44: Food for Thought – Two Face

I want to make a detour in my usual blogging routine. Today let’s talk about a concept from the Batman series. Our villain of choice today is Two-face. Before that let me just tell you how I feel about the Batman concept on a whole. It’s fuckin brilliant. There are other super hero’s with good concepts but batman hits home for me. I feel it’s just genius.

Former District attorney Harvey Dent had a reputation of being both the clean kind hearted gentleman of the people and equally for being a hard ass bend the law to fit his needs kind of cutthroat politician you’d expect from gritty Gotham City. Harvey Dent was involved in an accident/incident where half his body was eaten away by some type of acid. When this happened he says “To hell with this shit” and became the bad guy we all know and love.

One thing that stays a part of the Two face package is the coin. This coin he used to always walk around with was also defaced (no pun intended) in that accident. He traps his victim, hits them with a monologue type boring ass speech and then flips a coin to decide their fate. The coin before it was defaced was a way of making his own luck (heads I win on a two headed coin). Now the coin is fair. It’s no longer one sided fate. This coin is important because it is the man himself. It’s a representation of what happened to him.

So this two faced coin represents the reality of chance. It’s no more laugh and joke around haha I tricked you type bullshit. It’s become REAL. So if the coin says you die you die. If it says Harvey can’t kill you then he’ll probably knock you out. Or that’s what happened on the cartoon.

This to me is fascinating that someone can embody an idea as a villain. Yea it’s Dent who decides who he flips the coin for but the concept itself is the concept of life itself. You win some you lose some. So if you think of it in that way, Harvey Dent isn’t your normal villain. He’s bad because he’s killing people but he has a sick and twisted version of justice tied along with him. Harvey found out you did a crime or was involved with the crime in his past. He confronts the person with the charge. Example grand theft and larceny. He scares the shit out of you while talking. Then at the end of it he flips the coin to decide your fate. Will you be punished for your crime or will you slip through the cracks. This is both complex, mind-blowing, fascinating and brilliant all in one. That’s not all. This all sounds very similar. Similar to what happens in a court room? The charges are read while you wet your pants in your seat. When it’s all over they sentence you. So did Harvey ever stop being a District Attorney? It even makes me wonder if he’s really a villain or not. He seems to be doing something similar to what Batman is doing.  What was the creator of Batman trying to say about the Judicial system? What was he trying to say about justice? What was he trying to tell us about life’s complexities in general?

That’s my take on this Batman situation. Also don’t forget that Two face is a minor character. In fact he and Batman don’t get into it that often. To me it seems like he was trying to let us see it. Bane is another minor character in the batman series but he has some serious brawls with the dark knight. Usually when you see Two face it’s more dialog. Hell even in the movie Dark Knight, Harvey was all over it but hardly got into a squabble with Batman. It’s as if he’s trying to tell us something. Think about it.