Depicted as a Gotham City criminal mastermind, the Riddler takes delight in incorporating riddles and puzzles into his plots, and leaves them as clues for the authorities and Batman to solve. The character is one of Batman's most enduring enemies and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery.
The Riddler has an obsession with riddles, puzzles, and word games. The character frequently delights in over-stating his "intellectual superiority" and on forewarning both Batman and the police of his capers by sending them complex clues. With this self-conscious use of a gimmick, Riddler's crimes are flamboyant and ostentatious. The character is 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 character's origin story recounts that the Riddler, whose real name is Edward Nigma (Edward Nashton per later writers), becomes fascinated with puzzles at a young age. After a teacher announces that a contest will be held over who can solve a puzzle the fastest, 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 mind games. He soon finds himself longing for greater challenges and thrills, and dons the disguise of the "Riddler" to challenge Batman, believing him to be a worthy adversary. In his first encounter with the Dynamic Duo Riddler first tried to confound the crimefighters with his infamous double-entry Riddle Clues and then tried to kill them both in a booby-trapped glass maze on a pier-only for Batman and Robin to escape and the Riddler "vanishing" leaving only his trademark "?" behind.
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 Riddler, however, and orders his daughter Sophia to force him to leave. Upon exiting Falcone's office, Holiday attacks 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 Riddler was left alive, as matters are traditionally reversed on the holiday. He appeared again in the same chapter of the story in 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 the 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 gets them wrong. 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 game show 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 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, 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. Riddler sees this, and then declares that he has "solved the riddle of Wayne Manor".
During this period, he attacks Black Canary and Green Arrow in Star City, and he is easily defeated. This event helps lay the foundations for Riddler's future confrontations with Green Arrow.
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 Riddler as Riddler himself couldn't solve the riddles either – most likely reflecting the public idea of Riddler's puzzles being insoluble – claiming that he managed to "improvise" to defeat Riddler. His low reputation among heroes and villains was reflected when the Flash noted that Batman having trouble with Riddler was a clear sign that the world was ending.
Riddler masterminding his assault against Batman in the Hush story arc. Artwork for the cover of Batman vol. 1, 619 (Nov, 2003). Art by Jim Lee.
In the 12-part storyline "Hush", it is revealed that Riddler suffers from cancer, which also afflicted the mother of Dr. Thomas Elliot. 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 Riddler sets Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Joker, Clayface and Scarecrow out to destroy Batman, with Ra's and Talia al Ghul and Lady Shiva being temporarily drawn into the scheme as well.
During the psychotic break that follows exposure to the Lazarus Pit, the Riddler deduces Batman's secret identity and that the late Jason Todd was once Robin; he then reveals his knowledge to Hush. He has Clayface shapeshift into the form of Todd in order to torment Batman haunted by the former Robin's death. Batman first thinks that Riddler had stolen Todd's corpse and hid it outside of Gotham Cemetery, but it was revealed later in a later storyline, Batman: Under the Hood, that Todd was alive the whole time and had personally played a role in Riddler and Hush's scheme.
When the Riddler threatens to expose Batman's secret identity, 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 the 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. Joker immediately agrees, but eventually Hush, with the help of the impostor Prometheus, defeats him, forcing Riddler to flee for his life.
In Detective Comics #797-799, the Riddler seeks shelter from Poison Ivy only to be humiliated. Riddler and Poison Ivy then face off in a physical duel, which Ivy wins easily.
As revealed in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #185-189, the 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, 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, 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.
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 he awakes, 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 becomes a private consultant and taking on the 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 has suffered severe memory loss from the coma, and he barely remembers his own name. He does not appear to remember that Wayne and Batman are one and the same, although he does harbor some suspicions of once knowing something amazing about Wayne.
In Detective Comics #828, the 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. 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 are 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 the lab assistant 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 Nigma's gang and security guards, captures Riddler and attempts to kill him, but Batman intervenes just in time and saves his former foe's life.
