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Quote1.png My whole life has been preparing me for this. The moment when I would learn the truth. When I could finally strike back and expose their lies. If you want people to understand, really understand, you can't just give them the answers. You have to confront them, torture them with the horrifying questions, just like they tortured me. I know now what I must become. Quote2.png
The Riddler src

The Riddler (real name Edward Nashton) is a bitter and egomaniacal serial killer and terrorist who, through a killing spree of elitists, exposed and dismantled Carmine Falcone's web of corruption and control in Gotham City. He was inspired by the Batman, but through his killing spree became his greatest enemy.

Origins

An unsuspecting orphan

Born in 1991 and growing up in the Gotham Orphanage in Gotham City, New York, Edward Nashton felt invisible to and shunned by all around him, and so developed an obsession with puzzles at a young age. He grew up to be a genius, but also a quiet, bitter child, angry at the rich, spoiled elite of the city, the Wayne family in particular thanks to the general reputation of child Bruce Wayne around the orphanage as a spoiled brat, given that the orphanage used to be his home. His anger grew when Bruce's father, Thomas Wayne, decided to run for mayor and renovate the orphanage, but he was killed and no one fulfilled his promises, and the now orphaned Bruce was cared for and pampered while the orphans in the orphanage were forgotten and abandoned.

Unmasking the truth

As an adult in 2019, Edward's hatred for the wealthy of Gotham drove him to burn down the orphanage and investigate Gotham's elite. When he discovered a web of corruption connected to Thomas Wayne and crimelord Carmine Falcone, he decided to show Gotham's citizens that they were being lied to. Inspired by the wrathful vigilante detective known as the Batman, who took down street criminals and investigated crimes with the police, he donned a baggy green mask and costume, taking on the identity of "The Riddler" to expose the city's secrets through violence and terror.

While working as a forensic accountant at K.T.M.J. under the identity of "Patrick Parker", the Riddler's deep investigations led him to discover that Falcone actually controlled the city from the inside out, with people like Mayor Mitchell, Commissioner Savage, and District Attorney Colson being on his payroll, helping him control its inner politics. He also uncovered the fact that Thomas Wayne had worked with Falcone to hide his wife's history of mental illness from the press, resulting in the death of a reporter. Eventually, he decided to recruit the Batman's help, and devised a series of riddles and puzzles to reveal the truth of Falcone's control to him, which he planned to place with his victims.[2][1]

Unmasking Gotham's Secrets

First message to Gotham

On Halloween night of 2021, the Riddler murdered Mayor Mitchell in his home, leaving behind a thumb drive with evidence of the mayor's extramarital affairs, as well as a riddle and cipher for the Batman. When he then killed Commissioner Savage, he posted a message to social media, exposing not only the contents of the drive for all of Gotham, but the corruption of the commissioner as well. He started gaining a following on social media, and through his custom-built dark web website,"rataalada.com", with his closest followers joining him in a crusade to expose Gotham's secrets and cleanse the city of corruption once and for all.

A game with Colson

The night of the mayor's funeral, the Riddler kidnapped District Attorney Colson and fastened a bomb around his neck, taped a cell phone to his hand, and a riddle addressed to the Batman on his chest. He sent Colson to the funeral, and sure enough, the Batman arrived, confronting the Riddler over a video call. The Riddler gave Batman more hints and clues to Falcone's web of lies through a game of riddles with Colson, and gleefully teased him, knowing he was so close to the truth. Colson lost the game, however, and the Riddler detonated the bomb, killing Colson and sending the Batman deeper into an obsessive state trying to solve the case.

The Riddler then lured the Batman to the remains of the Gotham Orphanage, revealing his next target to be Bruce Wayne, and, while he left more hints about the truth via "rataalada.com", sent a packaged bomb and riddle to Wayne Tower, with the intent to kill Bruce Wayne as his next victim before revealing the truth about Thomas Wayne. However, Bruce's butler and legal guardian, Alfred Pennyworth, instead opened the package with the bomb and was hospitalized by the explosion. Despite missing his target, the Riddler still exposed to Gotham the truth about Thomas Wayne's cover-up of his wife's mental illness.

