Today is National Hat Day, that famous holiday in which we celebrate the many uses of headwear. While most folks don’t need a reason to celebrate headgear, National Hat Day is a great day to whip out your favorite fedora, beanie, deerstalker or mitre and wear it with pride. Since superheroes love their flamboyant costumes, it’s no surprise that comics is filled with weird and unique hats, caps and other type of headgear. So to celebrate National Hat Day, here’s five of our favorite pieces of cranial accessories:
The Serpent Crown
One of the weirder artifacts of the Marvel Universe, the Serpent Crown is a malevolent crown that resembles a coiled multi-headed serpent. The Serpent Crown has ties to the ancient continent of Lemuria by a group of Serpent Men who worshipped the serpent god Set (an evil god featured extensively in Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories). While its origins are based in fantasy, the Serpent Crown has appeared in many superhero stories, usually involving heroes like Dr. Strange or Namor. Those who wear the Serpent Crown gain a variety of powers, but are also susceptible to Set’s mind control, turning them into pawns for the ancient serpent god’s plans to return to Earth. Most recently, the Serpent Crown appeared on Mars, where it controlled Nova before being stopped by a new team of Avengers led by Steve Rogers.
Dum Dum Dugan's Bowler
Dum Dum Dugan might not have any superpowers, but his iconic bowler hat makes one heck of a fashion statement. With his large frame, his thick red mustache and the bowler hat, Dugan quickly became one of the more popular Howling Commandos and transitioned from the World War II comics where he first appeared to Marvel’s superhero comics. Dugan always wears his bowler hat, even when hunting giant kaiju like Godzilla or calling on Squirrel Girl to take out various supervillains. Although Dugan is now an advanced android (apparently, the “real” Dugan died back in 1966, but his best friend Nick Fury replaced him with a Life Model Decoy), he still wears the bowler while wrangling monsters and fighting supernatural threats. You can turn a man into a robot, but you can’t take away his love of bowlers.
Green Arrow's Bycocket
A bycocket is the classic “archer’s hat” often worn by medieval archers in fantasy novels and movies and is typically associated with Robin Hood, the classic English bandit and freedom fighter. Since Green Arrow is a modern day Robin Hood, complete with comparable archery skills, it makes sense he would also wear a bycocket really bring the comparison home. Green Arrow’s costume featured the bycocket from the Golden Age until he abandoned it for a green hood in the Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters series. While he’s occasionally returned to the bycocket, the hat hasn’t appeared in the New 52 or the popular CW show Arrow. With Arrow drawing on more comic book storylines as of late, it could be a matter of time until we see Oliver’s famous hat once again.
Zatanna's Top Hat
Zatanna’s top hat is both a prop for her famous stage performances and a powerful family heirloom. The hat once belonged to her father, Zatara, a powerful Golden Age magician who sacrificed his life to save his daughter during a disastrous séance. As a real magician, Zatanna often uses the hat as the focus of her magical powers. She’s often conjured up objects by literally pulling them out of her hat and has trapped various villains and dark energies inside its seemingly infinite confines. While it’s unclear if the hat has any power on its own, it’s important enough to Zatanna that she even helped her ex-lover Constantine in exchange for his helping in locating and retrieving the hat after it had disappeared under unknown circumstances.
The Mad Hatter's Hat
You can’t talk about hats in comics without talking about the Mad Hatter, the Alice in Wonderland inspired Batman villain whose headwear has caused terror and mayhem in Gotham City. The Mad Hatter often plants special mind control devices and tags into his hats, causing anyone who wears them to become susceptible to his commands. Darkseid even used the Hatter’s mind control technology during his takeover of Earth during Final Crisis, creating an army out of Earth’s superheroes and supervillains with his special Justifier’s helmets. In recent years, the Hatter has branched out with his hats, creating hats that allow him to experience a drug-like euphoria.