- The Batman's gone. Leaving me two choices... heads, I save Gotham. Tails, I make it bleed.
- — Two-Face
Synopsis for "A Tale of Two Faces"
With the Batman missing, Two-Face has two choices; save Gotham City, or make it bleed. Though he flips his coin, it is caught in mid-air by the Scarecrow, who suggests that they instead join their escaped Arkham brethren. Two-Face has no interest, particularly since he put many of them away, when he was District Attorney. Angrily, he threatens to shoot Crane through the head if he doesn't return the coin, so the Scarecrow makes him guess which hand he's hiding it in. After making his choice, Scarecrow opens his palm to reveal a different coin - one of the communication devices used by the Secret Society.
Crane explains that the coin is an invitation from the Crime Syndicate - those responsible for the chaos ongoing in the city. If Two-Face agrees to come when the Syndicate calls, he will have help when he needs it. Two-Face flips his own coin on whether to join or not, and finds himself accepting the invitation. He warns Scarecrow, though, that regardless of who he has agreed to join, the coin will always have the final say.
Finally, Harvey returns to his initial decision. Heads he saves Gotham; Tails, he lets it bleed. The coin turns up Heads. From that point on, Two-Face is a public defender, all over again, killing thugs and psychos alike, and dragging the survivors to the courthouse.
As he steps inside among the corpses of murdered lawmen, Harvey remembers when he used to work there, as DA. He was well liked by those he worked with, and good to them. At the time, he, the Commissioner and the Batman had been trying to bring down Erin McKillen, the wife of a mob-boss who had recently died, and who had taken up his crime empire in his absence.
Since then, though, his old office is now home to the current DA, Richard Ozu. The office itself (and the innocents inside it) though, are under attack by the former minions of Terminus - those who have been wronged by the Batman's excessive use of force. After warning them away of those with whom he used to be coworkers, he rounds everyone up, and herds them down to the courtroom so that justice can be meted out.
Sitting at the judge's bench, Harvey begins flipping his coin; heads for life in prison, tails for death. His swift and efficient sentencing is interrupted by an armed group who claim that the men he is killing were tasked by the Society with gathering prominent Gothamites, and hanging them from the East River Bridge as a message to the world. If his prisoners and victims can't do it, Two-Face will be forced to do it instead. He reminds them that his joining the Society was conditional on the supreme deciding power of the coin, and flips it, finding that these prominent Gothamites should live. The gang ignores his judgment, and kills everybody. Angrily, Two-Face turns on them, announcing that they have negated the deal he made, and he will not longer be party to the Society's plans. With that, he shoots the gang members dead, and places the Society's coin into the open mouth of the gang's dead leader.
Harvey retrieves his own coin, and decides to give that first decision another go. Heads, save Gotham; Tails, make it bleed. The coin lands Tails-side up.
Appearing in "A Tale of Two Faces"
- Two-Face (Flashback and main story)
- Colin (Dies)
- Gus (Dies)
- James Gordon (Flashback only)
- Batman (Flashback only)
- Murdoch (Flashback only)
- Erin McKillen (Mentioned only)
- Richard Ozu (Mentioned only)
- Owlman (In picture only)
- Justice League (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City
- Metropolis (Mentioned only)
- This issue is reprinted in Two-Face: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- Murdoch and Judge Nelson are a reference to the Marvel lawyers, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson of the Nelson & Murdock Law Firm.