Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Batman '89 #3 Review

Two-Face Rises!

Written By: Sam Hamm
Art By: Joe Quinones
Colors By: Leonardo Ito
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art By: Joe Quinones
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 12, 2021

Batman '89 #3 takes the big step for Harvey Dent on his journey to becoming one of Batman's greatest enemies. Just like Two Face's mind, the story teeters between two realities - one where Harvey saves the day and sees all his dreams come true. The other is where Harvey doesn't make it out of a fire unscathed.

Was It Good?

While the look/feel is still not quite up to capturing the Burton aesthetic of the films, this entry feels the most Batman-like of the series so far.

The majority of the issue is spent focusing on the aftermath of the arson attempt and how Harvey recovers (or doesn't) from the damage to his body. I like how Hamm gets a little existential and metaphysical with Harvey's psychotic break to explain how he becomes Two-Face (not a spoiler unless you haven't read a Batman comic in the last 80 years). 

I was down on the last issue because there wasn't enough to explain how Harvey breaks because, by all accounts, he seemed to be a reasonable and stable person. I'll eat crow and say Hamm pulled it off in this issue by letting the trauma of the accident break a strong mind by layering in memories since childhood that could have led to different outcomes. Frustration, regret, and sadness suddenly hit Harvey like a hammer blow, and you can buy into the way his mind snaps without the benefits of hints in the prior issues.

The rest of the issue focuses on Bruce Wayne attracting unwanted media attention for saving Harvey, complicating Bruce's life in an interesting way. Also, we get the reappearance of a feline criminal to compound the complication even further, especially when Selina's intervention leads to a riot that sets Gotham ablaze.

Bits and Pieces

Batman '89 #3 has the most Batman-like look and feel of all the entries in the series so far. Harvey Dent's transition into Two-Face is believable and probably the best version depicted to date. And the (re)introduction of Catwoman adds complexity to Gotham's corruption woes that escalate tensions further, leading to a huge challenge for Batman.


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