Cover of Green Arrow vol. 3, #35 featuring the Riddler.
Publication information Publisher DC Comics First appearance Detective Comics #140 (October 1948) Created by Bill Finger
In-story information Alter ego Edward Nigma Team affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Legion Of Doom
Notable aliases E. Nigma (Nygma), Edward (Eddie) Nashton, Eddie Nash Abilities – Genius-level IQ
– Highly creative and skilled at inductive and deductive reasoning, lateral thinking, and pattern recognition
– Vast esoteric knowledge
The Riddler (Edward Nigma) is a fictional character, a comic book character and supervillain published by DC Comics, and an enemy of Batman. Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #140 (1948).
The character has appeared frequently in Batman media. In live action, he was portrayed by Frank Gorshin and John Astin in the 1960s television series, as well as by Jim Carrey in the 1995 film Batman Forever. In animation, he has been portrayed by Michael Bell, John Glover, and Robert Englund. In 2009, the Riddler was ranked as IGN's 59th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
- 1 Character overview
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Henchmen
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The Riddler is obsessed with riddles, puzzles, and word games. He delights in forewarning both Batman and the police of his capers by sending them complex clues. With this self-conscious use of a gimmick, the Riddler's crimes are flamboyant and ostentatious. The character is often depicted as wearing a domino mask either with a green suit and bowler hat, or a green unitard with question mark prints. A black, green, or purple question mark serves as his visual motif.
The Riddler is typically portrayed as a smooth-talking yet quirky character, deemed insane by the courts of intense obsessive compulsion and neurosis. This was first introduced in the 1966 issue of Batman (titled, "The Riddle-less Robberies of the Riddler") in which he tries to refrain from leaving a riddle, but fails. This compulsion has been a recurring theme, as shown in a 1999 issue of Gotham Adventures, in which he tried to commit a crime without leaving a riddle, but fails: "You don't understand... I really didn't want to leave you any clues. I really planned never to go back to Arkham Asylum. But I left you a clue anyway. So I... I have to go back there. Because I might need help. I... I might actually be crazy."
The Riddler was popularized by Frank Gorshin’s Emmy-nominated portrayal in the 1960s Batman television series. Jim Carrey played the Riddler in the 1995 film Batman Forever with Gorshin as his inspiration. The character was also featured in Batman: The Animated Series (voiced by John Glover) and The Batman (voiced by Robert Englund). In both series, he was portrayed as a smooth-talking intellectual who presented genuinely challenging riddles. While the former utilized his traditional wardrobe and appearance, the latter reimagined him with a Marilyn Manson-esque sense of style. Since the first animated series and Batman Forever, Riddler often carries a trick "question mark" cane.
Unlike most of the other prominent members of Batman's rogues gallery, the Riddler is not a psychopathic murderer; rather, he is a malignant narcissist with an enormous ego. He commits his crimes in order to flaunt his intellectual superiority and a large portion of his crimes are non-violent in nature. While the Riddler's behavior may often appear insane to some, it is in fact the result of a deep-seated neurosis. As such Batman's direct conflicts with the Riddler are typically more cerebral than physical and usually involve defeating him non-violently.
Fictional character biography
The Riddler's criminal modus operandi is so deeply ingrained into his personality that he is virtually powerless to stop himself from acting it out (as shown in his fourth comic book appearance). He cannot simply kill his opponents when he has the upper hand; he has to put them in a deathtrap to see if he can devise a life and death intellectual challenge that the hero cannot solve and escape. However, unlike many of Batman's themed enemies, Riddler's compulsion is quite flexible, allowing him to commit any crime as long as he can describe it in a riddle or puzzle.
After a teacher announces that a contest will be held over who can solve a puzzle the fastest, a young Edward Nigma (or Nashton at the time, according to some writers) sets his sights on winning this, craving the glory and satisfaction that will come with the victory. He sneaks into the school one night, takes the puzzle out of the teacher's desk, and practices it until he is able to solve it in under a minute. As predicted, he wins the contest and is given a book about riddles as a prize. His cheating rewarded, Edward embraced the mastery of puzzles of all kinds, eventually becoming a carnival employee who excelled at cheating his customers out of their money with his bizarre puzzles and mindgames. He soon finds himself longing for greater challenges and thrills, and dons the guise of the Riddler to challenge Batman, who he believes could possibly be a worthy adversary for him.
The Riddler's first "serious" outing is in a series by Gerard Jones and Mark Badger. "Batman: Run, Riddler, Run" throws a spotlight on Gotham's urban decay. As Bruce Wayne tries to invest in new security technology for the city, provided by Donna DiForza, it is revealed that the Riddler is her security consultant and that her enforcer, Fritz, is a mechanized, German militant ready to sacrifice innocent lives. When DiForza's company is compromised and Fritz becomes uncontrollable, Batman must confront them both. In a rage, Fritz is killed by Riddler's bridge riddle, hovering over a shark tank, a contraption deemed too ludicrous for practical application. Run, Riddler, Run remains out of print, but is a landmark story that places the Riddler in a non-physical, puppet-master role in Batman stories, rare for a comic book villain, and a frustrating character for DC writers.
In Batman: The Long Halloween, the Riddler appears as an informant. He first appears when Carmine "The Roman" Falcone hires him to figure out who the Holiday Killer is. Falcone eventually loses his patience with the Riddler, however, and orders his daughter, Sophia, to force him to leave. Upon exiting Falcone's office, Holiday attacks the Riddler, but for some reason leaves him alive. The attack was planned to coincide with the holiday of April Fool's, and several items pertaining to it were left at the scene. This may be why the Riddler was left alive, as matters are traditionally reversed on the holiday. He appeared again in the same chapter of the story is which Harvey Dent is disfigured, when Batman comes to him for information about the attack. He plays a slightly larger role in the story's sequel, Batman: Dark Victory, in which Batman turns to him to figure out the significance of the lost games of hangman that are left at the scenes of the Hangman killer's crimes. He later showed up as a member of Two-Face's jury during the Hangman's trial.
