|First appearance||Batman #49 (October 1948)|
|Created by||Bill Finger (writer)|
Lew Sayre Schwartz (artist)
Bob Kane (concept)
|Alter ego||Jervis Tetch|
|Team affiliations||Secret Six|
Secret Society of Super Villains
Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. He is modeled after the Hatter from Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a character often called the "Mad Hatter" in adaptations of Carroll. Mad Hatter is depicted as a scientist who invents and uses technological mind-controlling devices to influence and manipulate the minds of his victims. He is one of Batman's most enduring enemies and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery.
The Mad Hatter has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including feature films, television series, and video games. He has been voiced by Roddy McDowall in the DC animated universe, and Peter MacNicol in the Batman: Arkham video game series. He has also been portrayed in live-action by David Wayne in the 1960s Batman series, and Benedict Samuel in the Fox series Gotham.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Characterization
- 4 Reception
- 5 Other characters named Mad Hatter
- 6 Other versions
- 7 In other media
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Publication history[edit | edit source]
Created by Bill Finger and Lew Sayre Schwartz, the Mad Hatter made his first appearance in Batman #49 (October 1948). Jervis Tetch is fascinated with hats of all shapes and sizes, as well as the Lewis Carroll's children's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, particularly favoring the chapter "A Mad Tea Party". According to Dr. Blakloch of Arkham Asylum:
Blakloch also notes that when agitated, Tetch begins rhyming as a defence mechanism. Tetch often quotes and makes reference to Carroll's Wonderland novels, and sometimes even fails to discern between these stories and reality. In addition to his obsession with Lewis Carroll, Tetch has also shown an additional obsession for hats. In Secret Six, he will not eat a piece of food that does not have a hat on it, and states that he is not interested in the sight of his naked teammate Knockout because she is not wearing a hat. In the graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, it is strongly implied that he is a pedophile. His storylines in Streets of Gotham #4 and Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman: Haunted Knight also imply an unhealthy fixation on children, such as when he kidnaps a young Barbara Gordon and forces her into a tea party dressed as Alice, as well as kidnapping other runaway children and dressing them up like characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Fictional character biography[edit | edit source]
Backstory[edit | edit source]
Growing up, Tetch was a lonely, awkward child, shunned by other children and living in his own fantasy world. As an adult, he becomes a neuroscientist, and at some point moves into a boarding house owned by Ella Littleton. There he befriends Ella's daughter, Connie, and her friends in her junior high school computer club, sometimes helping them with their projects. A few years later, when Connie is in high school, she gets pregnant. Fearing the reaction of her extremely strict mother, Connie lies to her and claims she had been raped by someone on her high school's baseball team, the Gotham Hawks. Ella, in turn, approaches Tetch for help and convinces him that the Gotham Hawks are "bad kids". Tetch agrees to use his mind control technology on a member of the team, making him use a pipe bomb to kill the other players. Although this is Tetch's first known criminal act, his involvement in the locker room bombing would not be discovered until years later.
Criminal career[edit | edit source]
In his first appearance as the Mad Hatter, Tetch attempts to steal a trophy from the Gotham Yacht Club, and begins a crime spree that ends when he is foiled by Batman while he is trying to rob spectators from a high society horseshow. Tetch is subsequently sent to Arkham Asylum (although his fate is not revealed until Detective Comics #510). The Mad Hatter is not seen again in the Golden Age of Comic Books. In the Silver Age of Comic Books, an impostor Mad Hatter appears and clashes with Batman many times. He is revealed as an impostor when the Mad Hatter finally reappears, claiming to have "disposed of the impostor" (although the impostor would return one last time in Detective Comics #573 in 1987). Accompanied by several henchmen and a pet chimpanzee (named "Carroll Lewis", although the Mad Hatter claims that the chimp refuses to tell him how it came to have that moniker), the Mad Hatter kidnaps Lucius Fox, the C.E.O. of Wayne Tech. Although he holds Lucius Fox for ransom, the Mad Hatter also unveils a device allowing him to copy the knowledge in Fox's brain, which he intends to use to make an additional fortune. However, Lucius Fox is rescued by Batman, who also captures the Mad Hatter and his henchmen.
The Mad Hatter's next appearance marks the first time he is portrayed in comics with the mind-controlling devices for which he would eventually become best known. Allying himself with other villains in an attempt to kill Batman, Hatter uses a mind-controlling hat on Scarecrow, forcing the villain (who had been paralyzed with fear) to fight. When Batman overcomes his attackers, Tetch flees and appears to die on a bridge under the wheels of a train. In actuality he had escaped by jumping onto a truck that had been passing underneath the bridge. Subsequent encounters with Batman resulted in Tetch being sent to Arkham.
