Mad Hatter (comics)

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This article is about the Batman character. For the character created by Lewis Carroll, see The Hatter.
Mad Hatter
Cover art for Gotham Central #20. Art by Michael Lark.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman #49 (October–November 1948)
Created by Bob Kane
Bill Finger
In-story information
Alter ego Jervis Tetch
Team affiliations Secret Six
The Society
Wonderland Gang
Abilities Genius-level intellect
Technological mind-control devices
Surprising strength and agility

The Mad Hatter (Dr. Jervis Tetch) is a fictional supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He serves as an enemy of Batman. He is modeled after the Hatter from Lewis Carroll's novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,[1] a character often called the "Mad Hatter" in adaptations of Carroll. He made his first appearance in Batman #49 in October 1948.

Like other Batman villains, the Mad Hatter has become a darker character over the years. The Mad Hatter is depicted as a scientist who invents and uses technological mind-controlling devices to influence and manipulate the minds of his victims, believing that "the mind is the weakest part of a person"[citation needed]. He is well known for sporting a green-colored hat which is usually slightly oversized, as it houses his mobile mind-manipulating devices.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Mental illness[edit]

Jervis Tetch is fascinated with hats of all shapes and sizes, as well as the 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.[2] 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.[3] In the graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, it is implied that he is a pedophile.[4] His storylines in Streets of Gotham #4 and Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's "Batman: Haunted Knight (1993-1995)" 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.

Criminal career[edit]

Tetch reveals that growing up, he never had any friends, due to his appearance.[5] He becomes a neuroscientist, and at some point moves into a boarding house owned by Ella Littleton. There he befriends Ella's daughter, Connie Littleton, 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 becomes 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.[6]

Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter in his first appearance in Batman #49 (1948).

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.[7] 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 monkey (named "Carroll Lewis," although the Mad Hatter claims that the monkey 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.[8] 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.[9] 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, Barbara "Babs" Gordon comes to Gotham, having been adopted by her uncle, Commissioner Gordon, following the deaths of her parents. Homesick and angry, Barbara argues with her adopted father when he forbids her to go trick-or-treating, saying Gotham is too dangerous. Barbara sneaks out against his 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, making Babs scream for help. The Hatter appears and scares the men away with his gun. Tetch takes Babs to his "Wonderland", where she is expected to play the role of Alice. When Babs 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 Babs.[10] When Black Orchid visits Arkham Asylum, attempting to find more about her past from Poison Ivy, she is assisted by a sweet (although clearly insane) Tetch. After Ivy refuses to give Orchid much help, 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 thank you for his help.[11] 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.[12] In the Knightfall saga, the Mad Hatter is the first to strike, following the breakout of 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.[13]

Mad Hatter's mind control ticket for free coffee and donuts

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.[14] 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 and find his motive. After sending the police away, telling them that the team had been "bad kids" 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.[15] 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]

Tetch was 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 was involved is left vague, however.

Tetch's base of operations in Gotham City was 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 appeared on a monitor screen and told them that the roof would be the final hat they will ever wear as it fell down on them. Robin and Boomerang narrowly made it out of the building.

He was later approached by Cat-Man, and he joined 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 attacked the Secret Six under Dr. Psycho's control, Tetch put on what he called his "thinking cap" and went into a seizure. After the Six crash-landed, they were attacked by the Doom Patrol, who came close to apprehending the Six until Mad Hatter stepped in and used his mind control abilities to subdue the Doom Patrol singlehandedly, going so far as to almost make Elasti-Girl eat Beast Boy before Scandal stopped him. The Six commented to themselves afterwards that even they had no idea Jervis could do this.

In a later issue of Secret Six, Tetch revealed that he designed a hat to make him happy beyond the measures of what illegal drugs can. He also stated that he had planted miniature listening devices around the House of Secrets to keep tabs on his fellow members. After revealing the true motives of Scandal 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 tended to Hatter's wound, and Cat-Man administered an antidote to Tetch. While the Six faced off against Cheshire and Vandal Savage, Hatter took on Doctor Psycho one on one, and emerged 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 befriends him, which no one had ever done for him before. 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."

On the final page, it is reveals 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 through various gimmicky heists before Batman deduces the Tweedles 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]

More recently, Mad Hatter showed up in Gotham Underground #1 (August 2007), alongside the Scarecrow, Hugo Strange, the Penguin, and Two-Face, who had 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 breaks 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 cameoed during the final issue as the Parademons attacked and got off the Hell Planet alive thanks to Luthor's device.

