Though his signature has been erased by DC's marketing stooges, that magnificent cover was drawn by Dick Goddamn Giordano.
While Two-Face is my favorite character, I love all of the Batman villains. I think that they're the greatest rogues gallery ever created in any medium, a remarkably diverse and complex array of men and monsters, of the evil and the insane, of mirrors into Batman and humanity itself. That said, there have been a LOT of villains, some more enduring than most, with many getting lost in the cracks of continuity and apathy. But I love them all. I even kinda love the ones I hate, because fandom is a complicated thing that way. And since I love characters above anything else in superhero comics, I have a special fondness for old issues of Who's Who
and, to a lesser extent, the Secret Files and Origins
books from the 90's-00's.
But then, I've always loved character profiles. I think one reason I loved G.I. Joe action figures as a kid was because they used to print the character's bios and stats right there on the package
. Like they were actual people with personalities and history and stuff! Who's Who
allows one to see the character distilled, free from stories to play in one's own imagination. They let you relive your favorite stories and moments. They show you tons of characters you never knew existed! They're fascinating time capsules from the period they were written! They give you many new and awful costumes to snark about! All in all, they provide a wonderful tour of the good, the bad, the ugly, the dated, the timeless, and the gloriously misbegotten.
So I want to look at them with you. All of them.
For the next twelve days, I shall be posting a handful of profiles with commentary. I don't promise that any of it will be insightful, since it's the holidays on top of everything else in my life, but the profiles are the important things. This year, I plan to extend About_Faces to occasionally looking at the other villains besides Harvey, partially because I'm running out of good Two-Face stories and partially because I've been itching to write about Ozzie, Eddie, Crane, Pam, and more.
So since DC' original Who's Who profiles from 1985-1989 all had the same format, let's start by looking at them, accompanied with the revised profiles when applicable. Here, you'll see a lot of old favorites accompanied by the obscure, the unloved, and the downright forgotten, drawn by some of the greatest artists that the 80's had to offer. And who knows, maybe you'll find a villain who has untapped potential? As I've always said, when it comes to superhero comics, there are no bad characters, just bad writers.
That said, some characters really test that mantra's limits.( Well? The nice cover asked you a question! Dare you prowl the Dark Knight's rogues gallery behind the cut? )
Okay, that's enough for now! Tomorrow, you get to find out just how many Batman villain names start with the letter C! Hint: it's a lot!