|Other Aliases|| Two-Face|
|Alignment||Bad (formerly good)|
|Depicted By||Aaron Eckhart|
|Appeared In||The Dark Knight|
- "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villian."
- ―Harvey Dent [src]
Harvey Dent was the secondary antagonist in The Dark Knight, described as a Gotham City District Attorney hailed as the city's "White Knight", whose battle to bring justice to its criminal underworld left him with mental illnesses he inherited from his ex-police officer father, scarring him into Two-Face, a disfigured murderer with a split personality bent on injustice.
Origin and Early LifeEdit
Born in Gotham City to Harry Dent, a police officer employed as a member of Gotham's finest, and Lucy Gold-Dent, a disrespected housewife, Harvey Dent was frequently abused by his father every time the senior Dent used a peace dollar coin to decide whether his son will go without a night of beating. Unbeknownst to Harvey at the time, the coin was double-headed, meaning that no matter which side it landed, it would always result in him getting beaten by his father's nightstick. His father's status as a retired cop also prevented the proper authorities from stopping his child abuse, and Harvey even learned of the Gotham City Police Department's disrespect of his mother when he was hiding under the stairwell of his parents' apartment and overheard a group of cops saying that she was once "one of them". Though he didn't know what that meant, the boy was sure that it wasn't a nice thing to be call. Harvey always loved the way his mother combed his hair and dressed him, telling him how handsome he looked. His teachers at school agreed to that and gave him good grades. Though he didn't believe that he had only a father who often beat his family in disagreement, Harvey came to realize that as long as others believed it, he may be able to find a better life with his mother.
His wish came true at age 10, when his father moved out without divorcing his wife, saying that he couldn't stand the sight of either of them, and took up residence in a rented room near the precinct where he worked. Harvey only saw him once on the street with a middle aged woman who looked a lot like his mother, but never visited nor sent cards. One night at age 16, he came home late from his after-school job at a local pharmacy and found both his parents dead in the same room; his father lying on the floor with a gun against his head (which bore a bloody hole) and his mother hanging from a knotted sheet attached to the ceiling around her neck. Despite letting friendly Detective Al Grooms look into the case of their deaths, no investigations confirmed whether the Dents committed suicide or were murdered. But because of whatever happened to them, Harvey was left to grow up alone in the dark apartment filled with an unidentifiable odor and the crack and groans of the old building, pitied by his classmates at school and the priests at the church that his mother sometimes attended.
Following his high school graduation, Dent spent his entire time at Gotham University and law school at State University studying with no intention of attending any proms, dances, football or basketball games. It was in the studies that he simply found his profession (and vocation) within the law, which made sense to him since it transformed the chaos of human existence into logic, fairness and reasonable rules that could be obeyed, offering stability and structure. By the time the law revealed itself to him, Dent became aware that his looks were what many thought was his greatest asset and saw it every morning while looking into a bathroom mirror. Oddly, though he didn't believe it possible for him, but was willing to use his face as a tool and show it to the world as a means of reaping whatever benefits the display conferred. Earning his history and pre-law majors from both colleges at age 21, Dent began his law career as the clerk for a supreme court judge and rose rapidly to popularity by playing hard by the rules, hoping to stand up Gotham for by cleaning up crime and corruption it was living upon that he came to hate. This hardship and goal placed upon him was mainly due to the fact that the abuse from his father, as well as the police's failure to stop it, gave him a deeper hatred of corrupt cops, leading to him to pursue a place in Gotham's Internal Affairs Division and spearhead an initiative through his office to weed out that police corruption by investigating each cop, including those who ended up working in the Gotham's new Major Crimes Unit (MCU). While many of these cops, along with several corrupt courthouse officials gave him nasty nickname such as "Harvey Two-Face", others became inspired by Dent's investigations and offered him the job Gotham's District Attorney following the death of previous DA Carl Finch. Dent was sometimes slow to prosecute, but he always won every case and became destined for greatness rid the city of organized crime by means of the law and the courtroom, much to the applause of its citizens.
Campaign Against Organized Crime Edit
- "The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, dawn is coming."