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 Riddler is freed from Ivy's control in the process. Seeing his house in shambles, he takes his question mark cane off 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 now acting as Batman. Almost instantly, Riddler deduces that the Batman before him is a new one. Additionally, 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, while 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 harm's 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 the moniker Conundrum, and their costumes sport black and green color schemes along with disturbingly familiar question marks emblazoned on their outfits. As Riddler stealthily disposes of the two grunts with his cane, Conundrum takes the writer hostage at gunpoint. 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 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. Noting her disbelief, Riddler calmly asks Conundrum with a smirk, "Why is this man smiling?".
Just as the Riddler finishes his question, 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, under Dick's covert surveillance. 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 closed 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 are 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.
The Riddler as he appears on the cover of Batman #699, the conclusion of "Riddle Me This".
In Tony Daniel's "Life After Death", Riddler appears early in the story at a gala party attended by Arkham, Dick Grayson, 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 detonation, the trauma re-awakening 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 (aka 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 him 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 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 her estranged husband Harvey, who is now the disfigured criminal Two-Face. She hires Riddler and Enigma to help Two-Face best Mario Falcone and reclaim his coin. The plan works; Riddler and Enigma defeat Batman and reunite the Dents. The Riddler is rewarded with multiple dossiers of himself. When Enigma calls him a has-been, Riddler retorts with a new riddle: "What's green and purple and bleeds profusely?". Enigma's response is cut short by her scream, implying that the Riddler has murdered his own daughter.
In DC's 2011 relaunch of all of its monthly titles, The New 52, Riddler appears as an inmate at Arkham Asylum in Batman #1. Redesigned in the style of the new titles, he sports a green mohawk in the shape of a question mark.
Riddler appears in more traditional form in the short that concludes Batman #15 "And Here's the Kicker", the third part of "Death of the Family". After it is revealed that Joker has secretly hijacked Arkham Asylum, Riddler is depicted as a current inmate, calmly biding his time and taunting guards. But when Joker appears and reveals his great respect for Riddler (as the villain whose dangerous intellect has kept Batman "sharp"), he uses Joker-gas to force Riddler to prove he could have escaped his cell anytime he wanted. To his chagrin, Riddler does, and becomes quite alarmed when Joker shares a write-up of his plan to ambush Batman. Joker admits Riddler will have little part in his designs, but should stick around for the "show" anyway.
The Riddler made an appearance in Batman, vol. 2, #21, the opening book of the "Zero Year" arc, where his surname is changed from Edward Nigma or Nashton to Nygma. The Riddler later appears in both the second and third chapters of the "Zero Year" storyline. In the canon, the Riddler is Batman's first masked supervillain, and is not only able to best Batman twice, but also takes control of Gotham, causing it to become a flooded wasteland where only the intelligent are meant to survive. Although the Riddler continues to be steps ahead of the Dark Knight, he is eventually defeated by the combined efforts of Batman, Commissioner James Gordon and Wayne Enterprises SEO Lucius Fox. He is later moved to Arkham Asylum.
The Riddler makes his first true appearance in the new DC continuity relaunch, Rebirth, in Batman #19. An inmate of Arkham once again, he rather cooperatively assists Bane in unlocking a high tech door, allowing Bane access to confront Batman.
The Riddler is a criminal genius who possesses extreme originality in decoding and formulating puzzles of all kinds. His deductive ability perfused his role of private detective when he was reformed, during which he was shown to have investigative skills that rival those of the Dark Knight.
Like most of Batman's enemies (and Batman himself) 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. He is also well known for being Batman's most intelligent adversary.
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 appears in Joker
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. 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.
The Riddler makes an appearance at the end of Batman: Earth One. He is the main antagonist of the sequel, who attempts to stage a coup to take over Oswald Cobblepott's criminal empire after his death, and sees Batman as a threat to his plan.
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's appearance in Alex Ross' 12 issue series Justice suggests a new motivation, that, as a child, he had been beaten by his father whenever he told a lie, to the extent that he was now psychologically incapable of telling a lie. His riddles are his method of subverting his condition, so that he is still technically telling the truth, but always in as cryptic a manner as possible.
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 Riddler appears alongside Selina 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 Selina 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.
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 and hungry darkness." With that, Batman proceeds to drain the Riddler of his blood.
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.
