Friday, October 10, 2014

Know your Bat-Villain!: Two-face

Continuing with our series of character profiles, I decided to do Two-face. He is not a favorite of mine, but his mental disorder is so interesting and complex I had to get him out of the way...

Two-face: To understand him you have to split him in three parts. There is Harvey, Big Bad Harv and Two-face (let's leave The Judge and any other guys in there alone).
Harvey Dent is the perfect example of a passionate, well balanced  leader. He can pull challenging tasks and use his charismatic social skills to persuade anyone. A bright student, you can bet he was a star athlete, and people love him. Additionally, he is blessed with great empathy and a terrific moral compass. 
By contrast, Big Bad Harv is the worst example of a dominant alpha male. He has ASPD, which makes him is impulsive, vindictive, violent, and resentful. He cares only about himself. Since he is a doer as well, he still attracts people, mostly codependent ones. The worst nightmare of a father-in-law. 
Overall, he is a man with 'dissociative identity disorder'. When he becomes Two-face, he stays emotionally involved and decides between what Harvey wants and what Big Bad Harv wants by flipping a coin. 

His coin is a symbol of chance deciding between Harv's chaos and Harvey's order. Two-face's plots usually revolve around destroying the system in favor of chance, be that the organized crime or the structure of the city. 
Most Batman rogues are bitter small men (the Riddler, the Scarecrow), some are dominant people (Penguin, Scarface), and very few have true leadership qualities (The Joker, Ra's Al Ghul, Egghead, Talia, Owlman, Falcone, Thorne, Maroni), but none like Two-Face (well, maybe Bane). This is what makes him so dangerous and compelling. 
Some versions go straight from Harvey to Two-face without exploring Big Bad Harv, however, the principle is basically the same: He goes from a productive good man, to somebody that struggles between doing the right and the wrong thing.   
The Dark Knight makes a deeper exploration of Harvey as a leader, the best exploration so far is his portrayal in Batman: The Animated series. 

Tips for using him: Two-face doesn't need to flip the coin every time he faces a decision. Just when what Harvey wants is at odds with what Big Bad Harv wants. Also, once he has taken a decition, both personas compromise and they don't go back. If the coin decides to kill someone, Harvey won't propose something that goes against the plan. However, he might set traps (like the time he didn't kill Maroni but his driver).

For more Bat-villain profiles, check out the main article:

Know your Bat-Villain!

If you want other character profiles, please, check out the following articles:
Know your Justice Leaguer!
Understand the personality of the early
members of the World's mightiest team.

Know your Super Buddy!
Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire,  Ice, Sue, 
Maxwell and the rest of the late 80s gang!

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