- ―Harvey Dent, during a press conference[src]
After the court case, Rachel made Dent promise to play fair with Jim Gordon, the police lieutenant now in charge of the MCU. Upon meeting with him, Dent confirmed that because of the perjury, Maroni could not be indicted, but also noted that the mafia will constantly be giving people second chances. Gordon at the time, was seeking five search warrants for an equal number of banks suspected of being holding reserves of the mafia's life savings. Although interested in shutting down the mob's funds as Gordon was, Dent was curious as to the cop's involvement with the vigilante known as Batman, as the police made use of lightly irradiated bills in order to track down which banks the mob used. The conversation also revealed a thorn of distrust between the two men, as much of Dent's experience and first-hand attempts to stop corruption within Gotham began with his time in Internal Affairs, investigating officers Gordon would later work with. Dent knew first-hand that there were men within the MCU who cannot be trusted, and the difference made a rift in the two. It was here that Dent alluded he knew the nickname they were been called behind his back, but agreed to get the warrants for Gordon.
During an impressive dinner at the Ocelot with Rachel, Bruce Wayne, who was her best friend since childhood, happened to arrive at the same time with Natascha Patrenko as his date. Under Bruce's urging, the couples broke bread and gave him an opportunity to get to know Dent. It was during this time that Dent not only defended Batman (whose alter ego was secretly Bruce) but also idolized him, admitting that he perceived him as a necessity, needed during the dark times. He believed that the vigilante wasn't looking to fight crime for the rest of his life and was searching for a successor. This earned the attorney admiration from Bruce, who offered to throw him a fundraiser, promising him that he would never desire for campaign donations ever again. Because Dent ended all other money laundering operations in Gotham, it didn't take long for the him to peg Chinese billionaire banker Lau as the one who seized the funds before the MCU could. Frustrated, Dent went to the top of Gotham Central Police Headquarters and activated the Bat-Signal without Gordon's permission, waiting for Batman to appear. By the time the vigilante and Gordon arrived, the DA held a meeting with them as a triumvirate of Gotham's finest. Dent explained that the Chinese wouldn't extradite one of their own, and if Batman was able to bring Lau back to the States to stand trial, he could get him to testify. Lau was dropped off in front of the MCU, and Dent observed the negotiations between the banker and Rachel. As the Chinese man made an offer to hand over information on the mafia's investments, Dent realized he could charge virtually every member of the mafia in one giant RICO conspiracy case. Regardless of Dent's distrust of his cops, Gordon didn't permit Lau to be sent to County, in fear that the man would not survive lock up, and asked to instead keep him in the MCU holding cells. With Lau's evidence, the MCU itself took all members of the mafia into custody, including Maroni and the Chechen, and Dent brought them to trial before Judge Janet Surillo, pushing for an absolutely absurd number of charges in a single case: 712 counts of extortion, 849 counts of racketeering, 246 counts of fraud, 87 counts of conspiracy to commit murder, 527 counts of obstruction of justice and possibly more felonies going unlisted. All leveled against 549 suspects.
Reactions of such heroism was spread throughout Gotham, and Dent was called to Gotham City Hall to explain this extremely difficult conspiracy case to Mayor Anthony Garcia. Rather than say that it was a deep stab at justice, Dent suggested instead that it be viewed as a tremendous break from crime for Gotham, even though the head mafia leaders posted bail. 18 months would be going by between appeals, giving the mayor enough time to clean up and make considerably improvements to Gotham City. The mayor agreed to this, but gave Dent a powerful warning that the mob weren't his only enemies because anyone within Gotham who took pay from them would turn against the District Attorney in order to bring the mafia their money back. Sure enough, the meeting was interrupted when the Joker, an anarchist mastermind hired by the mafia to get Batman out of the way of earning back their funds, emerged onto the streets by hanging a dead Batman copycat, Brian Douglas, against the Garcia's office window and making a public demand through a videotape concealed in the body for Batman to unmask himself and turn himself in, otherwise he'll select specific people to die each day, starting with those whose DNA he placed on the Joker playing card he pinned to Douglas' chest. Later that night, Dent arrived at the fundraiser held at Bruce's penthouse with Rachel, scared at the prospects of meeting Gotham's upper class. After a humorous and short meeting with the butler Alfred Pennyworth, Dent was greeted by Bruce openly, receiving an embarrassing welcome as the billionaire advanced technology and military defense developer gave his support for Dent and encouraged a round of applause from all of the guests. A few moments later, Dent interrupted the conversation between Bruce and Rachel so that he could speak with her, and asked Rachel in the penthouse kitchen on how she would feel about marriage. At first, Rachel was somewhat reluctant to discuss it, but before Dent could further the conversation, Bruce grabbed him from behind, incapacitated him, and locked him in a closet to protect him from the Joker, who had just stormed the party due to the attorney being among the targets whose DNA was detected on the Joker card by Gordon.