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 the tie-in comic to the Teen Titans animated series Teen Titans Go!, one issue focused on a villain named Kwiz Kid, whose plan was to stump Robin with riddles in an attempt to get a date with Killer Moth's daughter, Kitty. Kwiz Kid is possibly a younger version of the Riddler as he bears a number of similarities to the Riddler in both style and physicality, even down to wearing a green suit with a question mark as his symbol.
The Riddler appears in the 1960s Batman television series and one of the villains in the theatrical film spin-off. Frank Gorshin portrayed Riddler in the first and third season of the series and the film, and John Astin portrayed Riddler in the second season. He made four appearances in season 1 (more than any other villain) but was reduced to only one appearance per season afterwards. The popular television series was inspired by the first Silver Age appearance of the Riddler, with the premiere episode being an adaptation of Batman #171. Frank Gorshin also portrayed the Riddler in Legends of the Superheroes in 1979.
Edward Nygma is featured in the TV series Gotham, where he is portrayed by Cory Michael Smith. This version is a forensic scientist working for the Gotham City Police Department who has a fondness for expressing findings in the form of riddles. He eventually turns to crime, however, and terrorizes Gotham as The Riddler. The series traces his evolution into a master criminal, as well as his complicated, love-hate relationship with fellow criminal Oswald Cobblepot.
In the fourth episode of the first season of the NBC series Powerless, the Riddler sends his henchmen to Charm City to steal a weapon from Wayne Security that would allow him to attack Arkham Asylum. One of the Riddler's henchmen (Robert Buckley) dates Emily Locke, who worked for the firm, in an attempt to get close to the weapon. Their plot is foiled when Van Wayne enters the office in a Robin costume, and Riddler's henchmen all scatter, thinking that Batman must be nearby.
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 usually gives riddles to the Super Friends to delay them from meddling with the Legion's plans. In "Monolith of Evil", he uses a riddle to trick the Super Friends into getting a Monolith of enormous power guarded by a Lava Monster for the Legion after they fooled the Super Friends into abducting the United Nations and disguising the Monolith as the United Nations.
Riddler made his only solo appearance in the 1980s series Super Friends, again voiced by Michael Bell. In the short episode "Around the World in 80 Riddles", he uses his new Stupid Spray (which slowly causes the intelligence of those sprayed upon to be reduced to the intelligence of 2 year-olds) on Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, where different riddles will provide clues where the antidote can be found. The first one quotes "As your I.Q. drops to below 22, you'll need mya help to tya your shoes". The answer to the riddle led Super Friends to the Mayan ruins, where they ended up in one of Riddler's deathtraps. After barely escaping the deathtrap, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin find what appeared to be the antidote only to be a container for another riddle. The riddle reads "You're probably so dumb now, you need a simple clue. So find the tallest mountain and climb until you're blue". Due to the group's dwindling intelligence, Batman had to use the Batcomputer on his Batplane to decipher the riddle, with the answer being Mount Everest. Upon arriving at Mount Everest, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin encounter Riddler's blimp, where the Stupid Spray is at its final part on them. The Super Friends managed to claim the Stupid Spray Antidote and defeat Riddler. In "Revenge of Doom", Riddler was with the Legion of Doom when they got back together.
In 2005, a new interpretation of the Riddler debuted in The Batman episode "Riddled", voiced by Robert Englund. This version exhibits a Gothic appearance, and is served by henchmen called Riddlemen. The episode "Riddler's Revenge" reveals that Nygma and his partner Julie worked at a university on a device to enhance the human brain. Nygma was approached by a man named Gorman who offered to buy the rights to the invention, but Nygma refused. After the device malfunctioned at a demonstration, Nygma accused Gorman of sabotage. Years later, Nygma tried to kill Gorman, but Batman stopped him. By the episode "Riddled", Nygma has adopted his Riddler persona.
The Riddler is featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by John Michael Higgins. He is mentioned but not seen during Batman's call to Commissioner Gordon in "Deep Cover For Batman!". In the teaser for "A Bat Divided!", Riddler has a game show 'Riddle Me This' where Booster Gold fails to solve the riddles, harming Batman. Batman eventually frees himself and the two fight Riddler and his henchmen.
