Two-Face is dead to begin with. At least, that’s what we’re told to believe in Detective Comics #993.
The first half of the issue features a recap of Two-Face and Batman taking down Kobra before they manage to poison the city’s water supply. This is achieved through the help of a priest providing the eulogy at Harvey Dent’s funeral. However, Two-Face may not be six feet under just yet.
When James Robison received the opportunity to write an arc of Detective Comics, he knew immediately Two-Face would have something to do with it. “He’s my favorite DC character,” Robinson explained in an interview with Newsarama back in June. “I’m going to always want to involve Two-Face in some capacity if I can, if it’s the right idea and the right story.” It feels like Robinson is using the medium of the eulogy to try and explain why.
Of course, even Robinson lampoons his own monologue later in Detective Comics #993. It’s around that same point the reader realizes that this isn’t exactly an enthralling conclusion to the story arc.
The story involving Kobra is relegated to an afterthought, hand-waived away by Two-Face. Instead, Robinson seems more intent on relishing in the character’s madman logic. Everything leads up to a neatly-wrapped conclusion with a (non) cliffhanger ending.
I’ve enjoyed this story arc overall, and there are plenty of elements even in Detective Comics #993 that I like. The exchanges between Batman and Two-Face are fun, and there are parts of the eulogy that border on emotionally touching. As a whole, though, it’s a bit of a letdown.
The artwork by Carmine Di Giandomenico remains strong throughout Detective Comics #993. The artist’s attention to detail comes across throughout. Whether it’s a frame of the Gotham skyline, or the scars on Dent’s face, there are plenty of striking images.
The graveside scene (after all, what’s a Batman story without a graveside scene?) is somber, bathed in a twilight palette courtesy of colorist Ivan Plascencia. Speaking of which, I will miss the keen eye for color that Plascencia brought to this run. This issue featured a lot of lighter colors into the mix compared to earlier parts of the story, which was an interesting change-up.
I had my issues with Detective Comics #993, as an awkward way to close out this six-part story. Overall, though, I’m comfortable saying there’s more good than bad here.