Dent was let out of his hiding place shortly after the Joker was drive out of the penthouse by Batman, and went to the MCU the next morning to try and urge Lau out for his testification in court. The next day afterwards, he and Rachel later attended the memorial service of Police Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb, who was also targeted through the Joker card and successfully killed after ingesting an acid thought to be his preferred alcoholic beverage. During the funeral, the Joker and his gang, dressed as the honor guard, turned their guns upon Mayor Garcia due to choosing him as their next victim but failed to kill him, striking down Gordon instead. The gang was able to escape through the mass hysteria that followed, but one of them was captured after being shot in the legs. After escorting Rachel to safety, Dent got into an ambulance with the suspect and sought to question him, before realizing that his name tag listed the Joker's next intended target: Rachel Dawes. Frustrated, he climbed into the cab of the ambulance and drove off to an undisclosed location. After a phone call warning Rachel to get to safety, away from the MCU, he then goes on to interrogate the captured thug. Using a hand gun and the flip of his coin, Dent threatened to kill the man unless he told him everything he knows about the Joker. After the second toss, the coin was caught by Batman, who had just returned from interrogating Maroni and explained that the henchman's name was Thomas Schiff, a paranoid schizophrenic and Arkham escapee with the kind of mind the Joker attracted who couldn't tell Dent what he desired. Batman then goes on to explain that if anyone saw what Dent was doing, the prosecution against the mafia would be destroyed, and the only way to stop the Joker is for Batman to turn himself in. As Batman turns to leave, Dent screams his disapproval.
The next day, Dent goes before a crowd of police, media and observers to explain that Batman has offered to turn himself in and give into the Joker's demands. But before accepting this, he makes a desperate plea to the people not to give into the whims of a terrorist. Despite his assertions, the people demand that the Batman surrender. Before Bruce Wayne could step forward to confess his identity, Harvey demands that the police arrest him as Batman. In lock up, Dent is cheered for by the GCPD as he marches towards the escort van to take him to county. Despite Rachel's pleas, Dent explains that in doing this, Batman will have a chance to capture the Joker, and promises Rachel that he will go through with this with a flip of his coin, leaving it with her. While locked within the van, Dent is unable to affect the battle that ensues mid-transit. It's only after Gordon reveals himself as alive and well, and that the Joker has been captured, that Dent is set free. Immediately, Dent goes on television to explain his gamble to capture the Joker, until at last he is escorted back to a car to be driven home. Unfortunately, the car was driven by Mike Wuertz, a corrupt cop on Maroni's payroll.
- "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
- ―Harvey Dent, unwittingly foreshadowing his own transformation into Two-Face[src]
After being captured by Wuertz, Dent awakens in a warehouse stacked with drums of fuel. On the opposite end of a rigged landline phone, Rachel Dawes screams, having also been captured by Maroni's men. Dent reassures Rachel as he begins to struggle while tied to his chair. Rachel explains that the timer set before them is set to detonate by the warehouse Dent was in as well as her own whereabouts, and that she was told it was their friends who would have to choose which one of the two would survive. Unfortunately, Dent's efforts to free himself not only throw him to the floor but also knock one of the barrels of gasoline to the ground with him.
