I'd love to stop posting about Two-Face in Arkham City
, but sadly, this is the most mainstream geek media coverage and attention he's gotten since The Dark Knight
Over the past few days, virtually every site I frequent--including Comics Alliance, Topless Robot, io9, Robot 6, although not my current favorite, The Mary Sue
--ran a proper character portrait of Harvey alongside a full character bio with stats. Even then, response on those sites was lukewarm, to say the least. One
amounted nothing more than a single response of "Cool," whereas the comments explode if the story has been about Robin or Catwoman.
In fairness, we all know that AC's Two-Face is problematic at best, but no one's really talking about him whenever the game comes up in the news. Of course, I've tried to open up a conversation about him, and that didn't go so well
, thus reminding me why I opened up this particularly geeky corner of the internet in the first place. Have I mentioned how much I appreciate your folks' readership, comments, and general participation? Because I really do.
So that said, let's check out Harvey's deluxe treatment in the game, shall we?
That's probably the single best image of Game!Harvey to come out so far. It's cool and classy, and I like that we get just a wee teeny bit of the scarring division between the gun and his hairline. Ties it all together. If this were a comics pin-up, I'd just photoshop in a clear image of his bulging evil eye peering through the darkness, but hey, that's me. That said, I'm not sure what the hell is going on with texturing on things like Harvey's suit. What the hell texture is that supposed to be? Vinyl corduroy?
The image was also accompanied by a full profile, which I find interesting in a number of places:Real Name: Harvey DentAlias: TWO-FACE
(Gah! Sorry, the all-caps startled me. I guess you can only shout his alter ego now?)Occupation: Professional CriminalBase: Gotham City
(Is this necessary? I mean, is there anybody in this game whose base ISN'T Gotham? By the way, I'm now apparently doing commentary after each stat. Whee!)Eyes: Blue
(ALSO YAY! Even though his hair looks pretty black in the gameplay)Height: 6 ftWeight: 182 lb
(... what, really? That doesn't seem enough for Harvey, especially at 6 feet. I know from reading the DC Encyclopedia that whoever writes these things has really weird ideas about how much female characters should weigh, but this is the first time I've raised my eyebrow over a male character's weight stats)First Appearance: Detective Comics #66 (August 1942)
(Yay for mentioning the comics!)• Attribute 01:
Hideously scarred on the left half of his face, which he plays up with clothing that's differently styled on one side (I've theorized that Harvey might wear garish split suits to draw the attention away from his face, and I think that the "plays up" plays into that idea)• Attribute 02:
Extremely skilled with his weapons of choice: twin .45 automatics • Attribute 03:
Psychotic obsession with duality, designing crimes around the number two (Would this be a good time to bring up that I've never heard a good reason as to WHY he's obsessed with the number two other than it being a holdover gimmick from the Golden Age?)• Attribute 04:
Defers to his half-scarred coin in choices of life or death (Only life and death, not just choices in general, or at the very least MORAL choices? Furthermore, I'm assuming they mean the life or death of his victims, but does he include his own life in the balance of his choices? A good Two-Face should, since that's only fair)Background Story:
District Attorney Harvey Dent was one of Batman's strongest allies in Gotham City, until a criminal threw acid in Dent's face, hideously scarring him. The wounds fractured his psyche, and he was reborn Two-Face, a schizoid criminal mastermind obsessed with duality. His former good-luck charm, a "two-headed" trick silver dollar, was damaged on one side in the attack, and Dent has seized on it as a reflection of his half-scarred visage. He flips it to decide the fates of his victims. Two-Face is thriving in Arkham City, rallying inmates to join his gang using tried and true campaign tactics.
Considering that the only time the coin has ever been Harvey's, much less anything resembling a "good luck charm," was in TDK, we yet again see the influence that version has had on the character at large. I wonder if any adaptations will ever use the backstory of his father's coin from Eye of the Beholder
, or if that will continue to fall to the wayside of comics obscurity. I've spoken about this at length before, but I firmly believe that you lose something vital to the psychology of the character when you don't include the alcoholic abusive father background, even in just an offhand mention.
In keeping with the "choices of life or death" bit above, the coin's role seems decidedly limited for how the game developers see Two-Face, or at least, this
Two-Face. In keeping with the mock-trial aspect of his big scene in the game, the coin seems to act as his judge, indicating that he has a habit of passing sentence on his victims. This is, of course, true to the character, but we don't get any indication that he uses the coin for moral decisions, which is a more generalized and--to me--more important and interest aspect of the character.
Meh, at this point, I feel like I'm just scrambling for things to talk about, since there's not too terribly much more to go on here. I just felt like all my geekery has been pent up over the past two weeks (holy crap, my son is two weeks old. Holy crap, I have a SON.), so between this and the last post, I'm just in total brain-spew mode. Hope you folks don't mind.
Oh, wait! One more thing! They released the full Two-Face/Catwoman opening gameplay in high-def with no commentary talking over the images! It's like a mini-movie, watch!
My criticisms and analysis from the older footage I saw
still holds true, with just a couple new observations:
1.) If you listen carefully, Harvey starts delivering a speech at 8:25. Or rather, it's delivered by Harvey and
Two-Face. This might just be my very favorite part, and I wish the demo player had let Harvey talk a bit longer before attacking the thugs. I want to know what he/they had to say! I love the charisma and eloquence of Harvey's good side, which reminded me a good deal of Aaron Eckhart from the bits I heard. More! Want more now!
2.) While the horrible cat-scratch-in-the-face is enough of a dick move on Selina's part, the fact that she kicks him in the stomach while he's tied up and helpless is just... I dunno, is "hateful" the word I want? This Catwoman is everything I ever disliked about Catwoman because it's how too many writers write Catwoman. Ugh. Shit, even Batman's an asshole to Harvey. That sudden stop should have broken Harvey's neck, ala Gwen Stacy! And did they just leave Harvey hanging there at the end? I think they did! Man, even in video games, it sucks to be Harvey Dent.Also, I fucking adore wheezy, injured Joker. He reminds me of Frank Gorshin. I think Hamill's doing amazing work here, because for the first time in a long while, he has to work under some restraints. I think his vocal performance here will easily outshine the one in the first game.