The Charlatan wiki last edited by Nia Wolf on 01/10/14 02:20PM View full history

Pre-Crisis

Due to his uncanny resemblance to Harvey Dent (who by this point had undergone plastic surgery and reformed from a life a crime), actor Paul Sloane was to star in a live teleplay about Two-Face. The director instructed Sloane to really get into character, to study everything about Dent, to truly live the part.

The Spitting Image of Harvey Dent

A week later, millions of people tuned in to watch the Two-Face biopic on “True Crime Playhouse,” beginning with a reenactment of the infamous moment where Harvey Dent had acid thrown in his face. However, the prop man--jealous of his girlfriend’s infatuation of the handsome Sloane--smuggled real acid into the prop bottle, horrifically scarring the actor.

(Note: in a later reprint of the story, Sloane was instead scarred by an exploding Klieg light. The love triangle subplot was removed entirely, and Sloane now owed his scars to a freak accident)

His mind warped by trauma, Sloane believed he actually was Two-Face, and went on a crime spree until he was confronted by Batman and Robin . Using a fixed coin, Batman tricked “Two-Face” into surrendering, and eventually, Sloane underwent plastic surgery and was rehabilitated, going on to become a television producer and

Two Two-Faces!

starting a family.

However, his happiness was to be short-lived. Out of jealousy, Harvey Dent conspired to brainwash Sloane and undo the plastic surgery, leading Sloane to once more believe he was Two-Face. Unfortunately for Dent, he did too good of a job. Sloane managed to defeat not just Batman and Robin, but also the real Two-Face, nearly killing all three in the process. With the help of Mrs. Sloane, Batman was able to appeal to Paul’s sanity, and the impostor Two-Face helped Batman and Robin bring Harvey Dent to justice.

Post Crisis ("Dead Reckoning")

Paul Sloan was a method actor who had a way of getting a little too into the characters he played. An admirer of actors like Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff, Sloan sought to bury himself in his roles, even doing his own makeup and prosthetics and utterly vanishing into his roles, both in body and soul. This began to take its toll not just on Sloan’s mental health, but also the relationship with his girlfriend, actress Veronica Bella.

The Method Actor

One night, Sloan was approached by members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery ( Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, and Killer Moth), who wanted to hire Sloan to impersonate Two-Face. The Rogues had planned a trap for Batman centered around Harvey Dent, but the real Two-Face refused to participate. Seeing this as the role of a lifetime, Sloan accepted, and began studying Dent exhaustively. Soon, Sloan not only dressed and acted as Two-Face all the time, but refused to let anybody call him by his real name. It was clear to the Rogues that Sloan was becoming obsessed.

Sloan decided to pull an actual Two-Face heist, feeling giddy from the rush of criminal life, and enjoying being Two-Face more than the actual Two-Face did. However, in the ensuing battle with Batman, Sloan hesitatingly killed a security guard, taking a human life with far less ruthlessness than the real Harvey Dent would have.

When Dent learned about the impostor, he kidnapped Sloan and spent several days torturing and mutilating the actor, then dumped the carved-up body of Sloan at the Rogues’ doorstep. The Scarecrow pronounced Sloan dead, and pretended to dispose of the body. In truth, Crane saw the barely-living Sloan as new test subject for experiments. Crane inadvertently blocked Sloan’s inability to experience fear in anyway, completing Sloan’s transformation into a monster.

Utilizing his expertise at makeup and impersonation, Sloan murdered a man he believed to be the real Killer Moth (in fact, just an unlucky impostor, much like Sloan himself), then attacked Jim Gordon, had the Penguin hanged, talked Crane into poisoning the Mad Hatter, and conspired with the Joker to distract Batman while Sloan kidnapped Two-Face from Arkham Asylum. While it seemed as if Sloan was taking revenge on the Rogues, he was in truth finally carrying out their plan to trap and kill the Batman.

Sloan was defeated by Batman and sent to Arkham Asylum, where he was last seen wearing a split mask of comedy and tragedy. Where he got the mask, or his new identity of “The Charlatan,” was never established.

In Other Media

Paul Sloan makes a cameo appearance in the Young Justice episode "Image." He is seen as one of the lead actors on "Hello Megan!" a corny 80's sitcom that Miss Martian watches religiously.

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