Two-Face ’66


Batman ’66: The Lost Episode

One of the great missed opportunities on the 1966 Batman TV show is that they had plans to put Two-Face on their program but never followed through. And the coolest thing about the comic book revival of the series is that we can see how things would’ve gone if they’d actually made the show.

So dig this: A story by Len Wein with art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, based on a story treatment by Harlan Ellison.

The story starts off with Two-Face staging a daring robbery at an auction house — but later returning the loot to the police. Batman explains that after District Attorney Harvey Dent was scarred by acid, he began committing crimes based on the flip of a coin — if the bad side comes up, he keeps his ill-gotten gains, but if the good side wins, he returns it all, often with interest. But the Dynamic Duo must find a way to capture Two-Face. Can Batman find a way out when the only choices Dent is willing to accept are bad and worse?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s not a highly original story, to be honest, but it’s not like the TV show didn’t often crib some storylines from old comics stories. The appeal here is obviously seeing how the TV show could’ve handled Two-Face, and all in all, it comes off as a pretty fun treatment. A big chunk of the appeal of this comic is the amazing art by Garcia-Lopez, who always turns out some of the best art in the biz. In fact, in addition to the regular story, we also get an encore presentation featuring just the artist’s pencil work, followed by the original treatment for the series written by Harlan Ellison himself. Both of these features are pretty awesome all by themselves, and combined with the story, make this a bit of a must-have for a wide variety of comics fans.

About the worst thing about this issue is the price tag. Ten dollars is pretty steep!


Astro City #17

So periodically, Honor Guard gets treated to Red Cake Day. Someone sneaks into their HQ and leaves a big spread of delicious red cake, and no one knows who brought it. Until this year — a little purple alien appears, introduces himself as Eth, and reveals that his people have been bringing the cake as part of something they call Sorrowsday. He tells them a story about a terrible interdimensional conqueror called Krigari the Ironhanded, who his people accidentally dreamed into existence. Terrified that his unslakeable thirst for conquest would eventually lead him to destroy them all, they began to steer him to other, stronger dimensions, hoping they’d destroy Krigari for them. Eventually, this led to a long string of confrontations between Krigari and Earth’s superheroes. What caused Krigari’s final defeat, and what’s the connection to Sorrowsday?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a good story, with nice art by Tom Grummett. Krigari and Druin are both great villains, and Stormhawk is a great hero — so it is disappointing that we won’t get to see any of them again.

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