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Everybody’s Somebody’s Baby – Day Four

Okay, so we had the Top 100 Marvel and DC Characters List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT hundred on the list. But what about those characters that were less supported? THEY have their fans, too, right? So this week, each day I’m going to take a look at some characters who made only ONE ballot – but were chosen FIRST on that ballot.

Enjoy!

The Mad Hatter – 10 points (1 first place vote)

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Jervis Tetch, the Mad Hatter, first showed up during the Golden Age, as a short-lived villain.

He returned years later (although that return was later revealed to be an imposter).

Later on, Tetch developed his gimmick that he has used to this day – which is mind control via hats.

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He is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland, and appears to have difficulty differentiating it from reality.

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Most recently, he was a member of Gail Simone’s Secret Six for a time.

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Here is why Ethan Kaye had him tops on his list…

The Mad Hatter represents the extreme unpredictability that we all kind of hope that Batman villains should touch on occasionally. Whereas you have the Joker and the Scarecrow putting together massive plans involving poisons and elaborate constructions, the Mad Hatter is just nuts. Unpredictable, violent, obsessive, and completely unaccountable for his actions, just as happy pouring tea as he is kidnapping someone at gunpoint. The moments where we see him enjoying himself are just as rewarding as those when he’s getting beaten by Batman or Robin.

His appearances stretch from the lucid episodes (where he gets himself together enough to attempt mind control) to the completely unhinged (talking in nothing but snippets from the “Alice” books, having sex with hats) – and you never know which version is going to show up. But in every appearance he clings to his obsession, the Alice books, as the one crutch that keeps him from turning into a drooling puddle. It’s that preoccupation with some mad semblance of “order” and “style” that makes him more than a nut with a gun. He’s my favorite DC character by far, because, well, the potential of a completely mad character is limitless, isn’t it?

Thanks, Ethan!

12 Comments

The cover to BM 379 is great! He’s lost his balance, but will be upright long enough to get blasted in the face with a chimney. After that, I’d imagine the three goons will send him to the morgue.

Good thing cover art isn’t in continuity: http://www.superdickery.com

Hatter was by far the most unhinged and deranged part of Secret Six, which is an honour, given how Gail was writing that mini.

“Having sex with hats”:
Say what???
I missed that issue!

He had sex with hats? See, when I read the issue of Secret Six where he jacks up the pleasure device in his lid and moaning “That’s good hat,” I didn’t think he was actually doing stuff to the hat.

Gail Simone did good by Jervis, especially when he used his hat to pwn Bumblebee (“Stutter”), Elasti-Girl (“Switch”) and Negative Man (“Suffer”). He would’ve made for a good long-term fit for the Six, who seem to be scattered at the moment. Sadly, Ragdoll correctly assumed there was room for one dandy freak on the team, and that’s why he shoved Hatter off a cliff.

Mad Hatter won me over, like so many Batman villains, on the Animated Series first. Only later did I discover his comic book adventures. I would have to agree that Gail Simone did an awesome job with him in the Secret Six.

Joker is *sometimes* written as “unpredictable, violent (and) obsessive”, but too many writers have tackled the character too many different ways (not to mention the Jack Nicholson Effect) for him to retain as strong of a character archetype as this. In that sense, Mad Hatter is better off being obscure, because it means there are fewer writers out there that want to use him in their books and potentially “explore new ground” with the character, which would ultimately water him down.

No offense to the other voters, but this is the first of the Everybody is Somebody’s Baby characters that I undersand being someone’s favorite, and not just a joke. Hatter has had interesting stories about him on the Batman Animated Series and by Loeb/Sale and Simone. Still not in my personal top 100, but I understand how he could be someone’s fave.

Even when you get down to the bottom of the Batmans’ rougues gallery you have A+ awesome.

Like others I only remember Mad Hatter from the Batman:The Animated Series but those episodes were always so much fun.

I have to join those singing the praises of his appearances in Secret Six. He actually had one of my favorite comic book lines of all time in that book – “It began, as all good stories do, with a lonely man inventing a hat that could rule people’s minds.”

Mad Hatter is totally one of the best Bat-baddies.

This feature is fascinating.

Also, Hatter has the added bonus of being the one bad guy who pisses off Batman the most, because he perverts one of Bruce Wayne’s favorite stories in Alice In Wonderland. That was covered in the second Loeb/Sale Halloween special.

BTAS Hatter was better than the Sixties live action version…particularly with the episode where Jervis controls circus bears and getting them to use keypads. “Smart bears.” “Too smart.”

I saw the Mad Hatter today on Batman:The Animated Series reruns. He had Batman trapped in a dream world. It was cool.

I have read Haunted Knight and was wandering if anyone knew of other appearances by the Hatter that were very good. After reading these posts, I think I’ll pick up the Secret Six, but are there others where he is especially good? Also, I have read somewhere that he takes control of some of Robin’s classmates and Robin takes him down himself, which issue was this? Thanks

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