Dreaming Up a Nightmare: Designing Atomic Two-Face
To wrap up “Five Days of Infinite Crisis” here on DCComics.com, we thought we’d take a close look at Atomic Two-Face. Why this particular baddie? Well, unlike the other Infinite Crisis characters we’ve seen so far, Atomic Two-Face was created by DC Comics specifically for the Infinite Crisis comic book. That’s not to say we won’t ever see him show up in the game, but most of the characters we’ll be seeing in the Dan Abnett-scripted series later this year are characters that were created for the game by the game’s development team (with creative input from DC Comics). Atomic Two-Face was created the other way around.
Combine that with the fact that he was designed by DC’s Director of Creative Services Jim Fletcher, and you never know what to expect when you get Jim in a room, and it just seemed like too fun of an idea to resist.
Tim Beedle: Hey Jim, I was wondering how the character of Atomic Two-Face came about. I know that he was created specifically for the Infinite Crisis comic book, but was it always going to be that specific combination of world and character?
Jim Fletcher: [SVP of Integrated Publishing] Hank Kanalz presented this project to me as Atomic Two-Face, so the specific world and character were both defined for me immediately. I was familiar with the basic idea of the Atomic Age scenario from DC Collectibles’ work on the Infinite Crisis statues and toys.
TB: Can you tell us a bit about the process in creating him? Did you look at anything for inspiration?
JF: I always liked Two-Face as a Batman villain, since he's already so visually arresting. I went back and looked at his numerous appearances (including the various skin colors on the damaged half of his face!) and studied the other inspiring Atomic Age characters Turbine already had designed to make sure he would make sense in that world.
TB: Did you land on this design pretty early on, or did it take a little time? Any unused designs you’d be willing to share?
JF: The basic core of this design resonated with [Infinite Crisis comic editor] Jim Chadwick immediately in the first batch of sketches, but I was having too much fun so submitted a few more.
This is the original concept sketch. At one point, he was going to have many more arms, but we decided the asymmetry of the three arms was a good look for the "bad" side.
This is a "combo face" of Harvey and Gilda with a shared mouth and eye, like they were fused together but somehow alive. (The center eye socket was going to have the coin instead of an eye that would roll around!)
With this one, I was envisioning two very different, separate bodies that would merge back and forth.
The idea here was that there would be a tiny arm that would flip the coin for Harvey attached to one side of his head. The arm would come out when he had to make a decision. Not sure where it came from actually!
TB: Finally, what do you think the Prime version of Harvey Dent would make of this guy?
I’d say that Prime Harvey should flip a coin to decide if it's worth getting on the wrong side of the Atomic version of himself…
For more on Atomic Two-Face and the Infinite Crisis comic, be sure to read our interview with writer Dan Abnett from earlier this week.
To sign up for the Infinite Crisis open beta and start playing now: https://www.infinitecrisis.com/en