By about_faces 5 Comments
I feel like writers never used the character of Harvey Dent to his full potential. He’s generally depicted as a mob boss, or a career criminal with a gimmicky obsession with the number 2. Even in his best appearances, he’s ultimately still a good person who became corrupted. It’s a tragic downfall that went straight to Villainsville, Population 2.
But in his very first appearance, Two-Face didn’t entirely give up his good side when he went from being the District Attorney to criminal mastermind. In fact, whenever the coin landed “good” heads up, he actually donated to charity and performed good deeds!
Does anyone else think that there’s real potential being lost here by not drawing on this aspect from the original Two-Face? Just think, instead of Harvey being yet another criminal freak in Gotham, he could also be an occasional hero, a wild card character who wouldn’t neatly fit alongside the heroes OR the villains.
Granted, this Two-Face was given to charity with ill-gotten gains, but he’s also putting criminal money to much better use. Thus, he’s still exacting a certain sense of “justice” (which was so central to his character as the noble D.A.,) rather than arbitrarily abandoning it entirely to become evil just because he was uglified.
Now sure, in the Golden Age, being turned hideous was kinda sorta acceptable motivation to become a villain, but even today--in the Post- Crisis era where Harvey was given deeper complexity with Eye of the Beholder on through to The Dark Knight--there’s little reason for such a heroic figure to become a full-on mob boss once he got scarred. Going after mobsters? Sure. Trying to kill Batman? Maybe. But a mobster? A full-on criminal to robs and murders innocents without a second thought? There’s no real reason for him to instantly become everything he ever hated.
But to take the idea of justice into his own hands... to keep helping people in his own lawless way while simultaneously executing criminals and/or feeding his own hunger for committing grand criminal schemes? THAT would instantly makes Two-Face a far richer character than simply being another villain.
What do you think? Should Two-Face be half-hero as well as half-villain?