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Quote1 I've shown this city who I truly am once before, and I will do it again. They will bow to the Riddler, and they won't get up until I permit them to. Quote2
The Riddler src

The Riddler (real name Ed Nygma) is cold, narcissistic, puzzle-leaving serial killer driven insane by his split persona. Once a forensic examiner working at the GCPD Headquarters, he believes in truly showing Gotham City just how intelligent and powerful he is through murder and mayhem. He is the on-and-off friend of the Penguin, and a frequent enemy of Jim Gordon and the Dark Knight.

Forensic Career

Ed Nygma worked as a forensic examiner in the Gotham City Police Department, an awkward and excitable genius obsessed with riddles and puzzles with an uneven relationship with detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. He helped them on several cases during Gordon's first year as a detective, helping them stop the four-way gangwar between Carmine Falcone, Fish Mooney, Sal Maroni, and the Penguin.[1]

Ed was also romantically attracted to his fellow employee, Kris Kringle, even though she was romantically involved with Officer Dougherty. However, when Ed discovered Dougherty was physically abusing Kris, he threatened Dougherty and eventually murdered him.[4]

Kris at first mourned the loss of Tom. She received a letter from Nygma that he had written in the guise of Daugherty, claiming to leave town. However, he secretly encoded a message in the first letter of each line to spell out his surname.[5]

Birth of the Riddler

Nygma began to develop a more confident, and brazen personality in his head. The alternate voice would belittle him and demand more aggressive behavior from him.[6] Nygma eventually worked up the confidence to ask Kristen on a date.[7] She accepted and became attracted to his quirky personality. The two dated until Nygma informed her that he killed Dougherty. As she packed her belongings to leave, she began to feel emotionally distressed. When she threatened to report him to the police, Nygma attempted to stop her, accidentally killing her.[8]

Nygma initially mourned the loss of Kringle, as his other personality taunted him. When Nygma believed himself to be sleeping, his other personality took over and hid Kringle's corpse at the GCPD building. Nygma found the body, almost getting caught in the process. Nygma eventually merged with his other personality, accepting his murderous nature.[9] When Nygma went into the woods to bury Kringle's body, he discovered a wounded Oswald Cobblepot.[10] Nygma nursed Cobblepot back to health, as the two formed an alliance.[11]

As James Gordon and Leslie Thompkins became worried about Kris Kringle's disappearance, Gordon spoke with Nygma, informing him that they were intending to investigate the matter. Nygma became paranoid, falsely believing that Gordon suspected the truth.[12] As a result, Nygma framed Gordon for the murder of a fellow GCPD officer.[13]

When James Gordon escaped from prison and began looking to clear his name, he approached Nygma to ask for help. From Nygma's reactions and mannerisms, Gordon quickly deduced that it was Nygma who framed him. Before Gordon could react, Nygma electrocuted him into unconsciousness. As Nygma was preparing to kill and dispose of Gordon, he awoke and escaped from Nygma. Gordon went to Harvey Bullock and his allies and discussed the matter with them. Gordon asked them to gather the GCPD as they followed Nygma into the woods. Gordon sneaked up on Nygma, as the GCPD eavesdropped on the encounter. As Nygma admitted to the framing, the GCPD revealed themselves before Nygma could kill Gordon. Nygma was arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum.[14]