DC Infinite Halloween Special[edit]

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 the 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]

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 it was the Hatter who 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 the Hatter, causing much teeth and blood loss. Upon threats of brain damage, the Hatter 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]

Secret Six #6 (February 2009) reveals that Mad Hatter is the one who 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 the Hatter'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]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

The New 52[edit]

Jervis was the son of a successful “Hatter and Haberdasher” and was very popular at school and had a girlfriend named Alice Dee, whom he took to his beloved Alice in Wonderland theme park that was the best day of his life. As Jervis grew older he noticed that Alice and his friends were growing and developing and he wasn't, his doctor diagnosed him with Hypogonadism and Jervis despite his doctor’s objections started taking “testosterone enhancing drugs” under threat of a possible side effect may permanently impair his mental stability. Jervis appearance warped and he didn't grow very tall (starting his obsession with hats to compensate his height), his behavior became erratic, alienating him from his peers and after Alice rejected him he attacked her. Jervis’s parents became scared and after he savagely tore apart his pet “White Rabbit” they admitted him to the “Arkham Detention Facility for Youth”.

Mad Hatter appears as an Arkham Asylum inmate freed by the White Rabbit. [19] After discovering a train with all the passengers inside slain, apparently by themselves, Batman begins to search Gotham tunnels looking for what was capable of doing this when he was attacked by the Tweed Brothers. [20] The two manage to evade the Batman, but he was able to notice a strange signal during their fight. Meanwhile, many other people begin to go mad as Batman arrives to the signal's source, revealing Tetch as the mastermind. Even though he was affected by his device, the Caped Crusader manages to throw Mad Hatter several feet below in a glass rooftop. [21]

The Hatter resurfaced with his henchmen the Tweed Brothers selling his mind control hats all over Gotham City and holding casting calls at his Missile launch facility base, all to recreate his “Perfect day” as a child with Alice. The Hatter created a replica of the theme park in his base and took control of all the people he sold the hats to all to become the pedestrians in the park. Jervis went to Alice Dee’s house only to discover her to be White trash in a bad marriage with children, Jervis bludgeoned her to death to “put her out of her misery”. He attempted to cast a new Alice with “mind controlled girls” but killed them all for being imperfect, and in frustration he had all the people he had in controlled walk into the sewer and drown themselves, their dead bodies washed up in Gotham Bay and placed Gotham in horror. The Hatter set his sight on Batman’s new love “Natalya Trusevich” and had the Tweedles kidnap her, but she refused and he ordered the Tweedles to drown her but realized she knew Batman’s identity and tortured her for the information. In the end, she refused to give the information and he threw her out of the helicopter to her death. An enraged Batman hunted him down for revenge, found his base and took down the Tweedles and savagely beat the Hatter and drown him, only to find his conscience and revive the Hatter.

Changes in physical appearance[edit]

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.

Impostor Mad Hatter[edit]

The impostor Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter.

After the real Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter had been sent to Arkham 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 sane and sported a gaudy mustache. [22] He was primarily a thief, apparently 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. [22]

The headgear he wanted most was, of course, Batman's cowl. In numerous attempts, he tried to de-cowl Batman. [23][24] After many tries, he was successful, after spraying the cowl with a radioactive substance causing Batman to remove it. No sooner did the Mad Hatter put it in his collection than Batman and Robin arrive. They had traced the cowl with their "super sensitive Geiger counter" in the Batplane.

Later on, in Batman #297 (March 1978), "Tetch" claimed to have gone straight, but that turned out to be a lie. [25] 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 fake Mad Hatter reappeared alive in 1987 in Detective Comics #573, where he ended up being beaten by Batman. [26] 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'!"[27] The impostor Mad Hatter appeared in Batman #700 (2010) under the moniker "Hatman", as well as in flashback to his Mad Hatter days. [28]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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 fist fight with Batman atop a moving train.

Other versions[edit]

  • 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, where he is killed and then beheaded by the vampire Batman. [29]
  • 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, Jervis "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, but in that time has become docile, and rather senile. [30] In the "Flashdrive" arc of Justice League Beyond, Tetch is shown to have died. His body is kept in a vault beneath Wayne Manor with the rest of Batman's deceased rogues.

In other media[edit]


