• It’s the penultimate chapter of the definitive Mad Hatter story—and not everyone makes it out alive!

Story by Gregg Hurwitz
Art by Szymon Kudranski
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver & Hi-Fi

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.0%
Avg Rating: 3.5
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  1. The art in this is kick ass! I really don’t know who this artist is but he’s good.

    • Kudranski is a pretty good artist, I really rate him.

      I thought his work on ‘Penguin: Pain & Prejudice’ was pretty sweet. He also drew the dead world in the more recent ‘Green Lantern’ issues. He reminds me a little of Jock, in a funny way. My only problem art-wise really is that I want Van Sciver back, I hate it when the art changes in the middle of a story.

    • He does Spawn EVERY MONTH and has only been getting better. I know he’s on the Annual, but is this his only book of the monthly?

    • Ok that’s where I’ve seen his name before. Pain & Prejudice. That was such a great mini.

    • WAC1 – No, he drew the last one as well. I didn’t know he did Spawn, but then, I never liked that book. He is amazingly consistent considering he’s working so much though.

      Gorilla Monsoon – Yeah, it was a really good story, maybe the best Penguin origin story ever, actually.

    • I agree about the art, after the issue I had to look and see who did it. Very cool looking.

  2. ***SPOILERS***

    Wow. The impact of this story is going to be felt for quite a long time now.

    This one has pretty much catapulted The Hatter into Batman’s ‘A’ List (if he wasn’t there already) and there will always be an extra tension between Batman and Tetch now. Mad Hatter has never been this, well, Mad.

    This is definitely one of the best MH stories I’ve ever read. The mid-story art change is a little too jarring, though. Even though I like both Van Sciver and Kudranski a lot, their styles are still quite different from one another.

    Natalya’s death was moving and poignant. Did you get the feeling that she was falling in slow motion? I did.

    My only real problem with this (otherwise fine) story, is that it has taken so long to tell. Initially, I thought I was in for four chapters and now here we are at six, with another still to come.

    I like to read a lot of old comics, especially Batman, as they feature a type of writing that you don’t see very much nowadays. Everything is kinetic and hyper and the writing is super-disciplined. Those old stories feel like they were written by a chimp with ADHD sometimes and that narrative speed is, I feel, somewhat missing from today’s comics.

    Anyway, that’s not a gripe aimed at anyone in particular, I just thought I’d mention it here.

    Roll on the final chapter.


    I’m glad I read the spoilers before I went to the store. This story is too distasteful for me to want to keep reading. Between killing Natalya, and Batman misting his blood over Gotham back in issue 15, I think I’m gonna pass on the upcoming Clayface arc.

  4. I just hate this series anymore.

  5. This story goes on and on. DK is bleeding readers, noticed the pull numbers here on IFanboy were low.

    APoetSomeday’s comments “My only real problem with this (otherwise fine) story, is that it has taken so long to tell. Initially, I thought I was in for four chapters and now here we are at six, with another still to come. ”

    Couldn’t have said it better.

    Maybe it will read better in a block, but I doubt it.

    Did the Batplane crash into the building during the double-page spread Natalya page? Why? Wasn’t the only place in this book where the storytelling left me confused.

    • Personally, I’ve always preferred short, distracting stories to long, ongoing arcs. The big, sweeping epics (like ‘The Long Halloween’ or ‘Knightfall’) work fine when the writer(s) really has something to say about the character, otherwise, concise works best in comics, I feel. Take a look at some of the defining Batman arcs of the modern era:

      ‘The Killing Joke’ – About 46 pages or so, would amount to, at best (with added scenes), a 3-parter.
      ‘Batman: Year One’ – Four Issues.
      ‘A Death in the Family’ – Four Issues.
      ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ – Four Issues.
      ‘Mad Love’ – At 60-something pages, this 1-shot would amount to a 3-parter.
      ‘Venom’ – 5 issues (and that story takes place over months).
      ‘Son of the Demon’ – Would only be a 2 or 3-parter.

      I could list just as many longer stories that helped define the character, or introduced new elements (Morrison’s entire run, ‘Hush’, or ‘The Demon Awakes/Saga of Ra’s Al Ghul’, for example), but the point is that longer stories are quite often unnecessary.

      A good writer should be equally adept at both. Now, I think Gregg Hurwitz is an excellent writer overall, but personally, I really want to see more two and three parters that really impact the character without dragging on for half a year or more.

      When the Joker returned after killing Jason Todd, it took him two Marv-Wolfman/Jim Aparo issues to a) agonize over his own perceived failings as a villain b) recover from a life-threatening wound and c) supplant his rival, the ‘impostor’ Joker. Meanwhile, Gordon had time to agonize over the events of ‘Killing Joke’, while Batman had time to agonize over ‘Death in the Family’…All with some excellent and explosive action scenes thrown in for good measure.

      I really miss that style of writing in comics. Especially in Batman.

  6. I think I’m going to drop this book now. In fact, I’ve dropped nearly all of the DC books that I was reading. I just can’t stand the artist switches in the middle of arcs and the fact that these arcs seem to last for 6 to 10 issues.

  7. Wow, what an awesome issue. And that ending was just shocking! I didn’t see that coming. So now Bruce is dealing with this and the death of Damian. He is having a bad couple of months. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes off the deep end soon and just goes on a rampage, even more so than what he has already been doing in Batman and Robin.

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