The Riddler appears in the DC Nation Shorts, voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic in the "Riddle Me This!" short. Here he asks the viewers different questions while Batman gets out of the traps answering the questions.
The Riddler makes a cameo appearance in Teen Titans Go! episode "The Titans Show", where the Control Freak brings him, along with various other supervillains, to take on the Titans. Sadly, the episode ends before that gets too happen.
The Riddler appears in the DC animated universe, voiced by John Glover. For this version, the producers decided to play against the popular Frank Gorshin image of a cackling trickster to avoid confusion with the Joker, instead portraying the character as a smooth intellectual who presents genuinely challenging puzzles. The series' creators admit they did not use him often because his character often made story plots too long, too complex or too bizarre, and the creators also found it very hard to devise the villain's riddles.
Riddler appears in Batman: The Animated Series. The character's design consists of a green suit and purple mask. In his debut episode "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?", Edward Nygma becomes the Riddler after being unjustly fired by his greedy employer, Dan Mockridge, and tries to kill him. Despite Batman solving his riddles, he evades capture, and later appears in "What Is Reality?", where he locks Commissioner Gordon into a virtual reality world. Batman outsmarts him, however, and finally apprehends the villain by solving his riddle. Unlike the other villains that escaped Arkham Asylum, Riddler is actually released due to good behavior. He returns in the episode "Riddler's Reform", where he works at a toy company and uses his Riddler persona to advertise them and make millions. However, Riddler finds that he cannot control his need to commit riddle-based crimes, and eventually makes a seemingly inescapable deathtrap for Batman. The Dark Knight manages to survive, however, and apprehends him. When Batman refuses to tell him how he escaped, Riddler finally snaps, screaming, "I have to know!" as he is hauled back to Arkham.
Riddler makes cameo appearances in The New Batman Adventures. The character's design is completely different: lacking the hair and mask and dressed in a unitard with a large question mark. In the episode "Over the Edge", Riddler was seen on a talk show with the other Batman villains in Batgirl's nightmare induced by Scarecrow's fear gas. In the episode "Judgement Day", Riddler was among the victims of the vigilante known as the Judge at the time he was crashing a banquet.
Riddler appears in Superman: The Animated Series. In the episode "Knight Time", he is in league with Bane and the Mad Hatter to take advantage of Batman's recent disappearance. However, Riddler is quickly captured by Superman (dressed as Batman) and Robin.
Riddler makes a silent cameo appearance on Batman Beyond. In the episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot", an android drone in the guise of the Riddler fights the new Batman (Terry McGinnis).
Frank Gorshin reprised his role as the Riddler in the 1966 theatrical film Batman, alongside three other villains from the television 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.
The Riddler was in mind of Tim Burton's second sequel to Batman. This is evidenced by Daniel Waters' May 1991 draft where in reference is made to The Riddler.Jim Carrey ultimately portrayed The Riddler in the Joel Schumacher-helmed Batman Forever. 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 sees it as the next generation of television, but Bruce Wayne rejects the idea, as mental manipulation raises "too many questions". Nygma ultimately discovers that his device can drain people of their intellect to increase his own intelligence. After killing his supervisor, he dons the "Riddler" identity, allies himself with Two-Face and steals vast amounts of money and jewels to fund his own company, Nygmatech, and mass-produce his invention. The devices transfer the stolen information to a gigantic Mother Box on Claw Island, where it is planted in the Riddler's mind. In the process, he learns that Wayne is Batman. He and Two-Face raid Wayne Manor, destroy the Batcave, and kidnap Batman's love interest, Dr. Chase Meridian, and his new crimefighting partner Robin. In the film's climactic scene, Batman destroys the Mother Box, causing the intelligence Riddler stole and even the intelligence he originally had to be siphoned back out of his mind, driving him insane. Riddler is locked up in Arkham Asylum, where he believes that he himself is Batman.
The Riddler makes a cameo appearance in the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood, with his vocal effects provided by Bruce Timm. In a flashback scene, he attempts to rob a museum but he is defeated by Batman and Robin.
