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“Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot.
So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts.
I must be a creature of the night.
Black. Terrible.
I shall become A BAT!”
--
Bruce Wayne, DETECTIVE COMICS #33 (November 1939)

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THE RIDDLER
Author: Jett

The Riddler (real name: Edward Nigma) is a DC COMICS villain and a member of The Batman’s rogues gallery. The character was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang, and first appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #140 in December of 1948.

The Riddler is known for his purple mask and green, question mark-covered costume -- it’s usually tights or a business suit and bowler hat. The Riddler is obsessed with riddles, puzzles, and word games. He loves leaving clues for both police and The Batman of his upcoming escapades by sending them complex clues and, well, riddles.


Frank Gorshin as the Riddler in TV's BATMAN

The Riddler was introduced to mainstream audiences by actor Frank Gorshin who portrayed the character in the 1960s BATMAN television series and live-action movie. Before the television series, the character was a minor, “gimmick villain,” but due to the success of the TV series the popularity of the character as portrayed by Gorshin, The Riddler became a major villain in the comics. Actor John Astin subbed for Gorshin briefly during BATMAN‘s TV run.


Jim Carrey as the Riddler in 1995's BATMAN FOREVER

Jim Carrey portrayed The Riddler in the 1995 movie BATMAN FOREVER and has said that Gorshin was his stated primary influence.

The Riddler was featured in the popular BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (voiced by John Glover). This version of the character went against the popular “Gorshin” depiction of a giggling trickster and portrayed the character as a smooth, but peculiar intellectual who presented The Batman and police genuinely challenging conundrums. B:TAS‘s Riddler was more infatuated with proving his own cleverness than in creating puzzles.


The Riddler in THE BATMAN (left) and B:TAS (right)

The Riddler has also been featured in the current animated Batman series, THE BATMAN. In this version, The Riddler has a gothic look -- often said to resemble rocker Marilyn Manson (the character is voiced by Robert Englund). Besides his totally redesigned look, he is similar to The Riddler of B:TAS’s version of the character in personality and modus operandi. Many fans consider him the best of the classic Batman villains on this show.

In currently comic book continuity, The Riddler is said to be reformed and works as a private detective (see DETECTIVE #822). Recently, it seems that The Riddler may becoming bored with his new occupation and longs to return to his criminal ways. Due to a coma suffered recently in the comic books, he does not remember that Bruce Wayne is The Batman (see the Batman storyline HUSH).

LINKS
"THE RIDDLER" entry at WIDIPEDIA.ORG
Bill Ramey's personal comic book collection.

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