Comic 101: Demystifying the Riddler

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Before you hit theaters next week, get a briefing on the masked villain causing chaos in Gotham City. Who exactly is the Riddler? What drives him? Discover in this edition of Comic 101.

Welcome back to Comic 101, the authority on what you need to know about major influences in upcoming TV and film series. After an extended break, the class is back in session as the focus shifts to The Batmanthe next release of. The Riddler is among the next on deck of the Caped Crusader. The corrupt connivance hasn’t been portrayed on the big screen as a member of Batman’s rogues gallery for some time, so he finds himself as the subject of this edition of Comic 101.

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Enter the Riddler

The Riddler is one of the oldest villains on the Bat, debuting in the pages of 1948. Detective comics number 140. Despite what the next movie’s billing would have you believe, his real name is Edward Nigma, which is kind of a clever pun exploring the inner workings of a mystery or riddle itself. He is erroneously introduced as “Edward Nashton” in the film.

Many people have portrayed the maniac dressed in green over the years. They include legendary actor/comedian Frank Gorshin, John Astin, Jim Carrey, Cory Michael Smith and, of course, Paul Dano in the upcoming rendition. Additionally, Riddler has been voiced in movies and games by others, including Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

Edward is different from the other Batman Rogues. He has incredibly high intelligence and is incredibly dangerous and deranged with his deadly traps that he sets for his victims. Think Seen and Jigsaw, except Riddler did it first. Unlike some of Batman’s other villains, however, his greatest strength, his intelligence, is also his greatest weakness.

Other villains including, but not limited to, Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, and Bane all have some kind of gimmick, but they, for the most part, want Batman dead. Certain iterations of Joker are, of course, the exception here. Some versions of the Clown Prince of Crime wish to harm or seriously injure him instead of killing him. Riddler thrives on Batman knowing who he is and making sure the Dark Knight knows how smart he is. It cost him fights with the Bat several times. Riddler has had multiple opportunities to kill the Batman that slips right through his fingers because he needs to let Bruce know that he’s the one who’s about to end his life: it’s Riddler, and no one else. ‘other. It was used against him several times.


However, Nigma has had a soft reboot in animated films lately. Expanding on the above need for everyone, including and especially Batman, to know how smart he is, he also demands respect, both from Batman and the other villains. A respect that is not always given. Enter Batman: Hush. DC Animation’s acclaimed animated film reimagines Hush’s origins as none other than The Riddler. Hush was first introduced as Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Thomas Elliot. In the film, Elliot is killed and it is Riddler who is revealed to be the dangerous enemy. He reinvented his own gadget to demand respect from those around him, both hero and villain. Many believe that Riddler will either end up being Hush in this movie or be set to become Hush in a future installment of this set of Batman movies. Another recent reboot actually portrayed Nigma as a reformed criminal working with both Bruce Wayne and Bruce’s alter ego as an assistant of sorts. He is hired as a detective on several occasions in the Reformed Riddler series and does a lot of good before finally returning to his ill-behaved deeds.


The approach that director Matt Reeves takes on this project seems, at least at first glance, to follow Hush’s script. In this scenario, Riddler indeed knows who Bruce Wayne’s alter ego is. Reeves said that in the film, this is also the case. One thing is certain though; the public does not have long to wait because The Batman hits theaters on March 4. Keep checking Movieweb for updates and for future installments of Comic 101. Class adjourned.


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