This page is for the original Mad Hatter, Jervis Tetch
For the second Mad Hatter, see Imposter Mad Hatter
In the beginning, Jervis Tetch did not have many social outlets except for Ella Littleton and her daughter Connie. He lived with the Littletons in a boarding house which was adjacent to Connie's junior high school. The Littletons managed to get Tetch a job at the school where he supervised school projects for Connie's computer club. By this time, Tetch was already specializing in hypnotic suggestions and hypnotherapy. When Connie went to high school, she got herself pregnant and rather than tell her mother the truth, she proclaims that she got raped by the Gotham Hawks, the high school's baseball team. Distraught by this news, Ella approaches Tetch and pleads with him to make that entire team suffer. Tetch manipulates one of the baseball players through hypnosis and instructs him to bring a bomb to the locker room where the entire baseball team would meet. This locker room massacre was a closed case but later reopened by Harvey Bullock and his team managed to put the pieces together by interrogating the Littletons and Tetch.
Mad Hatter was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. His first appearance was in Batman #49.
Golden Age: Earth-Two
Starting his criminal career, the Mad Hatter attempted to rob the people of the Gotham Yacht Club but was foiled by Batman and sent to Arkham Asylum right after.
Silver Age: Earth-One
The Mad Hatter reappeared after his Golden Age appears, but was completely changed. It was revealed that this Mad Hatter was an impostor and eventually the real Hatter killed the imposter. At one point, Tetch escapes from Arkham on Halloween and establishes his new base of operations at the Hill Mansion where the twin Hill brothers brought children to molest and murder. The Hatter knew that the Hill brothers were convicted, but not before making their mansion a maze with dozens of secret passage ways however, he makes no implication that the Hill brothers are related to former mayor Hamilton Hill. Tetch gathers runaway children to be his Wonderland guests at his tea party. He serves them drugged tea in order to make them submissive to his will.
Later that night, Tetch saves Barbara Gordon from muggers who intended to rape her. Barbara had angrily ran away from her uncle/ father Jim Gordon, but Tetch invited her as the guest of honor at his tea party. Tetch dresses Barbara as Alice from Wonderland and pleads with her to drink the drugged tea but she refuses. Angered by her rejection, Tetch prepared to beat Barbara but the Batman, whom was led to the Hill Mansion by one of Tetch's guests who managed to escape, came to the rescue just in time. Tetch was finally apprehended by Batman at the Ace Card & Novelty Company simply because he was stunned by a playing card image of the Red Queen of Hearts.
Modern Age: New Earth
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, not much of Mad Hatter history was change from his Golden and Silver Age versions. Tetch's next deviant scheme was selling free CD players that were programmed with subliminal messages, to young blonde girls from Dick Grayson's elementary school. Once Tetch kidnapped the entranced young girls, he planned to sell them to Generalissimo Lee, a third world dictator and another infamous pedophile. Dick Grayson interrupted the transaction between Lee and Tetch with GCPD behind him. GCPD arrested Tetch but Lee escaped custody due to possessing diplomatic immunity. The Mad Hatter soon afterwards began using mind-controlling devices and became well known for it. He was able to slip a mind-controller into the Scarecrow’s hat and took control of him for a short time.
Eventually it would appear that the Mad Hatter was killed when he was crushed by a train running over him, it would later be revealed that the death was faked. Later, the Mad Hatter would kidnap Lucius Fox and hold him hostage for ransom. Hatter would use his advanced technology to extract information from Fox’s mind into his computer. The Mad Hatter would eventually be foiled by Batman and sent back to Arkham.
After the events of Flashpoint, Mad Hatter has reappeared as a Arkham Asylum inmate freed by The White Rabbit.
Major Story Arcs
Modern Age: New Earth
Sasha Bordeaux is considering on whether or not she should remain Bruce’s bodyguard since she already knows his secret and Batman really doesn’t need protection. Recently, Sasha has been parading as Bruce’s caddy because Bruce is trying to get Clint Cantwell, a construction businessman to invest in Gotham while they play in a golf tournament. Sasha stops by Gordon’s precinct to see if there are any new developments in Gotham that might be worthy of her time plus its only chance she gets to see Bruce when he is Batman. All of sudden, Sasha is taken by surprise as officer David Smith is brought in with handcuffs. Officer Smith is a decorated cop but now he is being charged for committing a bank robbery. Smith claims he had no control over his actions, but Detectives Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya are not entirely convinced. The detectives are tired of questioning Smith so they process him to the county lockup then head to 'Fez Cafe', a new coffee shop in Gotham that seems to be doing very well for itself.
