August 23rd, 2010

Two-Face... FOREVER!!!

A look at the worst outfit Two-Face has ever worn, and how it got made into a not-suck action figure

Note: action figure photos are courtesy of Nathan at, who took them for his excellent toy review, used here with permission.

Let's talk about the "Two-Face as Batman" action figure from the recent BATMAN REBORN action figure line, released from DC Direct a couple weeks ago. Actually, we can't do that until we talk about the costume itself first.

There are no two (hurr) ways around it: this costume sucks.

Ohhhh, god, what was Tony Daniel thinking when he designed it for a "Battle for the Cowl" teaser poster? It's like Harvey got into Harley Quinn's wardrobe and just slightly (you wouldn't have to do much!) altered her costume into a Batman outfit.

Imagine my great relief when Harvey never actually showed up wearing the damn thing in BftC. Imagine my horror when I saw the above image on the solicits for the finale of the excellent "Long Shadows" storyline by Judd Winnick, indicating that he would finally be wearing after all.

Imagine my slightly more relived reaction when I actually read the issue, and discovered that it was only used for a fear-toxin-induced hallucination on Dick's part. Why Dick would see that particular costume is beyond me, but there's no denying that it's certainly horrifying, all right. And not in the intended way.

Then imagine my own horror when I discovered that DC Direct was making an action figure of Two-Face as Batman in this abominable outfit. I was like, oh man, here's the one Two-Face figure I will never, ever buy. So imagine my surprise when I actually saw the figure in person and thought, "Wow, this... this ain't half-bad! It ain't half-good, but it ain't half-bad either!"

(Hey, I've been reading Golden Age Two-Face comics today, cut me some slack on the puns.)

What actually impressed me about it were tw... er, a couple things. First. is the facial sculpt, particularly the scarring and the paint job. Man, how I wish we could see that kind of detail on a regular Two-Face figure! The other detail is how the costume doesn't just have different colors, but the blue paint is glossy while the red is matte finish. Subtle, and quite clever!

But it's not enough to redeem that costume. And while I now kinda want the figure, $17 is a lot to pay for a great figure of a great character in a horrible outfit.

So what's to be done? Well... how about a custom repaint?

The thought occurred to me when I considered that we've occasionally seen images of Two-Face as Batman (or is it vice versa?), even going so far as getting something like this:

So I have to wonder, what would be a good design for a Batman costume that Two-Face would wear?

My first idea was that it would be a standard Batman costume, but one half burned, shredded, stained, and otherwise ruined, ala the outfit from NIGHTWING: THE GREAT LEAP, which itself was an (improved, IMO) expansion of the Aaron Eckhart movie outfit.

My next idea was maybe have the good half be a classic blue-and-gray Batman w/yellow symbol, maybe from the Bronze Age or even Adam West's outfit, with the bad side being dark, grim black-and-gray with no yellow circle (maybe the chest symbol would be just the bat itself, like the Daniel costume has, only yellow on one half and black on the other?), with the good side's bat ear filed down to a more reasonable point to counterbalance the huge JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED style devil's horn ear.

But no repaint is gonna get rid of that damn cape ring thing around his shoulders. No idea what to do about that. I still dunno, neither about that or what kind of repaint I'd want. Which is why I haven't bought the figure yet.

What do you think, folks? How would you redesign the costume? What kind of split would you give him? Or do you like the original Daniel design? If so, why?