Detective 230 – the Mad Hatter debuts, Roy Raymond deals with a crackpot inventor, and a catalogue of Martian powers
The Mad Hatter is introduced in a story by Bill Finger, with art by Sheldon Moldoff, in Detective 230 (April 1956).
There had been an earlier Mad Hatter, who appeared in one issue of Batman in the late 40s, and resembled the Tenniel illustration of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. This new version, Jervis Tetch, is an obsessive collector of hats.
He decides he must have the Batman’s cowl, no matter what he has to do to get it.
This story was adapted for the second appearance of the Mad Hatter on the tv series, and some of the scenes that follow are very close.
Tetch disguises himself as an artist, and tries to get the Batman’s cowl that way, and later sees that it gets irradiated, so Batman is forced to remove it.
Defeated by Batman at the end, he vows revenge. The Mad Hatter returns in a Batman issue in 1964, which was also adapted for the tv show, as the Hatter first appearance.
A noted scientist keeps approaching Roy Raymond to be on his show in this Ruben Moreira story, but keeps bringing obviously fake inventions.
Roy is mystified at why such a serious and noted inventor would be approaching him with such obvious fakes.
The Martian Manhunter has his abilities clearly catalogued in this story for the first time. His shape-changing, telepathy, invisibility,intangibility, x-ray vision, super-hearing and strength are all listed and shown. His weakness, fire, is not mentioned in this piece, but has been referred to in earlier tales. I only just now realized that he does not seem to have the ability to fly at this point.
After the catalogue of powers ends, John discovers he is powerless, the effect of a rare (never seen again) passing comet.
So John proves his mettle by solving a case as a human, without any powers, though they return at story’s end anyway.