Riddler Character Profile

The Riddler

Batman Universe Character Profiles Character Profiles


The Riddler is one of the many supervillains within the DC and Batman comics. His first appearance came back in 1948 with the Detective Comics #140. He was written and created by both Bill Finger and Dick Sprang.

He is a criminal mastermind that, unlike with most of the supervillains, prefers to target his victims by using a series of riddles and puzzle games. All in an attempt to prove that he is by far the more intellectual and superior individual. The greatest everything, is usually his most preferred way of describing himself.

Edward Nigma, who later adopts the names Edward Nygma and Edward Nashton is one of the more iconic characters within the Batman universe. He is also considered to be one of the more intelligent of Batman’s foes.


Riddler Quotes
Riddler’s Revenge (Side Mission) Batman Arkham Knight
Riddler (Appearance Taken From One Bad Day, 2022 Comics)
REAL NAMEEdward Nigma
(Also referred to as Edward Nygma or Edward Nashton)
CREATED BYBill Finger (Writer)
Dick Sprang (Artist)
FIRST APPEARANCEDetective Comics #140 (October, 1948)
ABILITIESGenius-level intellect
Criminal mastermind
Skilled inventor and escape artist
Utilizes deadly puzzles and riddles


The origins of the Riddler character features young Edward being fascinated with puzzle games. Even at a young age he was always interested in puzzle solving. According to an early issue of the Justice comics that was written by Alex Ross. It was also suggested that there were issues between both Edward and his father. To the point that he was physically abused, which left him with a compulsion to tell the truth.

It was during class when one of his teachers announced a contest in order to find out who could solve a puzzle the fastest. With determination to win this contest Nigma decided to sneak into school during the dead of night Whilst doing so he would locate this said puzzle and attempt to try and solve and perfect it.

He manages to solve it in under one minute, making him the winner of the contest. The reward for winning the contest and solving the puzzle was a book of riddles. Though despite him winning the contest, Edward’s father ended up hitting him out of pure envy and disappointment. However, all of this ended up motivating Edward and he eventually became a carnival employee.

As a carnival employee Edward excelled at cheating his customers out of their money, with the use of both crazy puzzles and mind games. Though all of this still was not enough. He ended up becoming even more motivated to do more, to find greater challenges. Thus the Riddler was born.

Riddler Deluxe Statue (Iron Studios)

McFarlane Toys – The Riddler (Wave 9) Figure

Batman Arkham Knight – Riddler’s Gambit
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The 2021 DC comic reboot of the origin story, entitled Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler #1, we have what feels more like a darker and more depressing take. With a similar outcome. The key differences is the change of surname, Edward Tierney and his father becomes headmaster of the college.

His father’s personality is still the same. Constantly beating and humiliating Edward whenever he could. Purely because of a short lived relationship with a prostitute. The humiliation gets even worse when his son fails a class test.

Due to the many beatings and the sheer humiliation Edward attempts to committing suicide. Though his plans to do so changes when he decides to sneak into college and search for the answers to another upcoming class test. This only leads to one of the teachers catching him.

At this point Edward had seen enough and decided to beat the teacher and run off. The character of the Riddler is then born. So too is the ‘Nygma’ surname.

In this entry into the character origins, Edward is also known as a social outcast with only his father as a social contact.


In order to find greater challenges the Riddler decided that the Dark Knight, Batman, would be a worthy adversary. So he ended up setting up a plan in order to confound the crime fighting duo. This plan involved trying to trap the vigilantes inside of a booby-trapped maze.

The plan unfortunately did not work. As both Batman and Robin managed to find a way to escape the maze and Riddler supposedly ”vanished” after being knocked into the sea



During the Batman: Hush storyline Riddler is believed to be dying due to cancer, and more specifically a brain tumor. In order to survive he decides to use the Lazarus Pit, which is owned by Ra’s al Ghul. It is here when Dr. Thomas Elliot admits that he would rather have revenge on his childhood friend, Bruce Wayne, than cure his mother, who was also dying of cancer. The way he saw it, if his mother died, he could then inherit her fortune.

Both Riddler and Dr. Elliot, who later became Hush, decide to form a team and working together. This team consisted of many of the big players such as Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Joker, and Two-Face. Together they were tasked with locating and defeating Batman.


