Gotham Central: Mad Hatter # 1

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#1 Edited by Sawed_Off_It (13574 posts) - - Show Bio

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2 Years ago...

Another Failure. It just isn’t right.

You don’t get it!” “You don’t get it!

I shouted this with an intense disdain for the one person, and yet another liar, whom once held my heart and in doing so, my true ambition from me.

I curse you. You wretched whore.”

I fancied this one for a long while and had been blinded by my love for her, I told myself during a fit induced epiphany as I wailed on and kicked the stiff and beaten vessel of my beauty, Alice relentlessly.

Oh, how she captured my glimmering eye and how ironic that I began to tear up in this moment. Imagining what could have been; aware that all I wished for her was comfort and passion, but here I find nothing but emptiness as I sink her chest cavity and fracture her rib cage by repeated battering of her still warm corpse. Localized pressure to her upper torso with strike after strike upon her lifeless frame. Defiant acts of violence and utter defilement completely degrade her being and tarnish even the remote possibility of her fitting into my perfect reality.

An epiphany bred from defeat

“A pity...

I begin, before I feel my throat harden and it difficult to breathe as the ongoing visage of a deceased Alice, starts to spurn my ability to offer any final words. Dissatisfaction, not sadness or a very real goodbye for my close friend, conjures a minor struggle within me. A torete latent rant follows a broken heart as I bleed emotion into the following words:

“ It is I who swore devotion to you. It is I who sacrificed what I perceived to be reality into obsession, you ungrateful heathen. It is I who traded tenderness for malice in an effort to keep away those who would unlatch your soul from me, and most importantly, to obtain your loyalty — You certainly had mine”,

I mutter to her as I drop to one knee by her side and hold her bludgeoned skull in my hand as I weave my fingers through the strands of blood drenched and matted hair in order to get a good grip before sharing an epiphany. An epiphany born from a depressing equation: (defeat) multiplied by (failure) doubled by a (lack of creativity).

No, it did not work, but with each failure I come closer, much closer, to a realization; a new light, of which has guided me to this vision. This venture of embodied wonder and it was no longer a dream. This is what needed to be done.”

Pacing around my makeshift homestead of magnificent wonder, I find my disappointment again, but this time in the form of a second me. Stuck inside a glass prison used to thwart the approach of those that weren’t supposed to be here and trapping them as well. T’was an invention I had scrapped together for unknowing visitors to my Wonderland. This particular device allowed for those that scurry madly through their day, just wanting to get through their life, a chance to live alongside me and all of my friends!

In a world without the mundane and the routine, and free of judgement. Come. With. Me. I say and still, no one sees... but they will.

Mad Hatter’s Gotham Wonder Land

All I can focus on now is the look of high hope on my manufactured doppelgänger. It looked at me but it was still smiling. It looked at a tortured and dead Alice on the floor and it was still smiling! It looked at the memories of havoc and war that was brought on by tussles with the Batman and had left its physical dent on my homestead and it was still smiling; it looked at me! And it was still smiling! A nod in agreement, perhaps? My dreams of monopolizing the Hatter’s Wonderland from cubicle-like quadrants in the grand scheme of things, and into a vast and plentiful land anchored by imagination is on the horizon. A manifestation of my work is soon to be, and the scum and forgotten poor of this city will become servants and necessary components of a greater purpose. From the tallest buildings to the most pungent of sewers, even the most hidden of crevices across Gotham, they will all, and I mean ALL, will flash with envy in the eyes of those less fortunate and they all will desire stake in my achievement. For anyone who opposes or disagrees will be cast out and diminished to that of an incomplete being; these will be used as teachings of what not to aspire to when a new dawn arises on this dreadful city.

I peered hopelessly beyond my happy reflection and into the many clocks that hang purposely adjacent to one another on the oak wood walling behind me. I remembered that interaction well. Thugs in a cape and a masks. It’s density lost, a splintered and disproportionate surface still creeks, screeches, and moves slightly if the noise in this room is too loud. It doesn’t require much vibration for this patchwork; this rigged up and hastily remodeled area of my hideout to boisterously warn of its vulnerability to force ever since then. Since the Batman and his overly enthusiastic cohorts, or imbeciles as I’d label them, (they themselves didn’t leave quite the impression like their daddy did) invaded my very teet of enchantment and drove through, literally and figuratively, hoards of my friends; those that I saved. I won’t forget what Batman and his groupies did that day, and many times before. Their demise will come in time but as a whole, something much much bigger is at hand and I’ll deal with the Bat cult soon enough.

