Batman – Two-Face

by Alan Rapp on November 22, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Animated Series – Two-Face
  • wiki: link

Batman - Two-Face

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen with another episode from Batman: The Animated Series. Originally created in 1942 Harvey Dent (originally named Harvey Kent) was Gotham’s good looking District Attorney who lost his sanity after having acid thrown into his face during trial. Having already established a friendship between Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) and Harvey Dent (Richard Moll) in “Pretty Poison,” the two-parter focuses on Harvey’s transformation into one of Batman’s most dangerous villains. One of the more interesting choices the writers of Batman: The Animated Series made when introducing Harvey Dent was to give the character pre-existing mental problems well before his transformation into Two-Face (something later comic versions have chosen to adopt as well).

Running for re-election as Gotham’s District Attorney, Dent begins to show signs of cracking up while attempting to take down Rupert Thorne (John Vernon). When Thorne gets his hands on Harvey’s psychological records he decides to blackmail the D.A. realizing voters wouldn’t be to keen on a schizophrenic public servant with dangerous tendencies. The first half of the two-part episode ends with warehouse accident which transforms Harvey into Two-Face who is already well on his way to becoming Gotham’s new crime lord with the beginning of the second episode as he targets Thorne’s various interests all of which are some how tied to the number two.

Determining every action by a flip of a two-sided coin, one side scarred just as he is, and his twin goons Min and Max Two-Face’s reign of terror is only stopped by Thorne’s girl Candice (Diane Michelle) who tricks Harvey’s fiance Grace (Murphy Cross) into leading the crooks straight to Two-Face. Grace’s betrayal ends any possibility of Harvey being saved but an injured Batman’s intervention at least saves the lives of Two-Face and Grace even if Harvey Dent is lost forever.

Starting in the halluciations and dreams of the pre-accident Harvey Dent and continuing through is transformation into the scarred would-be crimelord, the two-parter makes excellent use of shadow and color to highlight the shattered nature and dual identity of the character. Bruce Wayne’s loss of a friend is the show’s gain as Two-Face will show up more than a dozen times over the show’s run to further trouble the Batman.

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