The Mad Hatter as portrayed by David Wayne in the 1960s Batman series.
  • In the 1960s live-action Batman series, Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter was 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. 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 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, White Rabbit).
Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter as depicted in Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Roddy McDowall.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series the Mad Hatter was voiced by Roddy McDowall. He was depicted as an English average sized man with blonde hair and a large overbite. He appeared in the following episodes: "Mad as a Hatter", "Perchance to Dream", "Trial", "The Worry Men", and (in a non-speaking cameo) "Make 'Em Laugh" and "Joker's Wild". A technical and electronic genius, the shy and kind Jervis Tetch experimented with animals using mind controlling microchips stored within hats to stimulate brain waves. His love of Alice in Wonderland and an infatuation with his secretary, Alice Pleasance (voiced by Kimmy Robertson), together embitter and possess him to the point of wanting more attention. 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, Tetch used his mind controlling microchips to turn Alice into his robot-like puppet as well as other people who filled in as Alice in Wonderland characters, including Alice's boyfriend as Billy the Lizard. Batman defeats Mad Hatter by dropping a Jabberwocky ornament hanging overhead on Mad Hatter, trapping him. When Alice is reunited with Billy, Mad Hatter quotes Alice in Wonderland with the sadness of the Mock Turtle. Paul Dini, writer of this episode, once claimed that it was inspired by a true story[31] involving a shy technical designer who had unrequited feelings for someone at work, so he shot his workplace up. In "Perchance to Dream", Tetch uses an electronic helmet (the "Dream Inducer") to trap Batman in a virtual reality realm which gave him his greatest desires: freedom from the burdens of being Batman, his parents alive and well, and he in a stable relationship with Selina Kyle, who is not Catwoman. Tetch described it as Batman's "own private Wonderland". When Batman finally frees himself from the equipment, he demands to know why Tetch had used the machine rather than simply kill him. Tetch, in tears, retorts that he wanted to remove Batman from his life without murdering him in retaliation as the insane inventor blames that Dark Knight for ruining his life. His third major appearance in the episode "The Worry Men" had him tracking down Veronica Vreeland, a wealthy Gotham socialite exploring in South America, using the local superstitions to create a series of "Worry Men" implanted with his mind-control chips, knowing that as a socialite, she would hand them out as gifts to her friends as souvenirs from her trip to South America. Mad Hatter disguises himself as a local merchant. Through those chips, he then sends subliminal orders directing his "Worry Men's" owners into leaving out huge sums of money for his henchmen (brainwashed riffraff dressed as Aztec warriors). With this money, Tetch desires to buy a private island and retire, but Batman manages to stop him, and he is given his own, worry-Batman to keep him from future crimes. In overview, all these crimes the Mad Hatter has committed are rather minimal in threat compared to the rest of the rogues Batman fights. Tetch uses his mind controlling chip to induce his victims into a trance, which either extracts information from their minds or makes them highly subjective to his bidding. This chip can also tap into an unused potential of the mind which can increase the subjects strength and stamina, turning them into the ultimate henchmen. In "Trial," he enthrals all Arkham staff into a catatonic state so that the resident inmates can put a captured Batman on trial for his "crimes" against them. Harley Quinn says to Ivy (when she is put back in her cell) "Old Jervis here is handing out the inventions". In "Make Em Laugh," he sells some of these chips to the Joker, who subsequently plants one on him to keep him quiet as to who he sold them to. 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 (beginning segment) and complains with Scarecrow and Poison Ivy when Joker changes the TV channel at the end. Jervis and Scarecrow - both specialists in mind control - are noted to be good friends.
The Mad Hatter as he was later depicted in The New Batman Adventures.
  • In The New Batman Adventures, the Mad Hatter was once again voiced by Roddy McDowall. This time around, though, he was animated as a very short, thin, rodent-like man with a paler complexion; the blond hair was changed to a more white/greyish color. The outfit also became less colourful, with it now being primarily green themed, including his hat. Another change is that he has no specific goal, like in the previous series where he wanted to amass enough stolen funds to retire away from Gotham (and Batman). In "Animal Act", he takes control of the animals at Haley's Circus, where Dick Grayson performed with his family, and later the members of the circus. In "Over the Edge", Mad Hatter appeared on a talk show with the other bad guys (Harley Quinn and the Ventriloquist) when Batman was wanted by the police yet the events were part of Batgirl's nightmare following her exposure to Scarecrow's gas.
  • Mad Hatter also makes an appearance in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Knight Time." As Bruce Wayne has been taken over by mind-controlling nanites, everyone assumes Tetch is responsible. Superman (posing as Batman) and Robin end up finding Mad Hatter in a meeting with Bane and Riddler to decide how best to take advantage of Batman's disappearance. When Bane and Riddler are defeated, Mad Hatter is apprehended and uses his expertise in nanotechnology to show them that the nanites are not his (though he claimed he would be proud if they were), but of alien technology (actually Brainiac's technology).
  • The 1956's Impostor Mad Hatter appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Day of the Dark Knight". He is seen as an inmate at Iron Heights Penitentiary. 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."


