It is easy to think of the Riddler as a creature of pure pride. So confident is he in his genius that he leaves behind clues and puzzles related to his crimes and dares the police to try to solve them. Yet is there more to it than that? When you consider Edward Nigma, you are forced to face the possibility that the greatest tragedy of his childhood was the presence, not absence, of his father. There is a story about Edward being caught cheating as a boy.

It is unclear, but stories suggest that Nigma's father punished him severely and maliciously for this and insisted on one thing -- that from that moment forward, his son would always speak the truth.

So if Edward was forced, verbally and physically, during an age of natural preadolescent rebellion, to speak the whole truth regardless of consequence or prudence, what then?

It wasn't until his father died that Edward turned to crime. But his crimes were unique. He left riddles that, if understood, would be an admittance of guilt. His clues are a compulsion to speak the truth, it is his response to guilt.[1]


  • Genius Level Intellect: Edward Nigma has always been an intelligent person even from an early age. Never once cheating on a test he scored highest marks leading to his father not believing he actually succeeded. As an adult he's continued to use his distinct cleverness and attitude for his criminal affairs.[1]
    • Investigation: Nigma may not be a professional detective but he has often proved to be quite an expert. He has deduced, on the fly, where to run and how to react based on visual clues. His glib tongue often lends to his investigative nature.[1]
    • Escapology: Coincidentally, one of the Riddler's primary skills is his ability to escape. He's grown up in Gotham and knows the city's alleyways and rooftops quite well. He's escaped the Batman on foot, by car and through a graveyard before allowing himself to be captured.[1]


  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Edward Nigma has obsessive-compulsive disorder, that is, he can't commit a crime without leaving a clue or riddle behind as an admission guilt. Caused by his abusive father, Riddler has no choice but to continue his criminal life as a way of coping with his disorder.[1]




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