September 23rd, 2010

Two-Face... FOREVER!!!

Comic Review: the old D.A. versus the new D.A. in the "Manhunter" backup in "Streets of Gotham!"

So seriously, what the hell has DC been doing with Two-Face for the past year and a half?

I ask because I wanted to review the final part of the first-ever Two-Face solo story wrapped up in Batman: Streets of Gotham, which came out today. But I realized that such a review was impossible without looking into the events that brought the character to this point, as written by Tony Daniel, Judd Winick, and Marc Andreyko, neither of whom seemed to read the other's stories and utterly ignored continuity when it came to Two-Face.

Has anyone else noticed this? Has anyone else been confused?

Let's take a blow-by-blow look at Two-Face over the past year and a half, and you let me know if this makes any sense, or if I'm missing out on some crucial detail somewhere along the way. Please, seriously, help me out here. I feel like no one else is even noticing these glaring inconsistencies.

And while I'm at it, I'd like to rant a bit about Andreyko's Manhunter co-feature from Streets of Gotham. Hope you don't mind.

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Is this all due to some editorial clusterfuck, ala Countdown, Death of the New Gods, and Final Crisis all contradicting one another in various ways? And unlike that clusterfuck, no one else seems to be noticing THIS clusterfuck!

And then there's the actual Two-Face solo story by Ivan Brandon, the one that just today wrapped up in Streets of Gotham. That one seems to be another clusterfuck for some reason, not to mention the story itself is frustrating in its own ways. But I'll address all that in my next post, when I tackle Two-Face: The Long Way Down heads-on. Hopefully no one else will post scans of it in the meantime.
Two-Face... FOREVER!!!

The first (and last?) Two-Face solo feature: "The Long Way Down"

Two-Face: The Long Way Down, was supposed to run in the form of nine-page co-features, one part per issue, just like the Manhunter. Six parts over six issues of Batman: Streets of Gotham, right alongside Paul Dini's House of Hush storyline.

Instead, the first story in SoG #14 was eighteen pages (twice as long as the main Hush story!), twice the length, and clearly the first two parts smooshed together. Then, the next issue, SoG #15, was ENTIRELY devoted to the Two-Face story! At twenty-seven pages, that's the next three parts, back to back! Finally, in last Wednesday's SoG #16, the conclusion ran the regular nine pages.

Six parts, awkwardly shoved into three issues, and throwing off the flow of the title's main feature to boot. This wouldn't be such a problem, except that it was that last factor which pissed off comic readers.

When I went looking for reviews of SoG #15--the all-Two-Face issue--I found tons of angry comic fans declaring that they were dropping SoG. They were furious that there was no Hush story. Few had anything to say about the Two-Face story itself. They didn't even care.

Why? Do fans really like Hush that much? More than Two-Face?! Look, it would be one thing if they were dropping it over displeasure at the story itself (and they might have had cause, as we'll see below), but the story's quality was immaterial. All they cared about was Dini's Hush story. They had zero interest in a Two-Face-centric story, period.

This is strange, sad, and frustrating to me as a great fan of the character and Batman in general, all the more so because of the story itself. So let's do what so many fans didn't and give this story a look, as Harvey finds himself on the run from the bat, the cops, the feds, and the mob, doing whatever it takes of survive. Even if it means wearing a stupid hoodie.

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Seriously. What the hell happened? Clearly something happened, or the story wouldn't have been juggled around and smooshed together, ending in what feels--to be--to be an abrupt and rushed fashion. Either way, no one in the comics blogosphere seems to be raising any questions or complaints. No one really cares.

One way or another, I fear this means that the first Two-Face solo feature may also be the last.