“Selina, this isn’t a game. Couldn’t you just tell me where to find him
and wait here?”
The argument resumed as soon as they hit the rooftops.
“I am not about to abandon my friend to your medieval black-and-white notions
“Justice is not an abstract notion to me, Selina. I’m not some mystery
novel detective that only cares about winning a war of wits with an adversary
and the victims are incidental. There are REAL, INNOCENT PEOPLE I am
trying to protect, people who are going to get hurt or killed if that mad dog
isn’t brought down. I can’t reduce those people to some philosophical
discussion about shades of gray.”
“So you’re free to do anything you want and use anybody you can because the ends justify the means, is that it?”
“Maybe you’d feel the same way if your own ends were a little more defensible.”
“Oh, that’s just cold, Sport.”
The voice was Two-Face’s. He stood before them with wild eyes and a double-barreled shotgun.
“Harvey?” Catwoman asked tentatively. Two-Face continued to address Batman.
“Don’t get me wrong, there was a time we would’ve sung Amen, Halleluiah—Black and White! Right and Wrong! Good and Evil!”
He swung around to Catwoman and gestured wildly with the shotgun.
“That’s the way it is, pet, all your equivocating is just—talk. Cheap
lawyers tricks. Heh Heh– ”
He swung back to Batman.
“But it’s not so. Turns out Good isn’t Good. How s’pose to make EVIL the opposite of GOOD if GOOD ISN’T GOOD ANYMORE, HUH?!?”
“Harvey,” Catwoman repeated, firmly this time, trying to get through the delirious ranting. She failed.
“HYPOCRITE! HARVEY WAS A HYPOCRITE! Law and Order, it was the FAST TRACK to the GOVERNOR’S MANSION! WAS NEVER ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG! Just Politics. Leonard Berlander is dead. He didn’t do it. The racketeering charges, chief witness was sister of some old girlfriend he knocked up, frame up. I found out later… kept quiet. Was onto a big case—important victory—couldn’t be bothered fixing past mistakes… Leonard Berlander. Now he’s dead. Couldn’t’ve got legitimate work after prison, could he? Back in jail, back out, now he’s dead…. Harvey wasn’t such a good guy. No hero in a white hat. Gray. In between. How can we be the opposite of that? Huh? How can we?”
Catwoman didn’t know what to say. There was no answer for what had happened to him. He’d built his life around Two-Face being Harvey’s opposite. Harvey said Right so Two-Face said Left and the coin told them which it would be. Berlander’s suicide forced him to remember that Harvey wasn’t a flawless embodiment of good, just a man…. He’d been doing it all wrong. Two-Face no longer knew how to be Harvey’s opposite, and the coin couldn’t tell him what to do.
It was Batman who finally spoke.
“It isn’t gray that’s between black and white, Harvey. That’s just in old movies. In life, what’s between black and white is color… Reds and Blues and Purples… Wouldn’t the world be a sad place without them. You want to know something interesting? In painting, black is the presence of all colors, the more pigments you add, the closer you get to pure black. In lighting, black is the absence of all colors—total opposite—you mix all colors together you get pure white light. Isn’t that something?”
“The opposite?” Harvey croaked. It was a plea, Oliver Twist asking for more gruel.
“Total opposite,” Batman nodded. “You want to put the gun down?”
He did. Before Batman could blow his advantage with a clumsy move for the batcuffs, Selina chimed in:
“You need help, Harvey. I know Arkham isn’t anybody’s idea of a success story…”
“But you think they can get us back to only as crazy as we were before?”
She gave a radiant first-date laugh, then added, like it was a private joke:
“I’d give it a 50-50 chance.”
Two-Face nodded sadly.
To be continued...