Edward Nashton (The Riddler)

riddlerfilmThe second villain revealed by Ed Boon in his Injustice: Gods Among Us pic was The Riddler, another famous Batman‘s enemy. Riddler was first portrayed by Frank Gorshin in the Batman 1960s tv series, in the spin-off movie, and even in the tv special Legends of the Superheroes; he appears to be a calm and calculating criminal mastermind at one moment, but he goes wild immediately after, and he’s driven by the insane necessity of leaving hints for Batman and Robin about his activities, something that makes him clash with his fellow criminals more than once. His most recent portrayal is Jim Carrey‘s one in Batman Forever, a scientific genius who creates a mind-reading machine, with nothing of the calm of the previous incarnation, a lunathic with no self-control, lacking the cold-minded reasoning of his previous incarnation. In the comics, he surely isn’t Carrey’s wild madman, but shares some similarities with Gorshin’s portrayal of the character.

The man who would have become known as The Riddler was born Edward Nashton, son of an abusive father and an absent mother from Waterbury‘s poorest district. Extremely intelligent since his very childhood, Edward was a brilliant yet lonely child, and his father, an unskilled worker with no riddlercomics1particular flaw or peak in his I. Q., always tried to humiliate his intelligence, driven by jealousy, harshly replying to the continous questions his son asked him. Once, when he was an elementary school student, Edward became thrilled with solving a puzzle contest his teacher had challenged his student with. The boy sneaked in the school by night, found the logic problem in the teacher’s desk, and spent all the night solving it again and again, until he was able to solve it within a minute. The day after, exhausted for his sleepless night but thrilled for the contest, Edward went to school as always, and obviously solved the problem in no time, astonishing both his teacher and his classmates with his brilliant reasoning. As a prize, he received twenty dollars and a book of riddles, which became his passion. His popularity among his peers didn’t rise as he imagined, quite the opposite, and he only gained the attention of the school’s bullies. Back home, his father refused to believe his son was smarter than him, and started beating him hardly every day trying to force him to admit he had cheated. Edward never learnt to ignore his father’s accusations, and dedicated all his life in proving him wrong. Unfortunately, the more Edward became skilled with his book’s riddles and the smarter he got, the more his father beat him, envying and resenting. This events surely sharpened Edward’s mind and intellect, but also drove him mad: the only teachings he got from his father were never to lie (thus he became compulsivly incapable of telling anything but the truth), and that less-intelligent people are inferior beings who only live to make the most brilliant and gifted ones’ lives a living hell. No wonder that, immediately after finishing school, Edward left home.

In his first years as an adult, Edward Nashton, who had changed his name into Edward Nigma to cut every bond left with his father and to declare his passion for riddles (E. Nigma), joined a carnival, and specialized himself in taking great amounts of money from the carnival-goers with his puzzles and mind games. This kind of life, anyway, didn’t satisfy Edward at all, and he gave himself to crime just for the thrill of trying something worthy of his intelligence. Committing a crime wasn’t enough for Edward, who wanted to be engaged into a real battle of intellects; he created the masked identity of the Riddler to publicly challenge the police, announcing a riddlercomics2crime and planning everything before, paying attention to the detail. He targeted Gotham City, a metropolis renowned for its criminality rate. His first crime was quite a disappointment, and his attempts to put the police to the test were effortless. Finally, the Batman showed up: the vigilante became soon famous as World’s Greatest Detective, a title that intrigued Nigma. Sure he had finally found a worthy opponent, the Riddler challenged Batman to foil his first Riddle Crime (a robbery), and was extremely satisfied seeing that the hero actually was able to solve all of his puzzles and to stop him from realizing his intentions. The Riddler managed to escape after his first confrontation with the Caped Crusader, staying out of the scenes for a while, just the time necessary for plotting another impossible challenge for the one he had chosen as his only and real adversary. In the following years, Nigma got captured many times and sent to Arkham Asylum, where he met other criminals and allied himself with them more than once, always considering himself smarter than eveyrone else, of course. He also reformed for a while, becoming a private investigator, but his fascination with challenging Batman soon took the upper hand, and the Riddler came back in town, more lethal and twisting than ever.

Edward Nigma, aka Edward Nashton, is a real genius, a man with an incredible intellect, photographic memory, an extensive culture and a deep knowledge of many disciplines, such as literature, philosophy, science, geography, even esotherism. He’s a true Reinassance Man, expert of every possible field of human knowledge. He’s also a master escapologist and an incredibly skilled detective. As The Riddler, he’s a sociopathic lunathic, driven by the obsession of proving himself the most intelligent man ever lived. With a strong fixation with enigmas, puzzles and mind games, he committs crimes just for the fun of seeing whoever is chasing him (possibly Batman) undertake his impossible riddles. He could have killed his enemies more than once, Batman included, but he prefers to put them into death traps to see if they’re capable of escaping them. Unable to lie, The Riddler wraps the truth into mysteries and puzzles that put to the test even the most brilliant minds.



  1. […] who we’ll be seeing pretty often from now on. In What the Little Bird Told Him, when poor Edward Nygma is flirting (or, at least, is doing something that he believes is flirting) with […]

  2. […] plan of The Riddler had brought a demonic entity attack on Star City, and many crimelords had died in the resulting […]

  3. […] in town with an equipment of his own invention, one that generates electricity, and that will have Edward Nygma nickname him “The Electrocutioner“. Now, the show’s writers have done with him […]

  4. […] he entered the prison’s softball team (he had some issues when he unwillingly broke The Riddler‘s arm by throwing a softball too hard, but apart from incidents he finally had fun from the […]

  5. […] become a neurosurgeon. Years after, Dr. Elliot met a patient with brain cancer, who actually was Edward Nygma, The Riddler. Recognizing the villain (who meanwhile got healed by the Lazarus Pits), Elliot […]

  6. […] the first Battle Arena round it has been revealed that The Riddler and The Penguin, who we spoke of the last days, will have in Injustice Gods Among Us just a […]

  7. […] appointment with Dent made Frost arrive late to Joker’s one with The Riddler, who gave Joker a mysterious briefcase. On their way back home, Joker and Frost were attacked by […]

  8. […] Legion of Horribles. When Hugo Strange and Miss Peabody decide they’ve had enough of Edward Nygma, they put him in the same cell of a cannibalistic brute, just waiting for the moment he’ll […]

  9. […] to Gotham, he recomposed his sister’s shattered criminal empire, challenging Two-Face and The Riddler for the control of some of his former activities. Gotham would have soon learnt what the name […]

  10. […] all their efforts in identifying and stopping the murderer. Sofia herself obtained the aid of The Riddler, as he claimed “no riddle could resist him”; the criminal, however, was of no help, as […]

  11. […] success came when she devised an extremely powerful spell that allowed her, Enigma (an alternate Riddler from the Anti-Matter Universe) and the alien Despero to take the symbolic places of, respectively, […]

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