In Catwoman: When in Rome, he joins Selina Kyle on a trip to Italy in search of his fellow rogue's origins. It is there that he manipulates her into believing that some of Batman's most dangerous foes are after her. He has his henchmen employ several gimmicks and weapons used by Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, and the Joker to achieve this. He hopes to extract Batman's real identity from her, but to his dismay, she actually doesn't know or care.
The Riddler appears in The Question series, being convinced to become a "big-time villain" by a prostitute he meets on a bus. He hijacks the bus and begins asking riddles, killing and robbing anyone that got them wrong. The Question quickly subdues him by asking him philosophical riddles in return. He is outwitted and has a mental breakdown before being set free as a reward for getting one last riddle right.
In the one-shot "Riddler and the Riddle Factory", the Riddler becomes the host of an underground gameshow that focuses on digging up dirt on celebrities. Many of the famous people that he humiliates end up committing suicide shortly afterwards, suggesting that perhaps the Riddler did more than just inspire their deaths. In the end, his actions turn out to be a front for his attempts to find the hidden treasures of "Scarface" Scarelli, a Gotham City gangster who lived long before Batman's reign of crimefighting.
In the three-part Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight storyline "The Primal Riddle", written by Steve Englehart, the Riddler engineers one of his greatest deathtraps: Batman is thrown into a narrow pit that is slowly filling up with water. The walls are electrically wired, and a set of bumpers are the only thing that prevents the water from touching the walls and causing Batman to die by electrocution. The only options Batman appears to have are death by electrocution and death by drowning, but as always, Batman manages to tamper with the trap's design and develop a route of escape.
The Riddler has a working relationship with The Cluemaster, although he initially resents the villain for seemingly copying his modus operandi. In their first encounter, he sets his fellow rogue up with a bomb and sends Batman off chasing riddles that would lead to its defusing, as well as away from his real plan: to steal a vast amount of priceless baseball merchandise. The two team up on a few occasions afterwards, and work together on a big scheme shortly before Cluemaster's apparent death in the pages of The Suicide Squad.
After Harley Quinn briefly breaks free of her devotion to the Joker, she attempts to hold up a large party at Wayne Manor, only to find that the Riddler is targeting the building also. The two gangs engage in a firefight, but Harley gains the upper hand when Big Barda (who was secretly allied with her at the time) interrupts the conflict and captures the Riddler and his men. During the storyline, the Riddler makes constant allusions to a 'mystery' that is hidden within the mansion, and after his apprehension, damage done to the building causes the entrance to the Batcave to open. The Riddler sees this, and then declares that he has 'solved the riddle of Wayne Manor'.
During a crisis caused when Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth was broken, resulting in the laws of truth breaking down and causing reality to be shaped by the perceptions of individuals, one of the symptoms was when Batman found himself unable to solve any of the Riddler's riddles, but was nevertheless still able to defeat the Riddler as the Riddler himself couldn't solve the riddles either- most likely reflecting the public idea of the Riddler's puzzles being insoluble-, claiming that he managed to 'improvise' to defeat the Riddler. His low reputation among heroes and villains was reflected when the Flash noted that Batman having trouble with the Riddler was a clear sign that the world was ending.
In the 12-part storyline Hush, it is revealed that Riddler suffers from cancer, which also afflicted Dr. Thomas Elliot's mother. Riddler uses one of Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pits to rid himself of the disease, and offers Elliot the chance to cure his mother as well, provided he pays a large sum of money. However, Elliott is in fact eager for his mother to die in order to inherit her fortune. Elliott, who goes on to secretly become the masked criminal Hush, explains he wants to get revenge on his childhood friend Bruce Wayne. The two of them agree to work together and the Riddler sets Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Joker, Clayface, and Scarecrow out to destroy Batman, with Ra's and Talia al Ghul, Lady Shiva, and Superman being temporarily drawn into the scheme as well.
During the psychotic break that follows exposure to the Lazarus Pit, Riddler deduces Batman's secret identity, and that the late Jason Todd was once Robin. He then tells Clayface to shapeshift into a replica of Jason in order to torment Batman, who is haunted by the former Robin's death. Batman first thinks that Riddler had stolen Jason's corpse and hid it outside of Gotham Cemetery, but it turns out that Jason is alive the whole time and collaborates with him and Hush. When the Riddler threatens to expose Batman's secret identity, however, the Caped Crusader mockingly labels it an empty threat, pointing out that if Riddler revealed the answer to the riddle "who is Batman?", it would become worthless, something Riddler wouldn't be able to stand. In addition, Batman warns him that if he reveals the secret, it would give Ra's al Ghul a vital clue that he used a Lazarus Pit without his permission, and the League of Assassins would subsequently retaliate against him.
The fallout from Riddler's failed scheme is played out in Batman: Gotham Knights #50-53. In the story "Pushback", Hush reappears and beats Riddler senseless across a rooftop. Seeking refuge, Riddler goes to the Joker and the Penguin. He offers to tell the Joker who had killed his pregnant wife, Jeannie, if the Clown Prince of Crime would protect him from Hush. The Joker immediately agrees, but eventually Hush, with the help of the impostor Prometheus, defeats him, forcing the Riddler to flee for his life.
In Detective Comics #797-799, the Riddler seeks shelter from Poison Ivy only to be humiliated. Riddler and Ivy then face off in a physical duel, which Ivy wins easily.
Riddler is stripped of his deductive powers and left to rot as a member of Gotham City's vast and invisible homeless population. A chance encounter with an ex-NSA codebreaker gives him a positive environment in which to recover his mind. During that stay, he experiences an induced flashback that leads him to realize that his father had abused him many years ago. Envious of his son's academic achievements in school, and unable to understand his brilliance, his father believed he had cheated in his accomplishments, and beat him out of jealousy. Once Riddler discovers this, he also realizes that his compulsion is born out of a strong desire to tell the truth to prove his innocence of deception.