The Riddler appears in the animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler. Batman rescues Riddler from a black ops assassination led by Amanda Waller and has him incarcerated at Arkham Asylum. Waller forms the Suicide Squad to infiltrate Arkham Asylum in order to retrieve a memory stick containing information of all Suicide Squad members in Riddler's cane, though her real motive is to kill the Riddler, as he is the only person who knows how to deactivate the bombs that are surgically attached to the spines of the Suicide Squad members. He reveals this knowledge to Killer Frost when she is sent to kill him on Waller's instruction. The Suicide Squad then agree to spare the Riddler in exchange for his help, and most are able to deactivate their bombs with the use of a device intended for electroshock therapy. Only Black Spider (who had been separated from the group) and King Shark (whose skin is too thick) are killed by Waller when she realises what has happened. When everyone notices that the man wearing the "Black Spider" costume is still alive, Riddler quickly deduces that he is in fact Batman. He is quickly subdued after trying to shoot Batman, but escapes after the freed Joker sets all the patients of Arkham loose.
The Riddler appears in The Lego Batman Movie, voiced by Conan O'Brien. He was one of the villains invading the Gotham Energy facility. While he was on the road, he placed a giant question mark in front of an unsuspecting driver. After the driver stopped his car, Riddler tears his left arm off with his cane, leaving the car to be hit by a truck Two-Face has stolen. He later invades Commissioner Gordon's retirement party with the other villains, but Joker has them all surrender to the police. Confused, Riddler asks what's going on. He later breaks out of Arkham Asylum and teams up with Batman to save the city.
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 hiding from the Joker. When Joker sends Deathstroke to kill Riddler, the players help Query and Echo protect him. When Deathstroke is defeated, Riddler mentions that Joker never made the payment transfer. Before departing to another location, Riddler has the players tell Batman that Joker is working with T. O. Morrow on a new Joker venom.
Riddler is referenced in the game Gotham City Impostors. Players are able to unlock a Riddler-inspired pattern for their weapons, depicting the iconic green background with purple questions dotted around it.
Riddler makes a cameo appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us. In the Arkham Asylum level, if one of the characters is thrown through the cell door on the right side of the second tier, they will be attacked by Two-Face, Killer Croc, Penguin, and Riddler before being punched by Croc into the next tier of the Arkham arena.
Riddler appears as a boss in the video game Young Justice: Legacy, voiced by Jason Spisak. During the Team's mission in Gotham City, led by Nightwing, they investigate the disappearance of Helena Sandsmark and the Riddler's securing of a piece of an ancient statue. They track down Sandsmark in Haley's Circus, but Riddler uses a device to use Psimon's psychic powers after the team. When his scheme fails, he traps the heroes in his lair in the sewers, forcing them to participate in a deadly game show full of traps and obstacles. The Riddler eventually fights off the heroes and is defeated. It is later revealed that Riddler's pieces were a fake, and he willingly served as a distraction to allow Klarion to steal the real pieces.
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, along with the Joker and The Penguin. He leads Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Clayface, with the goal of stealing the contents of the Gotham Gold Reserve. Each member manages to steal a specific item before being defeated by Batman & Robin, until only he and Two-Face remain. He breaks into the gold reserve easily, but Batman and Robin defeat and arrest him. In this game, his trademarked question-mark cane grants him the ability to exert mind control over marked targets, or to confuse other characters if they are close enough.
The Riddler appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes voiced by Rob Paulsen impersonating Jim Carrey's interpretation of the character. He is one of the five villains to raid Bruce Wayne's Man of the Year award ceremony. He flees with Two-Face, the Joker, and the Penguin when Batman arrives, leaving Harley Quinn to cover their flight. He appears as a boss in the level "Theatrical Pursuits" and is arrested, but he breaks out of prison with multiple other villains after Lex Luthor frees them all. He is later an optional boss fight and unlockable character, found on top of Wayne Tower.
The Riddler appears in Lego Dimensions voiced again by Roger Craig Smith. When allied with Lord Vortech, he has taken over Middle-earth from Lord of the Rings and fights the heroes alongside a Balrog. After he is defeated, Riddler is cornered on a cliff where he falls off after Gollum accidentally grabs his leg climbing up.
The Riddler appears in the Batman: Arkham video game series, where he is voiced by Wally Wingert. In each game, Riddler's presence provides much of the puzzle solving content found in the games, in addition to being another primary supervillain that Batman has to stop and apprehend.
