""Questions Multiply the Mystery"": The Riddler, occupying an observation room at Arkham Asylum, expresses his annoyance with the inept psychiatrists' repeated attempts to pierce his psyche, and decides to give them what they want: the story of his life, how he
Appearing in "Questions Multiply the Mystery"
- Query and Echo (First appearance)
- Captain Gordon
Synopsis for "Questions Multiply the Mystery"
The Riddler, occupying an observation room at Arkham Asylum, expresses his annoyance with the inept psychiatrists' repeated attempts to pierce his psyche, and decides to give them what they want: the story of his life, how he became a criminal, and why he repeatedly opposes Batman.
As a child, Edward was a cipher, ignored by even the playground bullies at his school. Hungry for attention (especially with ignorant, unloving parents), the young Edward began his "career" in the sixth grade by cheating at a solve-the-puzzle contest - by sneaking into the school the night before the contest, he was able to practice solving the puzzle, and easily won the contest. Edward's fame proved to be fleeting, however, and the young boy realized that to keep the attention he so craved, he had to turn to his true talent: cheating.
After graduating, Edward became a deliveryman, a job he found extremely tedious. Out of boredom and greed, he began stealing from his clients, but even this could not satisfy his ego. Eventually, he donned the alias of "the Riddler", and started sending riddles to the police foreshadowing his future crimes. The Riddler's early career was fraught with many difficulties, missteps, and a narrow escape from Batman, but nevertheless, he managed to accrue a respectable amount of loot and two loyal henchwomen named Query and Echo.
With Query and Echo, the Riddler came to the crowning caper of his early career: a raid on the Reservoir Street depository that completely misled the police and left him with two million dollars. Once again, Batman narrowly failed to capture him, giving the Riddler a more impressive reputation than ever. Now overconfident, the Riddler planned an even bigger caper: stealing a set of Stradivarius violins from both a private collector and a public opera. Unfortunately, Batman quickly put an end to this caper, handing the Riddler his first unqualified defeat.
As he recounts his humiliation at Batman's hands, the present-day Riddler begins to have a meltdown. In a fit of psychosis, he breaks the one-way glass between him and his doctors, only to realize that his doctors had left on lunch break; he had been telling his life's story to thin air all along. Orderlies rush in and subdue him, leaving the Riddler near-catatonic and muttering "no one there..." on an endless loop.
- This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Four of a Kind trade paperback.
- As the first true Post-Crisis origin of the Riddler, many elements in this issue were adapted directly from the Riddler's debut story in Detective Comics #140.
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- Discuss Detective Comics Annual Vol 1 8 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Detective Comics Annual series
- Images from Detective Comics Annual Vol 1 8
- Batman: Run, Riddler, Run
- Secret Origins Special #1
- Batman Annual #19
- Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5
- Shadow of the Bat Annual #3
Links and References
|Year One Annual |
This issue was part of the 1995 Year One Annuals crossover event, in which every annual was an origin story. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Annuals and Year One Annuals category.