Edward Nigma

Prime DC Comics Universe

Riddler's History

The Riddler discovered how fun and challenging puzzles were when he was a young boy (he cheated on a puzzle in school to win a prize), and he gradually turned to crime as he matured. Issue 2 of Justice by Alex Ross, suggests that the presence of his father, not absence, was to blame for his compulsion to hide the form of the truth in riddles. His father presumably caught Edward cheating and beat him, presumably perpetually after the incident to keep Edward to tell the truth and keep him out of trouble. The sad result had Edward telling the truth behind riddles and entered to crime possibly as a result of the abuse. The Riddler, unlike many of the other members of Batman's rogues gallery, is more of a cerebral than physical villain. Although he is quite suited for physical combat and often has weapons ready for use, he has probably always been among the least homicidal of the major Bat nemeses; indeed, one story showed him lamenting the rise of murderous villains ("What's happened to us? The Joker's killing people, for Christ's sake!"). His riddles are in fact a bizarre obsessive compulsion; his attempts to stop himself from sending them have met with failure. This extends to the fact he cannot simply kill his opponents when he has the upper hand, but put them in a deathtrap to see if he can devise a life and death intellectual challenge that the hero cannot escape. However, of Batman's themed enemies, Riddler's compulsion is quite flexible, allowing him to commit any crime as long as he can describe it in a riddle or puzzle. He often has two female assistants that help him, usually named a combination of Quiz, Query or Echo. The Riddler is one of the few rogues that has deduced the true identity of the Batman. However, there is no major concern that the Riddler will leak the information, as Batman explains "What good is a riddle which everyone knows the answer to?", playing with the Riddler's obsession with riddles and the greatest riddle of all: "Who is Batman?".