Please say hello the perpetual Mad Hatter. He's fun, and always likes a good natter. Unless he eats cheese. Then he gets myopic fleas. Who dances on his head with a clatter! Yeah. It's true! These chaps know what I am talking about! Writer: Gregg Hurwitz; Artist: Ethan Van Sciver; and Publisher: DC Comics in February 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this STORY entitled ''.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: After an explosive false start, Batman attempts to figure out who's randomly kidnapping and disposing of numerous people off of the Gotham City streets.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Yeah. Thanks to the Penguin, the Dark Knight does deduce that the Mad Hatter is the crank behind these crimes. 
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Without beating around the bush, Bruce Wayne's pianist girlfriend, Natalya, presents him a very straight forward ultimatum -- tell me who you really are or leave me alone. Guess what Bruce does?
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With the Mad Hatter gouging someone's eyes out, whilst his henchmen, Dum and Dee, look on in horror.

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Even though Natalya's ultimatum to Bruce was slightly long-winded within the confines of this tale -- almost breaking the overall through-line in two with her lengthy rhetoric -- I have to say that it was a very-very captivating read. Especially that part where she says to him...

'You must be used to having stupid women around. Me, I am a Ukrainian concert pianist. That impresses most men -- the former and the latter. Oh, and also? I'm smarter than I look and I look pretty smart. So guard rails and mist? Save it for the arm candy. Most American men are boys living out a prolonged adolescence. They think that their freedom is some -- some prize that shrinks in the sharing. But that is not you. No. With you, it's something else. You're selfish Bruce. As an artist, I understand that. It's good to be selfish in the right ways. You need to protect the thing that fuels you, the things that makes you you'.

Ouch! Quite a grilling, wasn't it? Plus it goes on and on and on until... nah... I leave that for later me thinks.

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Would it be trite of me to say that the best thing about this issue was how the art and the story complemented each other to such an extent, a small part of me felt like I was watching an actual movie?

Yeah. No messing about, folks. This issue was a blast in a can. With adventure, pathos, emotion, and 'wide-screen' visuals that would make Spielberg green with envy.

Boy-oh-boy! That was an amazing start Gregg and Ethan. May your reign continue in the same vein.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
My one slight gripe with this adventure was how the conceptual narrative was clumsily structured. Part of it was a mystery that Batman was trying to solve. Another part of it was Bruce's confrontation with Natalya. And yet another part of it was dedicated to the Mad Hatter and his gaggle of goons.

For me -- personally -- this was slightly unfocused as a stand alone story. Apart from that though, it was wonderful.

What was the most INNOVATIVE thing about this issue?
Wasn't that whole sequence where the kid thought he accidentally shot down the Bat-plane from afar a blast to follow? I chiefly liked how the kids shocked expression then dissolved into a whole scene where Batman was driving his damaged vehicle throughout the streets of Gotham as if it were a car. Very cinematic and original that was; and just outstanding as a piece of sequential art.

Pick TWO CHARACTERS out this comic book, and compare them individually to a SIMPSONS CAST MEMBER.
THE LEPRECHAUN AS THE MAD HATTER: To be perfectly honest with you, this was the only Simpson's character I could think of who would be more than happy to gouge someone's eye out.

ABE SIMPSON AS ALFRED: I've been dying to say this since I started doing these Simpon-a-rific comparisons. To me, Al an Abe are two of a kind. Although one of them is a lot more erudite and independent than the other one, correct?

What WORD or PHRASE could you use to sum-up this story?
'Cock your hat, angles are attitudes' -- Frank Sinatra

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
FROM THE FILM 'THE FULL MONTY', 'KEEP YOUR HAT ON' BY TOM JONES: I chose this song mainly because this story is slightly sexually driven and is about a man who love hats.

Now wasn't that an amazing start for this partly new creative team! Honestly, this issue was so good I can't find the words within myself to say anything negative about it.

However, the one aspect about this adventure I am slightly miffed about; is what's going to happen to Natalya now?

If she goes that would be a ruddy shame. She seems like such a hard-nosed and intriguing person by nature, that she and Bruce would be a fairly even match in the 'stoic stakes'. Furthermore, because she comes across as something more than just another run of the mill pretty face, I would have liked to have seen where their relationship would have headed next.

Hmmm? Let's see if she comes back in the next couple of issue's, huh? Then I'd know if I was miffed by mistake, ha!

GIVE IT, IT'S DUES: Even if David Finch is gone, this title can still hold its own no holds barred.

THE DARK KNIGHT #16 THE DARK KNIGHT #16 Reviewed by David Andrews on February 12, 2013 Rating: 5
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