Due to the exposure to the Lazarus Pit, Riddler was then able to deduce the true identity of the Dark Knight. This then created a new plan, which would involve Clayface. Who would then transform into one of the Robin sidekicks, Jason Todd. All of this in hopes that this new plan would end up tormenting the caped crusader.

After all, at this point of the story. It was believed that Jason Todd had been murdered at the hands of the Joker. Who had also managed to kidnap and torture him. So, at first, Batman did not believe that Jason Todd was alive and, instead, presumed that the Riddler had somehow stolen his corpse. It was not until a much later storyline, during the Batman: Under The Red Hood, where it was confirmed that Jason Todd was alive. That he had a new moniker as the Red Hood.

This storyline basically tells us that Riddler knew that Jason Todd was alive even before Batman did. He also knew who the man behind the mask actually was.



In the Detective Comics #822, which was first written by veteran writer Paul Dini. The Riddler returns after spending the previous year in a hospital bed, suffering with a coma due to brain damage. This was the result of a one-sided fight against the Shining Knight.

When he awakens he is seemingly reformed. He is cured of his insanity and is no longer obsessed with riddles and puzzle solving. Though he does still have his genius intellect and incredibly large ego. In fact he is now a private consultant and his first case involves a wealthy socialite.

It is during this first case that he ends up working alongside Batman. Though due to the injuries he sustained against the Knight he also suffers with memory loss and barely remembers his own name. He does not even appear to realise that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same. Though he does harbor some suspicion.

During a party aboard a ship, one of Bruce Wayne’s friends falls overboard and is mauled by sharks. At first Riddler seems to have solved the case and assumes that the fall was a basic suicide attempt. Taking all the credit in the process. However, Batman then realises that the whole suicide attempt was a complete setup. In order to drive attention away from the real killer.

Eventually the killer is found and after whacking Riddler over the head with a shark-tooth club he then proceeds to push Batman out of a window. Nygma then proceeds to shoot a fire-lit arrow into the killer’s back and watches on as the murderer screams around in pain. The fire is eventually doused by Batman. Nigma then asks if the shark mauled victim was actually a friend of his, to which Batman then denies.


In another issue of the Detective Comics (#837) Riddler is hired by Bruce Wayne in order to help track down an experimental drug that was developed by Wayne Enterprises. It is a drug that is currently being tested for both muscle stamina and cellular regeneration. However, it was reportedly stolen by lab assistant, Lisa Newman. With the help from Harley Quinn, Riddler is able to retrieve the stolen drug.

In the 2008 mini-series Gotham Underground, Riddler is tasked with investigating Penguin’s involvement with the Suicide Squad. In doing so he manages to save Dick Greyson, who was working undercover during the Gotham Gang War between both Penguin and Tobias Whale. It is then when Riddler suspects the Dick Greyson is actually Nightwing.


During the storyline of a gala reopening party, Riddler attends in order to keep an eye on Kitrina Falcone. Also attending are Arkham, Dick Grayson, Oracle, and Mario Falcone. As he tails Kitrina Falcone he notices her trying to break into the lab that is owned by Gene-Core. By doing so this causes a bomb explosion. Which destroys much of the building.

The result of the explosion manages to reawaken much of the Riddler of old. However, though acting more suspiciously, he does continue running as a private eye. At least until he heads back to his office and finds his secretary bound and gagged.

Turns out that Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy were all waiting for him. They tell him that they need his help as they are being framed for the murder of a young woman. They want him to help prove their innocence. Riddler then agrees to help them.

After examining the woman’s body, Riddler concluded that they were correct. That they were innocent. However, it was all a setup. Riddler ended up being attacked by Dr. Aesop. Whilst the trio had used Riddler as bait.

Feeling betrayed, the Riddler then contemplates whether he should return back to his life as a villain.


In the ‘War of Jokes and Riddles’, which was part of the 2016 DC Rebirth. Batman retells of an early conflict between both the Joker and Riddler. Which all began when Joker had managed to lose his sense of humor. It also sees the Riddler intruding into Joker’s office.

Riddler attempts to form a partnership with the clown. Acknowledging that if either of them manages to kill the Batman, then the other person will forever feel regret and disappointment. Basically Riddler orchestrates a war between the two. Joker then departs, though not before having shot Riddler in the stomach first. Left in a pool of his own blood, the Riddler limps out of the office.

After recovering from his wound Edward then begins to recruit an army of his own. Starting with Poison Ivy. His team then slowly begins to form and include other popular figureheads such as Scarecrow, Deathstroke, Killer Croc, Clayface, Two-Face, Firefly, and Zsasz.

