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The Riddler
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
Dick Sprang
In-story information
Alter ego Edward Nigma
Team affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Notable aliases E. Nigma (Nygma), Edward (Eddie) Nashton, Eddie Nash
Abilities - Genius-level deductive reasoning
- Vast esoteric knowledge

The Riddler (Edward Nigma, Nygma, or Nashton) 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 in many 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 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

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 jumpsuit. A black or purple question mark serves as his visual motif. Since the animated series and the film Batman Forever, Riddler often carries a trick "question mark" cane.

The Riddler is typically portrayed as a smooth-talking, yet quirky, victim of an intense obsessive compulsion. This was first introduced in the 1965 issue of Batman (titled, "The Remarkable Ruse 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 and The Batman, where in the former, he was portrayed as a smooth-talking intellectual who presented genuinely challenging riddles.

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 ego that rivals or may even surpass that of the Joker. 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 behaviour 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 third 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 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.

Some writers have suggested that the Riddler's compulsion stems from parental abuse that he endured as a child. After Edward got high scores on some important tests in school, his father, unable to grasp the fact that his son was brilliant and believing he had cheated, beat him out of envy. This, in theory, left him with a strong internal desire to tell the truth, and prove his innocence. This desire manifests itself in the form of his obsession with riddles. Other writers have suggested that his madness, as well as his descent into crime in general, have roots in a yearning to rise above the anonymity that he possessed in his youth.

In Batman: The Long Halloween, the Riddler appears as a smooth-talking, yet odd, informant. He first appears when Carmine "The Roman" Falcone hires him to figure out who the Holiday Killer is. Despite giving several reasonable theories as to who is behind the killer's identity, the Roman eventually loses his patience. Carmine orders his daughter, Sophia, to force the Riddler to leave. Upon exiting Falcone's office, the Riddler is attacked, but for some reason left alive, by Holiday. 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 that Harvey Dent gets disfigured in, 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 hoped to extract Batman's real identity from her, but to his dismay, she actually didn't know or care.

The Riddler appeared in Vertigo's The Question series, being convinced to become a "big-time villain" by a prostitute met on a bus. He hijacked it and began 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 nervous breakdown before being set free as a reward for getting one last riddle right. [2]

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", the Riddler engineers what could possibly be called 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 had a working relationship with The Cluemaster, although he initially resented the villain for seemingly copying his modus operandi. In their first encounter, he set his fellow rogue up with a bomb and sent Batman off chasing riddles that would lead to its defusal, as well as away from his real plan: to steal a vast amount of priceless baseball merchandise. The two teamed up on a few occasions afterwards, and were working 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 Nigma was targeting the building also. The two gangs engage in a firefight, but Harley gains the upperhand 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'.

He seems to be more rational and cautious than his fellow rogues. During the Batman crossover storyline No Man's Land, after Gotham City is ravaged by an earthquake and Arkham Asylum frees its inmates, Riddler elects to flee Gotham rather than stay behind in the lawless chaos that ensues. [3]

It is during this period that he makes the poor choice of attacking Black Canary and Green Arrow in Star City, where he is easily defeated. This event helps lay the foundations for Riddler's future confrontations with Green Arrow (see below).

Detective Comics #140 (October 1948), the first appearance of the Riddler. Cover by Win Mortimer.


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 collabrates 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 Prometheus, defeats him, forcing the Riddler to flee for his life.

In Detective Comics #797-799, the Riddler faces a great humiliation at the hands of Poison Ivy. In this encounter, the Riddler seeks shelter from 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 newfound 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.

Riddler reformed

In Detective Comics #822, The Riddler returns, having spent much of the previous year in a coma due to the one-sided fight against the Knight. He has seemingly reformed, and is now a private consultant on the murder 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. As a result of his coma, The Riddler has apparently cured his compulsion for riddles, although still enjoying them in an abstract sense, but he retains both his intellect and his mammoth ego. Furthermore, 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.

After a grisly 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 an old victim of his out for revenge. The young man, whose girlfriend got caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between Nigma's gang and security guards, captured Nigma and attempted to kill him, but Batman intervened just in time and saved his former enemy'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 was undercover during the Gotham Gang War between Penguin and Tobias Whale and deduces that Grayson is Nightwing.

He appeared in Battle for the Cowl: The Underground, where he was 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.[4]

In the third issue, Riddler is attempting to solve a duo 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 visted 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 uncovers 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 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 gets 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 colour schemes along with disturbingly similar question mark emblazoned on their outfits. As Riddler stealthily disposes of the two grunts via use of his cane, Conundrum manages to take 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 out Conundrum. 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. After which, 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 who's 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.[5]

Powers and abilities

The Riddler possesses extreme ingenuity 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.

Other versions

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.

Edward as he is seen in Joker
  • A radically different hipster style 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. 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, her 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 character was featured in several issues of Batman and Robin Adventures. In his first appearance, he holds an entire Christmas party hostage, convinced that Batman and Robin are amongst 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.
  • 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?"[6]
  • In the Emperor Joker storyline, the all-powerful Joker creates an alternate Riddler, known as Enigma, to be a member of the Joker's Justice League 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 Riddler also appeared three times in Justice League, working alongside Parasite to battle Superman in various bombing conspiracies, most likely to be led by the coalition of The Riddler and Parasite.
  • He can be heard saying "ruh-riddle me this" in Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
  • The Riddler appeared 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 other media


Batman (TV series)

Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, from the Batman TV series.

