The Riddler's Origin Story Is Surprisingly Goofy
One of the most intriguing aspects of the much-anticipated new movie The Batman is its interpretation of the classic villain The Riddler. Apparently, instead of simply forcing a famous comedian into a green spandex bodysuit that leaves nothing to the imagination, this Zodiac Killer-inspired version of The Riddler is legitimately creepy as hell and kind of looks like if the Gimp from Pulp Fiction worked part time at Urban Outfitters.
But despite the character’s newfound grimification, The Riddler’s original backstory is dumb even by old-timey Batman comic standards. Somehow it doesn’t even involve riddles. In his first appearance in 1948, we learn that Edward Nigma’s life of crime began back in high school when his history teacher tasked students with completing a jigsaw puzzle, which … doesn’t seem like it would really teach anybody anything about history.
Nigma cheats by sneaking into the classroom and snapping a photo of the completed puzzle – although, to be fair, don’t most people know what the image of their jigsaw puzzle is supposed to be before attempting to assemble it? This doesn’t even really seem like cheating, let alone a gateway to supervillainy.
So Nigma becomes a criminal in the apparently lucrative field of puzzle fraud. Which, again, in no way involves riddles.
When he finally becomes The Riddler, Nigma’s elaborate scheme features, in what will surely never make it into a single Batman movie, a truck towing a giant corn cob.
And in the end, Riddler gets away by jumping into a body of water from a height of, like, five feet, so naturally, Robin assumes that he “drowned.”
Since Riddler left a floating question mark behind (presumably composed of urine), Batman puzzles over the clue instead of simply swimming after him. Hopefully, all of this will be recreated in The Batman, but with a Nirvana track blasting at full volume the entire time.
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Top Image: Warner Bros.