Having made this connection, the Riddler spends some of his vast fortune, acquired over many years of crime, to get minor plastic surgery and extensive tattooing, covering most of his torso with his trademark question insignia. He returns and kills the codebreaker – who had pieced together his identity but couldn't act on it – then promptly steals a priceless scroll out from under Batman's nose. Since then, the Riddler has spent most of his time either legally amassing a huge fortune or attacking various heroes in order to prove his new-found power.
After orchestrating a brutal series of assaults on Green Arrow, as revenge against his defeat at his hands during the No Man's Land era, Riddler gravely injures and almost kills both Green Arrow and Arsenal. He once again escapes before the Outsiders arrive to save them. Sometime between this incident and the events of Hush, the Riddler was hired to steal artifacts imbued with mystical powers from one of Star City's museums, and then distract the authorities so that the related rituals could be commenced. He sends Team Arrow on a wild goose chase around the City, and then reveals that he has an atomic bomb housed in the stadium where the Star City Rockets play. However, as a side effect of the ritual performed with the artifacts, the city is plunged into complete darkness, and Green Arrow uses this to his advantage, moving in and apprehending the Riddler.
Riddler later shows up in Infinite Crisis #1, with a group of villains, which includes the Fisherman and Murmur, attacking the Gotham City Police Department. He is next seen escaping Arkham Asylum during the worldwide supervillain breakout engineered by the Secret Society of Super Villains in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1, which takes place only days after the prior supernatural disaster. Riddler reappears as part of the Society's "Phase Three" attack on Metropolis. He is defeated by the Shining Knight and is struck in the head by the Knight's mace.
In Detective Comics #822, the first of a series of issues written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini, the Riddler returns, having spent much of the previous year in a coma due to brain damage after being struck in the head by Shining Knight. When awaking he is cured of his insanity and of his obsession with riddles, while retaining both his genius intellect and his mammoth ego. He has seemingly reformed, and is now a private consultant and went on a murder case of a wealthy socialite. Hired by the socialite's father, he proves that a photo of Bruce Wayne apparently implicating him in the crime depicts an impostor and briefly works with Batman to investigate the crime. He suffered severe memory loss while unconscious; upon emerging from his coma, he barely remembers his own name. He does not appear to remember that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same, although he does harbor some suspicions of once knowing something amazing about Bruce Wayne.
In Detective Comics #828, Riddler is a guest along with Bruce Wayne on board a ship during a party. During the party, an old friend of Bruce's falls overboard and is mauled to death by sharks. The Riddler appears to solve the case with the suicide of the apparent murderer, and quickly takes the credit. However, Batman finds evidence that the suicide was a setup to divert attention away from the real killer. Bruce suspects foul play, and eventually tracks down the killer, whom Riddler is also close to catching before Nigma is bludgeoned over the head by a shark-tooth club. The killer pushes Batman out the window, and is about to drop him to his death, when Nigma wraps his tie around an arrow, lights it on fire, and shoots it into the killer's back. As the assailant rolls around screaming, Nigma taunts him, refusing to douse the flames. Batman extinguishes the flame and responds to Nigma's assertion that they're now allies with hostile dismissal.
In Detective Comics #837, Riddler is hired by Bruce Wayne to track down an experimental drug developed by Wayne Enterprises, currently being tested for muscle stamina and cellular regeneration, which has been stolen by a lab assistant named Lisa Newman. He discovers that Newman is staying at the same Athenian Women's Help Shelter as Harley Quinn. With Harley's help, he defeats Newman and returns the drug to Wayne Enterprises, earning Batman's trust for the time being.
In Countdown #42, Riddler claims to Mary Marvel that he has gone straight and is now a detective. The two join forces to defeat Clayface, and after witnessing Mary's new malicious approach to crime fighting, suggests that she consider finding a mentor to help her control her powers or at the very least get some anger management counseling.
After a serial killer surfaces on the streets of Gotham City, the Riddler homes in on closing the case, only to find that the killer is actually one of his former victims out for revenge. The young man, whose girlfriend was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between Nygma's gang and security guards, captures the Riddler and attempts to kill him, but Batman intervenes just in time and saves his former foe's life.
In the 2008 miniseries Gotham Underground, Riddler investigates the Penguin's involvement with the events of Salvation Run. He saves Dick Grayson, who is working undercover during the Gotham Gang War between Penguin and Tobias Whale and deduces that Grayson is Nightwing.
He appears in Battle for the Cowl: The Underground, where he is hired by The Penguin to find Black Mask. To that end, he tracks down Selina Kyle, meeting up with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in the process.
In Gotham City Sirens storylines, Poison Ivy is controlling the Riddler, keeping him in a nearly vegetative state so she can move into his house. When a villain named Boneblaster decides to make a name for himself by killing Catwoman, the fight ends up there. The house is severely damaged, but the Riddler is freed from Ivy's control in the process. Seeing his house in shambles, he takes his question mark cane off of the wall and begins to savagely beat the already downed Boneblaster.
In the third issue, Riddler attempts to solve a pair of unlikely suicides, the first being the second best female tennis player in the world, the second an ace race car driver. During his re-enactment of one of the deaths, he is visited by both Catwoman and Poison Ivy, seeking his help for locating Harley after her abduction. Due to the events of the first issue, and Harley's mental state, he quickly declines, and brushes off Poison Ivy's threats.
In his efforts, he discovers that these deaths are in fact homicides orchestrated by a serial killer who leaves subtle clues to the next victim within the body and time of death of the current victim. While attempting to alert the media, he provokes Dick Grayson as Batman. Almost instantly, Riddler deduces that the Batman before him is a new one. Nevertheless, Riddler reveals that the next victim will be the sister of the second victim, a young romance writer, something that Dick needed Alfred Pennyworth and the Batcave computer to figure out.
