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Over the past month, there have been two DC projects which have dealt with an alternate-reality Gotham, both of which feature their versions of Two-Face... more or less. And yeah, okay, they're not official "Elseworlds" because DC doesn't call their alt-u books those anymore, but screw you, DC, they'll always be Elseworlds to me!

The first is Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Batman: Earth One, which I'd recently speculated might feature a Harvey Dent cameo at least. I still haven't read the book myself, but thanks to the help of [livejournal.com profile] martin_l_gore, I've at least gotten the low-down on the basic details, especially when it comes to the Harveys and the Dents. Yes, that was indeed a pair of plurals, as in addition to a surprising new take on Harvey Bullock, there are two Dents in B:EO.


As for Batman: Earth One as a whole, everything I've seen about the book makes it looks like a perfectly fine B-grade story that is perfectly serviceable even though it doesn't acquit its existence as being yet another goddamn Batman origin. By far, the most interesting aspect appears to be the subplot of Jim Gordon, who is a compromised/corrupt cop here, and a very different take on Harvey Bullock, much of whose SPOILER-filled storyline was posted here by [livejournal.com profile] martin_l_gore. Thanks again, Martin! Because of these scans, I will definitely be picking up a copy of this at some point! When I saw the Bullock stuff, my first thought was "DO NOT WANT," but I think Johns made it work by the end. We'll see where his story goes in volume two.

The other big appearance is only an extremely technical and distant connection to any Harvey we know, but I think you'll understand why she merits at least a mention:

So DC's been doing weekly digital comics based on the Ame-Comi line of figurines, which reimagined female heroes and villains with anime-style designs. One of the released figures was Duela Dent, who--as you can see--was a steampunk take on a female Joker with a Heath Ledger Glasgow smile. Unsurprisingly, a small fandom started to emerge around her via fan art and cosplay, and it only seems to be catching on more with each passing convention season.

Now, the Ame-Comi version of Duela has gotten her own origin in the pages of Ame-Comi Girls, written by the Jonah Hex team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and drawn by Courtney Crumrin creator Ted Naifeh, so naturally, I was curious to see what they would do with the character's murky family lineage. Would she be Two-Face's daughter? The Joker's? The Jokester and Three-Face's ala Countdown, god help us?

Daddy's little girl... but who's the Daddy? )

So yeah, at least there's KIND of a Two-Face connection with her attacking both the law and crime, but it's in the name of chaos, which would be just like the Joker except it's not really funny chaos. So pretty much, I find absolutely nothing interesting about this character (other than her hate-crush on Batgirl, who may well be Gotham's sole protector in this universe, along with her cousin, Cass, who's Robin), which is a shame because Henchgirl and I really, really, REALLY loved the Ame-Comi Wonder Woman story, where Diana was a rather Barda-like asskicking warrior.

Tangent: But then, that storyline was drawn by Amanda Conner, who makes everything better. Everything. Amanda Conner's artwork instantly gives the characters more personality, and the storytelling is so much more fun. I cannot praise her enough for what she brings to a comic, and it's such a shame that she's wasting her talents on Before Watchmen. Well, I guess Amanda Conner gotta eat. /Tangent

If you'd like to read these comics for yourself, Batman: Earth One is available at finer bookstores and comic stores across the country, and can be purchased online (and for Kindle!) on Amazon. The Ame-Comi comics are first being released digitally, and then will be released in paper a month or two from now. The Duela Dent chapter I reviewed here can be purchased digitally, as can the second part, which just came out today.
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From the blog of Chris Weston: They were the accompanying art to my pitch for an Elseworld's Batman-Enemy Ace team up, "Batman: Aces High, Jokers Wild", set during the Great War. It features Bruce Wayne as volunteer a pilot in Lescadrille Lafayette, swearing vengeance on the Hun after his parents went down with the Lusitania. The Joker's in there too as a German pilot known as the "Killer Clown", his face twisted by hideous duelling scars... and of course his squadron is nick-named "The Flying Circus" and are decked out in garish colours. Two Face is a French pilot horrifically burnt in a crash. And chucked into the mix is Enemy Ace, who becomes increasingly uncomfortable during the course of the book with "The Killer Clown's" un-chivalrous conduct in the air, and, more disturbingly, his torture of captured airmen.

Sequences included The Joker's use of deadly "Smilex" gas in the trenches, which causes the allies to literally die laughing; the introduction of the Bat-tank; Wayne converting a disused, bat-filled chateau behind enemy lines into a secret hangar, complete with his "batman" Alfred serving as engineer and medic... and a Golden Age Flash cameo as a particularily speedy dispatch rider.

