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You may also be looking for the two-parter episode "Two-Face"

"Chance is everything. Whether you're born or not, whether you live or die, whether you're good or bad, it's all... arbitrary."[2]

Harvey Dent was Gotham City's star district attorney until an accident brought out his dark side and turned him into the criminal Two-Face.


Fragile childhood


Gotham City's District Attorney Harvey Dent was a true guardian of law and order. Well regarded as a fearless law enforcer, he had a reputation for producing results. His successful career earned him the Marshall Award, presented by the Bar Association for his distinguished service.

However, Harvey had a hidden dark side. He suffered from dissociative identity disorder, which developed since childhood when he mistakenly believed he seriously wounded a bully in fit of anger, but the bully was actually hospitalized for an unrelated case of appendicitis. As a result, guilty Dent repressed his violent emotions. His rage, however, never truly subsided, and the pent up anger formed an opposing personality to that of his mild-mannered nature. The malevolent alternative personality Big Bad Harv often seized control in stressful situations while Harvey had no recollection of any occurrences while Big Bad Harv dominated completely.

Successful DA

At some point in his life, Harvey Dent met and became friends with Bruce Wayne. He also dated Pamela Isley, however, Poison Ivy tried to kill him by poisoning in revenge for the near-extinction of the Wild Thorny Rose for the construction of Stonegate Penitentiary but was saved by Batman getting the antidote to Dent in time.

Tragic disfigurement

Though controlling himself for many years, Harvey Dent's re-election campaign proved so stressful that the violent episodes became frequent, to the point where his psychiatrist recommended committal to a psychiatric ward in order to prevent a traumatic psychotic break. However, such an action would have been political suicide and Harvey instead compromised, agreeing to a reduced campaign effort and increased medical treatments.


When Mob boss Rupert Thorne learned of this situation and acquired the DA's medical files, Dent was a target during his current campaign. When Throne tried to use the files to blackmail the district attorney into backing off, the high stress situation caused Dent to surrender his mind to Big Bad Harv, and attacked Thorne. During the fight, a freak explosion deformed the left side of his face. The trauma and the loss of his career was powerful enough to force his alternate personality to dominate, and left him in a state where right and wrong no longer held any meaning. Instead, random chance reigned supreme.


Now known as "Two-Face", he turned to a life of crime. Using the element of chance, Two-Face attacked Thorne's multiple operations, including night clubs and gambling rings. However, the victims were always left to a coin flip from Two-Face's dreaded double-headed coin. Over the course of six months, Thorne lost substantial amounts of money and the mobster put a two million dollar bounty on the former district attorney's head, one million for each face.

Two-Face, done with humiliating Thorne, decided to return the favor the mobster gave him, and stole Thorne's criminal files. With that information in hand, he planned to blackmail Thorne into leaving Gotham altogether. However, Thorne's accomplice was disguised as a detective of the Gotham Police Department and contacted the ex-fiancé Grace Lamont and tricked her into contacting Thorne if she heard from Two-Face. As predicted, Two-Face arranged a meeting with her, and Grace contacted Thorne. Thorne attempted to end Two-Face altogether but Batman intervened. In the end, Thorne was left at Two-Face's mercy. When Two-Face made his coin flip to decide Thorne's fate, Batman tossed a box of coins into the air, preventing Two-Face from finding his double-headed coin. He went mad, unable to make a decision without testing chance with two heads instead of just one. Two-Face was arrested, and sent to Arkham Asylum.

Manipulating the system

Two-Face remained quiet on the crime scene for some time. Though he made a few attempts to kill Batman (one of which he described at a poker game with some other rogues), he never succeeded and either escaped or returned to Arkham. However, he began a new gang, and had his man Gil Mason infiltrate the Gotham justice system. Mason became the new Deputy Police Commissioner, and provided quick results courtesy of Two-Face's information. Rupert Thorne was arrested, giving Two-Face control of Gotham's seedy underbelly. However, underworld control does little good if there is still a law presence existing to bring one down, and the ever calculative Two-Face knew this. Planting evidence and staging assassination attempts, Two-Face brought Commissioner Gordon down by linking him to Thorne, and used Mason to arrest him.

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However, Batgirl knew the allegations were untrue and began her own investigation, soon discovering Mason was a corrupt official, and the trail eventually lead her to Two-Face, as well as Batman and Robin. Two-Face and Mason planned to kill Gordon at Bayshore Wharf. However, Batman, Robin and Batgirl prevented the attempt, and Two-Face and Mason were arrested.

Batman's "trial"

When the Arkham inmates banded together to devise a plan to eliminate Batman, Two-Face simply wanted to kill him and end the ordeal. However, he lost the coin flip and instead served as the prosecution for the "Trial" of Batman.

Attempt back to sanity

Bruce Wayne never gave up hope that his friend could once again return to normal society, continuously paying for counseling to subdue Two-Face's personality. After some time, doctors agreed his therapy had been effective enough to stabilize Two-Face's mind, which then allowed the opportunity for surgery upon Harvey Dent's damaged side. Just when the surgery was about to begin, masked mobsters broke into the operating room. Stating only that their "boss" wanted to handle Dent personally, two cars split from the scene. One took Two-Face to Stonegate, the Penguin's current whereabouts, while the other vehicle was registered to Rupert Thorne. Both criminals had had histories of conflict with both Two-Face and Dent, but neither claimed involvement to Batman and Robin.

