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Batman: Two-Face

DC Direct Batman Reborn
by yo go re

I thought the idea of wearing a costume was to conceal your identity.

In a power grab for the underbelly of Gotham City, Two-Face decides to make a power play for more than that. Unfit to assume the Mantle of the Bat, Two-Face nonetheless dons a cowl in his own unique way.

Wow, that is not even remotely accurate. Not even Obi-Wan Kenobi could find a point of view from which that was true. See, Two-Face never actually wore this Bat-suit: it showed up in the double-page spread that DC ran to tease Battle for the Cowl, but while Harvey was in that series, it was just in the context of he and Penguin fighting for gangland (something the bio above got right). A few months after Dick Grayson had taken over the role of Batman, Two-Face broke into the Batcave, announced his presence by scarring the giant penny, and shot Dick full of drugs - it was only in that drug-fuelled hallucination that Two-Face looked like he was wearing Batman's costume.

The figure was sculpted by our old favorite, Ray Villafane. Harvey's looking pretty buff, here, but that works: for the most part, this could be any Batman; since it was all an illusion created by a drugged mind, that's fine; if you were imagining "Batman," wouldn't you imagine the most average Batman you could? There are a few clues that he isn't quite what he seems, though: instead of just having spikes on his gloves, they continue all the way up his right arm. In the comic art that was on both arms, but without it, it adds to the dual nature of the design. Another cool feature that the figure has over the art? Half his belt is pouches, while the other half is capsules. That's inspired design!

Imaginary-Harvey's has wide, curving ears, which are similar both to devil horns, and to Batman's original look. Since this the traditional cowl, with the exposed area around the mouth, we get to see a bit of Two-Face's ruined skin. Even the eyehole in the mask is enlarged, to show off the bloodshot orb. The other eye seems to be the same pearly white as his teeth.

The paint is okay, but there are definite problems here. We begin with the positive: the use of matte and gloss paint to create variety is quite nice. On the body of the suit, the blues are shiny, while the reds are flat - on the boots and glove, though, that's reversed, which keeps the figure from looking flat. The symbol on his chest is red and black, and the two halves are not symmetrical (another change from the art, and a change for the better). His belt buckle is gold - the only break from the red/blue scheme. The bad? There's a bit of slop in the paint, and when you're dealing with two such different colors, meant to have such strong separation, it becomes very blatant and very disappointing. Want to get nit-picky? The legs are the wrong colors - they should each match the torso, not the cape.

To Two-Face's credit, he gets more articulation than is average for a DC Direct figure. It's not as much as Jason Todd, but it's still more than any previous DCD Two-Face. He gets the benefit of a waist, as well as biceps swivels. His forearms turn at the edge of the glove, but the feet have no such luck. He's sculpted holding his coin, and when his elbows is bent all the way, it's at just the right angle to show off the coin. His neck is a balljoint, but for some reason it's easier for him to look down than up, or even straight ahead. Whoops!

In addition to the useless display base, Two-Face's only accessory is a gun. Again, going back to the comic we see a silly dart launcher thing, but this is just a normal pistol. Honestly, it's a better choice.

Two-Face isn't the best figure in this four-figure series, but he is inarguably a unique design, and unlike anything else you already have in your collection. And heck, since he's just a hallucination, size doesn'tmatter, so he'd work with your DCSH/DCU figures, as well. If DC Direct can keep up this level of quality without backsliding, they'll be back to schooling Mattel in no time.

-- 09/23/10

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