I thought it was a great idea. DC didn't agree.

Why does DC hate greatness? Really, I just miss Elseworlds anyway, but I'm especially sad that this one was never made. Maybe someday we'll see this made alongside Patton Oswalt's rejected proposal for a "Dirty Dozen with the Arkham Inmates" story.

For now, this just makes me want to reread George Pratt's Enemy Ace: War Idyll. Why that comic isn't considered a masterpiece is beyond me.
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Today, io9.com ran a feature about artist Dean Fraser's mock-concept-art for a fictional Star Wars: Empire of the Bat mash-up.

The author of the io9.com article added, "I'm still holding out for Mr. Frwampa, Maxie Greedo, Ewokwoman, Boba al Ghul, Poison Sarlacc, IG-Chill, and the Killer Rancordile."


It... look, ALL I'm saying is, how could both the artist and the io9.com writer have missed including what I would assume to be the single most obvious mash-up: Lando Two-Face? Just saying.
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Happy Halloween, Face-Friends!

I'm not sure if that's what I'd really wanna call you folks, but eh, I've got a little alliteration-lovin' Stan Lee in my heart.

This is a post I thought I wouldn't get to for many more months to come, so we have the intrepid [livejournal.com profile] cyberghostface to thank this time! Over at Scans_Daily, he's taken it upon himself to post Doug Moench and Kelley Jones' Batman: Red Rain trilogy, the Elseworlds saga of Batman versus vampires, which becomes Batman AS a vampire versus vampires, and then, finally, Vampire Batman versus everybody! Including Two-Face! As written by Moench at his very Moenchiest! Ohhhh yes, it's gonna be crack. But much of it is also legitimately great!

If you haven't read the trilogy, I urge you to check out the following links before reading this post. It's not necessary to enjoy the crack I'm about to bring you, but you don't wanna be left out, do ya? Course not! At the very least, check out the first part, which is deservedly something of a minor classic of alternate reality tales:

Must... end life... in classic Lorne Greene pose... from Battlestar Galactica!

The first part, Batman/Dracula: Red Rain is pretty goddamn fantastic all-around. It doesn't hurt that Dracula himself is pretty much, as a rule, awesome. I don't like vampires, but Dracula is always a magnificent villain who just happens to be a vampire, and the threat he brings to Gotham (and what Gotham, in turn, does it him) is the kind of thing that can only be done in an alternate continuity.

EDIT: I just realized that [livejournal.com profile] cyberghostface was unable to include the page where Dracula reveals that, just as birds drinking from a contaminated stream will sometimes go insane, so too has the blood of Gotham drove Dracula mad and thus turned him into an even worse monster. I love that detail of the city itself being able to corrupt even someone as already-evil as Dracula.

It's not only a great Elseworlds--an achievement unto itself from a genre that too often falls back on "Plug X character into Y setting"--but it's also a sterling achievement from both Moench and Jones, two creators whose work is often plagued by excess and bad ideas gone awry. Which, not coincidentally, brings us to the sequel:

Holy god, what the hell is wrong with you KNEE, Vampire Batman?

Batman: Bloodstorm is my least favorite of the three, although it's not technically the worst. There's a lot of good in it, mainly derived from the fun of seeing the Joker become the non-vampiric leader of the vampires, but otherwise, it too often wallows in the posturing melodrama inherent in most vampire stories. This tale of Conflicted Vampire Batman too often struck a tedious balance of hand-wringing angst and grotesque violence, with the usual dose of Selina Kyle T&A thrown in, what with her being a naked purple were-cat and all.

Taken as a whole, it's still a pretty powerful tragedy, and by all accounts, the story should have ended there. There was absolutely no need for another sequel, and yet, we got the third and final part five years later:


Now Batman: Crimson Mist--which I bring out today--IS technically the worst of the trilogy. It indulges in Moench's propensity for overwrought and, yes, hilariously melodramatic posturing and shouting, while Jones' art pushes the characters and the extreme graphic violence to levels of grotesqueness that simply do not belong in Batman comics. It takes all the intense excellence of Red Rain and ratchets it up to cartoonish levels. But just like similar works in that respect, particular the late-period work of Frank Miller and Neal Adams, there's something entrancing about seeing a creator given free reign to crank their bad habits up to 11. It's that trainwreck quality.

