As of Labor Day, Harvey Dent has been missing for a month since last issue’s incident in
the courtroom. He has been hiding out in Gotham’s sewers where he crosses paths with Solomon Grundy. At first Grundy attacks him, but when Harvey begins reciting the nursery rhyme from which Grundy received his name, he stops and calms down.
Batman and Jim Gordon are baffled by the turn of events that have befallen Harvey. Jim has come to the conclusion, based on his discovery that Harvey possessed a .22, that Harvey is Holiday. Batman refuses to acknowlege it, but Jim needs proof otherwise before he believes Harvey is innocent. Jim needs to hear it from Harvey himself.
Batman first searches at Falcone’s penthouse, asking Carmine if he knows where Harvey is. The Roman is enraged at Batman, accusing him of knowing that Dent was Holiday but standing aside while he killed, because criminals were the only victims. Batman departs and seeks out Catwoman, demanding to know why she is so interested in Falcone. As usual she runs away rather than reply.
Batman confronts Gilda next about her husband’s whereabouts, inquiring about the .22 they found. Batman tells her that he found gun metal shavings on Harvey’s workbench, as if he had filed away the serial numbers there, but Gilda can provide no explanation. Batman finally ends up at Arkham Asylum, talking to Julian Day, the Calendar Man. Batman tells Day that they know Harvey is Holiday but not how to find him. Julian suggests that, it being a holiday, there is only one option as to the location of Holiday.
That night Jim Gordon, at Batman’s request, moves Sal Maroni to a new cell. Batman believes that Maroni is most likely destined to be Holiday’s next victim. Sure enough, Batman’s prediction comes true when Holiday surfaces to shoot Sal twice in the head during the prisoner transfer. Sal’s helmeted guard lunges toward Holiday, who shoots him multiple times in the chest and takes him down. Holiday trains his gun on Jim Gordon, who can only helplessly stare up into the face of the man about to kill him--
Page 1--This page is, I think, the first time anyone has ever acknowledged the damage the acid would have done to Harvey’s left eye. If you look at last issue, he’s wide-eyed when the acid splashes onto him, but amazingly he can still see. However, this page here does show that his eye did not come out unscathed.
Page 3-4--Does anybody know the origin of this rhyme? I’d never heard the whole thing before this, but I like the way his life begins on a day with bad weather and the weather gets better as his life ends. Unfortunately, after doing research, I’ve found that the original did not have these weather comments, which must have been added by Jeph. The original also has a definite ending, which I’ve posted here, as opposed to the one Harvey quotes here, which seems to be like "The Song that Never Ends" in that at the end you start back in the beginning.
Page 4--Harvey asks Solomon Grundy in the last panel, "Can a man live two lives?" He’s already wondering if he can’t rebuild his life under a new form of justice, since the old one only led to his destruction. This is also a brilliant transition into the next page, on which Jim Gordon says in the first panel, "A double life." Of course Jim is referring to his (false) assumption that Harvey was really Holiday.
Bats’ dialogue in panel two, "But this... turn... with Harvey. It has changed how Gordon looks at me as well," shows that Jim sort of blames Batman for the fate that befell Harvey, who was Jim’s best friend, remember.
The "evidence" Jim alludes to in the third panel is very circumstantial. Batman himself gave Harvey the ledger back in June, while Jim was standing right there. And Harvey already explained away the presence of the gun. (Several of them were sitting behind Harvey at the trial last issue, for God’s sake!) Jim is jumping to conclusions here, an action designed to make us believe Harv is guilty so the truth will surprise us. It is also an action that Bats calls Jim to task for in a few pages.
Page 6--Jim’s anger at Batman over Harvey is made overt here with his shouting of "How long?"”
Page 7--Batman tries to be the voice of reason here in the first panel, attempting to show Jim that Harvey is a good man and thus couldn’t be Holiday. Jim, however, just thinks Batman is in denial, as shown in his questioning of Batman in panel two, "What if you’re wrong?" (Unfortunately, they’re both wrong. Harvey wasn’t Holiday, but he clearly is capable of doing evil, since he will become Two-Face.) The rift Harvey’s departure from the fold causes between them is made clear in the final panel, when the two have their backs turned, a far cry from issue one when Harvey, Bats and Jim stood united on this same roof. The rift is only now beginning to heal in DV.
Page 8--I feel like the poignant pause between the dialogue in panels three and four goes to show that Carmine knows Alberto is alive.
Page 9--Carmine’s dialogue in panel one, "The Long Halloween," is the only mention of the title of the series within its text.
Page 14--We get hints finally at Catwoman’s motivation for hating Carmine so--his pompous attitude about owning the world or a desire to be near Bats--but no real answers unfortunately. The truth is left up to our imaginations.
Page 15--Bats is downright scary in the fourth and final panel. Housewives are a superstitious and cowardly lot too, and if I had been Gilda, I would have hightailed it back up the stairs before Bats could even react, screaming bloody murder the whole way.
Page 16--Bats’ mention of finding gun metal in the vise grooves is one that is puzzling upon completion of the series. Now, clearly Jeph put this "clue" here to get us thinking it was Harv who was Holiday, so that the ending would be a surprise. But this is still a big clue, one that Bats completely drops upon finding out that it was really Alberto. so why was the gun metal there? Is it because, as the last few pages of ish thirteen want us to believe, Gilda was Holiday? (I don’t personally believe it myself. Gilda got the house on Christmas Eve. Her last Holiday killing, had she actually done any of them, would have been just a little later that night. How did she have time to file off the serial numbers after tending to Harvey’s injuries at the hands of the Joker and still make it to the Falcone penthouse on time? And how are the gun filings from that incident still there nine months later? And just how can Bats be so sure they are gun metal filings, when he just found the things? Maybe it’s from some other kind of metal.)
Batman’s inner monologue in panel three, which mentions that Day was locked up during the murders but that Arkham’s records could have been altered, shows that Bats is still skeptical of Harvey’s guilt.
More he/she stuff from Day in panel four. Take it as you will
In panel three, Day says “The Calendar Man is being forgotten. I can’t have that.” This dialogue might show that these visits from Bats and the games Day played were mere cries for attention.
In panel four, Day tells Bats that “you have something Holiday wants,” but on the next page it becomes “Calendar Man thinks Maroni is the next Holiday victim.” As usual, Day’s actual words are a far cry from Bats’ interpretation of them, which seems to me to show that Day’s advice wasn’t all that valuable, and that Bats figured it out on his own. “Something Holiday wants” could be anything, from Jim Gordon to Major Matt Mason action figures, mint in the box.
A caption in panel one (and Maroni’s dialogue in panel one of the next page) mentions that Maroni was shot three times in the courtroom, a fact that jives with the 1990 Batman annual by Andrew Helfer that is widely accepted to be the definitive Two-Face origin story. The actual shots must have come at some point off-panel last issue, probably while Harvey was writhing in pain on page 17.
I find Gordon’s comments in panel three ironic. He reminds Bats that by taking Calendar Man’s advice they’re listening to a madman. Jim was the one who originally came up with the deal with Day in issue three!
Page 20--In panels two, three, and four (as well as in panel one of the previous page), you can see the bandage from one of the slugs Maroni took sticking out from under his shirt. The position of the wound is consistent with where the wounds were seen in the aforementioned Batman annual.
Page 22--Admit it. You were surprised, weren’t you? You expected Harvey, and there’s Alberto instead. Let me tell you, the next month was one of the longest in my life, one of the only times that I was literally anxious on a weekly basis, hoping that issue thirteen had finally come in.