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COMIC REVIEW: BATMAN #654
Author: Bill Ramey
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

“Face to Face” finishes up in BATMAN #654. Overall, this has been a great storyline that has been a tremendous 8-part Bat-story taking place in both BATMAN and DETECTIVE.

As part 7 ended, we found The Batman and Robin in Commissioner Gordon’s office discover via a news report that Harvey Dent, whom The Dark Knight had put in charge of protecting Gotham during his year-long absence, had flipped out once again.

And you know what that means.

If you’ve been reading “Face to Face,” you know that several lower tier Gotham “super villains” had been taken down by some unknown assassin. And on the surface, everything pointed towards Dent. But while everyone was quick to assign guilt to Harvey, The Batman refused to believe that his old friend, and former adversary, had returned to his old ways.

When it all came out in the wash, The Batman was correct. So who was the killer? Or perhaps it would be better to say who was behind the murders? You’ll have to read the comic book to find out.

So does The Batman find Harvey? Yes, the “three” of them do have a confrontation. Does Bats take “them” down and into custody? Now why would I spoil that for you? But you will find out why Harvey loses it again.

And finally, the change in Bruce and Tim’s relationship, long hinted at during the course of the storyline, takes place. Man, it’s son, err, some kind of ending!

If you don’t remember, or are just now starting to read my reviews/summaries, you know that I just jumped back into reading the Bat-books regularly with the “Face to Face” story arch.

And I’m certainly glad I did.

I love the way The Batman is depicted now days. Of course, I sort of missed out on the whole “Batman’s an A-hole” deal in the comics; although he wasn’t the most pleasant man during the 90s either. But it seems that DC has reverted the character back to the way he was in the 70s -- sort of a modernized version of the O’Neal/Adams interpretation. And that’s perfectly fine with me as that was The Batman of my youth and has always been “My Batman.”

In conclusion, if I was grading “Face to Face,” and I guess I am, I’d give it an overall grade of A-. Along with last summer’s BATMAN BEGINS, the upcoming sequel, and the new direction in the comic books, it’s a good time to be a Bat-fan!

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

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