Batman: The Dark Knight 3: Mad

batman the dark knight volume 3 mad cover trade paperback tpb
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Decent Mad Hatter story

Natalya character seems like a prop

Comic Info

Comic Name: Batman:  The Dark Knight

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Gregg Hurwitz

Artist:  Ethan Van Sciver/Szymon Kudranski

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2014

batman the dark knight #16 cover mad hatter

Batman: The Dark Knight #16

Reprints Batman:  The Dark Knight #16-21 and Annual #1 (March 2013-August 2013).  All across Gotham City people are disappearing and even Batman doesn’t know who is responsible.  When Batman realizes it is Mad Hatter, he must find out what Jervis Tetch is planning before it is too late.  Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is debating his role as Batman after the loss of Damian and considering revealing his secret to Natalya Trusevich.

Written by Gregg Hurwitz, Batman:  The Dark Knight Volume 3:  Mad is a DC Comics New 52 comic book collection.  Following Batman:  The Dark Knight Volume 2:  Cycle of Violence, the collection features art by Ethan Van Sciver and Szymon Kudranski.  The collection features the “Mad” six issue storyline and the stand-alone issue Batman:  The Dark Knight Annual #1 (June 2013).

The Mad Hatter has never been one of my favorite Batman characters.  It always felt that in the Batman rogue gallery, he was even too goofy when compared to someone as silly as the Riddler or the Penguin.  This volume sets out to make the Mad Hatter a threat.

The Mad Hatter is much more menacing.  He has a hair-trigger anger inside of him and a madness that pushes his actions.  The whole set-up of the Mad Hatter however is rather ridiculous and his quest for a perfect Alice is a lot of work (maybe not as much work as the Joker’s Death of the Family, but it is still a stretch).  He still comes off as a second rate villain to me that in this collection is simply a combination of the Penguin and the Scarecrow.

batman the dark knight #20 cover new 52

Batman: The Dark Knight #20

The real odd part of this collection is Natalya Trusevich.  She first appeared in Batman: The Dark Knight #10, and a few issues later, she is the love of Bruce’s life…and worth exposing his identity to.  This of course doesn’t go well, and though it isn’t as arbitrary as the classic “women in refrigerator” like in Green Lantern, it is really close.  It especially lacks weight in that Batman has tons of other titles, just lost Damian, and randomly loses this woman who he barely knew just to get him mad at the Mad Hatter…it is a poor construct and a cliché.

The annual is a little fun, and I’m not a big annual fan.  It reads more like a short story (and if I bought it as an annual, I’d be angry I ponied up more for it), and it essentially is the equivalent of a sex offender round-up on Halloween that cities often have to get offenders off the street.  Batman tricks his villains into going to the asylum to have the night off…it is fun, but not enough substance through the whole story.

Batman:  The Dark Knight was one of the weaker New 52 titles.  The change up of writers helped a bit, but it still isn’t very good.  Batman has been worked and reworked so many times that it feels like there are multiple titles and stories that would be better than this one to read.  Batman:  The Dark Knight 3:  Mad is followed by Batman:  The Dark Knight 4:  Clay which ended the series.

Related Links:

Batman:  The Dark Knight 1:  Knight Terrors

Batman:  The Dark Knight 2:  Cycle of Violence

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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