- That's the good part about having a renewable resource... waste is not a concern. We'll run the rehearsal again tomorrow.
- -- Mad Hatter
Appearing in "Pool of Tears"
- Alice Dee (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Pool of Tears"
With the GCPD on the paper trail of One Size, Inc., The Mad Hatter is concerned that while they will arrive too late, the Batman won't. Preemptively, he orders Tweedledee and Tweedledum to find and kill the vigilante using the network of mind-control victims who are wearing his company's hats.
As a boy, Jervis had made the decision to take an experimental hormonal treatment to counter a condition that stunted his growth and adult development. Initially, the drug worked well, but it was soon followed by negative side-effects. First, he began to suffer from alopecia, which made him a target for bullying from his peers. In an attempt to compensate for his rapidly worsening baldness, he began to wear a top-hat. Even so, he continued to take the drug, despite his parents' worries about what more side-effects might follow.
He confronted young Alice Dee, confused as to why she had lost interest in him after having admitted to the good time she had with him at the park. He began to feel as though the good life he had been living was taken from him. He became addicted to the drug, and it deranged him, as his parents futilely attempted to get through to him and set him back on the right path. When, in his derangement, the sound of his rabbit's thumping began to annoy him, he killed it with his bare hands. His parents discovered what he had done, and sadly committed him to the Arkham Detention Facility for Youth.
While Commissioner Gordon thinks he's getting close to breaking the case, Batman has only to wait for the Bat-Signal to light up, and call him into action. In the meantime, though, Natalya Trusevich is having a little trouble adjusting to the knowledge that her boyfriend Bruce Wayne is the Batman - though she is grateful that he finally told her. Alfred, however, is delighted to have someone - a woman, even - to keep him company in the manor. Faced with a wait, Natalya manages to drag Bruce away from the Batcave for some alone-time. When she rolls over and discovers the time, she realizes that she is just minutes away from her performance time for her piano solo with the symphony. Eagerly, Bruce flies her to the conservatory in the Batplane, witnessed by a janitor under the thrall of the Hatter.
After realizing that Natalya must be romantically involved with the Batman, the Hatter takes a look at her for himself, and decides that she will make the perfect replacement for Alice.
That night, Bruce assures himself that Natalya has made it home alright, and is asleep. Despite the Bat-Signal's activation, he finds himself more concerned for Natalya's safety than for his city's. Alfred remarks that this must be love - for Bruce, at least.
Pleased to have finally found his Alice, the Hatter decides to hold a rehearsal, creating a stand-in for Natalya by stapling a blonde wig to one of his thrall's scalps. With his assembly of hat-wearing slaves, he recreates the Alice in Wonderland themed park that he had attended with Alice Dee as a boy. As he walks through it, he offers criticisms and direction to his actors, trying to get things just right. However, when he reaches the moment at which Alice had told him that she'd had a good time, he becomes annoyed with the lack of accuracy, and orders all of his actors to drown themselves - not a waste, given that people are a renewable resource.
Answering the call, Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon, and learns that the previous night, hundreds of people went missing from their homes. They can only guess what the Hatter is doing with them all. Before they have even parted ways, Gordon receives the call, and he drops to his knees. Hundreds of corpses have floated up onto the shores of the Gotham Bay.
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