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DC Comics

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From DC Database

Character Template Character Template
Real Name
Edward Nashton
Current Alias

Aliases
The Prince of Puzzles; The Prince of Puzzlers; Quizmaster; E. Nigma, Edward E. Nygma; Arthur Wynne; Edward E. Nigma

Identity

Alignment

Affiliation

Universe

Base Of Operations

Characteristics
Gender

Height
6' 1"

Weight
183 lbs (83 kg)

Eyes

Hair

Unusual Features
The Riddler is obsessed with riddles and puzzles and is sometimes portrayed as an Obsessive Compulsive.

Status
Citizenship

Marital Status

Occupation
Private Detective; former Professional criminal


Image:Quote1.png The Riddler has a strange conditioned reflex. He can never make an important move in his life without leaving a riddle to explain it. Image:Quote2.png
-- Batman

Contents

History

Edward was born into a broken home, his mother was absent and his father was abusive. When Edward was a young boy he became excited at the idea of winning a puzzle contest at school. To increase his likelihood of winning, Edward sneaked into school during the night and practiced the puzzle until he could solve it with ease. He ends up winning, and is awarded a riddle book. Since that time, he has mastered puzzles, mind games, and riddles. Edward was profoundly intelligent, and would pass tests with apparent ease, something his father, out of jealousy, couldn't or wouldn't believe, and therefore attributed his success to cheating (supposedly catching him once) and beat on him repeatedly to keep him 'out of trouble,' or to stop him from lying. Out of the abuse Edward developed a compulsion he has became known for, he constantly endeavors to tell the truth to prove his innocence. This is where his obsession with riddles comes from. Unfortunately the abuse is also a main factor that drove him to a life of crime.[1]

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The Riddler

When Edward got older, he left home and became a carnival performer, using his skills to cheat carnival-goers out of their money. But this was not enough for him. He longed for something more, and became the Riddler, picking The Batman as an adversary, as he believes him to be an intelligent and more-than-worthy opponent.

Starting out as a simple informant and criminal profiler for the underworld of Gotham City, as well as for Batman, the Riddler slowly became more of a villain to Batman. It wasn't long before he became a main adversary to the Caped Crusader, constantly testing his analytical abilities to their limits.

Big Gambit

The Riddler was eventually diagnosed with cancer. Being the clever man that he was, he found one of the secret Lazarus Pit's of fellow Batman villain Ra's al Ghul, where he cures himself of his fatal disease. It was during the time he was suffering with brain cancer, under the alias Arthur Wynne, that he came across Dr. Thomas Elliott who would one day become the criminal Hush. When Dr. Elliott saw how he had made the fast recovery, Riddler offered the knowledge to Elliott for a price, if he wanted to save his dying mother. Elliot preferred not to take the Riddler up in his offer so that he can gain his mother's money upon her death. The Riddler and Elliott decided to destroy Batman, Riddler developed a complex plan involving the manipulation of many of Batman's rogues such as: Joker, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Ra's al Ghul, Lady Shiva, and Talia al Ghul. He even involved Superman in the scheme. The Gambit was as dangerous for Batman as it was for the Riddler, but on the plus side it allowed him to solve the greatest riddle of all: that Bruce Wayne is Batman. With the Information he tortured Batman with the memory of Jason Todd, the second Robin. He had Clayface take the form of Jason and torment Batman in reality. Later, Jason's body was found stolen from his grave; Batman was sure it was the Riddler, only to find that Jason was alive the entire time.

When Batman found out Riddler's plot and realizing he knew his secret identity, the only way to ensure Riddler's silence was to match wits with him. He explained that Riddler could never tell anyone he was Bruce Wayne to do so go against everything the Riddler stood for, The Riddler couldn't accept that. Batman also threatened that to do so would reveal that the Riddler knew where Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit's were and he would meet an end at the hands of the League of Assassins.

Downfall & New Start

Later, Elliott reappeared and brutally beat the Riddler. Seeking refuge, the Riddler went to the Joker and the Penguin. He tries to bargain with the Joker for asylum and he agrees but eventually his safety is compromised and he is forced to go on the run again.[2] He asks Poison Ivy for asylum, both of whom remembered his manipulation and the meeting didn't go well. At a lose, the Riddler went into a downward spiral of insanity and became homeless. He eventually was found by a ex-NASA decoder who helped him recover his mind. It is during this time that the Riddler has an induced flashback about his childhood, he comes to the realization of what happened when he was abused and why. He also deduces the reason behind why he has the compulsion he has for riddles.

Using his vast fortune, acquired over many years of crime, he gets minor plastic surgery and extensive tattooing. He covers the majority of his torso with his trademark question mark insignia. He kills the Codebreaker, who has discovered his secret identity and steals a priceless scroll, before Batman can get to it. It was at this time that Riddler starting amassing a huge fortune legally and attacking various heroes to prove his abilities.

