Batman 161 – the Mad Hatter’s revenge, and Bat-Mite’s own hero

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Bat-Mite and his new hero make the cover of Batman 161 (Feb. 64).

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The Mad Hatter returns in a story by Wood, Moldoff and Paris.  This is Jervis Tetch’s second appearance, following his debut in Detective Comics in 1956.

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While in his first story, the Mad Hatter was collecting hats, in this story he is using trick hats in his crimes.

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The crimes themselves are themed by the professions of the jury members who put him in jail after his first crime spree.  Once Batman figures out the logic behind the Mad Hatter’s thefts, he correctly anticipates his next victim.

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The Mad Hatter almost escapes thanks to a balloon, but Robin uses a hatpin to pierce it.  The Mad Hatter next has a small cameo in the late 60s, while this story was the basis for his first appearance on the Batman tv series.

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After his failures at working with Batman, Batwoman, Bat-Girl and Bat-Hound, Bat-Mite decides to create a hero of his very own in a story by Moldoff and Paris.

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Bat-Mite just randomly chooses a man and magically endows him with powers, but he proves completely useless next to Batman and Robin.  His next hero is a wrestler, and much better in a fight, but he still manages to mess up Batman’s plans, as they capture a hood Batman intended to trail back to his boss.

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Finally, Bat-Mite actually winds up giving powers to a member of the criminal gang that Batman and Robin have been chasing.

Bat-Mite does help the heroes take down the man he empowered.  But this marks Bat-Mite’s last appearance in either of the Batman books until the late 70s. He does continue to pop up in World’s Finest over the next few years, in team-ups with Mr. Mxyzptlk.

 

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