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COMIC REVIEW: BATMAN #652
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Story Arc: "Face The Face"
Story Title: "Face The Face," Part 4 of 8
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Don Kramer and Keith Champagne
Cover Artist: Simone Bianchi

The ďFace to FaceĒ storyline continues in BATMAN #642.

When we last left off, it seemed that The Ventriloquist was the next criminal victim of our murderous vigilante. Well, heís dead and Scarface too -- his head smashed into little dummy pieces (Which sort of sucks, because I kind of like that villain for some reason). Same modus operandi used in the previous murders of the KG Beast and Magpie. Of course, The Batman is on the scene with Robin (Iíve got to admit, I like the new Robin-suit), as is Detective Bullock -- who is getting the cold shoulder from The Dark Knight. ĎOl Harv seems to be seeking The Batmanís approval -- or forgiveness -- for some reason.

This deal between The Batman and Bullock leads to a rather nice one-on-one scene between the two a bit into the story. I wonít spoil it for you, but trust me, itís good.

Anyway, again, all the evidence at the murder scene points to one Mr. Harvey Dent. Or actually Two Face, but Harvey is no longer Two Face -- or is he?

While on board the Batwing, Batjet, or what ever the hell itís called, The Batman gets a call from Jim Gordon regarding a crime being committed by Mothman (Mothman!? What a stupid name for a villain. Hereís to him getting whacked in this storyline). Robin asks The Batman to let him handle it solo. Again, I wonít spoil it for you, but letís just say that when the Bat-aerial contraption takes off, there is only one passenger.

The story ďendsĒ with a big confrontation between The Batman and Dent. Is Harvey -- who has been Gothamís protector in the year The Batman was gone from Gotham -- behind these murders? Does he admit to anything? Is Two-Face back? Thatís for me to know and for you to find out -- by going out and getting this comic book.

Another thing about this storyline: On one hand, you want Dent to be innocent and see the return of the Harvey from THE LONG HALLOWEEN. On the other hand, Two Face is too great of a villain to let lie dormant -- especially with the BATMAN BEGINS sequel coming and all.

WHAT I DUG ABOUT IT
The Batman. As Iíve said before in the previous reviews of this storyline, this is The Batman that Iíve always known. Heís clearly a detective, and that aspect of the character is on display quite a bit here. Heís certainly not the A-hole that Iíve been hearing about. And I love all the detective work that has been on display during the course of this storyline. Good stuff.

Also, this subplot of what Bruce has in story for Tim is quite interesting. It is obvious to me what it is -- at least I think it is obvious -- and would be welcomed by most Bat-fans.

WHAT I DIDNíT DIG
Not all that much, as this was the best episode of this storyline to date. I wish they had included another criminal/Bat-rogue for Ro-ERRRR, XXXXX, to take on. Why not a simple, regular, bad guy?

Nevertheless, we're over the hump and things look to be coming to a head.

Canít wait for the next part of ďFace to FaceĒ to see how things start to play out. Itís beginning to pick up steam.

One last thing on a personal note: $2.50 for a comic book? Sheesh Iím old. Back in the day when I was cutting my teeth on BATMAN, DETECTIVE, and BRAVE AND THE BOLD, they were like, 25 cents! Oh well, time goes by.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM, BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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