During this time, he had a run in with Green Arrow, Arsenal and the Outsiders. The Riddler is up for revenge against his defeat by the Green Arrow and he brutally injures and almost kills the the two archers. If not for the timely arrival of the Outsiders they may have been killed. Before these events, 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, to capture the Riddler.

Infinite Crisis

The Riddler was with a group of villains attacking the Gotham City Police Department.[3] He later escaped from Arkham Asylum after a worldwide breakout by the Secret Society of Super Villains.[4] He then is along with the Society when they attack Metropolis. He is defeated by the Shining Knight and is struck in the head by the Knight's mace.

One Year Later

The Riddler was sent into a coma when he was hit in the head by the Shining Knight's mace. When the Riddler awoke a year later, without his obsessive compulsive fixation for riddles but still possesses his great intellect and enormous ego. He also suffers from memory loss forgetting his own name for a while and not remembering that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but he is suspicious. With the Penguin's advice, he was reformed and then became a private investigator at which he legally develops even more of a fortune. He was finally on the right side of the law using his great talents for the good of the people.[5]

He even becomes involved in a ship bound murder mystery alongside Batman, while deducing a part of the mystery, Batman deduces the real reason. In the end they both did there part in solving the crime and have become hostile allies. He is then hired by Bruce Wayne to find a experimental drug stolen from Wayne Enterprises. In the end with the help of a reformed Harley Quinn he gets the drug back and returns it to the rightful owners.[6]

In a run in with Mary Marvel he describes to her how he is reformed, the two then join forces against Clayface, where Edward gets to see up front how twisted and cruel she has become with a great power. He suggests that she gets a mentor or some anger management.[7]

Even Nightwing hired him to find out who was behind recent string of museum robberies, whom he later saves from gang warfare while investigating Penguin's involvement in organized crime. He later deduces that Nightwing is Dick Grayson.

Powers and Abilities

Abilities

Genius-Level Intelligence: Supreme problem-solver, criminal mastermind. He is a genius with brilliant deductive power. His mind excels with puzzles, minds games, and manipulations.

  • Expert Detective: he possesses great deductive skills and analytic ability.
Independently Wealthy: Riddler has a vast fortune that he has acquired over years of crime as well as legally.

Strength level

The Riddler possesses the strength level of a man his age, size and weight who engages in minimal regular exercise. On one occasion however, the Riddler was injected with a dosage of Venom, which imbued him with super-human strength for a short period of time.

Weaknesses

Those akin to an average human being.

Compulsively Honest: His inability to hide his true intentions and/or motives.

Obsessive Compulsion: Riddles (formerly): His riddles are in fact a bizarre obsessive compulsion; his attempts to stop himself from sending them has met with failure time and time again. This extends to the fact he cannot simply kill his opponents when he has the upper hand, but prefers to put them in a deathtrap to see if he can devise a life and death intellectual challenge that the hero cannot escape. However, 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.

Paraphernalia

Equipment

The Riddler has used a variety of gadgets throughout his career, the most notorious of which is a cane with a question mark-shaped brass handle.

Transportation

None, but he has sometimes appeared with a car with question marks decorating the side of it.

Weapons

Traditionally, the Riddler does not maintain an arsenal of weaponry, however he has been known to utilize gimmick-based items from time to time. Such items would include exploding jigsaw puzzle pieces and crossword puzzle throwing nets.

Notes

  • The Riddler, unlike many of the other members of Batman's rogues gallery, is more of a cerebral than physical villain. Although he is quite suited for physical combat and often has weapons ready for use, he has probably always been among the least homicidal of the major Bat nemesis; indeed, he once lamented the rise of murderous villains ("What's happened to us? The Joker's killing people, for Christ's sake!").
  • Many adaptations of the Batman mythos have given the Riddler the real name Edward Nigma (or Nygma) or E. Nigma. Occasionally his full name has been given as Edward E. Nigma. Some have depicted this as a false name and his real name as Edward Nashton.
  • In the French and Quebecois translations of various Batman titles, his nom de plume has been translated to Le Sphinx, as in the riddle-posing monster of Greek mythology that Oedipus confronted.
  • In Mexico and Latin America, the Riddler is known as El Acertijo, which literally means "The Riddle". In Brazil, the character is named Charada, which also means "Riddle".
  • Although not physically disfigured, like most Batman villains, the Riddler has become darker in recent years. Whereas he was once portrayed as a playful trickster, he is now the victim of an intense obsessive compulsion. This was perhaps best shown in a 1999 issue of Gotham Adventures, in which he tried to refrain from leaving a riddle, but failed: "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."

