BATMAN AND TWO FACE #25
Author: Bobby Barrett
November 22, 2013
SYNOPSIS: As Two-Face continues his rampage through Gotham City, more light is shed on his past. Who is Carrie Kelley and how can her mysterious connection to Harvey Dent help Batman? - DCCOMICS.COM
It dawned on me, just as I was finishing the latest installment of BATMAN AND TWO-FACE, that this is one of the only Batman comics being published this month without a "Zero Year" banner at the top. That's right, BATMAN AND (formerly) ROBIN has finally broken free of the crossover shackles and has been able to produce two (and potentially more) consecutive story arcs with no outside interference to work around. That's a great thing, because it leaves Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray free to let loose their signature style and really drive it home.
That's not to say there aren't any flashbacks here – issue #25 gives us another piece of the origin of Two-Face, bookended by present-day events. Tomasi appears to be going MEMENTO with Harvey Dent's backstory, giving us a brutal scene that leads directly into the one we saw last month. It seems likely that the villain's origin will continue to progress (or regress) in this manner as the arc continues.
The current events refuse to be outdone by the intense flashback sequence, and deliver plenty on their own. There's some gritty Blackgate Prison action along with an appearance by one of Bruce Wayne's other alter-egos (seriously, I know this exact persona wouldn't quite work in a movie, but maybe an ARKHAM game? Think about it, WB!) – all leading to an unexpected ending that once again leaves this reader wondering where they're going next.
Honestly, there's hardly a criticism to be made about this issue. The pacing is quick and precise, the art is cinematic and vibrant, the overall story is classic Batman with just enough twists to intrigue. The only part that took me out of the story for a minute was a scene where Batman and Two-Face have a rooftop conversation and I found myself wondering why Bats was talking to Harvey instead of just sneaking up on him and introducing his head to the ground. The characterizations were solid, however, and the scene doesn't last very long, so that is forgivable.
If you are not currently reading this title, please consider checking it out! Tomasi and Gleason have carved out a nice niche for themselves over the past two years and delivered a Bat-book unlike any other you'll find on the shelves. There have been many creative shifts in The New 52, and it truly pleases me to see these guys right there with Snyder and Capullo as a launch team that's still going strong. - Bobby Barrett