Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Batman vs. Two-Face

(2008) various, Titan Books, 12.99, trd pbk, 176pp, ISBN 978-1-845-76956-7

This is a collection of ten Batman tales featuring the villainous Two-Face, spanning the years from 1941 to 2006. Harvey Dent (originally Kent) was a district attorney until one day, while prosecuting Boss Moroni, a criminal threw acid in his face, scarring him terribly on the left-hand side. Moroni's lucky piece was a two-headed coin, one of which Dent mutilates so that it can decide his choice of action for him. If the unscarred side comes up Two-Face errs on the side of good, if the defaced side comes up he commits crimes. Naturally enough his capers all involve the number two in one way or another. Though perhaps not as well-known as, say, The Joker, Two-Face remains one of the Batman's top tier villains and continues to make frequent appearances. This collection contains three stories from 1941-3, all written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson; a couple from the early fifties drawn by the great Dick Sprang; one from 1971 written by Denny O'Neil and beautifully drawn by the legendary team of Neal Adams and Dick Giordano; a late eighties tale by Mark Verheiden and Pat Broderick; a fabulous mid-nineties story written by Doug Moench and drawn by Kelley Jones (the team responsible for the Batman/Dracula 'Elseworlds' books); and a post-Crisis tale from 2006 by James Robinson and Don Kramer; in addition to which there's a short retelling of the origin by Mark Waid and Mark Chiarello, and an almost strip-like black and white tale by Bruce Timm (the man responsible for the Batman's animated adventures). The plethora of Batman titles around at the moment is, of course, a lot to do with the fact of the release of the second film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. This particular book is very good and, in my opinion, worth it for the art alone. Definitely one for the fans.

Tony Chester

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