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.
~ Philip Kane to the Riddler.
Edward Nygma, also known as The Riddler, is a supervillain from DC Comics, most often opposing Batman and Robin, and sometimes 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 overarching antagonist of Batman: Hush, the main antagonist and Batman: Zero Year and one of the main antagonists of The War of Jokes and Riddles arc in the Batman: Rebirth comics.
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. 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.
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.
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 he captured by her. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Riddler made a cameo in Star Labs 142 and 152, where he drops question marks that are said to have a special effect.
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.
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 headquarters and bathed in the Lazarus Pit to heal himself, which granted him with the knowledge of Batman's true identity. Riddler, under his disguise as "Hush", had Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Clayface and Bane work for him to kill Batman. He captured Catwoman and chained her over the car crushers in his attempt to kill her. Nygma fought against Batman but was defeated due to side-effects of the Lazarus Pit fading away. As Batman tried to save him during the junkyard meltdown, Catwoman cuts the grapple line and allowed Nygma to die.
The Batman (2022)
Main article: Riddler (Reevesverse)
If you are justice, please do not lie / What is the price for your blind eye?
~ Edward Nashton in the trailer.
Riddler will be the main antagonist of the 2022 superhero crime thriller The Batman, in which he is depicted as a serial killer killing off major political figures and leaving cryptic clues for Batman (Robert Pattinson).
Riddler appear DC Universe's adult animation series Harley Quinn. He helps Poison Ivy prove to Harley Quinn that Joker doesn't love her, and does so by stating a fake trap by capturing Harley and Batman. He is voiced by Jim Rash.
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.
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!
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.
He was created by the late Bill Finger and the late Dick Sprang, and first appeared in Detective Comics #140 in October of 1948.
Despite being introduced and recognized as a Batman villain, the Riddler actually appeared more in the comics as a Green Arrow villain in modern times.
Ironically, Green Arrow displays an open hatred towards the Riddler as one of the things he mostly dislikes is having to deal with rogues of other heroes.
While generally regarded as a ridiculous villain, the Riddler arguably reached his highest point and definitely crossed the Moral Event Horizon in the Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City storyline. There, believing that his mission was to sacrifice Batman for Barbatos, the Riddler went to such extremes like mind-controlling a young woman to commit suicide, attempting to hang a security guard on his duty and even trying to suffocate a newborn baby by inserting a ping pong ball on his throat (leading Batman to perform on the infant a tracheotomy which he miraculously survived) to lure Batman to his hideout. As such, many readers felt that the Riddler was out of character in this story.
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.
Originally Riddler was going to appear in the 2nd DC Extended Universe film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice along with Joker but both were cut. He has yet to appear in the DC Extended Universe, as Matt Reeves' 2021 film The Batman is a standalone film not set in that universe.
Ranked 59th on IGN's "Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time" in 2009.