During the war Riddler ends up being responsible for the transformation of Kite Man, who then sides with team Joker. Joining the likes of Cluemaster, Deadshot, Mad Hatter, Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Solomon Grundy, and Ventriloquist.

Both teams try to claim territory over Gotham. Eventually Riddler attempts to blackmail Kite Man into giving up Joker’s location. This does not bode well for the caped crusader who almost breaks his own rule for not killing anyone. As he quickly grabs a blade and is about to stab Riddler, who had only just managed to recruit him. Until Joker begins to laugh and this prevents Batman from doing so. Joker then manages to regain his lost humor.


Riddler is more regarded as a social outcast. Often working from behind the scenes and letting his henchmen or robots do the work for him. Riddler is not a a particularly strong character. However, what he lacks in strength he more than makes up for with genius-level intellect and being a criminal mastermind and great strategist.

When in terms of comparing Riddler to a Marvel character, one good example would probably be Loki due to their consistent scheming. He also has a resemblance to Arcade due to their high intellect.

Riddler From Batman Arkham Knight
Riddler (Batman Arkham Knight)



In the runup to the 2013 title, Batman Arkham Origins. Edward dedicated himself to learning. In doing so he became a highly skilled engineer and an expert computer hacker. Due to his incredible knowledge and skill it led him into joining the GCPD as a member of the Cyber Crime Division.

Whilst working at the GCPD Edward decided to try and collect information regarding the true identity of the Dark Knight, Batman. Who he, at the time, suspected was either Harvey Dent or Bruce Wayne.


In Arkham Asylum Riddler was one of the inmates that had managed to escape after the Joker had taken control of the island. He was also able to hack into the same communications that Batman used in order to contact Oracle. This, of course, then led to the Riddler trophies challenges that can be unlocked within the game.

After successfully managing to solve all of the Riddler challenges, Batman was then able to determine the location of Edward’s hideout. Which was over at the 229 O’Neil Avenue, which is part of Old Gotham. The police then arrived and arrest him.


Before the events of Arkham City Edward wanted to create a new plan and thus have a new base of operations within Arkham City. In order to do that he got in contact with the Broker. Sherman Fine. Who accepted to help him.

With a new lair now having been taken care of. Nygma then needed a way to escape the confinement of the Arkham Asylum holding cells. This would involve speaking to Poison Ivy. Who could create a vial, which, when smashed, would release a man-eating plant. This would be used to take down the security guards.

It turned out to be a success. Whilst being escorted from his cell he put the plan into motion before then fleeing to his new hideout. Where he could begin the next phase of his new ordeal.

This would involve setting up death rooms and capturing the members of the GCPD that were found inside of the church. Including Officer Aaron Cash.

These death rooms would include electricity based traps, sharp rotating blades and more. All to, once again, entice the Dark Knight into playing his games.

Once Batman had managed to find his headquarters. He also came across several other GCPD hostages, including Cash. all wearing headgear which forced them to walk around non-stop. If they dared to stop then the gear would explode and death would be the end result.

Once captured Nigma was left feeling embarrassed as he replaced the, now rescued officers, and was forced to wear the headgear instead. Before then being taken to the city holding cells. Little did he know that the Bat had the gear deactivated. After all he was known for never wanting to kill. He was the vigilante.


In the 2015 title, Batman Arkham Knight. The Riddler was more determined than ever to defeat the caped crusader. After having been defeated multiple times now. In his attempts to lure Batman into one of his traps he decided to kidnap Catwoman. A close ally to the Dark Knight. Though she would never admit it.

Unlike the previous Batman Arkham titles, a lot of the Riddler challenges features the use of the Batmobile. Which would be used to navigate around the city and around the crazy racing circuits that were part of Riddler’s so called plan. .

In Arkham Knight there is a member of the GCPD who also happens to be an informant working for Riddler. If the player chooses to speak with the officer we will learn that Eddie has been feeling rather depressed, due to his time within the prison cells and the multiple defeats. His depression has even led to him no longer taking care of himself. Further evidence can be seen as the character appears to be unshaved.

Batman Arkham Knight was also the first title within the Arkham series where players could fight against Riddler in combat. Twice, in fact. Though in order to fight him a second time you would need to have successfully managed to collect all of his trophies and solved his riddles. From there a fight against him in a giant mechanical robotic machine would take place. Defeating him would then result in Batman putting him behind bars. Along with the remaining captured villains.

