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Batman: Two-Face

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Appearing in "Crime and Punishment"

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Synopsis for "Crime and Punishment"

Two-Face: Crime and Punishment opens on a dark and stormy evening. Harvey Dent stands high above the city, prepared to jump to his death. Two-Face, his secondary personality, dares him, taunts him, teases that he’s too much of a coward to take the plunge. Harvey flips his coin, letting chance decide his fate, and as it lands scarred side up, he leaps into the inky darkness of a Gotham night…

It would seem that this is the end of the story, but it isn’t. Immediately, we’re slammed into a flashback. A look at Harvey Dent as a child with an abusive, alcoholic father whose inconsistent and violent behavior emotionally damaged his young son and started unraveling his sanity at an early age.

Brought back to the present day, a similar child with a similar father and a similar outlook on life is being interviewed on a talk show. This is where the real story begins.

Bursting into the studio, Two-Face takes the place hostage, angrily ranting on national television about the media spectacle surrounding the walking wounded. All the while, Harvey Dent, a passive observer of Two-Face’s violent deeds, begs to be heard. Begs for mercy on behalf of the child.

This encounter sets a tone for the rest of the book as Harvey Dent and Two-Face bitterly clash over the meaning of right and wrong, fair and unfair. As the story progresses, Harvey tracks down his long estranged father, the man who helped warp his mind and inadvertently set Two-Face on his path to villainy, and confronts him in front of all of Gotham, prepared to murder him before the eyes of millions on television. What follows is an emotionally potent one-two punch that forces the audience to sympathize with Harvey’s plight and understand Two-Face’s deepest motivations.

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