Batman 297 – the Mad Hatter goes straight (or tries to)

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The Mad Hatter gets his first featured appearance in almost twenty years in Batman 297 (March 1978), in a story by Reed, Rich Buckler and Vince Colletta.

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The story gives some insight into Jervis Tetch’s past, which had never been shown previously.  We learn that his family had a hat shop, and as a child, he would wear the hats and imagine himself living all manner of different lives, which gave him his desire for collecting hats, no matter what he had to do to get them.

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The Mad Hatter tries to switch sides in the tale, wearing hats of heroic figures, and even does some crime fighting. But he find he is always driven to commit crime anyway.

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While I don’t mind the story, the way he is driven to crimes against his will hardly seems suited to this character, who had never been shown to be on the crazy side of obsession.

Jason Bard gets a small role in the story, between appearances in Batman Family.

The Mad Hatter returns in Detective Comics a few years down the road.

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