Confronting the Batman

The Riddler then placed seven car bombs along the border walls to the river, and returned home to his apartment and recorded a message to his closest followers telling them to kill everyone in the city square when the bombs blew, all while a furious Batman brought the police to arrest Falcone at the Iceberg Lounge. However, Edward shot Falcone from his apartment with a sniper rifle, effectively dismantling Falcone's criminal empire for the time being. He was arrested and taken to the Arkham State Hospital, where he finally confronted the Batman face to face. Edward explained that Batman inspired him to be a serial killer and wanted to team up with his hero. The Batman angrily rejected him, causing Edward to freak out and spill about the bombs.

Making a friend

Batman went to the city center, which was celebrating the election of new mayor Bella Reál, as the city flooded and Edward watched gleefully, safe in Arkham. Unfortunately for him, the Batman and the police stopped the Riddler's followers and saved everyone they could. Despite this small victory, the damage was done, as most of Gotham's streets were submerged in water, Falcone's empire was taken over by his lieutenant, the equally ruthless and cunning Penguin, and Edward made a new friend and ally in Arkham, a fellow inmate and serial killer named the Joker. He and the Joker then formulated a plan of escape, all while Edward somehow continued operating "rataalada.com" for his remaining following to know that all was not lost, until the site's domain was seized by the G.C.P.D.[1][3]


Abilities

  • Genius Level Intellect: Edward is incredibly intellectually gifted, working as a forensics accountant before beginning his life of crime under his Riddler persona, having a natural gift for solving puzzles and riddles, and being a master of creating intricate codes that at times managed to stump the Batman.[1]
    • Tactical Analysis: Edward is a meticulous planner, creating an incredibly complex plan filled with riddles and puzzles he created himself to unmask the truth about Gotham City to the public. He was able to form an incredibly dedicated and secretive cult of internet followers to carry out his plans, host incredibly hard-to-access virtual live-streams that served as meeting places for his followers to create plans, and place seven vans by Gotham City's seawall to blow it up and flood the city.[1]
    • Computer Operation
      • Computer Hacking: Edward coded a thumb drive to hack into the computer it was inserted into and automatically email agencies pictures from the computer's email account.[1]
    • Mechanical Engineering: Edward is a genius engineer, able to create various complicated traps and devices to kill his targets, such as a special cage that directs starving mice to a person's face, or a combination-locked time bomb fastened around a man's neck and detonated remotely.[1]
    • Forensic Pathology
  • Intimidation
  • Charisma
  • Singing
  • Artistry
  • Multilingualism: Edward speaks fluent English, and due to the nature of some of his riddles, it can be presumed that Edward has at least some knowledge of the Spanish language.[1]
  • Weaponry
  • Stealth: Edward is incredibly stealthy as the Riddler, able to sneak into Mitchell's home without being seen or heard, and hiding silently in the G.C.P.D. gym and Colson's car before attacking his victims.[1]

Other Characteristics

  • Mental Disorder: Edward is afflicted with at least one severe mental disorder. He believes that death and destruction can be justified in the pursuit of truth and justice, and enjoys seeing his demented justice carried out across the city with sadistic glee. He finds inspiration in the Batman's rampage of violent crusade of righteousness, instilling fear to get across a message. However, he gets very upset when things don't go his way, throwing tantrums and screaming angrily. Edward seems to think he is in the right, however, and doesn't need any help, despite his closest friend being the Joker, a sadistic mass murderer.[1]

Equipment

  • Laptop
  • Duct Tape

Weapons

  • Explosives
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Carpet Tucker


  • The Riddler's website, "rataalada.com", is a real website that tests visitors with riddles and ciphers from the Riddler himself.

Related

External Links

Footnotes


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Batman Villain(s)
This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."

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