The gasoline leaks from the top, spreading across the floor and covering the left side of Dent's face. While Dent struggles to stand, Rachel confesses to loving Dent and agrees to his earlier marriage proposal. It was immediately after this that Batman finally bursts in, having been tricked by the Joker. With no time left, Batman immediately dashed forward and dragged the struggling Dent away. The two make it clear of the building just as the timer reaches zero and the building explodes. The gasoline soaked half of Dent catches on fire and the man drops to the floor, writhing and screaming as flames consume half of his face.
Dent is rushed to Gotham General Hospital, where half his face is covered by a cloth. When he awakens, he finds his father's lucky coin, left there by an earlier visit by Batman while he was still unconscious. Remembering Rachel was the last to have it, he turns the coin over, discovering that one half is greatly burnt. A torrent of emotions envelope him, as Dent is overwhelmed by grief.
The next day, Jim Gordon visits Dent. Gordon reveals that Dent is refusing medication and skin grafts. Dent changes the subject, asking Gordon again what the nickname was members of the MCU called him. With reluctance, Gordon calls him "Two-Face." Dent turns to stare at a horrified Gordon, revealing the remainder of his visage. But even as Gordon apologizes and turns to leave, Dent swears to him that he is not truly sorry, "Not yet."
During the crisis that his threats against the city cause, the Joker disguises himself and inflitrates Gotham General to speak to Dent. Apologizing for the death of Rachel Dawes, the Joker manages to deflect the blame from himself onto Gordon, Batman, Maroni and the corrupt officers. Explaining that he is an agent of chaos, the Joker offers his life to Dent, giving the District Attorney a hand gun and forcibly holding it to his own head. It was then that the Joker explained a point which finally pushed Dent over the edge, "Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair."
Dent, baffled by the Joker's actions, finally comes to a conclusion - whether or not the Joker leaves would be based upon the toss of his lucky coin. Should the flipped coin land on the unblemished side, the Joker would live. However, should it fall on the burnt half, he would die. The flip of the coin lands in the Joker's favor however, and Dent lets the man leave. It was then that Two-Face was truly born.
- "You thought we could be decent men, in an indecent time! But you were wrong..."
- ―Two-Face to Batman and Gordon[src]
Motivated by his need for vengeance, Two-Face begins to pursue those responsible for the death of Rachel and his disfigurement. He begins by visiting Michael Wuertz, and after a brief interrogation to find the other traitor in Gordon's unit, answers that he does not know. Two-Face spins his coin on the table to decide the man's fate. It lands black, and Wuertz' life ends in the gunshot.
Two-Face then visits Maroni, having waited for him in his car. As the two sit in the back seat, Maroni is tricked into revealing that the other traitor in Gordon's unit was Anna Ramirez. Although Two-Face flips the coin for Maroni's judgement, it lands in the mob boss' favor. However, Two-Face circumvents this by also judging Maroni's driver. When it lands bad heads, Dent buckles in and shoots the chauffeur in the back of the head, resulting in a car crash that leaves Maroni's fate uncertain, but likely dead.
Then, having hunted down Ramirez, Two-Face forces her to trick Gordon's family into leaving their dwelling and coming to the warehouse where Rachel Dawes had died. The deed done, Two-Face chastises Ramirez for her betrayal, and she in turn pleads that she only did it to save her mother, who desperately needed the funds for her hospital fees. Two-Face silences her with a vicious "Don't!", and flips the coin. Fortunately for Ramirez, it lands in her favor, and Two-Face just knocks her unconscious.
With Gordon's family as his hostages, Two-Face then calls and taunts Gordon into coming to the wreckage of the destroyed warehouse. Gordon arrives and is knocked down and disarmed. As Gordon pleads with Two-Face to release his family, the former D.A. plucks Gordon's son from his mother's arms and prepares to judge him, believing that in taking who Gordon loves is equal to the loss of Rachel's death.
Before he could flip the coin, however, Batman appears and reasons with Two-Face, saying that those responsible are the three of them, and that only the three of them deserve punishment. Two-Face believes this to be a fair assessment, and flips the coin for Batman. It lands bad heads, and with a shot to Batman's stomach, knocks him down and out. Then, Two-Face points the gun to his own head, but the flip comes out good heads, permitting him to survive his own judgement. Finally, Two-Face turns to Gordon, still intent to shoot the boy. But as he flips the coin, Batman tackles him off the edge of the floor, letting the vigilante plummet to his death.