Sasha is beginning to see a pattern with these bank robberies and this supposed corruption within the police department. Each time a bank robbery occurs, the perpetrator is an officer who was off duty and having a coffee break. Sasha points out her theory to Commissioner Akins and he reluctantly agrees with her findings because he is already up to his knees with mayoral reprimands for not maintaining the honesty of the police department. Akins calls in the Batman by using the bat signal because he can’t depend on any of his detectives who meet with Batman on near constant basis, to call him in. Unfortunately, Bruce didn’t respond to the signal or perhaps he doesn’t want to. Sasha heads back to Wayne Manor and finds Bruce who makes it clear to Sasha that he doesn’t want her involved in this case nor does he want to help Akins because GCPD should be self-sufficient and earn Gotham's trust without the Batman's help. Later that same night, Detectives Allen and Montoya get a call from the Mad Hatter on the police band radio. Mad Hatter recites “the Hunting of the Snark” from Alice in Wonderland and the message causes them to put on ski masks and perform a heist. The Mad Hatter's plan is to put ketamine in either coffee or donuts and distribute it to the police then use the police band radios to control the police officers. Fortunately, Sasha was keeping an eye on Montoya despite Bruce’s objection. Sasha follows Allen and Montoya to the Kandee Kane club, where they hold up patrons. Sasha busts through the club doors and tells Allen to drop his gun but Sasha is knocked out when Montoya's pistol whips her from behind. When Sasha wakes up, she finds herself held at gunpoint by Detective Montoya who is reciting gibberish from Lewis Carroll.
Luckily, Batman arrives to rescue Sasha. He disarms the detectives and removes the ski masks as well as any jewelry in order to find any mind-control receiver devices but he couldn’t find anything. In a fit of rage, he tells Sasha to go home but Sasha whispers to Bruce and says “What home is there to go to when nobody is there?” Sasha also informs Bruce that both detectives drank a cup of coffee from Fez Café before they were told to hold up the club. At the precinct, Administrator Stacy informs Lt. Bullock of Allen and Montoya's recent misdemeanor which in turn reaches the Commissioner’s ears. By this time, Akins uses the Bat signal to call in again and this time Batman answers. Akins explains Sasha’s theory to Batman and expresses how catastrophic it would be if there is a possibility that the Mad Hatter has a third of Gotham’s police force under his control. Meanwhile, the Mad Hatter sends out a team of “volunteers” to distribute Fez coffee citywide. As for Sasha, she decides to become bait for the Mad Hatter. Sasha leaves a list of instructions for Bruce to follow in the Batcave before she left Wayne Manor. She then heads to Fez Café and drinks a cup of coffee but not before she activated her tracking device so Bruce can follow the signal. Sasha’s instructions tell Bruce to broadcast a subliminal feedback on the Gotham police band radios in order to counteract Hatter’s control.
Hatter begins to turn Gotham Police Department upside down by having random acts of violence spring up. For instance, Administrator Stacy attempts to stab Commissioner Akins with a pair of scissors. Bullock stops Stacy and Batman arrives at the precinct to explain Sasha’s plan. Bruce theorizes that the Mad Hatter must be using a liquid like ketamine in the coffee that they drank and the police band radios to send subliminal messages to control the police. At this point, Gotham is under chaos as the police force tears up Gotham as well as terrorizing Gotham’s citizens. Akins gives Batman access to the police band radio so he send out the counter subliminal message and Bullock rallies cops like Officer Hennelly who don’t drink coffee. Bullock intends to subdue the cops under Mad Hatter’s control with anti-riot tactics until Batman’s message gets through to them. Batman’s message is successful and the rioting on the streets comes to an end. Unfortunately, Batman comes under attack by Sasha who is being controlled by the Mad Hatter. The Mad Hatter knew his plan was falling apart so he decided to follow the source of the counter acting frequency. Batman doesn’t stand a chance against Sasha because he loves her and he would never raise a hand to someone he loved. Batman decides to take his aggression on Mad Hatter by knocking him out then he tries to reach out to Sasha by saying he is sorry for his recent arrogance. His heartfelt words reach Sasha and Sasha comes out of the Hatter’s trance. In the end, every police officer is acquitted for crimes that the Hatter made them perpetrate but sadly, Sasha’s heart is eventually broken when she sees Bruce entertaining Vesper Fairchild.
Alone at Night
When the Mad Hatter tried to escape from Arkham with a guard under his control, they were both caught in cross fire against the police. Hatter was shot multiple times and was left in critical condition. He was appeared to be dead but later reappeared working with the Black Mask. While working with Black Mask, he implanted a mind controller in Killer Croc which made him mutate even more due to what Hush and Riddler did to him. Croc decided to exact revenge on those that did this to him, and started off with the Mad Hatter. Batman would come in time to save the Mad Hatter’s life but Croc also managed to escape from the scene.
Unresolved begins with Tetch in his cell at Arkham Asylum, where he begins to giggle once seeing the news involving a hostage situation where survivor of the 96 Gotham Hawks bombing reveals his involvement because of the voices in his head and then right after kills himself. This leads detectives Driver and MacDonald of the Major Crimes Unit to reopen the case, where they find the Hatter's mind control technology embedded in the baseball cap of the hostage taker. The two detectives begin working with former Detective Harvey Bullock, collaborating information and leading the M.C.U. detectives to Arkham Asylum. Upon questioning Tetch, MacDonald manages to make him reveal who he did the favor for, victims of the jock's bullying following their leaving he uses a hidden cell phone in his cell to alert his accomplices of the police's involvement.