Nygma remained a patient in Arkham until his friend, Oswald Cobblepot who had recently become Mayor cut a deal to release him from Arkham by falsely declaring him as 'Sane'. Edward would then go on to serve Oswald as his chief of staff. Nygma battled Butch Gilzean to win the ultimate loyalty towards their boss Oswald, Ed ultimately beat Butch by framing him for being part of the Red Hood Gang. Continuing to be a good friend to Oswald, on a night where he was supposed to meet Oswald for dinner, he ran into a woman who was the doppelgänger of Kristen Kringle, the woman who he loved but accidentally killed, she was called Isabella. Nygma and Isabella had a great bond, but their sudden relationship did not please Oswald due to his feelings for Ed. Oswald's increasing jealousy towards Isabella as he thought that she was stealing Ed. Oswald's frustrations reached peak heights, this led to Cobblepot ordering Isabella's death. Once news of Isabella's death had reached Ed, he mourned her death greatly and fell into a deep depression. Despite Oswald's best efforts of cheering him up, he found it difficult to recover. Once he had recovered he started an investigation to figure out who had killed Isabella, his only conclusion was that it was Butch who killed Isabella. Nygma kidnapped Butch and his girlfriend Tabitha and tied them up, he followed up by torturing Butch whilst he was still convinced that he was the one who murdered Isabella. Nygma then built a mini guillotine and took Tabitha's hand off, in Butch's moments of desperation, he told Nygma how much he enjoyed shooting Isabella in the head, this proved to Nygma that it was not Butch who killed Isabella because she died in a car. Nygma had then given up on trying to figure this out, however Barbara did some digging and discovered that Oswald had feelings for Ed, to her this was the perfect opportunity to spark war so that she could end up taking over the criminal underworld.

Barbara visited Ed and cleverly hinted that Oswald loved him, at first Ed did not believe this but he felt curious to figure out if it was true or not. Ed tricked Oswald to say that he had feelings for him, once he had he could finally see that Oswald was the one who murdered Isabella. Nygma came to Barbara, Butch and Tabitha and proposed that before they destroy Oswald, they would make him suffer first. Nygma mentally tortured Oswald on live TV during an interview by using Clayface to disguise as Oswald's dead father. Once Nygma thought he had tortured him enough, he revealed to Oswald that everything that had happened was all him. After testing Oswald to try and make him admit to himself that he is entirely selfish and cares about no one but himself.

After Oswald had proved himself, Nygma took him to the edge of a pier and shot him in the stomach, Oswald fell into the Gotham River bleeding out. Nygma then left him to die.

Roy Harper Cry for Justice
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No Man's Land

Once the main bridges were destroyed and Gotham was plunged into chaos, Lee decided to stay in the city in order to help the people of the Narrows. When she broke up with Nygma, they stabbed each other, sharing one final kiss before they succumbed. Later that night, Penguin's thugs found them at the Cherry's and took them to Sofia Falcone's mansion so that Hugo Strange could revive them.[15] Professor Strange was secretly contacted by Nyssa al Ghul, who ordered him to put a mind control chip into the brains of Lee and Nygma. She planned to use them in her scheme to avenge the death of her father.[16]

After his resurrection, Nygma kept waking up at different locations in Gotham with no recollection of how he got there. Edward decided to use the abandoned Gotham City Public Library as his residence, which he would inhabit for the whole No Man's Land year.[17]

When Jeremiah Valeska's chemicals poisoned the river, Oswald and Nygma both agreed that Gotham was no longer a city but a prison. Penguin suggested that they should escape, whereon Riddler comes up with the idea to built a submarine. The next day, Oswald and Nygma arrived back at Gotham City Hall, where Barbara was waiting at the mayor's office in order to murder Penguin in retribution for killing Tabitha. She explained that she had a look through the secret treasure room, revealing that Selina told her about it. However, Ed then realized she is pregnant, noting that she is glowing. When Barbara raised her gun to shoot Oswald, he decided to offer her to escape from the city alongside him and Ed, so she wouldn't have to raise her child in a toxic waste war zone. Ed and Cobblepot revealed the blueprints of a submarine that can track mines in the river using sonar. Barbara agreed that she will not murder Penguin for the sake of her child and told them to call her once construction on the submarine has finished.[18]

A few days later, the Riddler came face to face with the Ventriloquist and Scarface, who tried to track down and kill the Penguin in order to take control of his criminal empire.[19]

After the end of the No Man's Land year, Edward and Penguin were invited to the reunification ceremony at City Hall, where Mayor Chang promoted Gordon to the rank of Commissioner.[20]

