|Portrayed by:||John Glover|
|First appearance:||If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?|
|Last appearance:||Riddler's Reform|
|Appears in:||5 Episodes|
|The Riddler Gallery|
Edward Nygma, also known as The Riddler, was a former computer software designer. He made his name creating the computer game The Riddle of the Minotaur. After losing his job, he started on the path to become the supervillain known as The Riddler.
Nygma was a brilliant intellectual, a genius in many fields, with an absorbing love for puzzles and games. As a computer software designer for Competitron, he designed The Riddle of the Minotaur, a game that quickly became a smash hit. Competitron's sales skyrocketed, and several people became very wealthy, including Competitron's corporate chair Daniel Mockridge. However, Mockridge jealously fired Nygma, callously dismissing Nygma's efforts as insignificant, and attributing the company's success to its skill with business negotiations and obtaining favorable contracts (i.e., to himself). In fact, Mockridge was attempting to give Competitron exclusive rights to the game, with an eye on a lucrative sale of the company.
Two years later, Mockridge was arranging a deal to sell Competitron to Wayne Enterprises. Nygma resurfaced under his pseudonym "The Riddler," kidnapping Mockridge and planning to kill him. The Riddler offered Batman a chance to save Mockridge, presenting him a series of puzzles and riddles to solve, ending with a run through the maze at the Riddle of the Minotaur amusement park (an actual physical simulation of the game).
More than confident in his own genius, The Riddler was unprepared for an encounter with a rival intellect; Batman outwitted him, solving the final riddle. Though he and Robin survived the maze and saved Mockridge's life, The Riddler had escaped, leaving Gotham City altogether by plane. In a way, Riddler still had his revenge: though Mockridge made millions from the sale of Competitron, he was paralyzed by fear of Nygma's return, seemingly for the rest of his life.
Due to Batman figuring out his true identity, The Riddler undertook a campaign to eliminate all traces of his former self, breaking into banks and government buildings to destroy records bearing his real name. He also sent a computer to the Gotham Police with a virtual reality simulation that ended up trapping Commisioner Gordon. Batman entered the virtual reality world to rescue Gordon, and in his concentration on defeating Batman, The Riddler accidentally caused his dream world to disintegrate. Batman and Robin found The Riddler at his hideout, where he had been temporarily concussed as a result of an electronic backlash.
Eventually, Nygma recovered and was sent to Arkham Asylum. Sometime later, he briefly appeared as a member of a mock jury in a court that was prosecuting Batman inside Arkham until their plan failed.
Some time afterwards, Nygma was released from Arkham and appeared to have reformed back to a contributing member of society. Joining with one of Gotham's well-known toymakers, Charles Baxter, the Riddler invented several puzzles that quickly became popular with children, also using his Riddler persona to boost the company's profile and appeal.
However, in secret he continued to commit daring robberies, and left clues within his company's advertisements. Although Batman was stumped, he confronted The Riddler anyway, telling him that he knew Nygma would never be able to resist being a criminal, and that he, the Dark Knight, would catch him sooner or later. The Riddler decided that Batman was indeed right, and lured Batman into a booby-trapped warehouse. Batman survived the plot, however, and The Riddler was returned to Arkham. He appeared to have been driven insane by his perplexity about how Batman managed to escape from his "perfect" trap, which Batman refused to tell him.
Abilities and Equipment
The Riddler had no metahuman powers, but did have a genius level IQ. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide variety of subjects, which he incorporated into his riddles and puzzles. He was also quite skilled with technology from his days in the computer industry, and had developed several cutting edge inventions.
Batman, however, understood that his major weakness was his inability to resist showing off how smart he was, by leaving clues that invited someone to try and catch him. To do him credit, Batman was usually the only one who could, which The Riddler did indeed acknowledge, calling Batman "the only one worthy of the game".
In Batman Animated, Paul Dini claimed that The Riddler had "the honor" of being the most difficult villain to write episodes for: a cerebral villain whose main criminal motive was outsmarting others, rather than generic mayhem, or vengeance. There was also difficulty in coming up with compelling riddles for episode content. The reasons explain The Riddler's relatively few appearances in Batman: Animated Series, given his rather important status in DC's comic books.
- He was voices by John Glover, who contributed to live action DC woth the roles of Jason Woodrue in Batman and Robin, Lionel Luthor in Smallville and Mr. Sivanna in Shazam.
- If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
- What is Reality?
- The Worry Men (cameo)
- Trial (cameo)
- Riddler's Reform