During another early encounter with Batman, the Mad Hatter escapes from Arkham in time for Halloween, and makes his home in an old mansion that had been abandoned after a gruesome murder years before. Retreating deeply into his delusions about Wonderland, Tetch offers sanctuary to runaway children, asking them in return to dress up as characters from Alice in Wonderland and attend his tea parties, where he serves them drugged tea to keep them sedated. Around this time, the teenage Barbara Gordon comes to Gotham, having been adopted by her uncle, Commissioner Jim Gordon, following the death of her parents. Barbara sneaks out against her uncle's orders, and goes to Gotham Park, where she soon finds herself being chased by a group of masked men with knives. The group surround her, and begin implying that they will molest or rape her, provoking her to scream for help. The Mad Hatter appears and scares the men away with his gun. Tetch takes her to his "Wonderland", where she is expected to play the role of Alice. When she refuses to drink tea and asks to leave, Tetch angrily smashes a teapot, scaring another of the runaways into sneaking away while Tetch's attention is on Barbara. The boy leads the police and Batman to Tetch's hideout, and Tetch is defeated by Batman while Commissioner Gordon rescues Barbara.
When Black Orchid visits Arkham Asylum, attempting to find out more about her past from Poison Ivy, she is assisted by Tetch. After Ivy refuses to help Orchid, Tetch tries to cheer her up. He also reveals he has been helping other inmates at Arkham, such as bringing Ivy things to make her plant-animal hybrids with. "I believe in helping people," he explains. "We were all put here for a purpose, I say. But it's still nice to get a thank-you." Tetch is delighted to receive a small flower as thanks for his help. Tetch is also aware of Animal Man's identity as Buddy Baker. He is seen laughing hysterically in Arkham with the final page of "The Return with the Man of the Animal Powers", the second Animal Man story, after which he is dragged back to his cell.
In the Knightfall saga, the Mad Hatter is the first to strike, following the breakout from Arkham. He invites all criminals to a tea party to which Batman and Robin would come. One of the criminals was Film Freak, on whom Tetch uses a mind control device, sending him to find the person that broke them out of Arkham. Batman and Robin come and defeat the Mad Hatter as Film Freak is defeated by Bane. In Robin: Year One, millionaire third-world dictator Generalissimo Lee hires the Mad Hatter to kidnap a number of young girls using his mind control devices. The Mad Hatter does so by implanting the devices in Walkmen, which he gives out to girls at Dick Grayson's school. The young Robin manages to defeat the Mad Hatter, however.
Another plan consisted of implanting his devices in "free coffee and donuts" tickets he handed out in front of the police stations in Gotham. That plan had him controlling most of the cops in the city, inciting them to steal for him, and ultimately to riot. He even had Gotham police detectives Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya break into a bank for him. Sasha Bordeaux helped Batman stop him this time around. The Mad Hatter shows up in Gotham City after it is rocked by a devastating earthquake. He adds to his body count, callously murdering a policeman. His goal is to unearth a trove of valuables, which in the end turn out to be classic hats. Tetch's role in the deaths of the Gotham Hawks High School Baseball team is eventually discovered by detectives in the Gotham City Police Department. Tetch, imprisoned at Arkham at the time, is interviewed to try to find his motive. After sending the police away, telling them that the team had been "bad kids" and that they "deserved it", Tetch contacts Ella Littleton and warns her that the police might uncover her role in the bombing. Tetch had given her one of his mind-controlling hats years before, which she used to try to take control of a guard and try to help Tetch escape from Arkham. The Hatter is caught as he tries to escape, and the mind-controlled guard fires on police before dying in return fire. Tetch himself is shot multiple times and left in critical condition. Distraught at the news, Elle Littleton inadvertently tells her daughter Connie that Tetch had killed the team for her, to "avenge her honor". Connie informs the police of everything that had happened, and Ella Littleton is arrested. While working with Black Mask, the Mad Hatter implants a mind control chip directly into Killer Croc's brain, which causes him to mutate again due to the virus he had been injected with by Hush and the Riddler. Killer Croc embarks on a quest to get payback on those responsible for his mutation, and starts with the Mad Hatter. Batman arrives in time to save him, but Killer Croc escapes. During Infinite Crisis, the Mad Hatter is first seen being roundly beaten by Argus, and then later fighting with the Secret Society of Super Villains during the Battle of Metropolis.
One Year Later/Secret Six[edit | edit source]
Tetch is revealed to have been involved in the plot by The Great White Shark to frame Harvey Dent for murdering various Gotham criminals in the Detective Comics storyline Face The Face. The capacity in which he is involved is left vague, however.
Tetch's base of operations in Gotham City is destroyed following a search for an atomic weapon, by the former Robin, Tim Drake, and the current Captain Boomerang, Owen Mercer. A recording of Tetch appears on a monitor screen and tells them that the roof will be the final hat they will ever wear as it falls down on them. Robin and Boomerang narrowly escape the building.
He is later approached by Cat-Man, and he joins the members of the Secret Six to oppose the Secret Society of Super Villains; they have recruited him in hopes of a defense against Doctor Psycho's mind control abilities.
When Rag Doll attacks the Secret Six under Dr. Psycho's control, Tetch puts on what he calls his "thinking cap" and goes into a seizure. After the Six crash-land, they are attacked by the Doom Patrol, who come close to apprehending the Six until Mad Hatter steps in and uses his mind control abilities to subdue the Doom Patrol singlehandedly, going so far as to almost make Elasti-Girl eat Beast Boy before Scandal stops him.