In the end, Dick goes off to confront the killer, whereas Riddler agrees to look after the intended victim. After a brief, but expected misunderstanding about Riddler's intentions with the young woman, Dick phones in to announce that he has apprehended and questioned not one, but three killers about their intentions, but got no answers. Riddler almost leaves the woman to her life, when the lights go out unexpectedly. Riddler immediately concludes that Dick has not captured all of the killers, and pulls the woman out of harms way when a bomb goes off in front of her bookstore.
While Riddler and the writer hide as the smoke clears, three costumed assailants enter the wreckage, looking for their victim to mark with their next riddle. The two men are led by a woman going by Conundrum, and their costumes sport black and green color schemes along with disturbingly similar question marks emblazoned on their outfits. As Riddler stealthily disposes of the two grunts via use of his cane, Conundrum takes the writer hostage at gunpoint. At which point, Riddler deduces that Conundrum and her men are all college students who specialize in Police Sciences. Due to his famous rehabilitation, Conundrum's group decided to fill the void with their debut murders. Conundrum even admits that Riddler was her idol, and that it would be a shame to kill him.
At this point, Riddler announces that Batman is en route to their very location, something both Conundrum and the writer have difficulty believing. Riddler claims that since his reform, he and Batman have become close, and that his cane now has its own GPS that alerts Batman to his location whenever the question mark is twisted. Still unbelieving of his claim, Riddler calmly asks Conundrum with a smirk, "Why is this man smiling?"
After his question has been delivered, Dick shows up and knocks Conundrum out. Riddler then admits that he is completely baffled that Batman is indeed there, since he was only stalling for time until he thought of something, leading him to wonder if there truly is a Batsignal in his cane (a panel during Riddler's "bluff" shows that there is indeed a Batsignal in his cane, as a green question mark alongside a map shows up inside the Batmobile's window).
After the ordeal is over, the young writer hugs Riddler, thanking him for saving her life. Afterwards, she and Riddler go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, with Dick looking over them. Dick admits that Riddler is indeed on a path of recovery, but must still be watched. After washing up in the men's room, Riddler sees a gossip show on a circuit television, showcasing a plainclothes Harley getting into a car with Hush disguised as Bruce Wayne. He then calls Selina and tells her to turn on her television.
Some time later, Riddler arrives at his office to find his secretary bound and gagged at her desk, with Harley, Ivy, and Selina waiting in his office. The women tell him that they're being framed for the murder of a young woman whose body was dropped into their pool, and they need his help to prove that they had no part in it. After examining the woman's body, he finds that the women were telling the truth, only to be attacked by Dr. Aesop.
Return to villainy
In Tony Daniel's "Life After Death", Riddler appears early in the story at a gala party attended by Arkham, Dick, Huntress, and Oracle, hired by Penguin to find the Black Mask. As he chases Catgirl away from her robbery of the venue, the Riddler is rocked by a bomb denotation, the trauma re-awakens his psychosis. Cackling, rambling, and insane, he terminates his contract with Cobblepot and disappears.
In "Riddle Me This", the Riddler still "acts" as private eye and teams with Batman to solve the murders of a mysterious sorcerer named Sebastian Rothschild (a.k.a. Sebastian Blackspell). Blackspell is apprehended, but only after Batman suspects Riddler went to great lengths to orchestrate the ordeal, including poisoning himself with a nearly lethal dose of Joker gas to skirt suspicion and act on a grudge between he and Blackspell.
Riddler's return to villainy is cemented in "Eye of the Beholder". Investigating the Sensei's attack on the Jade Society, Batman (Dick Grayson) is ambushed by Riddler and a young woman introduced as Enigma, Riddler's daughter. Riddler and Enigma escape, delivering the Jade Society member list to woman revealed to be Gilda Dent. Riddler is paid, but is more interested in another reward, which Gilda promises after one more job. This occurs in "Pieces", where Gilda reveals herself to Two-Face, hiring Riddler and Enigma to help Harvey best Mario Falcone and reclaim his coin. The plan works, defeating Batman and reuniting the Dents. The Riddler is rewarded with multiple DA dossiers of himself... but Enigma is unimpressed, saying that Riddler is washed up. "Pieces" concludes with Riddler violently reclaiming his villainous identity. At the story's conclusion in Batman #712, once Enigma has served his purpose the Riddler asks her "What's purple and green and bleeds profusely?" Enigma's response is cut short by her scream, implying either the Riddler has done away with his "daughter" or she was screaming over his implied suicide.
Powers and abilities
The Riddler possesses extreme originality in decoding and formulating puzzles of all kinds. His deductive ability has perfused his new role of private detective, in which he is shown to have investigative skills that rival those of the Dark Knight. The Riddler has no superhuman abilities, but is a highly cunning criminal strategist. He is not especially talented in fisticuffs (although his endurance has grown from having to engage in them over the years), but sometimes employs weaponry that exploits his gimmick, such as exploding jigsaw pieces, his infamous question mark cane, known to house a wide variety of technological devices and weapons, and question mark shaped pistols. He is shown to be skilled with engineering and technology, confronting Batman and Robin with unique and elaborate deathtraps.
- Query and Echo - Two females who serve as Riddler's henchmen and bodyguards. Query's real name is Diedre Vance and Echo's real name is Nina Damfino.
As one of Batman's most famed and popular adversaries, the Riddler has been featured in several comics which are not part of the official DC continuity.
Joker Graphic Novel
A radically different interpretation was featured in Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Joker. In this version he wears a solid green jacket with question marks on the very back of it and a spiral of question mark tattoos around his abdomen. His cane serves the purpose of helping to prop him up, due to a disabled leg (revealed to have been caused by a previous encounter with the Joker, resulting in the Riddler getting shot in the hip). In the story, he sells an unknown substance to the Joker. He is identified by the Joker as "Edward".
