Thursday, July 16, 2009
Remember when we asked how Two-Face made the money to afford a headquarters, armored cars, henchmen, weapons, ammunition, tools, and all the other useful things he uses in his heists and plots to destroy Batman? Well, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo put forth a bit of an explanation in their recent graphic novel, Joker. Apparently, "Harvey Dent was the rackets in Gotham. From fruit stands to oyster bars, he got a taste. The price of doing business was doing it with him."
This makes sense to the extent that I believe that Two-Face would play the role of Gotham's eminent mobster. If any one of Gotham's "freaks" would be most capable of taking over the Falcone and Maroni businesses, it would be Two-Face. He would have dealings with most of the crooks in the underground and he would skim some off the top for it.
And I imagine that all or most of these businesses involves some drug smuggling, human trafficking, or whatever other shady businesses come to mind when thinking of mobsters. Drug trafficking alone is a lucrative enterprise. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York City police seized 1,481.1 kgs of cocaine, 279.3 kgs of heroin, 7.1 kgs of methamphetamines, 2,820.7 kgs of marijuana, 79.3 kgs of hasish, 0.6 kgs of MDMA, and 9 meth labs in 2008 alone. In 2007, a man was found guilty of helping to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States between 1998 and 2003. If Two-Face is at the very top of this game in Gotham City, one of the notoriously corrupt cities in the world, and has his hands in most of these exchanges, I am sure that he is making quite a bit for his villain game.
However, one thing still remains a mystery to me (which I mentioned in the earlier post): Batman. If Two-Face is really running Gotham the way that his predecessor thugs did, then why has Batman not stopped him and seized his assets? While the police in Gotham may be lackadaisical in rooting out these smuggling rings, or simply not have the legal basis or evidence with which to halt these illegal activities, Batman is not bound by such constraints. In fact, that was one of the main issues raised in Batman Begins. The police could not touch Falcone, despite his infractions, but Batman almost immediately was able to stop his smuggling operation and bring him to justice. So why is Two-Face capable of making so much money in Gotham City that he is actually living in a mansion?
Actually, Batman seems to be pretty slow overall in this novel. SPOILER ALERT. It took the entire novel for him to so much as make an appearance to stop the Joker. Before he showed up, the Joker was released from Arkham, skinned a man alive, blew up a building, killed a whole bunch of mobsters, and performed many others lude and violents acts that I will not mention. And Batman didn't even discover it for himself! Two-Face had to actually call him and alert him of what the Joker was up to. What is going on?
Perhaps Two-Face immediately sends his money to offshore bank accounts where Batman cannot touch it. This way in between committing crimes, going to Arkham, and coming out, he has some sort of a reserve from which he can draw funds. Though I'm not quite sure how this would work.
What do you all think? Any theories??