This building, along with a few others being the epicenter of my dealings, and beyond that single wall and many others across Gotham, my ambitions for a new and better Gotham lie uninterrupted. My hands are all over this damned city.

That small fight with the Batman, or the tensions that exists between Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, Deathstroke, all of them and the wannabe “heroes” as they all vey for prominence in this miserable city, is a distraction. I too found myself scratching and clawing, scavenging for scraps like a second act to these less than imaginative clowns... I loathe what I’ve become and how low my standards have been placed.

I am aiming far too low.

Why aim so low and gravitate to such minuscule efforts for a tiny region of Gotham when I can influence the whole damn place?! It will take time, it will take force, and it will take killing the Batman. But who’s worried about little old me? I glance toward the grandfather clock/blinding light, swinging blade trap/secret doorway, to a secluded sector of my home. I recall my villain-es que-rogue-status for the Dark Knight, and what exactly my position is in Gotham and then I find myself grinning even wider.

They won’t even see it coming. They won’t see the Mad Hatter.

I mean, I’m Mad. Remember.

My smirk remains strong as I reverse my posture back towards the mirror, seeing my still joyful reflection hadn’t changed a bit. I then say out loud the first thing that comes to mind:

Let’s begin shall we?”

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#3 Posted by TommytheHitman (6919 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting start, I quite like your characterisation of the Hatter but I must admit I didn’t enjoy reading the opening scene with the Hatter torturing his victim. It wasn’t because it was poorly written but just because it was disturbing and I kinda hope you avoid those scenes in the future.

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#4 Edited by Sawed_Off_It (13574 posts) - - Show Bio

@tommythehitman:

Thank you for the feedback.

May I ask how it was too disturbing? I can certainly tone down the violence but this is Gotham; I kind of assumed that darker and horror themed would be well represented in the creatives processes for all of us. Do you think this was too dark for Gotham?

Also, she was already dead.

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#5 Posted by TommytheHitman (6919 posts) - - Show Bio

@sawed_off_it: It’s alright. I did enjoy the story and am looking forward to seeing where you’re going with it.

Ah I see. I wasn’t sure about that for the first portion, you did mention she was ‘stiff’ but I assumed that to be unconscious but that makes things better. I think you put a lot of detail into how Hatter was damaging her, which makes sense given how it’s from her perspective but sometimes less is more.

Again though I did like the issue and it’ll be nice having a villain story that shows the villain as a monster rather than the common trope of making them somewhat relatable and likeable.

One thing I forgot to mention. You use commas a bit too often. I’ve done it myself before so it’s no real issue. Sometimes a full stop would do nicely though.

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#6 Edited by Sawed_Off_It (13574 posts) - - Show Bio

@tommythehitman:

Lol you are right. I do use commas. More often than even I used to. I can lessen those as well.

Do our issues ever crossover? I am kind of orchestrating this story in a way so that if one day down the line our characters meet/confront each other, it will make total sense why.

Again, thanks

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#7 Posted by TommytheHitman (6919 posts) - - Show Bio

@sawed_off_it: They do indeed. Have you read the group chat we’re actually planning a crossover based around the Zatara series.

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#8 Edited by Sawed_Off_It (13574 posts) - - Show Bio

@tommythehitman:

I have read the last two pages of the chat but just let me know if assistance is needed in that aspect. I haven’t fully ironed out exactly HOW I am going to make the Hatter such a citywide threat, but whenever that happens I’m here. I look forward to it.

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#9 Posted by TommytheHitman (6919 posts) - - Show Bio

@sawed_off_it: Here’s a dumb idea! Make it so that he gains access to the Anti Life Equation and everyone goes after him for it.

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#10 Posted by IndomitableRegal (17349 posts) - - Show Bio

@sawed_off_it: Really liked the characterization. Felt whimsical and sinister all at once.

I too found myself scratching and clawing, scavenging for scraps like a second act to these less than imaginative clowns... I loathe what I’ve become and how low my standards have been placed.

I am aiming far too low.

Really effective way to hint at Hatter becoming a bigger threat. Oh, and don't tone down the violence. @tommythehitman doesn't know what he's talking about. :p