In a later issue of Secret Six, Tetch reveals that he has designed a hat to make him happy beyond the measures of what illegal drugs can. He also states that he has planted miniature listening devices around the House of Secrets to keep tabs on his fellow members. After revealing the true motives of Scandal Savage to leave the team, the Secret Six go after her, finding themselves at Vandal Savage's temple in the mountains, where Doctor Psycho starts attacking the team. Tetch easily gets the upper hand on Doctor Psycho until Cheshire appears and stabs him in the back with a poisoned dagger.
Scandal tends to Hatter's wound, and Cat-Man administers an antidote to Tetch. While the Six face off against Cheshire and Vandal Savage, Hatter takes on Doctor Psycho one on one, and emerges victorious despite his injuries, gravely injuring Dr. Psycho with Cheshire's dagger.
At the end of the mini-series, Hatter saves Scandal from falling to her death, and the Six befriend him. As Hatter stands atop Savage's destroyed base with Rag Doll, he promises to be a very good friend in return. Rag Doll then pushes Hatter off the roof, seemingly to his death, saying there was "only room for one dandy freak on the team". However, it is revealed on the final page that Tetch survived the fall. Heartbroken, he vows revenge on the rest of the Six.
Prior to the events of Gotham Underground, Tetch falls victim to his own mind control devices at the hands of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The two force him to "lead" a gang of Wonderland-related criminals called the Wonderland Gang through various gimmicky heists before Batman deduces the Tweeds to be the true masterminds. Once the three are returned to Arkham, the Hatter quickly exacts revenge on the two, manipulating them into a bloody brawl with his mind control chips.
Gotham Underground and Salvation Run[edit | edit source]
More recently, Mad Hatter appears in Gotham Underground #1 (August 2007), alongside Scarecrow, Hugo Strange, the Penguin, and Two-Face, who have gathered together to assist him in escaping Gotham in light of the disappearance of other villains due to the Suicide Squad and Amanda Waller kidnapping and deporting villains offworld in Countdown to Final Crisis. During their meeting, however, the Suicide Squad break into the building and arrests them. He is later seen on the Hell World in Salvation Run #2 (January 2008), confirming that he has indeed been deported off-world. He appears briefly during the final issue as the Parademons attack, and escapes the Hell Planet alive thanks to Lex Luthor's device.
DC Infinite Halloween Special[edit | edit source]
In the first issue of DC Infinite Halloween Special, Hatter recounts a first-person perspective story of a small boy whose parents are murdered before his eyes by a blood-sucking humanoid bat. The story follows closely the actual origin story of Batman, and is a close approximation of the Red Rain 'universe' (noted in the Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer series as Earth-43), wherein Batman is in fact a vampire.
Final Crisis[edit | edit source]
In the 2008 DC event Final Crisis, Dan Turpin has been approached by the Question with regards to a recent string of child disappearances related to a mysterious group called The Dark Side Club. Turpin subsequently discovers that the club is led by Darkseid, who has taken on a human form after the events of Death of the New Gods. He is gathering a group of children together and infusing them with the Anti-Life Equation as part of his broader plan to enslave and devastate the human race. In Final Crisis #2 (2008), Turpin discovers that Tetch played an instrumental role in assisting Darkseid in gathering the children together through the use of his mind-control hats. Turpin, overcome with a violent rage that he himself does not understand, viciously beats Tetch. Upon threats of brain damage, Tetch confesses that the children have been taken to Blüdhaven. Confused and unsure of himself, Turpin then leaves and boards a bus to Blüdhaven.
The Final Crisis Secret Files also reveals that Darkseid's Justifiers helmets are a combination of Apokoliptic technology and the Hatter's mind control circuitry.
Secret Six Redux[edit | edit source]
Secret Six #6 (February 2009) reveals that Mad Hatter has hired the Six to break Tarantula out of Alcatraz, to deliver her as well as a "get out of Hell free" card created by Neron to Gotham City. Doing so has put the Six directly in the line of retribution from Junior, Ragdoll's psychotic sister. Junior believes that the Neron Card is key to saving her soul from eternal damnation, and will stop at nothing to reclaim it from Tarantula and the Six.
It seems that Junior's wrath is not the motivation behind Tetch's hiring the Six to perform this mission. He has made it clear his intention is to ensure the Six safely reach Gotham. The story is ongoing, and Tetch's full plan has yet to be revealed, although it is made clear in the same issue that Tetch intends to murder each member of the Six as part of his revenge.
Tetch observes as the Six battle Junior and his goons on Gotham Bridge and when the battle ceases he confronts them, telling them how they betrayed him. Rag Doll throws Tetch's hat over the edge and Tetch jumps off after it.
Batman: Life After Death[edit | edit source]
Tetch next shows up, seemingly uninjured from his battle with the Secret Six, working with The Penguin, who is planning on killing the new Black Mask. He assists Penguin in attaching a mind control device to a gas mask, which is placed on Batman's head to turn him into a puppet to assassinate Black Mask. The plot fails, and Batman recovers before killing Black Mask. Following this, Tetch is shown once again incarcerated in Arkham. He hires Deathstroke and the Titans to free him, and escapes just prior to a massive prison riot.
