Batman Admits The One Villain He Trusts As Much As Alfred

Summary

  • Batman considered sharing his secret identity with Harvey Dent, showing the level of trust he had in him.
  • Bruce and Harvey have a long history and shared a close bond since childhood.
  • Two-Face eventually learns Batman’s secret, but their dynamic has changed, and Harvey never knew how important he was to Bruce.



When a hero shares their secret identity, it’s usually a major moment in their history, and Batman is no different. When Batman first started, only Alfred Pennyworth knew that Bruce Wayne was Batman — eventually, Bruce considered telling one other person his secret identity. Unfortunately, that person ended up becoming a major supervillain.


Batman’s surprising first pick to reveal his identity is revealed in Batman: Dark Victory #2 by Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Gregory Wright, and Richard Starkings. As Batman tries to solve the mystery of the Hangman, he considers the fate of Harvey Dent. This story takes place early in Batman’s career, at which point he is a close partner with Harvey Dent — the man behind Two-Face.



Before Harvey Dent became the villain Two-Face, Batman admits he really was considering sharing his secret identity with him, and he even wonders if doing so might’ve prevented Harvey from falling. While this choice might seem surprising, later additions to the two’s history truly cement their friendship, giving an even stronger reason for why Bruce would consider revealing his secret.


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Batman Wanted to Share His Identity with Harvey Dent

Comic book panel: Batman takes off his mask.


Secret identities are extremely important to most superheroes, with even unbelievably powerful characters like Superman using one. Secret identities allow characters to fight crime and stop supervillains while keeping their friends and family safe. Often, when an identity is leaked, it’s one of the worst things that could possibly happen and will throw the hero’s life into complete turmoil. That’s why the idea of willingly sharing such an identity is such a major step for most characters. While many characters know Batman’s secret identity in the current iteration of the DC Universe, back when he first started out only Alfred Pennyworth knew, and outside of Alfred, Batman’s first pick was Harvey Dent, which shows just how much Bruce trusted him.


Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent have a long history together. Harvey and Batman fought crime together along with Captain Gordon during the Long Halloween storyline, which took place in the first few years of Batman’s career. But their history goes even deeper than that. During their shared childhood, Bruce was sent to the children’s wing of Arkham Asylum to deal with the trauma of his parent’s death. It’s there that he met a young Harvey Dent, who was in Arkham due to his physically abusive father. The two boys quickly bonded and became inseparable, despite never learning one another’s names. The two characters have always been close.

Two-Face Could Have Known Batman’s Biggest Secret from the Beginning

Comic book panel: Bruce Wayne looks sad while thinking about Harvey Dent.


Two-Face eventually learns Batman’s secret identity, but by then they share a much different dynamic than when Bruce originally wanted to share his secret. With Harvey’s fall to villainy, Bruce ends up making Dick Grayson the first person to learn his identity outside of Alfred. But there was a time when the first ally that Batman wanted — someone he trusted as much as Alfred — was none other than the man who eventually becomes Two-Face, one of the worst supervillains to plague Gotham City. The two continue their fraught battle to this day, and Harvey Dent has never really learned just how important he once was to Bruce Wayne.


Batman: Dark Victory #2 is available now from DC Comics!