Detective Comics #990 Review: A Conflicted Man

I absolutely love the opening page of this issue.  As would befit an issue centered on two face, There are so many double meanings to this page.  On the surface you have the very simply good guy on one side, bad guy on the other.  The artwork by Stephen Segovia is amazing.  This would be an incredible poster of two of the best hero/villain rivals in all of comics, but there is so much more.

On one side we have The Bat taking down a criminal as usual.  On the other hand, there are things that are going on that Batman has no idea what is going on and needs Harvey for answers.  Harvey knows this.  In fact I think Harvey tells Batman everything he needs to know – right under his nose.  Look at the what Harvey says.  Look at the two words stressed. “Not feeling very HELPFUL, honestly.  Why don’t you ask JIM GORDON.

I blew right past this, but after rereading the issue, i realized how important it was.  What did Jim Gordon have to do with any of this so far?  Why would Harvey bring it up?  We get the answer in the later pages of this issue.

Then we have the usual shoot-out where Harvey gets away because of Batman’s weakness for the helpless, even if they are bad guys.  The next scene we get is one i don’t know we have seen before -Bruce Wayne sitting outside in the sunlight, working.  It is not the middle of the night.  It is not buried deep in the depths of the Bat-cave.  It is outside in broad daylight.  Another example of the changes we see Bruce/Batman going through.

Then comes the nugget that has been dangling there for a few issues now – Kobra.  They have been sitting in the shadows for awhile.  Now they make their move.  Their apparent goal to take down the GCPD.  It is kind of surprising the ease in which Kobra takes down the entire precinct with minimal losses.  Good thing the GCPD protector arrives – Two-face!?  Not only does Dent & Co burst in to save the day, but Two-face personally saves Commissioner Gordon!

I think that Two-Face was trying to tip Batman off in the opening page, but when Batman admits he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, Harvey realizes he will have to be the one to save the GCPD.  OF course given their rivalry it would be too easy for Harvey to just come out and say as much.

Fast forward to the final panel and you have another great scene of Harvey and Batsy facing off.  Add the teaser title and the table is set even if we do not know all the specifics yet.