We come to the end of this story arc. There is some subtle brilliance to this issue, but the overall issue left me disappointed. The premise was just too obviously a mislead, but then again what else are you going to get when the story arc concerns Two-Face.
The End Of Two-Face
This issue opens to the funeral of Harvey Dent. A Priest is giving a memorial service for Harvey Dent. This is both the problem and brilliance of this issue. We all know Harvey is not dead. If he were truly going to be killed off, this issue would have major fanfare behind it. That and this is the comic world. Nobody ever truly dies.
The brilliance though comes from story writer James Robinson. How would you like to be the priest giving a eulogy for one of Gotham’s biggest villains? The Priest does a great job, while acknowledging, Two-Face, of selling the virtues of Harvey Dent, and how in the end he died fighting for good and doing the right thing. Harvey Dent died fighting alongside Batman fighting to save the city from the poisons of Kobra.
Well, so we are led to believe. This issue shows us Batman and Harvey splitting up to find the poison machine and shut it down before it can be introduced to Gotham’s water supply. Batman finds a group of Kobra soldiers but not the machine. It is Harvey that finds the machine. We are led to believe that he is killed when he shoots a pressure regulator valve and the whole thing blows sky-high. There is just one problem. If there is no body, there is no death.
Bruce knows this all too well. He goes to Waynecorp to clear his head and think. The scene and verbal exchange between Bruce and Alfred is fun. “Oh, a metaphor. You are feeling creative.” I wish we could have a couple issues with more of their banter.
The 9 Lives of Two-Face
Finally, Bruce confronts the very ‘not dead’ Two-Face as well as the Fireflies. In usual Batman form he asks the Fireflies to consider if they really want to mess with The Bat today. They wisely flee, and even Harvey tells them he doesn’t blame them for his choice would have been the same.
The last panel again is brilliant. As they lunge, once more unto the breach, Batman gives a slight nod to Two-Face telling him he is glad he still lives. The two are practically smiling at each other as they proceed to beat the the crap out of each other. Nothing says true friendship like trying to kill one another.