In the Elseworlds miniseries Thrillkiller, Nygma is a psychiatrist who counsels Barbara Gordon. Doctor Edward Nygma, author of Riddle Me This — What Do We Really Mean?, keeps Barbara dosed with increasing amounts of valium and encourages her to mix with people she actually loathes. Edward wears a green suit and the cushions of his couch bear the pattern of the Riddler's outfit. Alfred, Barbara's butler, takes the drugs away from her at the request of her father Commissioner Gordon who regards Edward as a quack.
In the Batman/Judge Dredd crossover The Ultimate Riddle, the Riddler uses a reality-manipulating wand-like device he acquired during the Zero Hour crisis to pull Batman, Dredd, and six alien warriors together, intending to pit Batman against the other warriors and get him killed. However, Batman and Dredd are able to work together to overcome their opponents, culminating in Dredd shooting Riddler in the shoulder and Batman claiming the device, subsequently using it to return the survivors home.
The Riddler has a heroic counterpart in the antimatter universe called the Quizmaster, who is a member of Lex Luthor's Justice Underground (that Earth's version of the Injustice Gang) which opposes the evil Crime Syndicate of Amerika. He first appeared in JLA Secret Files 2004 #1. He later has the right half of his face burned by Ultraman, leading him to don a half-face and temporarily take on the name "Enigma". He last appeared in the Trinity series. As the New Earth Riddler slowly became a lighter, less criminal figure, Enigma became a darker figure in this series. Similarly, on Earth-3, the Riddler's heroic counterpart (simply Riddler) is married to Three-Face (Evelyn Dent) and is the stepfather to the Jokester's daughter, Duela Dent.
In the Emperor Joker storyline, the all-powerful Joker creates an alternate Riddler, known as Enigma, to be a member of the Joker's League of Anarchy along with alternate versions of Poison Ivy and Bizarro. After learning of the Joker's plans to destroy the universe, he leads the League in an uprising against him. The Joker's vast and amazing powers cause the plan to fail, and the entire League is destroyed as a result.
The Dark Knight Strikes Again
He can be heard saying "ruh-riddle me this" in Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
The Riddler appears alongside Selena Kyle in the miniseries Kingdom Come, having been invited to a meeting of the Mankind Liberation Front by Lex Luthor. In this alternate future the Riddler has become an old, bald man wearing glasses with question mark-shaped rims. He still indulges in his habitual riddling, asking "Who is the Riddler?" when Luthor referred to him by his real name. He appears to have been invited to the meeting only upon the insistence of Selena Kyle, as Luthor does not appear enthused by his presence.
In several promotional ads for the IB program, the Riddler was shown as a graduate, talking about the many possible career choices for a new graduate. This is debatably canon as DC knew about the ads.
In the third issue of the Batman vampire series Crimson Mist, the Riddler appears in a morgue where he shoots the mortician who was about to start an autopsy on a corpse where the Riddler had stored a large quantity of drugs. The Riddler in that appearance has a big question mark-shaped scar on his face and another one on his chest with his navel being the dot. While shooting he cites what would be his final riddle: "When Genius becomes dope plus 'E' how does she redeem herself? Answer: By turning 'Heroine' which minus the E is 'Heroin', lots of it and redeemable for lots of cash," at which vampire Batman appears and scolds the Riddler for graduating from robbery and extortion to drug trafficking and murder. In a panic the Riddler begins to fire at Batman only to find that his bullets have no effect on him. Stunned, the Riddler asks Batman what he is, to which Batman replies: "The answer to life's every riddle: DEATH!"
In other media
- Frank Gorshin played the Riddler in nine episodes of the 1960s Batman television series as well as the spin-off movie, with John Astin substituting once on the series. The popular television series was inspired by the first Silver Age appearance of the Riddler, with the premiere episode being an adaptation of this issue (Batman #171). Before the television series, the character was a minor villain with only three appearances in two decades, but the exposure of the series – especially with Gorshin's extremely popular interpretation – elevated the character in the comics to a major enemy. The Riddler's real name was never mentioned in the TV show. In addition, Gorshin, disliking the traditional jumpsuit of the comics, designed a distinctive green and question mark decorated business suit and bowler hat as an alternative costume. This change in wardrobe style would be reflected in subsequent adaptations and eventually adapted in the comics themselves to reflect the character's greater sense of intellectual dignity. Gorshin also appeared to dislike the domino mask on the costume, often having his character wearing it either propped high above his eyes or dangling around his neck.
- Gorshin also portrayed the Riddler in Legends of the Superheroes in 1979. The Riddler was the first villain to appear on the show, where it is implied he has already met the Batman, planning to sue him for false arrest.
- The Riddler made his first appearance in animated form in the Filmation Batman installments first seen on CBS Saturday Morning in 1968 as part of The Batman/Superman Hour with Ted Knight providing his voice. The Riddler did not appear in the 1977 The New Adventures of Batman episodes, however he did appear in the show's opening.
- The Riddler appeared in Hanna-Barbera's Challenge of the Super Friends voiced by Michael Bell. He appears as a member of the Legion of Doom.
- He made his only solo appearance in a Super Friends short episode, "Around The World In 80 Riddles" again voiced by Michael Bell.
- The Riddler appears in Batman: The Animated Series voiced by John Glover. He made his debut in "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?", and has also appeared in "What Is Reality?", and "Riddler's Reform". For this version, the producers decided to play against the popular Gorshin image of a cackling trickster and have the character as a smooth intellectual who presented genuinely challenging puzzles. The series' creators admit they didn't use him very much because his character often made story plots too long, too complex, or too bizarre, and the creators also found it very hard to come up with the villain's riddles.