And again, this is Moench writing Two-Face at his Moenchiest. There are few writers who depict Harvey as this much of a ranting, raving madman, like Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face from Batman Forever but entirely devoid of humor. So just resign yourself to that knowledge that Harvey finally enters the trilogy just in time to become the second-worst villain of the story:

Welcome to DARK KNIGHT! ...For REAL. )

If you'd like to read these stories in full, they've been collected in this handy-dandy single volume, Batman: Vampire. The only downside is that it was published as a result of the idiocy that was Countdown, and so they've replaced the classic Elseworlds branding and logo with the short-lived "Tales of the Multiverse." Blah. Bring back Elseworlds, dammit! And Harley Quinn's old costume! And Matlock! And get off my lawn!

And whatever you do, have a safe and happy Halloween!

You're so cool, Brewster!
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Someone (forgive me for forgetting who or where, but the baby stole my brain... was it [livejournal.com profile] yaseen101, maybe?) was wondering if there has ever been a female Two-Face.

Appropriately enough, there have actually been two! Naturally, they both appeared in Elseworlds stories, the first in 1998 and the second in 1999, so I guess there was just something in the air at that point. The first, Jenna Clark, is an oddball of a half-baked character from Mike W. Barr's Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty, whereas the second, Darcy Dent, is a magnificent trainwreck courtesy of Moench and Jim Balent in Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham.

A Tale of Two Female Two-Faces behind the cut! )

Oh, Moench. Oh, Balent. Oh, god. It's definitely in keeping with their work on Catwoman, so I can't fault them for playing to their strengths. Nonetheless, I just find Balent's idea of sexiness to be so... obvious. It's about as clever as making your female Two-Face a smooshed-together version of both Sugar and Spice from Batman Forever. Ultimately, when it comes to a female Two-Face who's both awesome and hot, I'd prefer the likes of Meagan Marie any day. Funny how a cosplayer did it better than any actual comic writers to date!
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Okay, headline aside, I'm not going to try talking like a pirate for National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Sorry, Henchgirl, I just can't do it. But hey, I'll do the next best thing: finally post about Kenner's Pirate Batman VS. Pirate Two-Face action figure pack!

Kenner fanboy that I was from about ages five to fifteen, I always had a soft spot for this line of action figures. It was the first line since Toy Biz's DC Comics Superhero figures to do Batman characters from the comics, not movies or animated series. What's more, it took a Legends of the Dark Knight approach to figures from all sorts of different time periods and realities, thus making it logical to include all manner of accessories that you'd never normally see Batman use.

They released Buccaneer Batman, First Mate Robin, and Laughing Man Joker figures, presumably based upon (but in no way resembling) Chuck Dixon's Pirate Batman Elseworlds story from Detective Comics Annual #7. That story eventually got a sequel featuring Pirate Catwoman and Pirate Penguin (which can be read here), but they never got their own action figures. Conversely, Pirate Two-Face never made a comic appearance, but they gave him his own original figure complete with a trading card and bio:

Character bio, plus my mad toy photographic skills behind the cut! )
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While DC's current Flashpoint event is apparently being met with complete apathy now that it's been entirely overshadowed by the impending don't-call-it-a-reboot-reboot of DCnU, there's one thing that's caught the attention of the whole comics community. It's one thing that everyone--from the biggest news and gossip sites to fan communities to even the critical folks at scans_daily--can agree upon.

And that is that Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's Flashpoint: Batman--Knight of Vengeance is great.

No, not just great. Google reviews for the third issue, and every single one you'll find save for maybe one is glowing. Flashpoint: Batman is universally considered to not just be the best of the Flashpoint tie-ins by a *wide* margin, but legitimately, A+, best-of-2011 "instant classic" great great GREAT.

I understand where they're coming from, and y'know, I can almost agree.

But something holds me back, and I'm getting increasingly annoyed that it's something that no one else seems to notice or care about. They seem to be focusing less on the story and more on the twist, which has now been plastered so many places by now that I'm hoping I won't be spoiling any of you by posting it right here. Because for me, the moment I actually became interested in the potential of F:B-KoV wasn't when the twist happened in the story itself. No, it was when I saw Dave Johnson's cover art for the final issue:

Hoshit. When I saw that cover last month, a dozen ideas and possibilities popped around in my fan-brain. That image alone tells a whole story without a single word. In this reality, Bruce was the one who died, and so Thomas became the Batman while Martha became the Joker.