With Dent dead, the problem remains that his murders that day would destroy the prosecution for good, and cause the people of Gotham to lose hope. With no choices left, Batman agrees to take the blame for the murders, preserving Dent's public image. Gordon is reluctant, but agrees, holding a memorial service to honor Dent.
The Dent Act Edit
- "This man has been given to you as the shining example of justice! You have been supplied with a false idol, to stop you from tearing down this corrupt city! Let me tell you the truth about Harvey Dent from the words of Gotham’s police commissioner, James Gordon. "The Batman didn’t murder Harvey Dent, he saved my boy, then took the blame for Harvey’s appalling crimes so I could, to my shame, build a lie around this fallen idol. I praised the madman who tried to murder my own child, but I can no longer live with my lie. It is time to trust the people of Gotham with the truth, and it is time for me to resign.""
Harvey's death inspired the creation of the Dent Act, in which a criminal that was arrested would be denied parole, thus allowing the streets of Gotham to be clean of crime. His death also led to "Harvey Dent Day" where the city celebrates the honor of their former White Knight. Eight years after his death on Harvey Dent Day, Gordon attempts to tell the people about the truth behind Dent's death, but felt that they were not ready and resolved not to. However, Gordon's speech was stolen by Bane, who read aloud the paper he holds about the "madman" that tried to kill Gordon's son, causing all the inmates of Blackgate Prison to become angry and inspire them to help Bane take over the city.
After Gotham was retaken by Batman and the GCPD, the Dent Act was then eliminated.
- Batman - Ally turned enemy.
- Jim Gordon - Ally turned enemy.
- The Joker - Enemy.
- Rachel Dawes - Lover.
Harvey Dent starts off as selfless, charismatic, astute, idealistic, fearless and cerebral. He showed slight cynicism and borderline cruelty towards criminals, such as Lau and the Scarecrow. He was also extremely self-confident and rationally independent. He was motivated by his care for the people of Gotham and was selfless enough to do anything in order to protect them, even endanger his own life to the mercy of someone as sadistic and masochistic as the Joker.
However, after Rachel's death, Harvey was embittered beyond sanity and became murderous and smug. He was totally vengeful and was obsessed with killing the men whom he believed to be responsible for Rachel's tragic death. He was ruthless, callous and showed all the signs of becoming a sociopath: High intelligence, paranoia, carelessness, violence, manipulation, elusion, mercilessness and disregard for ther people's, and his own life. After his death, he became incredibly charismatic: The people of Gotham looked up to his legacy and for what he was believed to have stood for. Batman decided that Harvey Dent was the hero of Gotham, not him, showing that he knew that Dent would appeal to the people as the fallen idol. However, Harvey Dent's legacy was demolished when Bane revealed the true circumstances of his death.
- Two-Face's Coin: Dent uses a coin that is scarred on one side to make his decisions as Two Face. Before his accident, the coin was "doubled-headed" but was burned on one side in the explosion.
Appearance and Clothing Edit
Harvey Dent is a pretty tall young man dressed in a dark business suit consisting of an Arrow-tailored dark blue or gray jacket, matching dress pants and a navy silk necktie with double pin stripes. Underneath it he wears a high-collared white dress shirt. He is always seen with a handsome face consisting of a strong jaw, sparkling blue eyes, wavy blond hair and winning smile.
As Two-Face, Dent is dressed light gray framed notch lapel suit with the jacket's left side darkened with scorch marks, a red and navy slim-cut repp striped tie and a low-collared white dress shirt underneath. The left side of his face is burnt away as well, leaving behind a hideous expanse of blackened muscle and scar tissue, consisting of a bloodshot eye bulging from a naked socket, a ragged gap in his cheek offering the glimpse of an exposed jawbone and a strip of raw gristle stretching vertically across what remains of Dent's smile, furtherly implying his unstable psyche.