[personal profile] lego_joker posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Love it or hate it (I sadly lean toward the latter of the two), Gail Simone's impact on post-2000s DC is immeasurable. It was she who made the Birds of Prey soar out from under the shadow of the Bat; she who finally gave Bane some manner of dignity and characterization to lift him out of his post-Knightfall slump; and she who took several villains that no one remembered anymore, assembled them all under the name of an equally forgotten team, and made both awesome beyond imagination.

All told, there are probably a hundred other accomplishments to her name, but there is one that remains of particular interest to me: what is arguably the most badass Mad Hatter appearance in the history of DC.

(Okay, so there's not really much competition, but still.)

It's a moment that's been talked about quite a few times on S_D, but I find it sadly unposted (perhaps a victim of the Great Purge?). So I present it here, in all its creepy glory.

Context: I'm afraid that I never really got into Secret Six, so I might not remember it too clearly (someone who's a bigger fan of the Six/Simone than I am, please feel free to fill in!). I think that at this point in the story, the Six are on the run, and B-list superhero team - the Doom Patrol - has been sent after them. Since most of the Six don't have superpowers, they get their asses handed to them at first.

But suddenly... a savior appears!

Oh, my unquantifiable cosmic overseer.

Rita has a snack.

Hatter crosses the line.

The breaking point.

I dunno about you guys, but to me, this fellow feels more like Dr. Psycho than Jervis Tetch. It's not just the fact that what he does here is a touch more depraved than his usual fare - to my knowledge, this is the first time that Hatter's ever been portrayed as not needing to put microchips on/in his victims to control their minds (something that the characters themselves remark on). On the one hand, I suppose that it does make him creepier and a bigger threat in combat, but I also feel that it makes him into more of a generic mind-scrambling villain.

Also, funny story: when I posted this moment to my tumblr, it got all of six reblogs before Ms. Simone herself decided to reblog it. Now it's standing at more than a hundred reblogs.

So I think it only fitting to conclude this post with the note that Ms. Simone made when she reblogged it:

My favorite two bat-villains, aside from Bane, are not the Joker and Two-face.

I love the Penguin and the Mad Hatter. I love writing them so that they are genuinely scary underneath the bluster.

I would write those two forever.

- Gail Simone, December 2013

Date: 2013-12-27 09:05 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Yeah, I could never really get behind Gail's take on the Hatter. It just seemed like yet another incessantly kind-of grimdark, perverted thing to go along with Doctor Light's unnecessary revamp, and it felt like the kind of thing Simone would have railed against before she hit it big. That combined with her usual tendency to massively overpower or hype her villains. Like Junior, who was actually pretty fucking scary, but then there was the pointless wrinkle of 'controlling EVERY major crime syndicate that isn't based in a major DCU locale', which was just overegging the omelette.

Date: 2013-12-27 09:25 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I think this version of the Mad Hatter here came pretty much pre-wrecked.

Grant Morrison had hinted that Hatter was a paedophile in "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth" and then Chuck Dixon had continued the trend to make him borderline skeevy, with his getting involved in the child slave trade to make a profit by selling little girls (All dressed as Alice) to a foreign dictator in "Robin: Year One", and after you get involved in that level of things, there's not much chance of redemption.

I don't recall too many other people making use of him (Gotham Central?) so his track record hadn't been great for some time.

This isn't a take on him that interests me that much, and I agree with the OP that this is too much like Dr Pyscho, but it doesn't seem completely OOC

Date: 2013-12-27 09:34 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Point taken. I'm just not fond of this take at all, which treats the utter perverseness as a bit of a joke and just 'hey kids, any time he's talking about his hat, it's actually a phallic reference or sex thing', and I could just do without it. I do see your point, but this just takes the unsavouryness that all Bat-Villains seem to be subjected to - and some can't escape from - and just nudges it into territory I'm just not fond of seeing such things treated as.

Date: 2013-12-27 10:13 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Couldn't agree more, alas.

Date: 2013-12-28 01:42 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I don't recall too many other people making use of him (Gotham Central?)

Oddly enough, I just finished reading the TPB of Gotham Central with Jervis in it yesterday (I'd decided to pick up the series after getting into The Wire, and that was the last TPB that I could get my hands on), and it's got a bit of the nerd-getting-revenge-on-the-jocks thing going. Not terribly original, but not bad either.

Date: 2013-12-27 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lonewolf23k
Someday, I'd like to see a Mad Hatter story that deals with Alice in Wonderland actually being a metaphorical critique of modern mathematics: http://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/devlin_03_10.html

Date: 2013-12-28 02:34 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
How on earth would you write a Mad Hatter story where the mad tea party represents the planar rotation of a quaternion absent its fourth extra-spacial unit?

Date: 2013-12-27 09:29 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
Yeah, but nobody ever remembers this scene from the comic. The remember the OTHER Hatter scene that comes later. You know the one.

Date: 2013-12-28 02:28 am (UTC)
tugrul: That Chest (Default)
From: [personal profile] tugrul
No, I don't. What's that? Your phrasing has got me intrigued.

Date: 2013-12-28 02:34 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
He fucks a hat or something.

Date: 2013-12-28 03:29 am (UTC)
tugrul: That Chest (Default)
From: [personal profile] tugrul
That does not surprise me at all.

Date: 2013-12-28 10:38 am (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
Pretty much yeah.

Date: 2013-12-27 09:41 pm (UTC)
damar148: (Default)
From: [personal profile] damar148
I actually like when Jarvis shows he can do more than just the hats, though I agree it should be done better than 'Now he can control everyone's minds' contrivances.

Date: 2013-12-27 09:55 pm (UTC)
superboyprime: (Sun)
From: [personal profile] superboyprime
Man. Somewhere along the way, make-an-old-villain-crazy/murderous became what pouches were to the 90s,.

Date: 2013-12-27 11:49 pm (UTC)
psylynce: kid loki and ikol (Default)
From: [personal profile] psylynce
Hatter love/hate aside, I am deeply jealous that Ms Simone re-blogged you.
I'm currently working on a "love" letter to Gillen. We'll see how that goes ... I always hope for prints or responses.

Date: 2013-12-28 12:11 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
There is ONE version of the Mad Hatter who didn't need to gimmick other people's hats, because he had his super instant mesmeriser built into his own :)

Date: 2013-12-30 12:42 pm (UTC)
lieut_kettch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lieut_kettch
Would've been funnier if Kay had punted Robotman's head.

Btw, are there any scans of the Mad Hatter vs. Dr. Psycho psychic dominance battle.


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