It inverts and plays with the idea of Batman and the Joker being mirrors and/or polar ends and/or two sides of the same coin and/or whatever their dynamic represents, depending on the fan and writer. How would that grief turn the noble Martha Wayne into the Joker, and more importantly, what kind of Joker would she be? How would Dr. Thomas Wayne, a full-grown adult without any of Bruce's years of rigorous training and childhood trauma, become a vigilante himself? Even in this alternate reality, why is it so tragically inevitable that there be a Batman and a Joker?

I think that these kinds of questions were what so intrigued everybody who loved F:B-KoV. Perhaps all the more so because they go completely unanswered. I suppose that, for many, that open-endedness is brilliance. For me, it's a half-baked non-story of pretension, posturing, and bullshit. And it's made all the worse by the three or four useless, boring subplots that go nowhere, add nothing to the story as a whole, and take up space that could be better used looking expressly at the Thomas/Martha story, which is all anyone cares about anyway. And even still... it doesn't work for me. Not like it should.

So in a rare case of striking while the iron is only-recently-cool, let's take a look at Flashpoint: Batman--Knight of Vengeance and see if maybe I'm not missing something.

So there was this time when Batman's wife, the Joker, kidnapped Harvey Dent's twins... )

And yet, I say again, this story has stayed with me. I'm STILL thinking about it, and I'm still thinking about Martha most of all. I just read another comic that mentioned Martha Wayne, and I found myself still thinking about Joker!Martha, as if that's now her defining appearance. I wonder and worry that I'm not alone. Let's face it, this story is probably the most prominence that Martha Wayne has achieved in comics history as a character since her creation, just by default of the fact that no one ever does anything with her. I just hope that this doesn't stain the character in anyone's minds, not even my own.

And so to cleanse the palate, I offer up both Ming Doyle's Martha-centric fancomic Lady Gotham, as well as this wonderful piece by Yasmin Liang entitled, "Trinity Mothers":

Ahhh, that's the stuff.

Oh, wait, aren't they killing off Martha Kent in the DCnU? Well, fuck. Thanks, DC!
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During the 90's, when every title had an Annual and most Annuals had different themes ranging from crossing over into the ridiculous Bloodlines event, giving the characters their own Elseworlds take, or taking a look at the heroes back in the Year One of their tights-wearin' careers, I think the Legends of the Dead Earth theme was one of DC's oddest ideas of the whole decade. Yeah, it's kinda like an Elseworlds, except not. Except sorta. Kinda. What? Exactly.

The idea: Earth is... well, dead, and so are pretty much all of the DC characters (except for immortals like the Shade, who endures through the sheer power of dapper snazziness). But the legends of Earth live on in countless worlds and civilizations, passed down through oral tradition, myth, and legend. It's kind of like Matt Wagner's Grendel, where the character's legacy lives on in a post-apocalyptic future through various tribes, cults, and... um... robots. I imagine that it was borne out of the idea of superhero comics being our "modern mythology," and how these stories might evolve/devolve through the centuries. Yeah, needless to say, this was a bit high-concept, and of all the themes used for the annuals, it was probably the most ambitious.

I've only read about three or four, and just on the basis of those, I'm tempted to dub Legends of the Death Earth to be a noble failure. And me, I love noble failures. I'll take a dozen noble failures over any safe, stable, standard superhero comic any day. I think that's why I've gained a latter-day appreciation for Doug Moench's Batman work. When he's good, he's fantastic. And when he's bad, he still bloody interesting. Which brings us to his contribution to this event, Batman Annual #20: "Fables of the Bat-Man," which has the distinction of looking at the myths and legends of not just Batman, but also his Rogues Gallery:

I like how Harvey looks pretty standard, as does Ozzie, more or less, whereas everyone else are like, "What the hell?"

These are the Rogues as imagined through fables told by an old man to a group of children in a totalitarian dystopia, on their way to being brainwashed in the re-education center. But what the government stooges don't realize is that the old man is using these fables to subvert the system, using the Bat-Man and the Rogues to impart thinly-veiled metaphors about oppression, virtue, and justice. The Joker and Catwoman ones are a bit silly, and the Scarecrow one is just plain sad, but the Two-Face fable is actually fascinating because Moench uses the format to not just comment on themes central to what Harvey Dent represents.

Legends of the Bat-Man and this Villains, behind the cut )
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DC's Source Blog--your regular output for official DC PR, previews, propaganda, what have you--has released a four-page preview of Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance which directly focuses on Judge Harvey Dent, his wife, and their twins kidnapped by the Joker. Major spoilers for the end of Flashpoint #1, and although that particular spoiler was somewhat underwhelming in the grand scheme of spoilers, you've been warned.