The detectives then follow up a lead where upon Tetch before slipping into insanity lived in a boarding house, where he knew the boys who had been accused, and after the land lord runs them out they meet Connie and her son Devlin,and question her about Tetch. As the two detectives come back to Arkham to question Tetch, they arrive during his escape attempt which someone has organized with Hatter's spare hat, Tetch is eventually stopped when shot by Arkham guards. Following the escape attempt, Connie comes in revealing to Driver and MacDonald her mother's anger upon Tetch being shot, she then tells them the story of when she was younger upon becoming pregnant, she lied to her mother telling her she had been raped by a member of the Gotham Hawks. Tetch feeling a connection to children then has Kenny deliver a pipe bomb in revenge for the act.
Infinite Crisis and Secret Six
During Infinite Crisis, the Mad Hatter began working with the Secret Society of Super Villains and fought the heroes in the Battle of Metropolis. One year after Infinite Crisis, the Mad Hatter worked with The Great White Shark to help frame Harvey Dent for murdering all the villains in Gotham. Later when Robin, and Captain Boomerang II, Owen Mercer, went searching for his atomic weapon, his hide out was destroyed when he trapped Robn and company inside it. Later, the Mad Hatter was approached by Catman and was offered to join the Secret Six. He agrees and his job was to help them defend against Doctor Psycho’s mind controlling abilities.
Later the Secret Six would be attacked by Ragdoll under Dr. Psycho’s control and he had to put on his “thinking cap.” However, putting on the cap caused him to go into a seizure. Later the Six were attacked by Doom Patrol, and were almost defeated until the Mad Hatter stepped in and used his mind control abilities to stop the Doom Patrol. They were able to escape and complimented the Mad Hatter on his abilities. After the Secret Six battled Vandal Savage and destroyed his base, the Mad Hatter saves Scandal from falling to her death. In return the Secret Six tell him that they are his friends and it made Hatter extremely happy. He rises up and tells them his true emotions and expresses his happiness for finally having friends. Radgoll then proceeds to push the Mad Hatter off the building and falls to his death. Later it was revealed that the Mad Hatter survived the fall and vowed revenge against the Secret Six.
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 Darkside 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, 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 Bludhaven. 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.
The New Black Mask
The Mad Hatter set up a chain of events involving Ragdoll's sister Junior, in hopes of killing the Secret Six, however he was defeated after Ragdoll used one of his hats to cause him to jump off a bridge into water. As it turns out, Tetch survived his fall and started working for the Penguin again in order to contend with the new Black Mask and the return of the Falcone crime family. Tetch uses his hypnotic skills to manipulate Dick Grayson as their reluctant muscle against Black Mask. However, Dick managed to free himself from Tetch's control and after Black Mask's unveiling as Jeremiah Arkham, Tetch was sent back to Arkham. Later on, Tetch orchestrates a massive prison riot and hires Deathstroke to free him from Arkham.
Powers and Abilities
Tetch has an Genius-level intellect.
Technological mind-control devices
Batman Newspaper Comic Strip (1991)
On the alternate reality of Earth-1289, the Mad Hatter combined elements of his various depictions in comics by that point. A computer programing genius who discovered that his products were depleting the ozone layer, Jervis Tetch was betrayed by his business partners to keep him from reporting to the EPA. Injected with hallucinogens, Tetch was driven permanently mad, and his partners had him locked up in Arkham Asylum. There, he realized that he was driven mad with poisons from his own industry, just as hatters were, and that he was himself now “mad as a hatter!” He became obsessed with hats, which he used as a tool for revenge.
After creating a mind-controlling computer chip, Tetch gave a rigged hat to the Arkham warden and secretly took control of Arkham. He then sent rigged hats to his business partners, forcing them to commit suicide. Realizing that he had a good thing going, Tetch used Arkham as his basis of operations, robbing banks and experimenting his technology on inmates like the Joker, before he was eventually stopped by Batman and Harvey Dent.
Over the years, Tetch has been an invalid at St. James Hospital in Gotham City. His last encounter with the original Batman left his mind as mush, perhaps due to his own hypnotic skills or technology. Terry McGinnis arrived on the scene before the new Hush could get to Tetch. After the new Hush was exposed, Bruce took it upon himself to have Tetch secretly transferred to a secure facility of his own where he has kept other dangerous yet catatonic villains such as Maxie Zeus.
In this 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 was 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 that 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 1960sBatman series.
Batman: The Animated Series
In Batman: the animated series the Mad Hatter was voiced by Roddy McDowell. 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.
Lego Batman: The Video Game
The Mad Hatter makes an appearance in the Lego based game as both a boss and a playable character. He teams up with the Joker in his villain level. He can control people's minds, use a weapon, and double jump.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
While the Mad Hatter does not physically appear in the video game 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 the character.
Batman: Arkham City
The Mad Hatter appears as a villain during a side quest in the videogame Batman: Arkham City.
DC Universe Online
Mad Hatter appears as a villain in the online MMORPG.