Two Face has returned, Harvey Dent is back and, well, things just aren’t going well for the divided personality. Somebody has stolen his coin, he’s wanted dead by Mario Falcone, most of the city’s underbelly wants him out of the way and, of course, Batman is hunting him.
The opening to Batman 710 has to be one of the best openings to any comic in recent years. Writer Tony Daniel paints a violent and desperate picture of Harvey Dent that steps completely away from how we’ve viewed the character in the past. The scene where Dent kills the cop alone is incredibly powerful. For the first time in awhile, Harvey Dent is more than just a line of catchphrases, he’s an actual threat.
The story here is simple but effective. Somebody has stolen Dent’s prized coin, sending the Two-Face side of him into a rage. Torturing his way through the criminal element in search of the coin, Dent is staring at a complete nervous breakdown, a really bad thing for a guy already insane. Batman (Dick Grayson) is looking for him but so is Mario Falcone, who took over the crime syndicates after the fall of the Black Mask. What ultimately happens at the end of Batman 710 will no doubt be controversial. Some will find the sudden appearance of Gilda Dent to be exciting, while others might see it as a cheap ploy for attention.
I see what Daniel’s is doing as a way to push the character of Harvey Dent out of his comfort zone. Over the last few years the character has been caught in a constant loop of his internal struggle. The stories lost focus on the brutality and violence of Two Face, instead turning him into a story of tragedy. Daniel seems to want the old Two-Face back, the one who killed Jason Todd’s parents, the one whose brutality is equaled only by his insanity. What better way to push Dent over the edge than to steal his coin and have his wife shoot him? How will this scar him further? What will the end result be for one of Batman’s oldest foes? Post issue 710, there’s an uncertainty surrounding Harvey Dent that hasn’t been there in a long time.
Helping to bring Tony Daniel’s vision to life is artist Steve Scott. While I love Daniel’s art, Scott does a crackerjack job here. I love the way he draws Batman, the lines are strong and the details sparse. It gives the Dick Grayson a more badass look than he’s had in recent issues. Scott is great with human figures and faces. He gives the action all the movement it needs but never loses focus on the work itself.
Scott’s backgrounds and shot choices come straight out of the cinema. He also draws exactly what Daniel calls for in each part of the script. It’s a wonderful union of text and visuals. Batman 710 makes a bold move in the DC Universe by reinventing one of the most time-honored villains and thus far has knocked it out of the park.