- John Glover returns as the Riddler for cameo appearances in The New Batman Adventures episodes "Over the Edge" and "Judgment Day". His design is completely different from his early appearance, losing not only his hair, but also his green suit and mask. Instead, he is now dressed in a unitard with a large question mark. In "Over the Edge," Riddler appeared in Batgirl's nightmare (which was induced by Scarecrow's fear gas) where he was seen on a talk show with the other Batman villains. In "Judgement Day," Riddler was among the victims of a vigilante called the Judge (which was actually Two-Face in disguise).
- John Glover reprised his role as the Riddler in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Knight Time." He is in league with Bane and the Mad Hatter. He is quickly captured by Superman and Robin.
- A Riddler Drone, along with Two-Face and Killer Croc, fights Batman in the opening of the Batman Beyond episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot". The Riddler's appearance is that of his New Batman Adventures appearance in this episode.
- In 2005, a new interpretation of the Riddler debuted in The Batman episode "Riddled" voiced by Robert Englund. This version has a Gothic look, has the same characteristics as Nygma in the old series, and is served by henchmen called Riddlemen. In his early life as seen in a flashback in "Riddler's Revenge," Edward Nygma got a job as at a university where he and his partner Julie worked on a device that would enhance the human brain. In the early development of the project, Edward Nygma was approached by a man named Gorman who wanted to sell the rights of the invention to him. When it came to the demonstration of the device to the Dean, the device malfunctioned and Edward accused Gorman. Sometime after that, Edward booby trapped Gorman's house with puzzles and deadly traps. Batman came to his aid upon intercepting a call to the police and saved Gorman, but Edward escaped. Donning his identity of the Riddler by "Riddled," Riddler placed chemical bombs all over the city containing puzzles and riddles which solving them could deactivate them. This was thwarted by Batman and Detective Ellen Yin. When arrested by the police, he commented "Why in" as a riddle to Chief Angel Rojas on who helped Batman. In "Night and the City," Riddler forms a truce with Joker and Penguin in taking over Gotham City and defeating Batman. While Joker and Penguin tried their attempts on Batman, Riddler used his technology to drain the power from Gotham City. The three of them ended up fighting Batman on an abandoned oil platform yet ended up defeated and arrested by the police. In "Riddler's Revenge," Riddler makes another attempt at Gorman's life when Batman arrives. The conflict ended up trapping Batman and Riddler at the bottom of the harbor as Riddler's backstory is revealed. It was soon figured out by both of them that Gorman wasn't the one who sabotaged the device. Once both of them are freed, Riddler meets up with his Riddlemen and leaves. Riddler manages to confront his former partner Julie who was the actual saboteur of the device since she didn't want to share the profits of the invention with Edward. Riddler tied Julie up and tried to repeat the incident of the device's feedback the night it first happened, but was defeated by Batman and Robin. Batman told Robin to leave Julie tied up as he gives Robin the riddle "When is a villain not the villain." As the police arrive, Riddler is shown knocked out on the ground unconscious and sheading a tear. In "Rumors," Riddler was among the villains who were captured by Rumor.
- The Riddler is featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by John Michael Higgins. In "Legends of the Dark Mite!", the Riddler appeared in Bat-Mite's imagination. He was bowled down by Batman who sent Tweedledum and Tweedledee into him and the other villains. In the teaser of the episode "A Bat Divided!", he hosted the game show "Riddle Me This" telling riddles to a bound Booster Gold to determine the fate of Batman and with every wrong answer given by Booster Gold he gave Batman a shock. Booster Gold got most of the riddles wrong. Batman managed to free himself before the final riddle and then freed Booster Gold and Skeets. Both of them managed to defeat the Riddler and his henchmen. In "The Criss-Cross Conspiracy," Riddler crashed the 35th Annual Wordy Awards displeased that he wasn't even nominated. Batman and Robin ended up fighting his henchmen until Batwoman (who is known as Katrina Moldoff in this show) arrived. When Riddler was knocked down by Batwoman, Riddler asks her, "Why are you like a bride on her wedding day?" While Katrina is confused, the Riddler then answers "Because you're about to be unveiled" and unmasks her in front of a horde of news reporters. He is then knocked out by Batman while Katrina is in shock on what Riddler did. 10 Years Later, Riddler stole money out of the Gotham Reserves which Katrina decides that this is the perfect time for revenge. Using a spell provided by Felix Faust, Katrina ended up switching bodies with Batman and went after Riddler. Upon catching up to Riddler, Batwoman in Batman's body reveals this to Riddler while pointing a gun at him. Riddler was surprised by this revelation and ended up electrocuting him/her with one of his devices. He then wraps her in chains above a tank of acid. Riddler then asks "When is Batman not Batman? And do you know what the answer is?" Katrina looks at him sternly and Riddler answers "Who cares?" stating that he would be able to destroy both of them. However, Batman (in Katrina's body) along with Nightwing, Batgirl, and Felix Faust arrive and end up fighting Riddler's henchmen as Felix Faust prepares a spell to undo the body-switching. Batman then knocks out the Riddler again and sends him off to jail as Katrina goes along quietly. Riddler makes a cameo in the episode "The Knights of Tomorrow" where he is briefly defeated by Batman in a flashback.
- Riddler appears in the Young Justice episode "Terrors" voiced by Dave Franco. He is seen as an inmate of Belle Reve and has been denied to fit in with Icicle Sr. He is the only one to escape in Icicle Sr. failed escape plan.
- Frank Gorshin reprised his role as the Riddler in the 1966 film Batman, alongside three other villains from the TV series. As in the series, Gorshin's Riddler is calm and calculating at one moment, then wild and unstable the next. He compulsively sends Batman and Robin clues, which in the film leads to some minor tension with his fellow criminals.
