about_faces (about_faces) wrote,
about_faces
about_faces

Two-Face Character Profile: WHO'S WHO, 1986

I love love love DC's WHO'S WHO books in all their incarnations.

I'd collect all I could from my comic shop's 50¢ bin, these collections of pin-ups and bios for characters, many of whom I knew and already loved, many I would come to love, and many that were so clearly of their era that we haven't seen hide nor hair of since. Like, what in god's name warranted the Electric Warrior getting his own two-page spread, PLUS a whole inside cover dedicated to his blueprints?

I just love characters, that's the thing. I loved GI JOE action figures for their bios, which revealed a whole world of character possibilities and stories that I still have a great deal of affection for GI JOE, even if I never liked the show or read enough of the great comics. WHO'S WHO was the same, but for my favorite comics company, and if MightyGodKing hadn't already cornered the market on revisiting classic WHO'S WHO entries, I'd be doing that myself.

Lucky(?) for me, no one is doing this sort of thing for Harvey Dent.





First off, man oh man do I want a cleaned-up version of this image, because wow, does Brian Bolland ever draw one of the best Two-Faces ever. Hardly surprising, since Bolland is God. At least, when it comes to pen and ink.

Although what's up with Harvey standing next to what appears to be the back of a Star Destroyer? Is that meant to be the explosion that undid his plastic surgery? A giant metaphorical bottle of acid? A canon of confetti?

The "touche" joke is cheesy, but considering there are lesser writers who would actually have him saying "TWO-che," it's almost kinda cute. Really, Harvey, do you even know how to use a sword? You just know he challenged Batman to a duel purely so he could make the "touche" pun (not to mention the fact that they're having a duel, period). Finally, dig the panel of Harvey behind bars, which Bolland would essentially reuse for a cameo in THE KILLING JOKE.

To put this in context for people who know enough about comics history to care, this bio is pre-Crisis. Right up until the last two sentences, it only goes up to his rescarring in 1957's "Two-Face Strikes Again," then just barely glossing over his Bronze Age activities from 1971 to 1986.

For that matter, it's not even entirely correctly. Harvey never killed Maroni for revenge. In SECRET ORIGINS OF THE SUPER-VILLAINS #14 (the same issue that introduced the retcon of Detective Dave Davis), Maroni/Moroni was killed from his own bullet ricocheting off Two-Face's coin in mid-air flip. Yeah, seriously. Physics don't work that way. But for the sake of succinct bios, I guess "revenge" is more neat and sensible, as is the divorce, even though we never actually see the fallout for Harvey and Gilda after he becomes Two-Face again.

In the 1987 WHO'S WHO update, DC amended Two-Face's bio to add:

In the recreated DC Universe, Harvey Dent was married before he became Two-Face. It is not known if he married Gilda Gold at that point, or whether he was divorced before becoming Two-Face and married her later. In the recreated DC Universe, Two-Face was responsible for the death of Jason Todd's father (see "Robin, revised")

All of which is still before BATMAN: YEAR ONE, which was incorporated in the next updated WHO'S WHO entry for Two-Face. I'll be posting that one next in this series of Harvey profiles over the years.
Tags: brian bolland, origins, who's who and secret files
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