The New 52[edit | edit source]
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Jervis Tetch is portrayed as suffering from hypogonadism, which prevents him physically maturing. He begins taking testosterone-enhancing drugs that permanently impair his mental stability. His parents commit him to Arkham Asylum after he has a drug-induced psychotic breakdown, during which he begins referring to himself as "The Mad Hatter". He is eventually freed by the White Rabbit. He uses his mind control technology to make a passenger train full of people commit suicide, assisted by his henchmen, the Tweed Brothers. He then uses his technology to drive several Gothamites insane. Batman eventually foils his plan and throws him through a glass rooftop.
Mad Hatter and the Tweed Brothers next appear after Black Mask escapes Arkham Asylum. When Black Mask attempts regain control over his False Face Society, he comes into conflict with the Mad Hatter, who sees Black Mask as a rival due to Black Mask's similar mind control abilities. Both the Mad Hatter and Black Mask engage in battle, only for Batman to intervene and subdue them both.
The Mad Hatter resurfaces, selling his mind control hats all over Gotham and holding casting calls at his missile launch facility base, all to recreate a “perfect day” he had years before at a theme park with his childhood sweetheart, Alice. He creates a replica of the theme park in his base and takes control of all the people he sold the hats to all to become the pedestrians in the park. He goes to Alice's house, where he finds to his dismay that she has become an alcoholic and a drug addict. He bludgeons her to death to “put her out of her misery”. He attempts to cast a new Alice with “mind controlled girls”, but ultimately kills them for falling short of his ideal. In frustration, he makes his mind control subjects walk into the sewer and drown themselves.
The Mad Hatter becomes obsessed with Bruce Wayne's new girlfriend, Natalya Trusevich, and has the Tweed Brothers kidnap her. She spurns the Mad Hatter's advances, but he realizes she knows Batman’s secret identity and torture her for the information. In the end, she refuses to give the information, and he throws her out of a helicopter to her death. An enraged Batman hunts him down and nearly drowns him, only to revive him at the last minute when his conscience gets the better of him.
Characterization[edit | edit source]
Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]
While the Mad Hatter has no inherent superpowers, he is a brilliant 'neurotechnician' with considerable knowledge on how to dominate and control the human mind, either through hypnosis or direct technological means. Usually, the Hatter places his mind control devices in the brims of hats, but has been known to utilize other devices as well. More recently, he has been able to directly influence the minds of others at a distance without any apparent equipment. However, this is most likely not a newly emerging superhuman ability; more likely, his skill at miniaturizing and concealing technology, and advances upon his original technology, have probably allowed him to develop technology that permits him to use a device hidden upon his person (such as in his hat) to project mindcontrolling powers in the manner of a meta-human ability such as telepathic powers.
The Mad Hatter is not above using his own inventions on himself, such as creating a hat that can cause him both extreme bliss, as well as return him to lucidity when he deems it necessary.
Despite his small stature, the Mad Hatter has been known to exhibit surprising strength and agility from time to time. In the graphic novel Madness, the Mad Hatter is shown as impressively holding his own in a fistfight with Batman atop a moving train.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
The Mad Hatter has gone through many changes in his physical appearance over the years, but the basic look remains the same. In his debut, he was a very short brown (or auburn) haired man. When he reappeared in the early 1980s, he was depicted as of average height, with blond hair. In later years, he was short again but with white hair. Today, Tetch has red hair much like his impostor did, but his size and height still seem to vary. Constants throughout his depictions are a slightly overlarge head and (more recently) very large teeth. In Secret Six #6 (December 2006), Tetch claims to suffer from macrocephaly.
Reception[edit | edit source]
The character of the Mad Hatter has been analyzed as a stereotypical depiction of a villainous European in fiction.
Other characters named Mad Hatter[edit | edit source]
Impostor Mad Hatter[edit | edit source]
After the real Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter had been sent to Arkham Asylum following his debut, a very different Mad Hatter appeared; who claimed to be Jervis Tetch. This Mad Hatter first appeared in Detective Comics #230 in April 1956 by Bill Finger, and Sheldon Moldoff, and, unlike the original, was tall, red-headed, stocky built and sported a gaudy mustache. He was primarily a thief who was obsessed with completing his private collection of hats from all nations, cultures, and historical periods. He often constructed various weaponry concealed inside his hats like flame-throwers and buzzsaws.
The headgear he wanted most was, of course, Batman's cowl. In numerous attempts, he tried to de-cowl Batman. After many tries, he was successful by spraying the cowl with a radioactive substance. Batman then went to nuclear lab and as he was preparing to leave, he set off the radiation detectors. He then had to remove it and handed it to one of Mad Hatter's henchmen who was disguised as one of the lab workers. No sooner did the Mad Hatter put it in his collection than Batman and Robin arrived. They had traced the cowl with their "super sensitive Geiger counter" in the Batplane.
Later on, in Batman #297 (March 1978),the imposter Mad Hatter claimed to have gone straight, but that turned out to be a lie. In 1981, it was revealed that he was in fact an impostor when the real Jervis Tetch returned. The real Hatter claimed to have killed his impostor, but the impostor Mad Hatter reappeared alive in 1987 in Detective Comics #573, where he ended up being beaten by Batman. He was treated to a cameo appearance in Secret Origins #44 (1989) where he is seen in his cell at Arkham making paper hats in the story "His Name is Clayface III". Upon seeing him, one Arkham guard tells another: "He could murder ya a thousand different ways if we let 'im have any real hat--! But that doesn't stop him from tryin'!" The impostor Mad Hatter appeared in batman #700 (2010) under the moniker "Hatman", as well as in a flashback to his Mad Hatter days.