Frank Gorshin played the Riddler in the 1960s Batman television series and 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 derby 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 portrayed the Riddler in Legends of the Superheroes in 1979. The Riddler was the first villain to appear on the show.

OnStar commercial

In one of the Batman OnStar commercials, the Riddler was portrayed by Brian Stepanek.

The Batman/Superman Hour

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, but the Riddler did not appear in The New Adventures of Batman episodes.

Super Friends

The Riddler as he appeared in Challenge of the Super Friends.

The Riddler appeared in Hanna-Barbera's Challenge of the Super Friends as a member of the Legion of Doom. He was voiced by Michael Bell. He made his only solo appearance in a Super Friends short episode, "Around The World In 80 Riddles."

DC animated universe

Batman: The Animated Series

The Riddler as he appears in the Batman: The Animated Series.

In Batman: The Animated Series, John Glover voiced the Riddler. 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." 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.[7] It was also very hard to come up with the riddles.

The New Batman Adventures

John Glover returns as The Riddler for cameo appearances in The New Batman Adventures episodes "Over the Edge" and "Judgement 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 one piece leotard with a large question mark.

Superman: The Animated Series

John Glover reprised his role as the Riddler in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Knight Time," where he is in league with Bane and the Mad Hatter.

Batman Beyond

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.

The Batman

The Riddler in The Batman.

In 2005, a new interpretation of the Riddler debuted in The Batman animated series episode “Riddled”. In this version, the Riddler returns with a Gothic look voiced by Robert Englund and by Hiroaki Hirata in the Japanese dub. The Riddler also appeared in the episodes “Night and the City,” “Riddler’s Revenge,”,“Rumors”, and made a cameo in "Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind".

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

The Riddler is featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by John Michael Higgins. In "Legends of the Dark Mite", Riddler appeared in Bat-Mite's imagination. 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 with every wrong answer given by Booster Gold gave Batman a shock. Batman managed to free himself before the final riddle and then freed Booster Gold and Skeets. Both of them managed to defeat Riddler and his henchmen.


Batman (1966)

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.

Batman Forever

Jim Carrey as The Riddler in the 1995 film Batman Forever.

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 mind-manipulation device called The Box, which Bruce Wayne rejects. He ultimately discovers that his device increases his own intelligence, and allows him access to simulated telepathic powers. He kills his boss after they fire him. 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. 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). The Riddler's uniform can be seen in the sequel film Batman and Robin, in Arkham Asylum.

Carrey was nominated for the MTV Award for "Best Villain" for his performance, as was Tommy Lee Jones for his portrayal of Two-Face.

When Michael Keaton was still attached to the film, director Joel Schumacher was considering Robin Williams for the role of the Riddler. Williams turned down the role, 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.

The Riddler's riddles in this film were written by Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times' daily crossword puzzle.

Nolan series

Director Christopher Nolan took the helm as director of the new Batman franchise with the 2005 film Batman Begins. In The Gotham Times, a viral marketing website promoting the 2008 film The Dark Knight, Edward Nashton, an alias of The Riddler, is credited for a letter to the editor titled "Dent Cannot Be Believed" in Issue 2 page 2. Although Anthony Michael Hall was rumored to be playing the Riddler, he actually played a reporter named Mike Engel. David Tennant has expressed interest in the role.[8] While doing press for The Dark Knight, Gary Oldman alluded that the Riddler would be the villain in the proposed third film.[9]

Video games

The Riddler has also appeared in several video games based on Batman.

  • The Riddler is a character in Lego Batman: The Video Game.[10] His vocal effects are 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.
  • 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 none are required to complete the game. After Batman manages to solve all his challenges, he traces the Riddler's location to an unknown area of Gotham, where the police can be heard apprehending the criminal mastermind. His patient interviews reveal he knew about Joker's plan and one of them reveals that he has an abusive father who calls him "moron".

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 character the Anti-Christ 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.

Action figures

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.[citation needed] 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.

Mattel has included a figure based on Paul Dini's current incarnation of the character in its DC Universe toyline.

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 bassically 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.[11]


A song based on the character titled "The Riddler" was performed by rapper, Method Man and was featured on the Batman Forever soundtrack. There is also a song by Frank Gorshin in which he sings about riddles and his obsession with them.

The Riddler makes an appearance in the video of the Nik Kershaw 1984 song, "The Riddle."

Another song based on the character is titled "The Riddler" and is done by Nightwish.

Roller coasters

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.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Riddler is number 59, IGN.
  2. ^ The Question #26
  3. ^ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #82
  4. ^ Gotham City Sirens #1 (June 2009)
  5. ^ Gotham City Sirens #9 (February 2010)
  6. ^ The World's Finest - Batman Adventures: Tribute - The Comic - Ty Templeton
  7. ^ Comics Scene #43, published by Starlog
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ EXCLUSIVE: Will Chris Nolan Recast the Joker for Batman 3 or Will the Riddler Take His Place?
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Riddler: WGSH Gallery: Mego Museum : Mego Riddler : Mego Corp

External links

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