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Two-Face's CoinGeneral InformationOfficial name:Scarred Silver DollarFirst Appearance:Detective Comics #66Type:CoinUsed by:Two-FaceTwo-Face's Coin is an item owned and used by the criminal Two-Face. Once a double-headed coin, it was scarred on one of its sides and used by Dent to aid his weapon of choice: decision making. The coin has often been used by Dent to decide whether his actions will be good or for bad. In recent years, Two-Face has become increasingly reliant on the coin to make his decisions, something that both Batman and other villains have used in their favor.
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In Pre-Crisis continuities, the coin once belonged to mob boss Sal Maroni as his lucky coin. After lawyer Harvey Dent found the coin at a murder, he was disfigured by the mobster throwing acid in his face, he took Maroni's lucky double-headed coin and defaced it. As Two-Face, he would flip the coin when making any significant life decisions. If the coin lands on the scarred side, Two-Face will pursue acts of evil. If the coin lands on the unmarked side, he is compelled to commit acts of good.
In Post-Crisis stories, the coin once belonged to Harvey Dent's father before it entered his possession. Using it, he would decide whether a young Harvey would be beat or not - the coin always landing on heads. When Dent obtained the coin, he learned that it was double-headed, leading to a mental breakdown. Harvey also had the coin in his possession during Maroni's trial and it, like him, was defaced by the acid.
Two-Face often defers to his coin in choices of life and death, to the point that he will rely on the coin even if the subsequent flip jeopardizes his own plans. He once collaborated with the Joker and the Penguin to poison Batman, but when Robin suggested a coin-toss to decide the final outcome of the plan, Two-Face attacked the Penguin to get the antidote. During No Man's Land, Two-Face put James Gordon on trial for his 'illegal' alliance with Two-Face during an earlier plan to protect Gordon's territory, but when Renee Montoya noted that Gordon needed a defense, Two-Face tossed a coin to confirm that Harvey Dent would act as Gordon's defense lawyer, Dent's cross-examination of himself leading to Gordon's acquittal.
At one point, Two-Face was so dependent on the coin for any of his criminal acts that he could be easily defeated by taking the coin away from him or preventing him from seeing the result of the flip. Harvey Kent (Earth-Two) was usually shown at this level of dependency. Dent has since lessened his dependency on the coin flip to whether a situation should be implemented, rather than each individual act; for example, during Prodigal, he set up a plan where he would disrupt all criminal records of those currently awaiting full sentencing, but still relied on a coin toss to decide whether he put the plan into action by flicking the final switch or not even after setting everything up for the plan to go into action.
A decade after Batman's retirement, Dent is treated by Dr. Bartholomew Wolper and presumed 'cured' after plastic surgery repairs his face. He appears on television presenting a restored version of his double headed coin with a grin. Shortly after Dent is released from the Arkham Home for the Emotionally Troubled, he instead suffers a final psychotic break, scarring both sides of his coin to reflect his new darker approach to crime.
In Earth-43, Two-Face relied on a coin-toss to determine how he, Killer Croc and their gang would respond to the threat of the vampire Batman, stating when the coin landed scarred side up that they would 'extend this alliance to [their] opposites'. Croc noted that he felt the coin should be good side up to make that decision, but Two-Face said that he would see what that meant later. Working with James Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth, the villains were apparently able to shoot Batman with a wooden arrow during a confrontation in the Batcave, but after Batman was presumed dead, Two-Face turned on Gordon and Alfred, explaining that this was what the coin-toss meant (With this in mind, it suggests that Two-Face always planned an alliance as the only solution to the vampire Batman and the coin-toss just determined whether he would honor the alliance afterwards or betray his 'allies' immediately).
In a world where the Joker's actions led to the destruction of Metropolis and Lois Lane's death at Superman's hands, Two-Face is drawn into the resulting 'debate' over Superman's more violent, 'pro-active' approach to crime, taking over a Gotham news station, only for Superman to vaporize his coin with heat vision before Dent can decide which news anchor he will kill.