Other versions[edit | edit source]
Batman: Crimson Mist[edit | edit source]
In the Elseworlds tale Batman: Crimson Mist- the third part of the trilogy that began with Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, which saw Batman become a vampire, Mad Hatter makes a cameo during the vampire Batman's assault on Arkham Asylum, in which Batman kills and beheads him.
Batman Beyond[edit | edit source]
An aged version of Mad Hatter appears in the first issue of the 2010 Batman Beyond limited series. According to a now elderly Bruce Wayne, the Mad Hatter "burnt out" his mind years earlier during his final confrontation with Batman, and has since spent his days locked up in the mental institution wing of a hospital in Neo Gotham after Arkham Asylum closed down. By now, he has become harmless. In the Justice League Beyond story arc "Flashdrive", the Mad Hatter is portrayed as having died, presumably from old age. His body is kept in a vault beneath Wayne Manor with the rest of Batman's deceased rogues.
Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit | edit source]
The Mad Hatter appears in Injustice: Gods Among Us, terrified of being removed from Arkham Asylum by the Justice League before vanishing thanks to Flash. In Year Five, Mad Hatter meets with Black Mask, Bronze Tiger, Man-Bat, Scarecrow, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee until their meeting is crashed by Damian Wayne. The villains overwhelmed Damian until Deadman possesses Bronze Tiger where he defeats the villains and calls for help.
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[edit | edit source]
In the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover, the Mad Hatter is turned into a mutant rabbit by the Shredder, along with other mutated inmates of Arkham Asylum. After Shredder being defeated by Batman and the Turtles, the police scientists have managed to turn Jervis and the rest of inmates at Arkham back to normal and are currently in A.R.G.U.S. custody.
Batman: White Knight[edit | edit source]
Jervis Tetch appears in the 2017 series Batman: White Knight. This version’s technology is used by Jack Napier (who in this reality was a Joker who had been force fed an overdose of pills by Batman which temporarily cured him of his insanity) to control Clayface. Particles from Clayface’s body were then slipped into the drinks of other Batman villains so that Napier could control them by way of Clayface’s ability to control parts of his body that had been separated from him. He assists Neo Joker in stealing his technology back from Napier so she can control the villains, and he remains as her sidekick for the rest of the story.
In other media[edit | edit source]
Television[edit | edit source]
Live-action[edit | edit source]
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- The Mad Hatter appears in the 1960s live-action Batman series, played by actor David Wayne. He was based on the Mad Hatter from the comics at the time, who had not yet been revealed to be an impostor. His main weapon was his trick top hat, in which concealed a set of eyes that would pop up and shoot a hypnotic beam at his enemy, who would fall unconscious to the tune of the first five notes of "Rock-a-bye Baby". In "The Thirteenth Hat"/"Batman Stands Pat", Tetch kidnapped the jurors who had previously incarcerated him, along with their hats. He was also after Batman's cowl, his "thirteenth hat". He had a female accomplice named Lisa, who worked at a hat boutique. She helped Tetch kidnap her boss, who was one of the jurors who had helped put him away, and aided in the rest of his scheme to foil Batman and Robin. In the end though, he was defeated and sent back to prison. In "The Contaminated Cowl"/"The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul", Tetch tried to get at Batman's cowl with the use of radiation. He sprayed the Dark Knight's cowl with radioactive material, assuming that he would take it off for fear of being contaminated. The radiation turned the cowl pink, but Batman (having previously taken an Anti-Radiation Bat-pill) did not remove it, and Tetch was again defeated. Jervis Tetch was one of the few main villains who was known by both his real name and his criminal name in the 1960s Batman series.
- The Mad Hatter appears in Gotham, portrayed by Benedict Samuel. This version of the character is a professional hypnotist who can control the minds of people by simply having them listen to his voice while using a "ticking" device. He may be obsessed with Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as he dresses himself, his henchmen and some of his hypnotized victims as characters of the book. He also creates a virus from his sister Alice's blood that turns people into homicidal maniacs. With help from his hired help in the form of the Tweed Brothers, Jervis tried to use the blood in the drinks at the Gotham Founders Dinner presided over by Mayor Oswald Cobblepot to drive them mad only for them to be defeated by police captain Nathaniel Barnes where Jervis and the Tweeds are remanded to Arkham Asylum. Through the Court of Owls, the League of Assassins finish Jervis' job which involved detonating a bomb that spread the virus throughout the detonated area. Gordon and Bullock had to harvest Jervis' blood in order to make an antidote. In season 4, he becomes part of a group of supervillains under the leadership of Jerome Valeska in order to help out with Jerome's grand scheme in sending Gotham into madness. Penguin even called him Mad Hatter. In season 5, Mad Hatter oversaw the chemical production at Ace Chemicals that was run by hypnotized Chessmen members which was stumbled upon by James Gordon and Leslie Thompkins. After Ecco subdued Gordon, Jeremiah had to improve his deaths of Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne re-enactment by having Mad Hatter hypnotize Gordon and Leslie into taking the place of the Thomas and Martha Wayne look-a-likes in the alley. Mad Hatter was instructed to have the hypnosis be deactivated when the pearls hit the ground. Their deaths were prevented by Selina Kyle.