Trivia

  • The Riddler is one of the few rogues that has deduced the true identity of the Batman. However, there is no major concern that the Riddler will leak the information. As Batman explains: "What good is a riddle which everyone knows the answer to?" playing with the Riddler's obsession with riddles and the greatest riddle of all: "Who is Batman?"
  • He often has two female assistants that help him, usually named a combination of Quiz, Query or Echo.
  • The Riddler has a counterpart in the Antimatter Universe called the Quizmaster who is a member of Lex Luthor's Justice Underground.
  • In an episode of the BBC television series Wire in the Blood entitled "Torment", psychologist profiler Tony Hill explains at length the Riddler's obsessive/compulsive nature to a young boy.
  • The Riddler is one of the Batman's few foes who has actually managed to discover his secret identity. Others include Professor Hugo Strange, Ra's al Ghul and Catwoman (although Batman willingly revealed his secret identity to Selina).
  • The Riddler's online screenname is "Wizard101."

Appearances in Other Media

Live Action

Batman (1966 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. Gorshin also portrayed the Riddler in Legends of the Superheroes in 1979.

Batman Forever (Movie)

Jim Carrey played the role in the 1996 movie directed by Joel Schumacher. Playing the character very close to Frank Gorshin's interpretation, Carrey presented Edward Nygma as an scientist obsessed with Bruce Wayne whose fragile mind cracks under his idol's rejection. When Wayne shuts down his plans for a brain altering device Edward calls "the Box," Nygma spirals into a stalking mentality, leaving riddles for Bruce at his home while slowly transforming himself into a cracked reflection of Bruce. Grasping onto fellow psychotic Two-Face, Nygma draws inspiration for his new identity from a fortune telling machine dressed in the Riddler's classic question marks. After convincing Two-Face to join him in a partnership, the pair ravage Gotham on a crime spree, with Batman unable to stop them. Eventually using "the Box" (which has become the most popular TV accessory ever and feeds Nygma people's throughts and knowledge), the Riddler discovers Batman's identity of Bruce Wayne and kidnaps Wayne's love interest, Dr. Chase Meridian. Once Batman and his new partner Robin deduce the Riddler's identity, the Duo race to Nygma's factory on Claw Island, where Edward tests Batman to see what is more dominant in him, the hero or the man. Once defeated from an overload of thoughts from "the Box," Riddler is brought to Arkham where he now believes himself to be Batman. His costume is seen later in Batman and Robin.

Cartoons

Batman (1992 TV Series)

In the popular 1990's TV series, the Riddler began as Edward Nygma, a game designer fired for wanting royalties on a popular game. In revenge, Riddler kidnapped his corrupt boss, forcing Batman and Robin through a giant labyrinth to save him. This first appearance does show Batman bringing Riddler to justice, however as Nygma's antics instilled his boss with a deep seeded paranoia, Batman reasoned Edward had won. A later episode shows the Riddler supposedly going straight, only to venture back to crime. His later appearances in The New Batman Adventures became spares after this, as the character was given to highly complex or campy storylines. In all appearances, Riddler was voiced by John Glover.

Batman (2004 TV Series)

The Riddler from the animated series entitled "The Batman"

In the Riddlers latest incarnation, he appears to have gone through a drastic overhall. He is portrayed with long black hair and wears a green body catsuit with a black question mark on the front of the suit. He appears to also wear shoulder pads and either has a tattoo of a line going down his arm, ending in a question mark on his hand, though this could be part of the costume. The one thing that hasn't changed is the mask, he still wears the green eye mask he has been portrayed with before, though this one actually covers his eyes with a white material. What is also new is the gothic like green lipstick that continues down to his chin. This modern and younger Riddler was made to look more gothic so that he fitted into the modern world where many categories of people exit. His cane appears to be more showing with a bubble on the end supporting a sharp question mark symbol.

This alternate Riddler has the same obsession for Riddles that his normal counterparts do, he cannot help but "tell the truth through riddles". His first encounter with the Bat was when he was a scientist designing a unique helmet, it was sabotaged and he attempted to kill the person he believed sabotaged it, Batman prevented this, Nigma then taking on the Persona of "The Riddler". The bats first encounter in the episode "Riddled" involved the Bat and Detective Ellen Yin defusing "bombs" placed all over the city by him, in the end this appeared to be a diversion, mearly geletin desert in containers, the clues the riddles left led to the real crime that was being committed, the Riddler was immediately stopped by both. In all his appearances, the Riddler was voiced by Robert Englund.

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. Justice #1
  2. Batman: Gotham Knights #50-53
  3. Infinite Crisis #1
  4. Infinite Crisis Special: Villains United #1
  5. Detective Comics #822
  6. Detective Comics #837
  7. Countdown #42
Batman Villain(s)

This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of the Batman, or members of the Batman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Villains category."


This article uses material from the "Edward Nashton (New Earth)" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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