Thoughts and observations on Green Arrow, classical liberalism, freedom, comic books and matters of social justice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Two-Faces and a partridge in a pear tree

Then we have Hot Toy’s Two-Face. While Two-Face played a far smaller role in the film Harvey Dent was the backbone to The Dark Knight. The story was about the rise and fall of Dent and his duality with Batman (both heroes, one operates in the day and the other at night), as much as Joker’s reign of terror. Two-Face was Joker’s masterpiece in the film, proof that even the best people will break the rules when pushed far enough.

Two-Face will cost about $164, the high end of the spectrum. While not a timeless character he is extremely cool, so much so I dressed as him one Halloween and took first prize in a contest (I wonder if I ever told my wife that story). It is a very well done piece and the sculptors (two worked on the Two-Face sculpt alone) really captured Aaron Eckhart.

The body looks good in the clothing and the accessories are appropriate for the character; including lucky coins and a gun. There is some issue about the burnt side of the Two-Face sculpt not directly matching the film and the tone being too black, but these are small issues. As with Joker, there are no Dark Knight figures in my collection so Two-Face would be on his own and would not fit in with the DC Direct figures I have due to the differing scales.

Why do I like Two-Face? Two-Face is me at my worst. When life appears the most unfair, when people have really gotten to me, when I’ve had it with whatever is occurring in my life at that time I can relate to Christopher Nolan’s Two-Face. Unlike the comic book version whose entire existence is defined by duality TDK’s Two-Face is simply Harvey Dent out for those who caused the death of his fiancé and the ruin of his career; and by proxy the death of Gotham’s future.

What caused his scarring and damage of his life was the chance introduced by the Joker; it is this idea of “luck” that drives Two-Face’s very brief fall from grace. I share this frustration, resentment, and despair at times and the Two-Face/Harvey Dent figure is an embodiment of those emotions. One of my favorite lines from the film is his, “It’s not about what I want; it’s about what’s fair!”

But he is a villain and will I want to identify with villains as I age?
There’s also the Jekyll and Hyde aspect of the character. Not to get into a discussion of the Frederick March film (quite possibly my favorite horror film of all time) but the accessible darkness of Two-Face, and conversely Mr. Hyde, is a strong draw for me. Unlike a lot of comic book villains, Two-Face can happen; at least Chris Nolan’s Two-Face. Realistically, modern medicine has come a long way to make this particular Batman villain passé. And one has to struggle with the message Two-Face sends to those with a physical abnormality; just because you look different you must become a monster? This is another reason Nolan’s Two-Face works; it’s a brief villainous career.

Like Hot Toy’s Bank Robber Joker re-selling Two-Face is unlikely considering the initial price tag, but I couldn’t rule it out totally. As it stands there are a handful of figures I’d never sell and they were all gifts from my wife.

On my scale Hot Toy’s Two-Face scores a 17.

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