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Villain Overview
But just know that for all your posturing, all your strategy and gameplay, you're still nothing but a shadow. Forced to hide behind your alias. No one will ever know your name in this city. So what good is all that intelligence and maneuvering if no one knows it's you? Edward Nygma is and always will be nothing but an empty question mark.
~ The Riddler's most famous quote.
Riddle me this.
~ The Riddler's Catchphrase
The Riddler is a supervillain from DC Comics, most often opposing Batman, Robin, and Green Arrow. He is a genius master criminal who is obsessed with riddles and always leaves complex clues for the ones trying to solve his crimes. Unlike Batman's other villains, in most interpretations, Riddler is primarily driven by an extreme obsession with proving he is smarter than Batman and continuously tries to create puzzles and riddles that even he cannot solve. Riddler is also one of the few people that managed to discover Batman's true identity of Bruce Wayne (although this knowledge was presumably lost following the New 52). He is specifically the main antagonist of Batman: Hush and Batman: Zero Year and one of the main antagonists of The War of Jokes and Riddles arc in the Batman: Rebirth comics. 

History

Modern Age

Edward Nashton was born into a broken home. His mother was never around to take care of him which left him at the mercy of his abusive father. One day, his school held a contest to see who could solve a complex puzzle. Determined to win, Edward broke into the school that night and used its text books to study the problem hard until he came up with a definitive solution. Edward won the contest the next day and was rewarded a book of riddles as a prize. Unfortunately, his father quickly became jealous of his son's success and accused Edward of cheating before beating him. These beatings would compel Edward to always tell the truth in order to spite his father. However, they would also lead him to become a crazed criminal later in life.

When he got older, Edward left home and got work at a carnival where he used his brilliant mind to con people out of their money. However, Edward desired more of a challenge and decided to pursue a life of crime as the Riddler. Around the same time, Edward changed his surname to "Nygma" before he became an informant for the criminal underworld and soon to Batman as well. Although his relationship with Batman gradually got more antagonistic as time went on until he was a full-on adversary of the Dark Knight, pushing each other's genius to their limits.

In other Media

1960s Batman series

Main article: Riddler (Adam West Batman)

Batman: The Animated Series

The Riddler is one of the many villains of the cartoon show, Batman: The Animated Series. He is voiced by John Glover.

Batman Forever

Main article: Riddler (Batman Forever)

The Riddler is one of the two main antagonists of Batman Forever and was portrayed by Jim Carrey. He teams up with Two-Face who helps finance his crooked corporation NygmaTech with stolen money from every bank in Gotham City in order to make more products of the Riddler's neural energy-stealing grand invention called "The Box" in return for revealing Batman's identity and helping to eliminate him. They were both later stopped by both Batman and Robin during their last battle on Claw Island which results in the downfall of NygmaTech, the death of Two-Face, and the imprisonment of the now-mentally insane Riddler at Arkham Asylum.

The Batman

Main article: Riddler (The Batman)

Batman: Arkham Series

Main article: Riddler (Arkhamverse)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

In one episode, he captures Batman and forces Booster Gold to answer trivia questions in order to free him; however, Batman managed to escape in time and defeat Riddler. He is later shown in the episode Criss-Cross Conspiracy that he unmasked the Batwoman in front of everyone thus ruining her life. Batwoman later tried to kill him but was captured by him. Before he could kill her though Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl stopped him in time. He later made cameos in the episodes Knights of Tomorrow, Crisis 22300 miles above Earth, and Legend of the Dark Mite.

Scooby-Doo! Crossover

The Riddler appeared as the main antagonist in the 2018 crossover film Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold. However, he only appeared three times and battled the Mystery Analysts of Gotham twice: at the beginning and at the end.

Batman Under the Red Hood

Here he is shown in a flashback robbing a museum with his henchmen but was stopped by Batman and Robin. He was voiced by Bruce Timm in the movie.

Young Justice

While imprisoned at Belle Reeve Penitentiary, the Riddler tried to get on the good side of one of the ice villains, the head of the prisoners but failed because everyone saw him as a joke. When a massive escape was attempted, the Riddler somehow managed to escape during the confusion when no one else could. In a dimension without any children under the age of 18 (caused by a magic spell by Klarion the Witch Boy and other sorcerers), Riddler infiltrated Gotham's Star Labs. While Sportsmaster incited a riot outside to keep the police occupied, Riddler was able to sneak out with the last sample of Starro.