In truth, Two-Face kidnapped himself to prevent his original personality from eliminating himself completely. Staging the break in, he arranged for his thugs to break him out of the operation and staged a two-pronged getaway, both to allude suspicion and to leave a trademark hint. Though Batman discovered the true kidnapper, he was unprepared for the ambush Two-Face had devised. Capturing Batman, Two-Face placed his life in the flip of the coin. During their earlier struggle, Batman switched the real coin with a trick one, designed to always land on its side. However, Two-Face could not handle the indecision, and chased his coin on to a support beam overhanging Gotham. The coin fell off and in a desperate gamble, he managed to grab it but fell off in the process and was unable to pull himself back up. Batman caught hold of Two-Face at the last second, but needed Two-Face to pull himself up. The coin, however, could not decide for him; the choice was up to Two-Face alone. His original personality resurged for a moment, and he dropped the coin, but Two-Face took control once more and sabotaged the effort.
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He plummeted, but Batman and Robin managed to save him and themselves in time. Two-Face was once again sent to Arkham for more psychiatric treatment. Still, Dent emerged once more to thank his old friend for not giving up on him.

Further into insanity

The Judge

The Judge, Harvey Dent's third personality.

Some time later, small time crook Steven "Shifty" Drake stole chemicals from Two-Face. Using a key he stole from the crook's son Tim Drake to a locker at Gotham Airport, Two-Face planned to kill Tim after a fatal coin flip, but Batman intervened. Meanwhile, Two-Face reacquired the chemicals and held the entire city hostage, threatening to create a toxic gas unless he received twenty-two million dollars by 2 AM. However, the city refused to pay and after a two-minute warning, Two-Face activated the chemicals. Batman and Batgirl arrived to stop them, and shortly thereafter the new Robin. The trio stopped the machine and apprehended Two-Face once more.

Two-Face condemned

Two-Face pleads guilty in a trial inside his mind.

Unknown to anyone, he developed a third personality known as The Judge and operated as a ruthless vigilante. The Judge brutally attacked Gotham's criminals, including Two-Face himself, placing their lives at risk. Batman eventually deduced the Judge's true identity and captured him. Two-Face was last seen in Arkham, hearing the Judge's voice condemning him, bowing his head and repeating, "Guilty... guilty... guilty...".

Abilities and equipment

Two-Face made no decision without consulting chance first. He was never without one of his special double-headed coins. The "Good Heads" was merely a standard heads, while the "Bad Heads" was another heads side, but with several slashes and cuts across it. This mirrored Two-Face's dual-persona, an embodiment of the good and the bad. He was frequently left incapacitated if he couldn't consult his coin for a decision. Furthermore, Two-Face is obsessed with the themes of duality and opposites and incorporates them in his life and work as much as possible. For instance, his first underlings were a pair of twins and his hideout is divided in one half neat and well appointed while the other half is a messy wreck.

Aside from the coin, Two-Face frequently sported a tommy-gun, and displayed relative proficiency in its usage. He also kept two pistols on his person, which he presumably always drew together in keeping with his motif.

He also showed above-average capabilities for physical fighting, and was shown to be very strong, holding his own against multiple foes and flipping the heavyset Rupert Thorne across a room. This was exemplified further when The Judge defeated Killer Croc with ease. However, he had no outright metahuman powers.

Background information

Harvey Dent's madness had its origins in his abusive father, who would flip a coin on whether or nor he would beat Harvey that evening (heads would result in a beating, tails wouldn't). After his father's death, Dent learned that the silver dollar was a trick coin, always coming up heads. Despite repressed anger over the incident, Dent married Gilda Grace Gold and was elected District Attorney of Gotham City at 26 years of age. He formed an alliance with Batman and James Gordon to take down Carmine Falcone and Salvatore Maroni, the two major mob bosses in Gotham (Batman would disrupt their operations, Gordon would arrest them, and Dent would prosecute them). However, during the trial of Maroni, the mobster threw acid into Dent's face, scarring the D.A.'s left side and driving him insane. Scratching out one side of his father's silver dollar, Two-Face was born.

Contrary to Two-Face's claims, his coin does not offer a straight fifty-fifty chance of a good or bad outcome; the gouges on the "bad" heads side make that side marginally lighter than the "good" side, meaning the good side is slightly more likely to land face down, although the difference is virtually nil as long as the coin is in free fall.

Two-Face is indirectly responsible for both Batgirl's and the second Robin's start. In both cases, Two-Face is responsible for their father going missing (for different reasons).

In the first issue of "Batman and Robin Adventures", a comic series based on Batman: The Animated Series, Two-Face has reformed into Harvey Dent and was starting a romance with his lawyer, Grace Lamont. The Joker hints that Lamont was actually Bruce Wayne's flame, and she only dated him because she felt sorry for him, as well as having Harley Quinn deliver a faked newspaper to his doorstep "confirming" it. Harvey Dent then breaks down, was arrested, breaks out of jail, and attempted to murder Bruce Wayne, and then received a broken heart, presumably telling Bruce and Grace why he did what he did.

In the "Batman Beyond" comic series, Two-Face was revealed to have reformed back into Harvey Dent for good.


Two-Face was one of the few characters to go relatively unchanged when Batman: The Animated Series changed to The New Batman Adventures. His new look was crisper and more in-line with the rest of the DC Animated Universe (having been given more squared-off shoulders and sharper lines on his suit), but other than that he remained virtually the same.

Appearances and references

Batman: The Animated Series

The New Batman Adventures

Gotham Girls

Batman Beyond

Feature film


External links

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