The Riddler is one of Batman’s most recognizable characters. The Riddler made his debut during the Golden Age of Superheroes, eventually becoming part of the Caped Crusader’s rogues gallery and cementing his place in the pantheon of DC’s great supervillains.
Jim Carrey’s now iconic 1995 performance batman forever Riddler did a great service. However, the character has remained largely absent from the many big screen adaptations of the Dark Knight, at least until 2022. the batman. And even though he enjoys considerable mainstream acclaim, there’s a lot about the Riddler that only the most loyal comics fans know.
Debuted during the golden age
Like many of Batman’s most famous villains, the Riddler made his debut during the Golden Age of comics. He first appeared in October 1948 in the pages of Detective Comics #140. Born Edward Nigma, the Riddler began his criminal career as a child after a teacher announced a puzzle contest, and he cheated to win.
The Riddler commits several elaborate crimes during his debut, including flooding a bank and stealing a giant corn statue. He always leaves puzzles to point to the next scheme, and while Batman can’t solve the first two, he avoids the third. The Riddler apparently dies at the end of the story, although Batman doubts this.
He is the most rational rogue in Batman
Batman has a multitude of great villains in the comics. From Joker to Two-Face, these antagonists are among the most memorable and terrifying in American comics.
One thing that characterizes this batch is the insanity that they all apparently share. However, Riddler is one of the few exceptions. In fact, he often displays a rationality that none of the others have. For example, during the now iconic No man’s land story, the Riddler is the only villain who chooses to escape Gotham City, correctly anticipating the anarchy that will take over. The Riddler can be obsessive, but he doesn’t share the same desire for chaos that drives his fellow rogues.
has several names
The Riddler’s name and backstory change depending on the writer. His best known identity is Edward Nigma, sometimes spelled “Nygma”. Sometimes his full name appears to be Edward E. Nigma, though some simply refer to him as E. Nigma.
Some writers argue that Nigma is a false identity and give the Riddler the name of Edward Nashton. In these stories, Edward legally changes his last name to Nigma, thus becoming a true e-nigma. batman forever and the TV show Gotham give Edward the Nygma identity, while the batman goes by the last name Nashton.
He was abused as a child
The Riddler had a troubled childhood. He suffered severe physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, alienating his father’s insecurity and envy of his son’s superior intellect. After his father accused him of cheating to win, the Riddler developed a compulsive need to tell the truth, which eventually manifested itself in the form of riddles.
In various stories, the writers suggest that the Riddler’s crime spree began from his desire to escape the anonymity he suffered as a child. He also has a need to prove his superiority over others and does so by posing puzzles that only he can solve. Thus, Batman is the Riddler’s ultimate nemesis; being the world’s greatest detective, Bat has no problem solving puzzles, which justifies the Riddler’s obsession with beating him.
He worked as a carnival charlatan
Many comic book characters have deep ties to carnival life. Comic book fans know that Dick Grayson worked at Haly’s Circus, and Hawkeye often butts heads with the infamous Cirque du Nuit.
The Riddler also experimented with this life when he opened a cabin that involved a sinister puzzle. The winner supposedly received a large sum of money, while the loser had to pay instead. Riddler rigged the act, winning each time and earning considerable sums of money. Eventually, he became dissatisfied with his earnings and decided to use his intellect to commit crimes.
Riddler and Batman solved crimes together
The Riddler survived his first encounter with Batman and resumed his crime spree. However, it wasn’t long before he was caught by the Caped Crusader and sent to prison. The villain was paroled and decided to claim the Dark Knight’s attention by helping him solve crimes.
The Riddler and Batman worked together for a while, but their partnership didn’t last because the Riddler began toying with Bat and Robin, making them believe that he was back to his criminal ways. However, it always turned out that he had bought or inherited the valuables that Batman accused him of stealing. Batman eventually beat the Riddler again and sent him back to prison.
He once used a Lazarus Pit
Many fans consider Shut one of the best bat Man comic arcs in recent years. Indeed, the story features cameos from many other rogues and follows a compelling narrative that ranks it among the most unforgettable Dark Knight works of the new millennium.
Riddler is one of Shutcentral antagonists. During the story, he uses one of R’as al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits to cure his cancer. The Pit’s effects send him into a psychotic break during which he somehow deduces Batman’s identity and Jason Todd’s tenure as Robin. Shut cemented the relationship between the Riddler and Batman as one of the most intriguing in DC comics and confirmed him as a top villain. The Riddler’s use of the Lazarus Pit without R’as’s consent would become a major threat to the character in future stories, preventing him from revealing Batman’s secret to the world.
Hush & Poison Ivy have severely beaten it
In the wake of Shut, Riddler became a main target for multiple parties. Hush himself found him and beat him to near death, prompting the Riddler to seek Joker’s protection. The Clown Prince of Crime is ultimately defeated by the combined efforts of Hush and Prometheus, making the Riddler a fugitive once more.
During the Under story, the Riddler seeks the protection of Poison Ivy. However, she cruelly rejects him, humiliating him in the process. Angry, Riddler attempts to take her in hand-to-hand combat, but she easily knocks him out, further humiliating her.
He fell into a coma after fighting Shining Knight.
After spending some time homeless, the Riddler finally regains his deductive abilities and returns to villainy during the Infinite Crisis event. He escapes from Arkham Asylum along with several other villains before joining the Society’s attack on Metropolis. Shining Knight easily defeated him by hitting him in the head with his mace during the battle.
The Riddler spends the following year in a coma. He wakes up, suffering from severe memory loss and without his compulsion for puzzles. However, he retains his intellect and his huge ego, though he eventually seems free of his criminal tendencies and even goes straight on, becoming a private investigator.
The war of jokes and riddles
DC Rebirth reintroduces the Riddler during the i am bane story before playing a leading role in The war of jokes and riddles. After discovering that Joker has lost his sense of humor, the Riddler stages a war between them to help him get it back.
Various villains join the conflict, including Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Clayface, and Scarecrow. Batman and the Riddler team up to stop Joker’s gang. At the end of the conflict, Batman briefly loses control and considers killing the Riddler for the damage he caused. However, Joker stops him at the last minute, cementing his rivalry with Batman after regaining his sense of humor.
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