Detective Comics #991
Batman’s newest partner…Two-Face? As Harvey Dent’s persona asserts fragile control over the villain’s psyche, the Dark Knight, Commissioner Gordon and their ally-turned-enemy-turned-ally must work together to stop Kobra’s terrorist attack against Gotham City.
Here we are in part four of James Robinson’s ‘Deface the Face’ arc, appropriately titled ‘The Talking Man’. It’s an issue that finally takes the time to articulate past events and put the various narrative pieces together. Writer James Robinson has an interesting perspective of Two-Face that he explores in great detail in this issue, showing the line in the sand between Harvey Dent and Two-Face to be more of a constant battle that defines the two personalities.
The conversation between Batman, Gordon and Two-Face/Harvey Dent takes up primarily the entire issue, but it has been building up for some time now so it was warranted. There has been an essence of mystery to each event that has occurred, but now we finally get a thorough explanation of what exactly has transpired. Harvey Dent’s connection to the seemingly mundane murder three issues ago proved to be an emotional act that returns the character to his own origins.
While the exploration of Harvey Dent and Two-Face as an individual is the biggest strength of the issue, it also presents us with the main flaw as well. In detailing the mystery so thoroughly, the issue begins to feel like a recap of what has happened so far. We get an explanation of each event starting from the murder of Karl Twist, but that is essentially all we are left with at the end, an explanation. This, unfortunately, makes the issue just feel like a set up for the next conflict.
The artwork from Carmine Di Giandomenico doesn’t disappoint by any means, and it is made beautiful by colors from Ivan Plascencia, but considering the nature of this issue, the real star is letterer Rob Leigh. This issue doesn’t rely on action sequences or misdirection to push the story forward, instead, it is straight dialogue. Without such clean letters, the story wouldn’t have succeeded nearly as well.
Although there isn’t much new that happens in the latest issue of Detective Comics, we finally understand what really happened with Karl Twist’s murder as well as Two-Face’s role in everything. It’s an insightful exploration of Two-Face as a villain and sets up an upcoming team-up that will undoubtedly be worth the wait.
Detective Comics #991 is at its core an exploration of Harvey Dent as a character and the psychological impact of Two-Face. The mystery surrounding the recent murder is explored in great detail, but hopefully next issue has more to offer.
Detective Comics #991: The Two of Us
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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