Riddler appears in the series' first entry, 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum. While he is never actually physically seen, early on in the story he hacks into Batman's communication system and persistently challenges Batman to solve various riddles located throughout Arkham island and the asylum's facilities. As Batman continues to solve his riddles, Riddler grows increasingly unstable and bewildered over the comm channel. Just as with many of the other game's major foes, you can find and play audio tapes of interview sessions conducted with Arkham psychiatrists. In his interview tapes, Riddler says that he believes Batman affords his high-tech arsenal by stealing from the criminals he defeats, and that Commissioner Gordon is covering it up. The tapes also reveal the origin of Riddler's obsession with riddles: when he was young, Riddler's abusive father called him a "moron", so he attempted to prove him wrong by entering a riddle-solving contest in school, which he wound up winning. However, his father accused him of cheating (which Riddler reveals at the end of the interview he had) and proceeded to beat him. The traumatic event caused young Edward Nigma to become obsessed with riddles as a way to prove his intellectual superiority, as well as developing a need to punish those whom he deems to be inferior to his own mind. After solving all of his riddles, Batman is able to glean enough data from the comm transmission to triangulate Riddler's position in Gotham City, and transmits that location data to the Gotham police Department. In the final audio interaction with the Riddler, you can hear the police busting down his door and arresting him.
The Riddler makes his first physical appearance in the series' second installment, Batman: Arkham City. He kidnaps Arkham guard Aaron Cash's medical protection team, sets up death traps, and threatens to murder them all if Batman does not solve his riddles once more, this time strewn about the walled off prison called "Arkham City." To discover the locations of Riddler's various trophies and riddles, Batman must interrogate his henchmen, who are scattered throughout Arkham City and embedded in with gangs working for Joker, Penguin and Two-Face. At certain intervals, when Batman finds enough "challenges", the location of a room containing one of the captive medical team hostages is revealed. Batman must then outwit the deadly conditions within the chamber and rescue the hostage. Afterwards, the freed hostage gives Batman a sequence of numbers from Riddler, which correlate to a radio frequency. Once tuned in, Riddler will either give Batman a new location or tell him to find more trophies. He does this four times, and comes to a dead end when the fifth hostage is rescued. Believing that this final room would end Batman once and for all, the Riddler neglected to create any more leads to his remaining captives. Batman must then continue to find secrets in order to discern where the Riddler is hiding himself and the remaining members of the medical staff. When 400 Riddler challenges are completed, Oracle discovers a connection between the death trap rooms through a shared property broker. She then contacts Batman and tells him where she believes his hideout may be. Once inside the Riddler's base of operations, Batman observes that the remaining hostages are trapped in a prolonged cycle of torture: they must continuously walk along a path or the explosives strapped to their heads will detonate. Batman must then avoid walking in front of each hostage until he reaches a weak point below the Riddler's office and proceeds to pull the Riddler through the floor and incapacitate him. Aaron Cash and the remaining hostages are freed from their traps, and the Riddler is in turn hooked into one of the devices himself. Fearing for his life (and unaware that Batman disarmed the explosives), the Riddler must walk as he forced his captives to do. In Hugo Strange's interview tapes, Riddler had a conversation with Hugo Strange after his call to Mayor Quincy Sharp where Riddler hacks Hugo Strange's communication system. Riddler mentions Hugo Strange's experiments on Arkham Asylum patients, the special medication that was given to Mayor Quincy Sharp, and how both of them want Batman dead. Riddler is even surprised that Hugo Strange knows of Batman's true identity. When Riddler demands to know who the identity of Batman is, Hugo Strange doesn't want to spoil it for Riddler and instead taunts him with the riddle "How is the Riddler like a blank dictionary" with the answer being "you're both at a loss for words." The Riddler also plays a major role in the game's challenge mode which is called Riddler's Revenge. Various challenge maps show him having numerous henchmen working for him including TYGER Guards, Ra's al Ghul's ninja assassins, Mr. Hammer and his twin Mr. Sickle, a Titan-empowered henchman, and even Black Mask.