- Jervis Tetch is mentioned in the 12th episode of the fifth season of The Flash, titled "Memorabilia." According to Sherloque Wells, he is a resident of Earth-221, and is known as the "Mad Hatter Killer", using a memory machine on his victims until they become brain dead.
Animation[edit | edit source]
- The Mad Hatter also made an appearance in a 1968 episode of The Batman/Superman Hour titled "A Mad, Mad Tea Party" voiced by Ted Knight. Though the series was inspired by the 1960s show, the Mad Hatter is indeed a very different character from the one David Wayne portrayed. The Mad Hatter no longer brands a mustache and is more Alice in Wonderland-obsessed than hat-obsessed. In the episode, the Mad Hatter schemes to steal a priceless antique teapot from a museum so he can use it for his 'mad, mad tea party'. He also has trained white rabbits, a top-hat-shaped getaway car, and henchmen dressed as various Wonderland characters like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Mock Turtle, Cheshire Cat, Knave of Hearts, and White Rabbit.
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- The Mad Hatter is featured in multiple series set in the DC Animated Universe, voiced by Roddy McDowall.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, the Mad Hatter is depicted as an English, average-sized man with blonde hair and a large overbite. Debuting in the episode "Mad as a Hatter", the shy and kind Jervis Tetch is a technical and electronic genius who experiments with animals using mind-controlling microchips stored within hats to stimulate brain waves. He is in love with his secretary, the aptly-named Alice Pleasance, which is the real name of Lewis Carroll's inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, (voiced by Kimmy Robertson), who does not reciprocate his feelings. Donning the guise of the Mad Hatter, he attempts to win Alice's affection by taking her out on the town after her boyfriend dumps her. She misinterprets the gesture, however, as simply a way to cheer her up, and unwittingly spurns his affections. Driven over the edge, he uses his mind control microchips to turn Alice into his robot-like puppet. Batman defeats the Mad Hatter by dropping a Jabberwocky ornament hanging over him. Paul Dini, who wrote this episode, once claimed that it was inspired by a true story involving a technical designer who had unrequited feelings for someone at work, so he committed a workplace shooting. In "Perchance to Dream", Tetch uses an electronic helmet to trap Batman in a virtual reality realm which gives him his greatest desires: freedom from the burdens of being Batman, his parents alive and well, and a relationship with Selina Kyle (the virtual reality experience is entirely within Batman's mind; Tetch is unable to observe it and thus fails to learn Batman's secret identity and other depicted details of his life). When Batman finally frees himself from the equipment, he demands to know why Tetch had used the machine rather than simply kill him; the Mad Hatter retorts that he simply wanted Batman out of his life, and was willing to give him whatever life he wanted in return. The Mad Hatter is then taken into custody by the police. He appears in the beginning and ending scenes of "Joker's Wild", both of which take place in the Arkham Asylum lounge where he is playing chess with Scarecrow and joins him and Poison Ivy in complaining when the Joker changes the channel. In "The Worry Men", he creates "worry men" dolls implanted with his mind-control chips, and uses them to hypnotize Gotham City's elite into giving him large sums of money. Batman stops him, however, and gives him his own "Worry Man" to stop him from committing further crimes. In "Trial", he enthralls all Arkham staff members into a catatonic state so that the residential inmates can put a captured Batman on trial for his "crimes" against them with the trial being presided by Joker. As a member of the jury, Mad Hatter was the jury foreman who told Joker the verdict of "not guilty". As Joker plans to have Batman killed and unmasked, Mad Hatter assisted the Arkham inmates into trying to catch Batman until the police storm Arkham Asylum and stop the prisoners. In "Make 'Em Laugh", he sells some of these chips to the Joker, who subsequently plants one on him to prevent him from telling the authorities who he sold them to, Batman later found Mad Hatter under catatonic control of his own mind-control chips.
- In The New Batman Adventures, the character was redesigned as a very short, thin, rodent-like man with a paler complexion; the blond hair was changed to a more white/greyish color. His outfit, including his hat, was now a dark green color. In "Animal Act", he takes control of the animals, and later the performers, at Haley's Circus, where Dick Grayson performed with his family as a child.
- The Mad Hatter also makes an appearance in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Knight Time". When Bruce Wayne is hypnotized by mind-controlling nanites, everyone assumes the Mad Hatter is responsible. Superman (posing as Batman) and Robin end up finding the Mad Hatter in a meeting with Bane and Riddler to decide how best to take advantage of Batman's disappearance. After defeating Bane and Riddler, Superman and Robin apprehend Mad Hatter, Hatter being no match for Superman's speed. He uses his expertise in nanotechnology to show them that the nanites are not his, but of extraterrestrial origin. They later turn out to have been created by Brainiac.
- In Batman Beyond episode "Black Out", the Mad Hatter's top hat can be seen in a glass display at the Batcave. Albeit the character doesn't physically appear, when asked about the Mad Hatter's fate, show's creator Paul Dini jokingly stated that he along with the Riddler reformed and started running a men's clothing store.
