about_faces (about_faces) wrote,

Two-Face Cameo Double-Feature from ARMAGEDDON 2001 and ALL MY ENEMIES AGAINST ME!

Since it's the second time this year that we've had a Harvey-relevant date, I would be remiss if I didn't post SOMEthing! It can't be the review for Two-Face, Part II just yet, since that's far from complete. The first one was a ton of work, and hard as hell to compose, but your enthusiastic responses were so awesome that it's fired me up to put the same effort into the second half. Thanks for that.

So what can I post today? How about a double-dose of quick single-page cameos?

Let's start with one from Detective Comics Annual #4, an oddball story by Louise Simonson and Tom Grindberg. You don't really need any context for this page, since it's a pretty random and pointless Two-Face cameo, but for the curious, here you go: in a possible future, Batman's final battle with Ra's ends with the Demon dead and his own body smashed on a cliffside. When an adult Tim Drake takes up the mantle of Batman, he's swiftly murdered by Talia and the League of Assassins, prompting a sullen Bruce Wayne to create a concealed exoskeleton and go searching for the identity of Tim's killers. So where better to go than to visit one of the usual suspects?

"... he has a box of tricks," Harvey says, in voice-over on the next page, "and he's playing both sides against the middle." Figures: after a whole page assault of puns, the only one that really thematically works isn't even on this page! The Joker proceeds to tease Batman with the clue that will lead him to Talia, knowing that the revelation will eventually lead to both Bruce and Talia's destruction.

So yes, in this alternate universe, this page is the final encounter between Batman and Harvey, who is left with nothing more than a coin bent by a cybernetic Bat-hand. I like to imagine him now trying and failing to adequately flip the warped coin, and eventually giving up. Hey, maybe without the coin and Batman alike, that could lead to his eventual rehabilitation in his universe? I'd certainly like to think so, but I doubt the Joker would let that happen. The Joker is an asshole.

Speaking of Harvey, Joker, and Talia, that brings us to our second page, one from several years earlier: 1983's (hey, my birth year!) All My Enemies Against Me!, from Detective Comics #526, commemorating Batman's 500th appearance in that series!

The issue served as the culmination of Gerry Conway's original Jason Todd and Killer Croc storyline, bringing in a veritable Who's Who of Batman greatest enemies, including several soon-to-be-forgotten guys like Captain Stingaree and the Spook. Since Croc is trying to "steal our thunder" by trying to kill Batman, the Joker proposes that the villains all team up to beat Crockers t the punch, but one villain, Talia, decides to opt out. Joker doesn't approve, and a brief fight scene breaks out as the Joker demands that the other villains not let her escape.

I don't know what I love more: Harvey being genuinely unpredictable by adhering to the coin's rulings and his own sense of ethics, or the Joker calling him a loony. Also, I adore how the coin's trajectory spun over two panels. It's something that can only be done in comics storytelling, and I wish that more artists would play with the art form's unique capabilities more often. I'd love to see more Two-Face stories written and drawn in ways that only work in comics.

Harvey appears elsewhere in this issue, but aside from a couple wonderfully-drawn panels by Don Newton and Alfredo Alcala, there's nothing else of specific note for the Two-Face fan. If you'd like to read more of the issue, I've found the first nineteen pages scanned and posted up here. Don't hold your breath about the rest of the issue getting posted, since whoever runs that sites seems to have left it abandoned.

Still, the site is well worth investigating, since there are several great stories posted there in their entirety. I recommend checking out The Messiah of the Crimson Sun, a fantastically odd story with fucking STUNNING art by Trevor Von Eeden and a wonderfully cracked-out ending that, I promise, will throw you for a loop. Even more highly recommended is Alan Brennert's The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne, which is one of the greatest Batman comics ever. Period. One of these days, I'm finally going to write that post about the brilliance that is Alan Brennert, who might well be my favorite Batman writer of all time. If he ever wrote a Two-Face story, I think my head would explode.

Okay, back to working on that Two-Face, Part II review.
Tags: cameos, don newton, gerry conway, joker, killer moth, mad hatter, penguin, ra's and/or talia al ghul

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded