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Two Face – Year One

September 22, 2008

With the recent hype around the newest Batman movie The Dark Knight, I was expecting to see an increase in stories involving the Joker and Harvey Dent. And right on time, DC released the first of a two part mini-series called Two-Face – Year One. The first issue deals with the way Harvey Dent antagonizes the whole police department except for Gordon and a few others, on his quest to bring down Maroni and the whole mob with him. Batman is only a side figure in this tale and the real star is, like the title suggests, our favorite attorney at law. The story written by Mark Sable attempts to give an idea of who Harvey Dent really is, showing us his dark and repressed side, while insisting that he has a clean vest. The first issue mainly deals with Dent’s attempts to get Maroni convicted right up to the moment where the latter throws a can of acid into his face. Only when his face has been mutilated, his split personality takes over and Dent is lost to the new persona calling himself Two-Face.

I have read a lot of Two-Face stories and there have been a few origin tales already (the best of them being in Batman Annual #14). I sadly can’t say that this one was that good. Maybe it is that the story has been told too many times, or that this one just lacks originality. The first part of this mini-series is in my opinion pretty weak. The characters are too two dimensional. Even though the writer clearly tries to give them some depth, he fails. Also the art by Jesus Saiz is not to my liking. It’s not terribly bad, but it’s barely enough for a “Year One” comic about one of the most important characters from the Batman-verse. Let’s hope that the second part will save the series.

A rating for this mini-series will be given with the review of the second part.

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