Batman 258 – Arkham Asylum debuts

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Batman 258 (Sept/Oct 74) was in my possession as a kid, though I have no recollection of picking it out.  I loved the loose theme to the issue, with each story dealing with a different number.  But that’s the easiest and loosest theme it would be possible to give, with a Two-Face story fronting the book.

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Arkham Asylum makes its debut in this story by O’Neil, Novick and Giordano, and is shown to be housing both Two-Face and the Joker.

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But aside from it’s name, nothing in particular is shown about the madhouse, which looks just like any other jail.  Two-Face’s men break him out, and he considers taking the Joker with him, but a flip of the coin decides against that.

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It’s not a great story, with the man who organized Two-Face’s breakout turning on him when Two-Face takes control of his crew, going to Batman to reveal the plans, and then jumping to his death.  The climax is better, as Two-Face steals an atomic bomb and threatens to blow up both houses of Congress.

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Unlike O’Neil’s previous Two-Face tale, the coin flips are of much more significance.  Batman manages to switch the coin for one with no scarred side, and then goads Two-Face into making a flip before detonating the bomb, and takes that opportunity to take him down.

Both Two-Face and the Joker are back two issues down the road.

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