BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #18
Author: Matt Grazel
March 30, 2013

SYNOPSIS: The terrifying tale of the Mad Hatter’s origin continues! Batman is still two steps behind the Hatter’s current reign of terror...will Catwoman’s interference make it three?

The storyline involving the Mad Hatter continues in Batman: The Dark Knight #18. While the story arc that stars Jervis Tetch as the antagonist, started out pretty well in issue #16, issue #17 and in particular, issue #18 are stagnant.

The issue continues with another flashback into the childhood of Jervis, and it is revealed to he suffers from a testosterone deficiency, which is the reason for his stunted growth. He and his parents are informed that there are enhancers that may help but there are severe side effects such as psychotic behavior.

The Mad Hatter is able to continue to evade Batman. Catwoman makes an appearance and her presence seems like it is forced. The issue would have not been affected if she did not have a brief conversation with Batman. The Mad Hatter visits a woman named Alice, whom he liked as a child and he kills her out of revenge because she did not share the same feelings for him as Jervis did for her. The confrontation between Jervis and Alice is too short and does not benefit the issue.

In a recollection of his own involving his mother, Bruce decides to tell Natalya that he is Batman. Bruce is motivated to do so because he wants to let a woman into his life and let Natalya know his primary secret in order to share apart of himself with her so that he can grow as a person.

Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork continues to be amazing and it excels while the writing continues to be okay but it could improve. Perhaps there are limits, in regards to the threat the Mad Hatter presents but this issue continues a trend that puts the title in the position of being the weakest of the five Batman monthly comic book titles - Matt Grazel

GRADE: C

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