A close-up of Black Hat from 1063: Kill Hitler
|First appearance||12: Poisson|
Black Hat is a stick figure character in xkcd. He is distinguished by his eponymous black hat. In his earliest appearances, Black Hat wore a taller top-hat style hat, that quickly evolved to have the current shape and style of a boater. Judging by 1139: Rubber and Glue, he has worn the hat since he was a child. He has short hair under his hat as revealed in the Journal series.
As stated in the title text of 29: Hitler, "the hat guy" is based on character named Aram from the now-defunct webcomic Men in Hats. Like Black Hat, Aram seems to have frequently made judgmental, insulting or controversial comments in a very emotionless manner.
Black Hat does not appear to have originally been a reference to Black hat hacking. However, the character has evolved to have very similar motivation, hatching evil schemes often for no reason other than to cause chaos or go against the societal norms. He has found a female counterpart in Danish.
Black Hat's hat appears white in 1005: SOPA due to the colours being inverted. (Black Hat is only visible by manipulating brightness and contrast.)