- Jim Carrey portrays Edward Nygma/The Riddler in Batman Forever, and is one of two primary antagonists (the other being Two-Face). Here, Edward Nygma is an employee of Wayne Enterprises, who invents a device called The Box that transmits images directly into the user's mind; Nygma saw it as the next generation of television, but Bruce Wayne rejected the idea as mental manipulation raised too many ethical questions. He ultimately discovers that his device could increase his own intelligence by using the neural energy of those watching it, and allows him access to simulated telepathic powers. He kills his boss by pushing him through the window into a river after he fired him, though not before testing the device on him, and makes it look like a suicide, implanting a computer generated film of him leaping through the window onto the security footage. He perfects his brain-manipulation device into a system which beams signals to and from the human brain in order to simulate an immersive television viewing experience. After being inspired by a televised raid on a circus by Two-Face, Nygma adopts his own alter ego in the form of the Riddler, and approaches Two-Face with a deal: if he helps Nygma fund major production for his device, he will use his ill-gotten knowledge to tell him Batman's secret identity, which Two-Face accepts after a toss of his coin. Nygma rapidly becomes a multi-millionaire from sales of his machine, but continues to maintain a double-life as the Riddler for the thrill of committing grand-scale heists with Two-Face. Throughout the film, Nygma obsesses over Wayne, copying Wayne's appearance down to a facial mole, and he prevents Two-Face from killing him (so that Batman can solve a riddle). His riddles sent to Bruce allow Bruce to discover his true identity. Finally, his device is destroyed while he was using it by a batarang, driving him insane to the point where he apparently believed that he was Batman when he is visited in Arkham Asylum. The Riddler's riddles in this film were written by Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times' daily crossword puzzle. When Michael Keaton was still attached to the film, Micky Dolenz was an early contender for the role of the Riddler. Director Joel Schumacher was considering Robin Williams for the role, but Williams turned it down, and when Keaton left the project and was replaced with Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey was cast. Carrey had stated that he was attracted to the "stalker" angle added to the character in the script, and had been a Batman fan since childhood.
- In Batman & Robin, The Riddler's uniform can be seen in Arkham Asylum.
- The Riddler makes a brief cameo in a flashback in the DC Animated Original Movie Batman: Under the Red Hood where he attempts to rob a museum, but he is defeated by Jason Todd after he and Batman take down his henchmen. Although Bruce Timm receives screen credit for voicing him, he has no lines but simply moans when defeated.
The Riddler has appeared in several video games based on Batman.
- He was a boss in Batman: The Animated Series for the Game Boy, The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the SNES, The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Sega CD and various video game adaptations of Batman Forever. The SNES game had Riddler reusing the Riddle of the Minotaur Maze from "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?" and the chess board from "What Is Reality?". In the Sega CD game, which had fully animated cut scenes, John Glover reprised his role as the Riddler. In the PC game Toxic Chill, Riddler teams up with Mr. Freeze.
- The Riddler is a character in Lego Batman: The Videogame with his vocal effects provided by Tom Kenny. He is one of the three masterminds of the Arkham breakout in the game; and leads Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Clayface, with the goal of stealing the contents of the Gotham Gold Reserve. in this game, his trademarked question-mark cane grants him the ability to exert mind control over marked targets (they have question marks over their heads), allowing the player to take control of the target (This ability is shared by the characters The Mad Hatter and The Scarecrow). It can also be used to, if someone is in short range, to "confuse" other characters, causing them to kneel down on the floor clutching their head.
- Riddler is in the 2009 game Batman: Arkham Asylum voiced by Wally Wingert. The Riddler is never actually seen in the game but hacks into Batman's communication system. He challenges Batman to solve various riddles located throughout the Asylum, though only one is required to complete the game. As Batman solves more and more of his challenges, the Riddler becomes increasingly verbally abusive towards Batman and becomes convinced that he is "cheating" to solve his riddles. After Batman manages to solve all his challenges, he traces the Riddler's location to 229 O'Neil Avenue in Old Gotham where the police can be heard apprehending the criminal mastermind. As he is being arrested, Riddler accuses Batman of cheating. His patient interviews reveal he knew about Joker's plan and may have used his knowledge of it to negotiate his way out of Arkham (the tape states that he is not due for parole for another three years, yet he is obviously free and not present in Arkham during the events of the game). One of the tapes also includes him reminiscing about his abusive father - who calls him "moron" and a "cheater" after he creates an impossible logic test for a school assignment (In his tape, he says that his father beat him and called him a cheater but when his doctor is sympathetic he responds with "don't be, he was right!"). His bio is unlocked by finding the first trophy in the game in the holding cells. His cell is covered with question marks and footprints.
- Riddler appears in DC Universe Online voiced by Shannon McCormick. A chain of quests leads the players on the hero campaign to solve one of his riddles in order to talk to him. In the game, Riddler is a detective in recluse hiding from the Joker. When Joker sends Deathstroke to kill Riddler, the players help Query and Echo protect Riddler from Deathstroke. When Deathstroke is defeated, Riddler mentions to Deathstroke that Joker never made the payment transfer and Deathstroke leaves. Before departing to another location where Joker will never find him, Riddler then has the players tell Batman that Joker is working with T.O. Morrow on a new Joker Venom.
- Wally Wingert reprises his role of Riddler in Batman: Arkham City. It was been confirmed that he would play a larger role in the story, where he kidnaps innocent civilians, sets up death traps, and will kill the innocent if Batman does not save them. He also places down Riddler Trophies across Arkham City. In a Behind-the-Scenes video on G4's X-Play, they said that he "feels like Jigsaw from the Saw movies". Batman is then told where a hostage is being held for every amount of trophies collected (first hostage 80 trophies, second 160, third 240, fourth 320 and final one 400). In order to access one of the Riddler's Challenge Maps, Batman would have to interrogate his henchmen who are scattered throughout Arkham City (his henchmen are the ones glowing green) where they are blending in with the henchmen of Joker, Penguin, and Two-Face. As the player saves more hostages and collects more trophies, Riddler becomes more paranoid and angry, again accusing Batman of "cheating" to complete his challenges. Once Riddler is defeated upon Aaron Cash being rescued, Riddler ends up in the trap that Aaron Cash was in unaware that the detonator associated with it doesn't work. Through tapes collected by saving the hostages, Batman learns that Riddler has developed a deep hatred and rivalry with Hugo Strange. After hacking several of Strange's calls and revealing his apparent knowledge of the true nature of Protocol 10, he proclaims himself Hugo's better, only for Strange to taunt him upon realizing that he knows Batman's secret identity and Riddler doesn't, something that deteriorates Nigma's sanity even further and heightens his obsession with the Dark Knight.
