DC Confirms The Dark Knight's Key Phrase Doesn't Mean What Fans Think

Warning! Spoilers for Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1

It turns out that a key phrase in The Dark Knight doesn’t mean what audiences assumed. As Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale return to tell a new Batman story, Harvey Dent’s political slogan has gained new relevance.

Released days before Halloween, Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1 has brought readers back to Loeb and Sale’s take on autumn in Gotham City. The creative duo’s latest entry wouldn’t feel right without an appearance by fallen district attorney Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face. Similarly, Calendar Man has also returned, kidnapping Harvey’s wife Gilda on the night of Halloween.

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Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy borrowed from Batman-defining comics like The Long Halloween, adapting Harvey Dent’s campaign to be Gotham City’s district attorney. While Harvey used the slogan “I believe in Harvey Dent,” Bruce Wayne joked about its lack of persuasion. In The Long Halloween Special #1, the phrase is mentioned again, as Gilda is doing all that she can to make her way back to her husband, even though he has become Two-Face. When she says the old slogan, it becomes evident that she’s incapable of accepting that the man she knew isn’t alive anymore. Her belief in Harvey has caused her to lose herself, just as his campaign led to his own demise in The Long Halloween.

In The Dark Knight, the slogan encapsulated a hope for Gotham City outside of Batman’s war on crime. The public’s belief in Harvey implied that they distrusted the vigilante caped crusader, choosing the justice system instead. As Gilda repeats it, she reveals that she has been lost in a fairy tale, similar to any deluded member of Batman’s rogues gallery. Although she hasn’t followed Two-Face in his crimes, it could only be a matter of time, as she’s willing to go to extremes for what she wants. If Two-Face endured legal action, she would likely be resistant to any court ruling. While she doesn’t specifically denounce Batman, Gilda is aligning with her husband at all costs.

The relationship echoes the dynamic of Mr. Freeze and his wife Nora, as the scientist became a monster following tragedy. Unlike other Batman villains, Mr. Freeze and Two-Face are motivated to save their wives. Believing themselves to be the only ones who can rescue them, there is a redemptive factor in their characterizations. Two-Face had been depicted as a psychotic murderer in Loeb and Sale’s previous work, but Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1 shows a more sympathetic side to the corrupted district attorney. Focused on Gilda’s belief in Harvey, Two-Face has reason to be a hero. Teaming up with Batman to save her from Calendar Man, Gilda’s misguided trust fuels the mission.

More: The Future Batman & Robin Are BOTH Bruce Wayne's Secret Sons

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