Read more... )
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I adore DC's Elseworlds books for reasons I've already mentioned, even though most really aren't that great. Today, I bring you one of those which I'd always put firmly into the not-all-that-great camp. But the great thing about doing this blog is that I give these stories a second chance, and I almost always find something neat to appreciate that I'd never noticed before.

That said, I still don't think Batman: Masque is a great comic. Written and drawn by Mike Grell (Green Arrow, Jon Sable: Freelance, and Neal Adams' successor on Green Lantern/Green Arrow back in the day), it shoots for the same kind of sweepingly operatic feeling of The Long Halloween, but somewhat falls short without Loeb and Sale's penchant for pulling off that empty storytelling with emotional impact. Grell's art is very pretty, much like other great artists like Adams and Gil Kane, he goes way to heavy on his own inks. I don't know why that's a pattern.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting take on Batman and Two-Face by way of Phantom of the Opera (but which character gets to be the Phantom?), which supplants the opera setting for ballet, which lends itself much more to comics. Also, Harvey Dent is a ballet danseur. Not even joking.

No fucking Andrew Lloyd Webber references behind the cut )

Of all the Elseworlds versions of Two-Face, this is one of the weakest and least sympathetic, and one whose death won't be mourned by anyone. As such, I think it's rather appropriate to end this post with a song from Phantom of the Paradise, Brian De Palma's great 70's glam-rock musical take on Phantom by way of Faust. You may recognize the singer/songwriter Paul Williams III, and if you're like me, you'll be imagining this as Oswald Cobblepot singing his non-lament to Ballet!Harvey:

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There were two Harvey-related instances in the comics released this past Wednesday, but neither of them took place in current DC continuity!

The first was a guest appearance in Batman: Arkham City, the prequel comics to the video game sequel (thus making it also a sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum), which marks the first time that Paul DIni has ever written Two-Face outside of TAS episodes and the first two issues of Batman & Robin Adventures. Apparently he had plans for a post-Face the Face issue of Detective Comics, but that was nixed because of Harvey's minimal involvement in the craptacular Salvation Run storyline. If I ever get the chance, I must ask him what that story was going to involve.

The second is a mention in Flashpoint, DC's new big event. Harvey only gets mentioned, but this is notable because it's the Harvey of an alternate universe, which we haven't seen since DC arbitrarily decided to stop making Elseworlds. Why? Probably because they hate fun. Also puppies. Of course, DC swears that the world of Flashpoint isn't an Elseworlds or alternate timeline, so what is it, then? Who the hell knows or cares? Well, okay, I kinda do. The story looks like it has potential, but then, so did Brightest Day. Point is, there's a different version of Harvey who only gets a mention, but it's an intriguing mention nonetheless.

These are both slight appearances, so let's take a quick look at them, shall we?

Minor spoilers for this week's new comics, behind the cut! )

Finally, a quick note: real-life shall be consumed by the fact that I'll be performing at the Orlando Fringe Festival in Orlando, FL, so expect spotty updated over the next two to three weeks. We'll see how much free time I have. As always, if you have any suggestions, requests, or whatever, free free to send 'em my way... along with any friends or relatives you have in the Orlando area! :)
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When people talk about some of the greatest Batman comics of all time, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is usually listed as number one.

I used to agree, but the older I get, the more I find TDKR to be unbearably ugly. Conversely, I find that Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Batman: Year One gets more powerful and humane with each passing year. I think it's because comics creators learned an awful lot of bad lessons from Miller and Janson's TDKR, and I can't read that book without seeing all the negative influences it's since had on Batman and comics in general. Regardless, TDKR a historic work, filled with scenes and moments that burn into a fan's memory.

But in all the retrospectives and articles I've seen about TDKR, I've noticed a distinct lack of mention for the Harvey Dent subplot. Sad thing is, I can understand why. Even for a fan like me, Harvey's story (and what it means to Batman) slips between the cracks when it comes to stuff like the Mutant mud-pit fight, the sounds of the Joker breaking his own neck, and the climatic battle with Superman. I suppose it's because those scenes are visceral, the kind of moments you can sense on several levels, whereas Harvey's story is more of a psychological portrait. Not even that: he's just there to serve as a reflection to Bruce's psychological portrait.