- The character was featured in several issues of The Batman and Robin Adventures. In his first appearance, he holds an entire Christmas party hostage, convinced that Batman and Robin are among the crowd. This issue is also the debut of his two assistants, Query and Echo, in the DCAU continuity. In a later issue, he kidnaps Commissioner Gordon and threatens Gotham City with a deadly nerve gas. Since Batman and Robin fail to show up, Batgirl is forced to take on the Riddler alone and save her father.
- The Riddler is featured prominently in Batman: Gotham Adventures, a spin-off of Batman: The Animated Series.
- In The Batman Adventures series, the Riddler makes yet another attempt to go straight in issue #2. Issue #11 shows that while reformed, the Riddler struggles to avoid the temptation of crime as well as planting riddles. To remedy that, Batman recruits the Riddler to answer a great riddle: How did the Penguin succeed in becoming mayor of Gotham City? In the process, he is heavily injured in #12 by the Clock King. At the end of the issue, he ends up in a coma. The series was canceled before the Riddler's fate could be resolved. The story planned for the Riddler would have him emerging from his coma stricken with amnesia, allowing him to solve the greatest riddle, "Who Am I?"
- In one of the Batman OnStar commercials, the Riddler was portrayed by Brian Stepanek.
Spoofs and parodies
- The Riddler appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Endless Breadsticks" voiced by Patrick Warburton. When the Riddler gives a riddle at the dinner table, his wife tells him to just ask for the salt. Zeb Wells voices Riddler in the episode "But Not In That Way". In a segment that parodies Arkham Asylum in the style of The Shawshank Redemption, Riddler writes a request to Joker to play "Who Let the Dogs Out?" on "Arkham's Top 40".
- In the American Dad! episode "Rapture's Delight", the Anti-Christ (voiced by Andy Samberg) draws many similarities to the Riddler. He wears a red jumpsuit and domino mask covered with upside-down crosses, and behaves as if he were criminally insane.
Riddler has made several appearances as an action figure as part of Kenner's Batman: The Animated Series, Legends of Batman, and Batman: Knight Force Ninjas lines; Mattel's The Batman line; and Art Asylum's minimates line. He has also been produced as a HeroClix. Five different Riddler figures were produced for the 1995 Batman Forever line, including a Target exclusive and one that says phrases from the film.
The Riddler is one of the rarest of Pacipa's Super Amigos line, the Argentinian version of Kenner's Super Powers Collection. He is a repainted Green Lantern figure that was only released in South America. He was also part of the line of action figures called the DC Comics SuperHeroes from Toy Biz.
Three versions of the Riddler have appeared in the DC Direct line, two based on his first appearance and one based on his look in the "Hush" storyline. The Japanese toy company Yamato has also produced a figure of him.
In 1974, the Mego company released two Riddler figures; one was 8" tall with a cloth outfit for the World's Greatest Superheroes line of toys (this figure was in production until 1979), the other was a smaller figure which was molded rubber over wire for the Bend 'n Flex line. In 1975 and 1976, Mego also released the 8" tall Fist Fighting Riddler which was basically the same as the 1974 figure except it had a mechanism which allowed a child move a lever on the figure's back to make the arms swing.
During his time on the series, Frank Gorshin recorded an album with a song titled "The Riddler", in which he sings of his obsession with puzzles.
Riddler's Revenge, the world's tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster is themed after the Riddler. It is located in Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Mind Bender, is a roller-coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia outside Atlanta. The coaster was originally silver then later painted brown. In 1997, the park built Batman: The Ride next to MindBender. MindBender was then given a green paint scheme and its trains were painted black and covered with question marks. There is a ride at Six Flags America called "Riddle Me This" but it is not a roller coaster, rather it is a Round-Up painted in Riddler's colors, purple and green.
- ^ Riddler is number 59, IGN.
- ^ The Question #26
- ^ Legends of the Dark Knight #109-#111
- ^ Detective Comics #705-#707
- ^ Harley Quinn #6-#7
- ^ JLA #64 (May 2002)
- ^ Batman #619
- ^ Gotham City Sirens #1 (June 2009)
- ^ Gotham City Sirens #9 (February 2010)
- ^ Detective Comics Annual #8
- ^ Comics Scene #43, published by Starlog
- ^ "(PDF) TV Tonight Schedule for October 30th, 2010" (PDF). http://www.tvtonight.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Program-guide-report-GTV-SD-Sun-Oct-24-2010.pdf. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- ^ "Micky Dolenz Internet Movie Database". http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004880/bio#trivia. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- ^ "Batman Forever Internet Movie Database". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112462/trivia. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- ^ Game Informer features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery," Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
- ^ http://www.g4tv.com/videos/55577/batman-arkham-city-villain-preview-2/
- ^ "The World's Finest - Batman Adventures: Tribute - The Comic - Ty Templeton". Worldsfinestonline.com. http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batribute/thecomic/ty.php. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- ^ "Riddler: WGSH Gallery: Mego Museum : Mego Riddler : Mego Corp". Mego Museum. http://megomuseum.com/wgsh/riddler.html. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- Riddler on DC Database, an external wiki, a DC Comics wiki
- Edward Nygma's Puzzle Web Site : puzzles, games and stories featuring the animated series Riddler.
- Riddler on DCComics.com
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