Two-Face's signature coin appeared in Batman Forever. Dent defaces the left side of the Lady Gotham statue by crashing a helicopter into it, matching its depiction on his double headed coin and his own disfiguration. Instead of being totally dependent on the coin for what he should do next, on at least one occasion, when he was faced with an opportunity to shoot Bruce Wayne after he learned that Bruce was Batman and had rendered him unconscious in an attack on Wayne Manor, Dent decided what he wanted to do himself and just kept flipping the coin until he achieved his desired result (although the Riddler stopped him from actually shooting Wayne, as he preferred to defeat their foe more directly rather than just catching him by surprise).
Later on when the Riddler was defeated, Dent seized the opportunity to kill Batman once and for all, but the Dark Knight made him decide with his coin once again. When he tossed it, Batman threw a handful of identical decoys at him, confusing Two-Face, making him lose his balance and fall to his death. However, as the criminal sunk to his watery grave, the coin landed one last time in his open hand, with the unscarred side up. Kenner included a full scale replica of the coin in the packaging of their Two-Face action figure.
Before his accident, Harvey Dent used the coin to trick criminals into confessing, such as when he kidnapped Thomas Schiff and informed him, "Heads, you get to keep your head. Tails, not so lucky". But because both sides were heads, Dent never killed. After Dent's accident that turned him into Two-Face, one side of the coin was badly burnt while the other side was fine. Two-Face then used the coin to actually decide whether his target would live or die. Dent stated that the coin was a keepsake from his deceased father, which he implied was also the reason that he managed to ask Rachel Dawes out. He would often flip the coin when he wanted to take on a case.
The Dark Knight novelization expanded a bit on the coin's backstory, where it was revealed to have been used in a manner similar to the comics' rendition of Dent's childhood as a means for his father to give his son a beating (with the coin always choosing in favor of having him beaten due to its double-headed nature). Dent's father's status as a former cop also prevented anyone from reporting to the authorities of his evident child abuse, which consequentially led to Dent's severe hatred for corrupt cops, especially the ones in Commissioner Gordon's employment.
In Gotham, the pre-disfigured Harvey Dent uses the double-headed coin toss in talks with young offenders and other minor criminals, claiming that he will let them pick a side and then leave it up to fate to determine if he sends them to jail or lets them off with promises that they won't repeat their actions, musing that the strategy works as most teenagers pick 'Heads'.
Two-Face's coin appears in the game as his lucky coin. Unlike other versions, it appears to be a regular coin or possibly scarred before he becomes Two-Face. Dent also uses the coin to make decisions prior to its usage in his criminal plans. If the player confronts him during "City of Light", Bruce uses Harvey/Two-Face's reliance on the coin to subdue him, either by pocketing it (leaving him indecisive) or throwing it away, causing Dent to injure himself trying to get it. Should Harvey not be disfigured in "Children of Arkham", the coin appears in Batman's Batcave display for the criminal in the sequel, Batman: The Enemy Within.
A two-tailed coin is equally valid, but much less common, for whatever reason. Additionally, if a coin is being judged on the side that lands and not the symbol, a two-headed coin is actually more fair, as the weight of different designs actually biases normal coins.
Often a characteristic quirk, usually for villains, anti heroes, or badasses. May indicate a character is Two-Faced or appear as a #1 Dime. Can invoke Dramatic Irony when the audience knows the coin is rigged, but the other characters don't. When the coin isn't two-headed, it may still always land heads up due to the Random Number God or a character being Born Lucky. Subtrope of Fixing the Game. See also False Roulette for another type of game of chance that isn't actually up to luck and Heads, Tails, Edge for another coin-flipping trope.
Anime & Manga In Digimon Adventure 02, when Hikari is trapped in Full Metal City and Daisuke and Takeru are preparing to reenter to rescue her, Daisuke (who has a crush on Hikari) attempts to pull this on Takeru to decide who will go. He uses a false American quarter with heads on both sides, declaring that heads means Takeru goes home. Takeru swipes the coin while Daisuke is gloating about his "victory" and calls him on it, noting that such false coins are widely sold at a local store and even admitting to having used one himself on his older brother, which apparently worked for long enough to Takeru to have won several items from Yamato.
In Queen's Blade, Risty owns a two-headed gold coin that she claims is a good luck charm. She gives it to Leina, saying she'll take it back once Leina gains control over her life and becomes truly strong. At one point, seeing the coin helps Leina snap out of mind control.
On Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi uses a variation, using one coin with only one symbol on it and another coin that secretly has two, to prove that the Paradox Brothers have rigged the solution to their labyrinth puzzle.