Six months after the war for Gotham, Riddler and Penguin were apprehended by Commissioner Gordon and taken into custody. Nygma was then imprisoned at Arkham Asylum, where he would stay for the next ten years.[21]


  • Genius Level Intellect: Ed originally was a quite smart on his own. When Riddler was born in his psyche and merged with his original personality, it seemed to boost his intelligence. After being frozen in ice, Ed lost most of his intelligence; it all ended up going to his Riddler personality.
    • Criminology: A former police forensics officer, Ed is skilled in the field. He was even briefly the medical examiner at GCPD.
    • Deception: Ed is highly skilled at manipulating others, such as the inmates at Arkham. He was able to trick Kristen into thinking Dougherty left Gotham by writing a letter with his name in it. He also managed to keep everyone at his workplace from noticing his change of behavior following his mental breakdown.
    • Origami: Ed has some skill in origami. He used the wrapping paper of a gift given to him by Oswald in Arkham to create an origami penguin.
    • Forensic Pathology: Ed was the forensic specialist for the GCPD prior to his arrest. He was able to use his skills of forensics to frame Jim Gordon for Carl Pinkney's murder. He also noticed how the brake lines to Isabella's car had been cut, something the GCPD *forensics team failed to see.
    • Demolitions: Ed is highly trained at creating bombs, such as the ones he put in the museum and the train station.
    • Lock Picking: Ed has at least rudimentary lock picking skills, as shown when he successfully broke into the medical examiner's locker and accessing Hugo Strange's elevator to Indian Hill.
    • Medical Science: Ed has some medical knowledge, having managed to save Oswald from dying from his gunshot wound and nurse him back to health.
  • Expert marksman: Ed is proficient in the use of firearms, particularly handguns. He was accurate enough to shoot Jim Gordon in the leg with the latter's own gun when he tried to escape, as well as Arthur Penn through the back of the head. He destroyed Haven with an RPG, firing it through the basement window and detonating the fuel oil tank.
  • Weaponry: Ed is capable of using a knife to kill his enemies up close in a surprise attack.
    • Throwing: He has also some proficiency at knife throwing as seen when he killed a Delta Force member by throwing a meat cleaver at his head.
  • Indomitable Will
    • Pain tolerance: Ed was able to survive being tortured by one of Sofia Falcone's henchmen, even managing to survive being stabbed in the leg.

Other Characteristics

  • Mental Disorder: Following his first two murders, Ed became paranoid and developed a second personality.
  • Multiple Personalities: After his murder of Officer Doughty and Kristen Kringle, Ed's mind fractured. There was his original persona and new personality that represented his darker side and obsession with riddles. After accepting he enjoyed killing, the two personalities merged. However, after being frozen in a block of ice for months, the personalities split apart and Ed was himself again. However, the new Riddler personality was able to influence him into "awakening" him. Due to Ed's love for Lee, Riddler was slowly starting to merge back together with Ed; however, he allied with Penguin and Grundy to kill Lee.
  • Obsession: Riddler and Ed are obsessed with riddles and puzzles.
  • Diminished Intellect: (Formerly) Prolonged cryogenic sleep in a block of ice has caused him some level of intellectual damage, vastly reducing Ed's natural capability to create extremely complex riddles in a matter of seconds. Even Penguin laughed, antagonized and pitied him as Edward revealed that he spent hours coming up with terrible riddles. However, it is later revealed by Leslie Thompkins, that the problem is not physical; but psychological. Ed slowly begins to gain his wits back, but later discovers that his split personality had received all of his high-intellect and would only regain it when his darker persona took back control.



  • Guns/Firearms: Ed has used different types of pistols such revolvers, handguns, assault rifles, and RPGs.
  • Knives: Ed has used different types of knives such as folding knives, spring-assisted knives, throwing knives, meat cleavers, and switchblades.
  • Explosives: Ed has used different types of explosives such as knock-out gas grenades and hand grenades.


External Links


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