Harvey Dent remains one of Batman’s most iconic foes, but whatever happened to the other Two-Face?
Everyone knows Harvey Dent, the righteous DA who tragically became Two-Face. Within Batman’s rogues’ gallery, Harvey Dent is one of The Dark Knight’s most iconic villains.
While Dent remains an active part of Batman’s life, he’s not the only one who’s held the name of Two-Face.
In Batman #68, by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, The Caped Crusader encountered a new version of his classic foe. Paul Sloane was an actor who was hired to play Two-Face in a movie based on Harvey Dent. Sloane was a particularly handsome man, making some of the crew members jealous. Indeed, a prop man was furious that his girlfriend had a crush on Sloane.
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As a result, when Sloane was re-enacting the trial which scarred Harvey Dent’s face, the prop man substituted water for real acid. Truly experiencing the birth of Two-Face, Sloane was deeply traumatized. Sloane’s fractured psyche echoed that of Harvey Dent, believing himself to be the real Two-Face.
The new Two-Face went on a crime spree throughout Gotham, before he was confronted by Batman and Robin. The Dark Knight used a trick coin on Sloane, who agreed to undergo plastic surgery for his face. Physically and mentally healed, Sloane started a family and became a TV producer.
Sloane’s story wasn’t finished, however, as he returned in Detective Comics #580 by Mike W. Barr and Jim Baikie. Harvey Dent was jealous of Sloane’s family life, kidnapping the former Two-Face. Dent got the Crime-Doctor to reverse Sloane’s surgery, reverting him back to his Two-Face persona.
Of course, Dent also re-created the other Two-Face so he could confuse Batman. Both villains committed crimes based on the number two, leaving The Caped Crusader one step behind no matter who he pursued. Unfortunately for Dent, Sloane was a bit too good in his role, defeating Batman, Robin and Dent himself. It was only with the help of Sloane’s wife that Batman was able to convince Sloane to get the help he needed. Dent was brought to justice once more, and Sloane presumably returned to his family life.
Following “Zero Hour,” Sloane’s background was radically changed. Indeed, Paul Sloane became Paul Sloan. This version of the character appeared in Detective Comics #777 by Ed Brubaker and Tommy Castilllo. Sloan was a method actor, whose mental health and personal relationships were strained by his commitment to his roles.
A group of Batman’s villains, including the Joker, the Riddler, the Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, the Penguin and Killer Moth became tired of Two-Face deciding every crime based on the flip of a coin. These super-criminals hired Sloan to impersonate Two-Face, in order to have a more committed villain in their corner. Sloan, seeing this as a massive opportunity, immersed himself in his role, although he was much nastier than the original Two-Face.
This new Two-Face killed a security guard without even looking at his coin, drawing the attention of Dent. Sloan was kidnapped and tortured by the original Two-Face before being left on the other villains’ doorstep. The Scarecrow took this opportunity to experiment upon Sloan, removing his ability to experience fear.
Sloan then targeted Batman’s villains, performing dastardly deeds such as hanging the Penguin and poisoning the Mad Hatter. Eventually, Batman defeated the faux Two-Face. Sloan was placed in Arkham Asylum where he became “The Charlatan, ” donning a split mask of comedy and tragedy.
While Harvey Dent works well with duality, it appears that there was only room for one Two-Face.
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