So let's shine the spotlight expressly upon this neglected subplot of a great work, to see what Miller had to say about who Harvey was, what Two-Face is, and just how exactly he relates to Batman.

We must BELIEVE in Harvey Dent behind the cut )

If you're one of the few who's not yet read The Dark Knight Returns, it can be purchased via Amazon.com, but you're also likely to find it at most libraries that carry trade paperbacks and graphic novels. It's one of the standards, after all.
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Aside from the 1989-1991 newspaper comic strip (which I'm still crushing on, to the point that I'm tempted to edit the whole thing into a single, cohesive narrative), perhaps the rarest Harvey Dent appearance has to be "The Reaching Hand," a Lovecraft-style story from the infamously-pulped Elseworlds 80-Page Giant.

In case you're wondering: yes, by Olsen they do indeed mean Jimmy.

You can read the entire crack-creepy story over at Brian Hughes blog, Again With The Comics. I'd have scanned it myself if only I had the issue. Unfortunately, I doubt I ever will, considering that the two copies of Elseworlds 80-Page Giant currently on eBay are going for $375 and $739.99. Yeah, seriously.

As for the story itself, I don't have that much analysis to add. I like that Harvey is depicted as a tragic hero all the way, and while it always sucks to be Harvey Dent, perhaps he's the one who's better off. I've never read Lovecraft, but from what I can tell, sanity must be such a burden.
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NOTE: I offer another departure from the usual topic today because... well, I just really want to discuss this one with you guys. I can justify this with the fact that it's written by the excellent author of this great Hugo Strange story I posted a while back, and also because it's a great example of what alternate universe storytelling can do. It'll be good to keep this in mind when I look at the various alternate Two-Face stories, even the ridiculous ones where Harvey's a deranged ballet dancer, thank YOU, Mike Grell.

The best Elseworlds stories utilize the alternate reality format to gain fresh perspective on the characters and themes they represent. I've always loved the mantra which used to accompany the earliest books in this imprint:

"In Elseworlds, heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places--some that have existed, and others that can't, couldn't, or shouldn't exist. The result is stories that make characters who are as familiar as yesterday seem as fresh as tomorrow."

I've always loved that last line. "As familiar as yesterday seem as fresh as tomorrow." So why are there so many mediocre Elseworlds stories? Why do so many follow the formula of "plug in X character in Y time setting, tell basically the same origin"? Asking "What If?" doesn't really matter if that question isn't followed by, "So What?"

That is not the case with Alan Brennert's last (and only) major DC story, Batman: Holy Terror, the first alternate universe DC story to carry the Elseworlds brand. It's that rare Elseworlds (hell, that rare story) which actually has something to say about its lead character and the alternate reality he inhabits.

In this instance, it's Batman in a Puritanical theocracy.

This story is not to be confused with a similarly-titled, aborted project by Frank Miller, although the two do play with similar ideas. Except Brennert's is far more subversive, even more so today than when it was published. After all, in this story, Batman is waging a Holy War. And what's another word for one of those?

In Gotham Towne, twenty years ago... )

Damn it, I want a sequel.
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Hey, remember when I started to do my series on the various Impostor Two-Faces over the years, and then never did a second entry? Yeah, neither did I until a couple days ago! Whoops!

So today, I offer you a link to the story of the SECOND impostor Two-Face: Harvey Apollo, ham actor!

Actually, I don't know if he so much counts as an impostor since this Two-Face is from a different continuity. Perhaps I should differentiate between impostors (in-canon people pretending to be Two-Face) and alternate versions (Elseworlds, etc).

In this story, featured in the Sunday comic strip of Batman and Robin, they decided to take a different tack with Harvey. Instead of a crusading D.A., he's a pompous actor who longs for the spotlight. It's an oddball choice, but fascinating to consider how they came up with that idea.

After all, an actor has better (or at least, more obvious) reason to be self-conscious and vain than a District Attorney. And in original Harvey Kent story climaxed with a grand cinematic heist, which has greater meaning for a villain obsessed with the stage. It gives the whole finale a grander sense of theatricality. I can't help but think the strip's author(s?) took either of those elements as the core inspiration for this new version.

Of course, if you've clicked the link and read the story, you know that it's a short-lived crime career, which may be another reason they went with a new, less tragically sympathetic Two-Face. Yet I can't help but think that his death is rather undeserved. I mean, really, Batman? The state would have hanged Harvey for robbery?

In either case, I can't help but have a soft spot for Harvey Apollo, as I'm something of a ham actor myself IRL.



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