- The 1960s Impostor Mad Hatter appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In the episode "Day of the Dark Knight", he is seen as an inmate at Iron Heights Penitentiary, where he, along with other Batman-villains, were defeated by Batman and Green Arrow. He later makes cameo appearances in "Legends of the Dark Mite", "Mayhem of the Music Meister", and "Chill of the Night". A version of his mesmerizing hat made an appearance as well, as a trophy in the episode "A Bat Divided".
- Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in the Young Justice Outsiders, voiced by Dwight Schultz. In the episode "Triptych", Robin, Spoiler, Arrowette, and Orphan track down Clayface disguised as the Hatter in order to find the real one's location. Though they catch up to him, the Mad Hatter escapes with a young man he was experimenting on. They later inform Wonder Woman that Sportsmaster released Shade, so Tetch could implant him with his mind control tech before turning him over to Cheshire. * Mad Hatter's hat appears as one of Dr Trap's items behind glass barriers in the Harley Quinn adult animated series.
Film[edit | edit source]
- The Mad Hatter was considered by Mark Protosevich as one of the lead choices to be the main antagonist of Batman Unchained, the unproduced third Joel Schumacher Batman film, but was dropped in favor of the Scarecrow and Harley Quinn. Rowan Atkinson could play this character.
- The Mad Hatter appears in Batman: Bad Blood, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. He is one of Talia al Ghul's henchmen. Tetch has once used his abilities to shape the previously empty mind of Heretic (a clone of Damian Wayne) into a perfect soldier for his master's organization the League of Assassins. After Batman is captured by the Heretic and taken into their headquarters, the Mad Hatter reprograms his brain into devotedly following Talia al Ghul's orders and revealing all of his and his allies' secrets. With Batman's help, the League of Assassins infiltrates the World Tech Summit in Gotham hosted by Bruce Wayne and takes over Wayne Enterprises' technologies. Tetch starts to brainwash all the attending politicians and dignitaries into obeying Talia. However, he is killed by a system overload caused in the ensuing battle between Batman's allies and Talia's henchmen halting the process. The overload causes his head to explode.
- The Mad Hatter makes a cameo appearance in Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants voiced by Alastair Duncan. He is seen as an inmate of Arkham Asylum, believing himself to be free of his cell.
- Mad Hatter made a cameo appearance in the 2016 animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (which is a continuation of the Adam West 1966 Batman TV series). He along with the other supervillains team up with Robin and Catwoman in order to stop a group of cloned rogue Batmen.
- The Impostor Mad Hatter makes a cameo appearance in the 2018 crossover film Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold as an Arkham inmate.
Video games[edit | edit source]
Lego Batman[edit | edit source]
- The Mad Hatter appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame with his vocal effects provided by Chris Edgerly. He appears as an enemy of Batman, a helper of the Joker, and the first boss of Chapter 3 "The Joker's Return." In the game, Mad Hatter is armed with a small handgun, and his special abilities are double-jumping (thanks to a propeller built into his hat) and mind-control. He appears to be gathering toxic waste needed for the Joker's laughing gas. The player needs to activate the trap door that he stands on to make him fall into the toxic waste. If he uses mind-control on one character, the player has to switch characters to attack him. When he's defeated, Batman pounds his hat over his eyes and he and Robin drag him out of the building and toss him on the ground while he tries to take his hat off. In the ending, he's seen in Arkham Asylum having tea at a table and petting a bunny. He is the only lieutenant of the Joker that is not given a mission in the villain campaign, and is thus 1 of 2 villain bosses that's only unlocked as a playable character by purchasing him from the Batcomputer after Batman and Robin defeat him, the other being Man-Bat.
- The Mad Hatter appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes voiced by Townsend Coleman. During the game, there is a massive breakout at the Arkham Asylum in which the Mad Hatter escapes. He is an optional side boss in which he is seen getting ready to rob Gotham Theater. His opening catchphrase is "Mad? me?! Oh, very well then." Once Batman and Robin show up to stop him, he uses hypnotic suggestions to make them believe white rabbits are fighting them. After the duo defeat the rabbits, they take down Mad Hatter. He is then available to purchase.
- The Mad Hatter appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Nolan North. In one of Batgirl's side-quests in the Hall of Justice, she states that he's selling mind-control hats that the player needs to attack, but he himself doesn't appear in the side-quest. Once the player attacks everyone wearing his hats, Mad Hatter's available to purchase.
- Mad Hatter’s hat store can be found in The Lego Batman Movie adventure world in Lego Dimensions. His voice can be heard near the store, advertising his hats.
- The Mad Hatter appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, via the "Batman: The Animated Series Level Pack" DLC.
Batman: Arkham[edit | edit source]
- According to Batman: Arkham Asylum writer Paul Dini, the Mad Hatter was originally planned to be featured in the game in a level where Batman discovers him in a child's hedge maze within the Botanical Gardens, while Poison Ivy controls her plants to slow Batman down. Nevertheless, the idea didn't really fit the tone of the game so the Mad Hatter's appearance in the game was dropped. Although the character didn't appear in the game, Batman can find some tea cups and some tea plates, possibly placed by the Hatter.