Riddler staged an ambush of the Team, by baiting them with Cheshire and the echinoderm samples. The Team made short work of Riddler and his allies, Mammoth and Shimmer. Riddler was bound and gagged by Zatanna.

What the Team did not know was the ambush was meant to fail, and only served as a ploy to smuggle the echinoderm aboard the Justice League Watchtower.

Holy Musical Batman

Riddle me this, I got a puzzle that will put you to tears, I'm cruel, but never crass.
~ Riddler singing in "Rogues Are We".

The Riddler, along with the other rogues, works together with Sweet Tooth to destroy Batman and put the nuclear Warheads into the water supply of the city. He is portrayed by actress Meredith Stepien.

Gotham (2014 TV Series)

Main article: Edward Nygma (Gotham)

Edward "Ed" Nygma appears on Fox's television show Gotham, which depicts the character's origin prior to Batman's arrival in Gotham City. He appears as a supporting protagonist in the first season, but during the events of the second season, he develops into one of the series' major antagonists. He is portrayed by Cory Michael Smith.

Batman: The Telltale Series

Main article: Riddler (Telltale)

Riddler appears in the second season of Telltale's series of Batman games called Batman: The Enemy Within. This version is a criminal who had operated in Gotham City many years before Batman, who suddenly resurfaces following the downfall of the Children of Arkham.

Injustice

Riddler made a cameo in Star Labs 142 and 152, where he drops question marks that are said to have a special effect.

Mad

Riddler appeared in the Mad sketch, The Dark Knight at the Museum. He threatens to blow up the museum and kill the cartoon characters thereby giving them remotes that can activate the bombs but is allowing one of them to live. Just then, all of the cartoon characters rushed towards him and beat him to the ground. Batman suddenly kills all of them before he leaves the museum on his motorcycle.

Batman Hush

Riddler is the main antagonist of Batman: Hush. Nygma was supposedly dead but revealed he was severely injured. He infiltrated Ra's Al Ghul's Headquarter and bathe the Lazarus Pit to heal him and gain the knowledge of Batman's true identity. Riddler, under his disguise as "Hush", have Joker, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Clayface and Bane to work for him to kill Batman. He captured Catwoman and chained her over the car crushers for his attempted to kill her. Nygma fought against Batman but was defeated due to side-effects of the Lazarus Pit. As Batman tried to save him during the junkyard meltdown, Catwoman cuts the grapple line to cause Nygma to die.

DC Extended Universe

Riddler was originally going to make an appearance in the second film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but was dropped.

He will appear in the 2021 Matt Reeves film The Batman as a main antagonist.

Villainous Acts

  • He masterminded the War of Jokes and Riddles, all in an attempt to get the Joker to laugh.
  • He constantly tortures and kills people who fail his riddles.
  • He once held Central City hostage and nearly executed Barry.
  • He allied with the Dark Knights during the Invasion of the Dark Multiverse.
  • He and Hush manipulated Batman's rogues gallery in a massive conspiracy.

Quotes

Hello, Miss Young. You look tired. Anything you need my help with? Forgive my arrogance, Doctor, but if you think I need your help, well, you're in the right place.
~ Riddler interviewing tape in Batman Arkham Asylum.
What's wrong? Has your primate brain given up and accepted that I, the Riddler, am better than you?
~ Riddler's game over in Batman Arkham City.
What fun would that be? The whole point of the game is to outsmart the competition... with the danger they'll outsmart you!
~ Riddler
You have eight minutes, gentlemen. Then Mockridge becomes the only good corporate shark. A dead one.
~ Riddler attempting to kill his former employer.
Riddle me this: The man who makes it doesn't want it, the man who wants it will never use it, and the man who uses it will never know he has it. Give up? A coffin.
~ The Riddler in DCUO.

Trivia

  • Despite being introduced and recognized as a Batman villain, the Riddler actually appeared more in the comics as a Green Arrow villain.
  • Riddler has obsessive compulsion disorder (or OCD for short) which compels him to leave a riddle at the scene of every major crime he commits, even when he does not intend to.

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Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso
Batman Returns: Red Triangle Circus Gang (Penguin, Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman Forever: NygmaTech (Riddler, Two-Face, Sugar, Spice & Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: League of Shadows (Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow & Ra's Decoy) | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker's Thugs (Joker, Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey & Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Phantom Zone Criminals (Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Two-Face)

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