Self Demonstrating: The Riddler
Now, then, riddle me THIS!
The Riddler is a comic book character, one of the most famous of Batman
's Rogues Gallery
, first appearing in Detective Comics #140 (October, 1948) as a nemesis to Batman. He was co-created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. Known as Edward Nigma
, his motivation is that of a man who is obsessed with riddles, mysteries, and clue?cl҉u͢e cl҉ ̢?̴?? ▓ɑ~?
ᴳʳéᵉtings! I, the Riddler,
h▓ve bypassed Arkham Asylum's pathetic
security to gift your small website a glimpse of my famed and illustrious exploits! If only to ensure that the clown
, or one of the many under-evolved cretins teeming amongst your readership, will not do it for me.
My first appearance was, aheh, "masterminded" by the writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang, in Detective Comics #140. My origin was thus: after achieving high scores on several important tests in school, my pig
-hearted father, blinded with rage and unable to accept my untempered brilliance, decided to....
...hrm. I presume even the MOST slow-witted of you can extrapolate the details yourselves.
Several of the so-called "professionals" ogling my cell believe this incident sparked an unavoidable compulsion to tell the truth, and prove I am right. Although granting these people's inane ramblings any credence will only encourage them, I have myself noticed an inability to commit a crime without the aid of my carefully-constructed conundrums. It... worries me, at times.
After a brief foray into the waters of crime through manning a crooked carnival contraption, I embraced it whole-heartedly, adopting my nom de plume
and striking fear into the hearts of Gotham with a dazzling array of crimes, capers and deathtraps! Still, brilliance attracts nemeses, and the Batman eventually began using my riddles to thwart my crimes before FINALLY locating me, and sending me plunging off a pier to my doom.
...for those of you incapable of figuring it out, I lived.
Afterwards, I continued my clue-riddled crime waves! These ranged from the whimsical, such as daubing a charade-clue for the people of Gotham on the Gotham Museum so I could escape through the resultant crowds with stolen Egyptian artifacts, to the more unseemly, such as hijacking a bus, offering riddles to the passengers and killing and robbing any pathetic wastes who failed to solve them.
It was then, through a partnership with upcoming lesser villain Hush, that I solved the greatest riddle of all: the identity of the Dark Knight himself! ...unfortunately, I can't reveal it to you, or anyone else.
After all, a riddle that everyone knows the answer to is worthless, as he so irritatingly
I suppose you'll have to set your tiny, lizard
brains to deducing it yourselves, won't you?
After an ill-fated venture on behalf of the Society left me brutally beaten by the Shining Knight, and in a coma for the better part of a year, I elected to turn my vast and undefeatable intellect to solving crimes, rather than their proliferation. The cases were child's play, and in many cases annoyingly so, but they gave me an opportunity to prove my intellectual superiority to the Batman on a somewhat more acceptable playing field.
As of recent events, however,
I have discarded this folly and returned to my old ways. Apparently, up to and including imprisonment. Only for as long as I see fit, of course.
It is worth noting that many of the ignorant masses were first made aware of my excellence through Frank Gorshin's portrayal,
(To say nothing about his excellent fashion suggestion in costumes) as well as my stooping to engage with the so-called "menaces" in the Legion of Doom
. Fortunately, John Glover
later portrayed me with the proper intelligence as in a most satisfying Batman: The Animated Series
story where I got my revenge on a former employer that even the Batman could not thwart. In 1995, Jim Carrey
decided to ape Gorshin's performance in Batman Forever
; while not completely faithful, he was close enough and theatrical enough to do me justice. Barely. In the world of video games, Wally Wingert
has tried his hand at impersonating me in the Batman Arkham Series
, with my affinity for death-traps
intact. Cory Michael Smith is set to portray a more youthful variation of myself on Gotham
And now, a riddle!
A nine-letter word, common as air,
When each letter's cut, a new word to pare,
Take a letter each round and continue to one.
Name the word and the path and then you'll be done.
Can you solve it? Need a hint?
Oh, what am I saying? Of course you can't! Once you've admitted I'm better than you, leave any of your tropes related to me below.
- Death Trap: He loves these. In Batman: Arkham City, he uses them on innocents in a challenge for Batman. Some fans have pointed out that he's taken a few lessons from Jigsaw, while others would like to point out that Jigsaw took a few lessons from him.
- Demonic Possession: During the "Dark Knight, Dark City" storyline. The result? An Ax-Crazy version of the character that only the Batman Arkham Series's version can compete with.
- Depending on the Writer: Bumbling Cloud Cuckoo Lander? Scheming near-equal to Batman? A Bunny-Ears Lawyer version of both? Or a psychopath who could go head to head with the Joker in terms of insanity?
- Diminishing Villain Threat:
- Inverted, began as a relatively harmless, some-what ridiculous villain and escalated into a genuine threat.
- Also kind of applied in universe; throughout his criminal career the Riddler has felt the need to pull bigger, more dangerous and more complicated stunts mostly out of a compulsive need to "play" with Batman.
- Domino Mask: A green one is more or less the only thing consistent about his costume throughout his various incarnations. Well, when it's not purple...or black...or painted on...
- Giggling Villain: In the sixties series, even more so than the Joker.
- Harmless Villain: Frequently. Even in the Dark Age, he tries to avoid needless violence, though it all depends on the writer.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Sometimes retires from crime and uses his skills for puzzle solving to do detective work. Though inevitably never for long.
- Humiliation Conga: Had a big one post-Hush.
- Insufferable Genius: He's the smartest man in Gotham (or so he thinks, anyway) and doesn't mind lording it over that big dumb Bat at every opportunity.
- Large Ham: The Gorshin version especially had a tendency towards giggling, manic monologues. And Jim Carrey's one had the outrageous clothes to help.
- Nice Hat: It started with Frank Gorshin, but even in the comics, the Riddler's now often found wearing a snazzy green bowler hat.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain:
- "Dark Knight, Dark City" shows that if Riddler ever stepped up his game, he would actually beat Batman.
- The reaction many had on the Riddler's appearance in the Batman Arkham Series can be summarized as "they actually managed to make the Riddler scary".
- Symbol Motif Clothing: His outfits are adorned with question marks, the amount of which depends on the outfit.
- Take a Third Option: Batman often gets past his riddles by doing this, beating them in ways Riddler didn't anticipate.
- He knows Batman's identity, but he can't reveal it due to his psyche; as Batman says, "A riddle that everybody knows the answer to is useless."
- Also, Batman hints to Riddler that Ra's al Ghul might find out he used a Lazarus Pit if he bragged about it.
- Villainous Breakdown: He's had a lot of these over the years.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: He'll just coat the truth in an enigma, wrap it in a riddle, and stuff the whole thing into a Chinese puzzle box.
- Worthy Opponent: Considers Batman this, due to him being the only one smart enough to solve his riddles.
...what? How did you...you CHEATED! You MUST have cheated! I'LL GET YOU F▓R THIS! You HEAR me?! I, E▓▓ARD N▓GMA, WILL▓▓▓▓▓▓▓