Posts tagged ‘Two-Face’

Detective 80 – the end of Two-Face

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Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson being the story of Harvey Kent to a conclusion in Detective 80 (Oct. 43).  Two-Face gets back out onto the streets, and continues his life of crime.

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Batman and Robin track Harvey to his lair, a moodily drawn double masted schooner, but is unaware that he is being followed as well.

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Batman confronts Two-Face, who pulls a gun and shoots.  Gilda dives in front, taking the bullet, which shocks Harvey back to his senses.

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He goes to say good-bye to his criminal buddies, who are none too keen on seeing him reform, and tie him up, forcing him to plan their next crime.

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Batman intervenes, Harvey gets freed, and after pleading guilty is sentenced to only a year in prison.  Once he gets out he gets facial surgery, and he and Gilda are left to live happily ever after.

Really.

The next time this character appeared, five years down the road, he was called Harvey Dent.  The name was changed to avoid “confusion” with Clark Kent.  But in the 80s, in a Mr. and Mrs. Superman story from Superman Family, we see Harvey and Gilda Kent, happily married, and attending the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, so this Harvey really did recover from his time as Two-Face,

 

Detective 68 – Two-Face – part 2, evil Japanese in Boy Commandos, Air Wave gets promoted, and Slam Bradley reads Shakespeare

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The saga of Two-Face continues in this Finger/Kane/Robinson collaboration from Detective 68 (Oct. 42).  The story picks up immediately after the conclusion of the story from issue 66, as if there had never been an issue 67.

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A policeman bursts in, interrupting Batman as he tries to talk Two-Face back to sanity.  Harvey flees, and continues his crime spree.  In this story, he goes after people who use doubles, such as a reclusive millionaire who uses a double to handle social functions.

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Harvey takes a break from this to attempt to re-unite with Gilda.  He pretends that his face has been cured, but is simply using make-up, and when it begins to run he goes berserk and attacks the make-up artist, whose son then seeks vengeance on Harvey as well.

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So it becomes quite a complicated story by the time it reaches an end, and Harvey is apprehended by Batman.  The saga is not quite done, though, and there is a third, and final, chapter to this within a year.

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A very anti-Japanese piece of propaganda in the Boy Commandos tale from this issue.  Simon and Kirby open the story at sea, as the Boy Commandos and Rip Carter survive their ship being bombed by Japanese fighters.

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The boys rescue a Japanese pilot, and together they all land on a Pacific island with really clued out natives. The pilot and the Boys then become rivals for the loyalty of the natives.

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While the pilot uses science to convince the natives he has magic powers, the Boys decide to put on a show instead.

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Broadway is not for them, and the natives side with the Japanese, until Rip shows up leading a rescue/assault.

The story closes with the edifying moral – the only good jap is a dead jap.  No grey areas here.

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Air Wave gets a promotion in this story.  While a mere two issues ago Larry Jordan became an assistant D.A., as of this story he is the District Attorney himself!  Quite the rapid rise for a clerk.

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For what must be his first case in his new position, he prosecutes an old childhood friend for murder.

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Only after he has obtained a conviction does Larry get into his Air Wave outfit, round up his parrot sidekick Static, and set out to find information that will clear his friend.

Although on the surface it would appear that Larry should have done this before bringing charges against the guy, on reflection we can see that Air Wave had a more elaborate plan in mind, proving to everyone that he is above corruption as a D.A. and willing to send his friend to prison.  Shame that an innocent man had to sit in prison while the scheme was in play.

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The Slam Bradley story in this issue, with art by Howard Sherman, has the hero and Shorty stumble across hoods using notes in margins of books to pass each other messages.  Their larger scheme is to rob a diamond exchange next to the book store.

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The reason I have included this story is that the criminals use, among other things, a Shakespeare play to write their notes in.  Many Slam Bradley stories from this period have him quoting Shakespeare.

This might seem like an unusual habit for a tough guy hero like Slam Bradley, but in fact it simply shows the influence of Raymond Chandler, whose tough guy hero, Phillip Marlowe, often quoted Shakespeare as well.

 

 

 

Detective 66 – Two-Face debuts, the Boy Commandos in Egypt, and Air Wave gets framed

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Two-Face makes his debut a Bill Finger/Bob Kane/Jerry Robinson story in Detective 66 (Aug. 42).

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The story jumps right into his origin.  Harvey Kent (not Dent) is a crusading District Attorney, prosecuting Boss Moroni.  Moroni throws acid into his face while on the witness stand.  Harvey has a devoted fiancee, Gilda.

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Despite Gilda’s attempts to help him, Harvey runs off, scars a two-headed coin, and cuts his wardrobe to pieces as he becomes Two-Face.

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Two-Face decides everything with a flip of the coin.  In this story, and only this story, he also decides what to do with the take from his robberies with the coin, giving them to those in need when the coin comes up good.  Of course, giving away stolen money just means those that took it accepted stolen goods, and were all hauled off to prison, so that idea was quietly dropped.

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The story belongs almost entirely to Harvey, Batman and Robin only show up at the end.  It’s a great scene, as Two-Face is robbing a movie theatre, using a film clip of himself to command the audience, while at the same time he and Batman are fighting on the stage in front of the screen.

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The story ends with a genuine cliff-hanger.  Two-Face has Batman at gun point, but the coin lands on its edge.  The story continues, but not in the next issue.

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Simon and Kirby send the Boy Commandos to Egypt in this story.

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Just as the last story opened in the past, this one opens in the far future, as a mummy is brought back to life, and tells the story of his encounter with the Commandos during World War 2.

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It’s Egypt, so we are into desert, and tank warfare against the Germans, all stunningly illustrated by Kirby.

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Air Wave faces off against a gang that dress like Halloween ghosts, but are not racists or trying to be spooky.  So basically, they are just content to look stupid.

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They are pretty smart,in fact, and manage to frame Larry Jordan for murder, and he has to escape, and then prove his innocence as Air Wave.

The narration refers to Larry as an “assistant district attorney,” so he is moving up in the office.

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