“You Either Die A Hero Or You Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain.”

We all have secrets. We all have something that we’ve done in our past that eats at us each and every day that passes. Things aren’t very different for Harvey Dent. Throughout the years, we have seen numerous incarnations of Batman’s multi-faced nemesis. Whether it was the overdone Batman Forever Harvey Dent or the animated series “Big Bad Harv”, to the most recent portrayal of Harvey in The Dark Knight, there was always something consistent with each incarnation, the Two-Face persona. For the sake of this article, and due to my absolute love and adoration for Batman: The Animated Series, we will dig deep into the animated incarnation of Harvey Dent. As a young child, Harvey was involved in fight in school in which he broke a bully’s nose. Harvey felt so bad about losing control and hurting the other child that he began to repress his anger and guilt over the incident. If you bust out your American Psychological Association Dictionary of Psychology (I know you have one!) you will find that a large amount of disorders are caused by the repression of an intense feeling or tragic incident. Repression plays a key role in Psychology, and it plays a prominent role in Harvey Dent’s life. Harvey living with this repressed incident and the subsequent emotions cause him to develop a separate personality to deal with the pain, “Big Bad Harv.” This development of a separate personality to deal with a traumatic event is called Dissociative Identity Disorder, and is typically associated with severe abuse. However, it seems to have manifested itself in Harvey Dent. Along with the creation of his separate identity, one could safely state that Harvey Dent was suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. He nearly meets all of the criteria, he was exposed to a traumatic event that involved actual serious injury, the event is persistently reexperienced due to exposure to cues and intrusive recollections and dreams, and he exhibited irritability and sharp outbursts of anger. These symptoms may have even been compounded after the injury Harvey sustained to his face. Due to the traumatic event in his past and his repression of the guilt associated with the event, Harvey Dent created Two-Face long before half of his face was mangled. The injury simply allowed Harvey to give in to the Two-Face personality and bring it to the fore.

About Steven Brewer

I’m a lifelong comic book fan. Comics pulled me in at an early age, with influences ranging from Chris Claremont’s historic X-Men run, Walt Simonson’s Thor run, Mike Zeck’s run on The Punisher limited series, Jim Lee’s X-Men, the early 90’s X-Men animated series, and the best cartoon ever made, Batman: The Animated Series. As a kid, these comics and cartoons gave me a new world to go to when the real world wasn’t so nice. Because of this, comic books will always have a special place in my heart. I love everything about comics, and still get the same feeling reading them today as I did when I was a kid. My major in college was psychology, so I love to incorporate that into comics.
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