron himself:

Aaron seems to be on top, which is when he finds himself attacked by "Two-Face" and his surprisingly helpful henchmen, all of whom are looking for a hiding place from a vengeful "Kralik":

Whew, Dick came out of the closet! I know, I know, I hate me too. Now behold the complete and utter confidence Bruce has in Dick's abilities:

... Hhhhuh. Really, I feel like I should try to come up with some commentary here, but all I can do is just go, "Oh, Silver Age."

If there's one downside to Harvey's near-complete absence from the Silver Age of comics, it's that we didn't get to see him do more over-the-top cracky fun: stuff like the Composite Superman, even though Aaron is his own kind of wacko Composite Superman type character.

Really, you'd think CS would be a natural for Two-Face to meet, although I don't quite know what they'd do together. Play checkers?

Meantime, I'd be curious to see what one could do with Kralik. Is there potential for such a character that could separate him from the average Phantom Zone criminal?
Tags: impostors, superman

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