- In his first physical appearance in Batman: Arkham City, it is revealed that he was being manipulated by Hugo Strange into conducting inhumane behavior control experiments on Arkham Asylum patients for the latter's selfish purposes. Strange even goes so far as to provide him with a consistent supply of tea and preys on his obsession with murdering young women, whom the Hatter claims are living incarnations of the namesake character from Alice in Wonderland. Mind control formulas resulting from these experimental procedures are implied to be used in brainwashing members of a private military company subsequently contracted to handle security for the new Arkham City, a segregated zone for Gotham's criminal element. During the game's storyline, Batman is implanted with a post-hypnotic suggestion which causes him to blunder straight into Tetch's hands. The Mad Hatter poisons his opponent using powerful psychoactive drugs mixed within tea, bringing on fearsome hallucinations, but Hatter's attempt to control Batman fails even after he puts a brainwashing mask on Batman, the Dark Knight defeating his brainwashed minions before smashing Hatter's hat and beating him unconscious. If visited later, the Hatter will mourn for the state of his hat and cry about only wanting a friend. If Catwoman visits, she says Strange "did a real number on you" (since Tetch didn't recognize her), and lie about going to search for Alice.
- In Batman: Arkham Origins, the Mad Hatter sends brainwashed minions to greet Batman and contacts the Dark Knight over the radio, offering him an "employment opportunity"; he seems to have a better grasp of reality at this point, being a few years before Arkham City, since he introduced himself by his real name, Jervis Tetch. Batman tracks Tetch to his hat shop, where the Hatter is annoyed his mind control isn't perfected yet (he can't get his minions to refer to him as "sir" when addressing him), but is happy that he can force people to pay attention to him now; he was previously overlooked and ignored. When Batman confronts him, Tetch hypnotises him into seeing "Wonderland"; he explains that "the Queen's forces" are seeking to take "Alice" away from him, so he thought "who better to protect Alice than the Batman?" Batman fights his way through the illusion and Tetch's minions, saving the Hatter's latest "Alice" with a Reverse Batarang that knocks the lunatic out. Even after Batman calls the police, Tetch will remain unconscious in the shop while his saved victim continues crying.
- In Batman: Arkham Knight, the Mad Hatter's top hat and the two rabbit mask worn by his henchmen appear in the evidence room at the Gotham City Police Department. According to Aaron Cash, the Mad Hatter was let go after the Arkham City incident. Mad Hatter appears in the "Season of Infamy" downloadable content (DLC) from the game's Season Pass in the side mission "Wonderland." Jervis Tetch is taken in for interrogation at Batman's hands. In his own cryptic and poetic manner, Mad Hatter reveals that he took three hostages before being captured and leaves a clue for Batman to "listen for the siren's song," obviously alluding to a police siren. Batman finds Officer Katz (who is masked as the Cheshire Cat) and Officer McQueen (who is masked as the Queen of Hearts). The final hostage appears in the police station after the last car is found with a book in the trunk titled "Batman's Adventures in Wonderland," prompting a confrontation with the Hatter in the interrogation room. Batman is drawn into a hallucination which recalls his experiences in the Asylum, Arkham City, and the events of the current game in a storybook setting. Though the Hatter attempts to trick Batman into killing Officer Hutch (in a White Rabbit mask), he breaks free from the illusion and incarcerates Tetch who continues to declare his desire to have Batman as his "Alice".
Other games[edit | edit source]
- The Mad Hatter is a boss in the videogame dubbed The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Sega Genesis. In the game, he takes over the Gotham theatre, turns it into a surreal virtual Wonderland, and commands an army of robots based on characters from the books. His appearance, while based on that of the character from Batman: The Animated Series, also sports elongated eyelashes on his left eye, a reference to Alex DeLarge, the main character of A Clockwork Orange.
- The Mad Hatter appears in DC Universe Online voiced by Aaron Mace.
- The Mad Hatter is among many other DC characters included in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.
Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]
- In The Batman Adventures, the storyline from "Mad as a Hatter" is continued off screen in comic #17 entitled "But A Dream", wherein the Mad Hatter tries to force Alice to marry him with a mind-control chip, but Robin manages to force the Dream Inducer onto Tetch's head, which inadvertently causes a permanent mental break with reality. Tetch is returned to Arkham a vegetable, but happy, as in his mind he lives out the life he always wanted with Alice (presumably these events follow those features in the TV series).
- Mad Hatter appears in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book; in this, his last appearance in the DC Animated Universe, it was revealed that years of using his mind-controlling technology had rotted his mind and driven him mad.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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- Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
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- Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #14
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- Game Informer features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. In the Nintendo DS version, the Mad Hatter can go through travel-chutes and can implant demolition-canisters. He can be unlocked in the level of "Joker's Last Laugh" in the chapter dubbed "The Chemical Factory" See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery", Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
- Newton, Andrew (31 August 2018). "LEGO DC Super-Villains Season Pass details revealed". Flickering Myth.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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- "Batman: Arkham Knight - Wonderland Victim Locations and Guide". Shack News. November 3, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- The Batman Adventures #17
- Justice League Unlimited #8
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