The Riddler's Enigma identity is featured In the prequel game Batman: Arkham Origins. Edward Nashton is described as a police consultant and apparent head of the GCPD's Cybercrime unit. Here, he has yet to take up the mantle of the Riddler and is known only as "Enigma". In the game, he has set up a series of signal jammers throughout Gotham City to disrupt the Batplane as well as Batman's own hacking transmitter. He plots to blackmail several of Gotham's most prominent citizens, in the hopes of making Gotham a better place by getting rid of those who are corrupt, although in the process risking the lives of several innocent people. Enigma also has several informants and pieces of extortion recordings scattered throughout Gotham, which Batman must uncover and decode in place of the Riddler trophies of previous games. His encounter with Batman prompts Edward to go into hiding and develop his identity as The Riddler; he hints to this as he calls Batman "quite the riddle."
In Batman: Arkham Knight, during the chaos caused by the Scarecrow, the Riddler has set up several new challenges for his Riddler Trophies, some of which call on Batman to perform in the Batmobile. He captures Catwoman at one point to use as a hostage to make Batman play his game- Catwoman trapped in an old orphanage wearing an explosive collar that can only be deactivated by a series of keys that will be provided when certain riddles and challenges are solved- but Batman frees her. After solving all the riddles, Riddler has a final showdown with Batman and Catwoman in his Riddler Mech and using his army of robots, Riddler claiming in the aftermath that Catwoman's aid was cheating and Batman 'should' have been able to hack the robots' complex operating systems rather than just beat them up. In the prison following Scarecrow exposing Batman's true identity, Riddler is the only one that refuses to accept that Bruce Wayne is Batman, incapable of accepting that his past theories are wrong. In the "Catwoman's Revenge" DLC, Catwoman infiltrates Riddler's headquarters for payback after he kidnapped her, just as he was using his phone call in prison to check his computer. Catwoman defeats Riddler's armed thugs and robots and transfers all his money to her bank account before leaving his factory to self-destruct.
Riddler appears as a playable character in the mobile game Batman: Arkham Underworld, voiced again by Wally Wingert. He is the first supervillain the player unlocks, wielding a sawed-off shotgun and his cane, which he can use to electrocute enemies, create holograms, and sabotage electronic devices. He can also bring in two of his robotic minions for assistance.
In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Inside Plucky Duck", a cartoon called "Bat's All Folks" parodied Riddler as Question Mark (voiced by Charlie Adler). He attacks Bat-Duck by asking "How can you tell if an elephant's been in your bed?" Bat-Duck asks "African elephant or Indian" to which he quotes "Gee, I don't know" and is defeated by Bat-Duck. Gogo Dodo also dresses as the Riddler after quoting a famous line from Hamlet.
An episode of "BadMan", a CollegeHumor parody of "Batman", features Batman finding a kidnapped Rachel Dawes held hostage by the Riddler (redesigned to look more like the villains seen in the Nolan films). He gets frustrated with Batman's stupidity over not solving his simple riddle and tries shooting him, but one of the bullets bounces off Batman's armor and hits him.
Riddler appears in the "Superhero Speed Dating" sketch of Movie 43, portrayed by Will Carlough. He was revealed to be at the speed dating establishment posing as Supergirl.
A box with the Riddler's question mark appears in a Garfield comic on December 12, 2010.
Riddler action figure, part of the "Super Amigos Collection"
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.
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 two versions of the character in its DC Universe toyline; one in his classic costume, and another in his current costume.
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.
Bearbrick released a DC Superpowers Riddler which was released at 2013 San Diego ComicCon (July 18–21) by Medicom Toy which was limited to only 1500.
DC Direct has released a Riddler figure in the Batman: Arkham City line.
During his time on the 1960s television series, Frank Gorshin recorded an album with a song titled "The Riddler", in which he sings of his obsession with puzzles. He performed a musical parody of the character on Dean Martin's variety show in 1966.
Mind Bender is a roller-coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia outside Atlanta, first built in 1978, that in 1997 was re-themed to match the Riddler, after the park built Batman: The Ride alongside it. Mind Bender was given a green paint scheme and its trains were painted black and covered with question marks. The coaster had originally been silver, then was later painted brown.
^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.