Video games[edit]

  • 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 direct reference to Alex DeLarge from the film version of A Clockwork Orange.
  • The Mad Hatter appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame as an enemy of Batman and helper of the Joker. In the game, he is armed with a small handgun, and his special abilities are double-jumping (thanks to a propeller built into his hat) and mind-control.[33] He is the only lieutenant of the Joker to not be given a mission in the villain campaign, and is thus only unlocked as a playable character after Batman and Robin defeat him.
  • While the Mad Hatter does not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, a vintage tea set owned by the character may be found in the asylum's indoor garden. Closer inspection will automatically unlock a short biography of Jervis Tetch as the answer to one of Riddler's riddles. According to an interview with Paul Dini, the Mad Hatter was originally slated to appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum within the remains of a child's hedge maze left over from the asylum's days as the Arkham estate. Hatter was ultimately cut from the game. He is also one of the villains who is listed on the party list. [34]
  • The Mad Hatter appears in Batman: Arkham City voiced by Peter MacNicol. It is revealed that he was being manipulated by Hugo Strange into conducting inhumane behaviour 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 beating Hatter unconscious. If visited later, the Hatter will cry about only wanting a friend. If Catwoman visits, she says Strange "did a real number on you" (since Tetch didn't recognise her), and lie about going to search for Alice.
  • The Mad Hatter appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes voiced by Townsend Coleman. There is a massive breakout at the asylum, in which the Mad Hatter escapes. He is an optional side boss in which he is seen getting ready to rob a building. Batman and Robin show up to stop him, he then uses hypnotic suggestions to make you believe white rabbits are fighting you. Once Batman and Robin defeat the rabbits, they take down Mad Hatter. He is then available to buy.
  • The Mad Hatter appears in Batman: Arkham Origins voiced again by Peter MacNicol.[35] He has a larger role than in the previous game, similar to that of the Scarecrow in Arkham Asylum[36] as he puts Batman into a trance state that makes him see "Wonderland". Having sent brainwashed minions to greet Batman, the Hatter greets 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 Baterang that knocks the lunatic out. Even after Batman calls the police, Tetch will remain unconscious in the shop while his saved victim continues crying.


  • Mad Hatter is featured in "The Batman and Robin Adventures" comics. The storyline from "Mad as a Hatter" is continued off screen in comic #17 entitled "But A Dream" (story also by Dini), wherein the Hatter tries to force Alice to marry him with a mind-control chip. 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 has appeared in the eighth issue of 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]


  1. ^ Brooker, Will (2004). Alice’s Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 152–153. ISBN 0-8264-1433-8. 
  2. ^ Ed Brubaker (w). "Unresolved" Gotham Central 20 (August 2004), DC Comics
  3. ^ Brian K. Vaughan (w), Rich Burchett (p), John Lowe (i). "Mimsy Were the Borogroves" Detective Comics 787 (December 2003), DC Comics
  4. ^ Grant Morrison (w), Dave McKean (a). Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth ({{{date}}}), DC Comics
  5. ^ Gail Simone (w), Brad Walker (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i). "Six Degrees of Devastation" Secret Six 6 (January 2007), DC Comics
  6. ^ Ed Brubaker (w). "Unresolved" Gotham Central (July–October 2004)
  7. ^ "The Scoop of the Century" Batman 49 ({{{date}}}), DC Comics
  8. ^ Jerry Conway (w). "Head Hunt by a Mad Hatter" Detective Comics (January 1981), DC Comics
  9. ^ Gerry Conway (w). ""All My Enemies Against Me"" Detective Comics (January 1981), DC Comics
  10. ^ Jeph Loeb (w), Tim Sale (a). "Batman: Haunted Knight" ({{{date}}}), DC Comics
  11. ^ Neil Gaiman (w), Dave McKean (a). "Black Orchid" (September 1991), DC Comics
  12. ^ Animal Man #10
  13. ^ Javier Pulido (a). "Robin: Year One" 1 ({{{date}}}), DC Comics
  14. ^ Greg Rucka (w). ""Unknowing"" "Detective Comics" ({{{date}}}), DC Comics
  15. ^ Ed Brubaker (w). "Unresolved" Gotham Central (July–October 2004), DC Comics
  16. ^ Batman #695 (January 2010)
  17. ^ Batman #696 (February 2010)
  18. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #28
  19. ^ Batman: The Dark Knight #3
  20. ^ Batman: The Dark Knight #4
  21. ^ Batman: The Dark Knight #6
  22. ^ a b Detective Comics #230
  23. ^ Batman #201
  24. ^ Batman #292
  25. ^ Batman #297
  26. ^ Detective Comics #573
  27. ^ Secret Origins # 44
  28. ^ Batman #700
  29. '^ Batman: Crimson Mist
  30. ^ Batman Beyond #2
  31. ^ "''Batman: The Animated Series'' writer Paul Dini". Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  32. ^ "Robin Williams in a Batman movie". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ "Rocksteady and Paul Dini on the storytelling in Batman: Arkham City". Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  35. ^ "Twitter / ericholmeslive: @johnboy34661029 Yes it is!". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  36. ^ "Mad Hatter Confirmed for Batman: Arkham Origins". IGN. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 

External links[edit]