The Riddler comes to Gotham City in The Batman in 2021. While we are sure Paul Dano will do a wonderful job as the Riddler, there are many different versions of the character that are already counted among the greatest Riddler iterations.
LEGO Batman Riddler
While the primary villain of the movie was the Joker, there were also numerous other super villains that played a supporting role. The Riddler was also among them. Never getting as much spotlight as the Joker, the Riddler had to make every second it got count. The reason it will be counted as one of the greatest versions of the character is because it is voiced by none other than the legendary Conan O’Brien, the late night talk show host that has won millions of hearts and souls with his goofiness. This version of the Riddler captures the comic stupidity early versions of the Riddler during the Silver and Golden Age were known to possess.
The Riddler played a huge role in the comic book arc Batman: Hush. Nygma managed to find out Batman’s secret identity and then used that information to make Bruce Wayne’s life a living hell. The animated adaptation of the movie does give the Riddler some spotlight like in the comic book series. But this version is different from the source. His motivations and purpose are poles apart. Maybe that is why it was not as well received. The animated movie turned the Riddler into the main villain. In the comic book arc, that was not the case. That is exactly why the fans were not happy with Batman: Hush. It fell nowhere near the mark and was a huge let-down. It sure did show a very different and should we say unique take on the Riddler.
The Young Justice series took many leaves from the New 52 era of the DC Universe. The Riddler of this series also draws upon his New 52 counterpart from the DC Universe. The Riddler wore a stylish green suit. The suit came studded with a question mark. Dave Franco was the original voice actor for the role. Jason Spisak took over later. The character was treated as a joke by the other villains. It is then revealed that he is the master-mind behind everything. He is also one of the most crucial agents of the Light.
The Riddler finally got his big break when he jumped from being a minor villain in Batman: The Animated Series to a primary antagonist in Batman: Forever. Tim Burton would have never allowed for the Riddler to take the center-stage. After he left the Batman franchise with Batman Returns being the last project he worked in, Joel Schumacher took the Batman movies into a goofy new direction. Batman Forever had Jim Carrey play the role of the Riddler. Edward Nygma had invented The Box – a device that can be used to steal intelligence of other people. The over the top villain intended to use the machine to become the smartest carbon-based life form in the planet.
The Riddler in the Arkham game is no longer a laughing stock. He does not become the subject of ridicule for anyone. The Riddler is now a rough and tough villain who is ready to get his hands dirty to get the job done. His costume had a classic Riddler suit with a few modifications to give him that quintessential street smart look. The Riddler is a threat even the Batman would think twice before crossing paths with. He is less ornate and more of an ‘ends justify the means’ kind of guy.
When is a Door
When is a Door is a comic book arc created by Neil Gaiman, the same person who gave us the epic graphic novel Sandman. Gaiman has worked on multiple DC Comics Super Villains. The Riddler is some of his favourite muses. When is a Door shows us Gaiman’s depiction of Edward Nygma. In the 1989 Secret Origins arc, Edward Nygma is shown before he turned to a life of crime. Readers are given the reason why he put on the question mark and riddled Gotham City for the years to come.
A serial killer on the loose is starting to make huge splashes within the City of Gotham. The series of murders rock not just the City but also the Gotham Underworld. The Falcone Crime Family hires the services of the Riddler, who now works as a consultant/P.I. The Riddler wants to show the world that his sharp wit is more than enough to best the powers of deduction of the Batman. In the end, Batman and Riddler end up joining forces on more than one occasion. Fans liked the series but complained that the series did not last longer. Paul Dini, one of the driving forces behind Batman: The Animated Series was the one who came up with the story.
After the New 52 reboot, DC launched Year Zero. Batman is shown to be learning the ways of crime-fighting. He is arrogant, reckless, and is prone to being provoked. Bruce is still a green-horn for a superhero. And it is during this time that the Riddler makes an appearance. One of the first villains for the Year Zero ac, Scott Snyder turns the villain from a cunning farce into a serious threat to the city’s peace and harmony. This version of the Riddler has child-like immaturity but is a genius in setting traps and deadly riddles. The Batman has to chew nuts of steel to get the better of the Riddler in his own game.
The animated Batman series from the early 2000’s gave us a very unique take on the Riddler. He was much skinnier and had huge flowing locks. This iteration of the Riddler was also very sinister and way more evil than the ones that came before him. The Riddler from Batman: The Animated Series was special but the Batman series that came after it during the very beginning of the century gave us a very magnificent take on the Riddler. One feature of this villain was he kept getting scrawnier with each episode.
Batman: The Animated Series
Paul Dini is the one that should be credited for a lot of the success of the animated show Batman: The Animated Series. One of his crown jewels of a creation was the Riddler. This version of the Riddler had a tragic back-story. Once an innocent computer engineer, he was framed for fraud and that put him into a path of vengeance. Using his sharp mind, he became a brilliant criminal that fought Batman multiple times.