When he finds out the true identity of Batman, towards the later sections of the game. Riddler seems to be in disbelief about him being Bruce Wayne. Despite his earlier assumptions that he seemed to have before the events of Arkham Origins.


Riddler also posted several negative messages all over the internet that related to Batman and his brutality towards criminals. This did not go down very well as fans began to stick up for the Dark Knight, stating that he is a hero. In a burst of outrage, Edward then deleted these messages and tried to rip 128 gigabytes of RAM from the computer’s motherboard, with his bare hands. This resulted in him getting electrical burns.

He was almost tempted to break a laptop, this time with a hammer. Until he received an email regarding the Gotham Water facility. Which meant that his next set of plans, to ‘destroy the Bat’, were in motion.

The Riddler then gathered the remains of the robots from Wonder City and created them to be part of his henchmen. Figuring that they would be better substitutes for living people to do his dirty work. He even gave them a name, Riddlerbots.

Riddler From The Batman Telltale Series
Riddler (Telltale Series)


In Telltale’s 2016 Batman series Riddler is actually one of the very first supervillains to appear within the game. He is a member of the Pact. Which is a criminal organization.

Before the events of Batman: The Enemy Within, he was recruited by the Agency and placed into their scientific division. It is here where he worked on a new virus known as Project LOTUS.

Project LOTUS was, at the time, a virus that had the potential for regenerative capabilities. Due to accidentally taking the virus, Eddie then began having a psychological breakdown.

He was then confined within SANCTUS in order to monitor his condition. After finally managing to escape he then joined the Pact. Where he became the group leader.

As the leader of the group he created a plan to get revenge on both the Agency and SANCTUS. This then kickstarts the events of The Enemy Within.

During the game Nigma continues to lay traps for the Dark Knight. He even manages to kill and murder head researcher, Lucius Fox. However, in The Enigma episode his plans for revenge never came to fruition as he was shot and his death was later blamed on the GCPD. Mentions of potentially bringing him back were raised but nothing came of it and the company behind the series went bankrupt.

As of August 2019 the Telltale company has now been bought out by LCG Entertainment.



The name Edward Nigma (alternatively known as Nygma) is actually a play on words. An ‘enigma’ is often a term to describe something that is both mysterious and difficult to understand. Though he has had many different names throughout the Batman universe and timeline.


In the video game Batman Arkham Knight, there is a section where Batman explains to Catwoman about Edward’s multiple personalities. It is here when the Dark Knight describes Nygma as being a narcissist with an obsessive compulsive disorder. Although some of his personality traits are also borderline autistic too. There has been mentions of this due to his known social issues and special interests, this case with riddles.


In some of the French translations of the Batman titles the character is known as the L’Homme-Mystère, which simply means ;The Mystery Man’. Whilst sometimes he has even had translations relating to the Le Sphinx, which is a reference to the Greek mythology and oil painting of Oedipus and the Sphinx.


The character of the Riddler was once meant to be a one time villain. However, thanks to the 1960s Batman series the popularity received a massive boost. He is now one of the more respected and well known characters within the DC and Batman universe.


Originally known as Eddie Nashton back in 1948. However, when he decides to become the Riddler he legally changes it to Edward Nigma. In the 2022 comic and DC reboot. His name changed once again to Edward Tierney and Edward Nygma.


Riddler actually has his own knockoff Batmobile. Which is green in colour and has a question mark themed licence plate. He also mentions a Riddlermobile in Batman Arkham Knight.


Speaking of Riddlermobiles, one of the extra downloadable content within Batman Arkham Knight is a Riddler themed Batmobile. Designed with all kinds of green style graffiti.


Both highly popular actors Robert Englund and Jim Carey have played and voiced the role of the Riddler. Robert Englund, who is more known for his role as Freddy Krueger, voiced Riddler in The Batman animation. Whilst Jim Carey featured in the 1995 film, Batman Forever.

The first actor to play the role of the Riddler was American actor and comedian, Frank Gorshin. Back in the 1960s.


Back in the 1948 comics the Riddler used to wear a green spandex suit. It was not until much later that he became more known for his green suit and bowler hat.

SOURCE: Fandom, Wikipedia, Batman Arkham Series, Telltale Batman

The Female Riddler

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