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The Riddler: Year One is a limited comic book series. A prequel to The Batman film, the series follows Edward Nashton as he investigates a conspiracy related to the Gotham Renewal Corporation and his transformation into the Riddler. The Riddler: Year One was written by Riddler actor Paul Dano and drawn by Stevan Subic. The series began publication from October 2022 and is released bi-monthly until August 2023.[1]


Edward Nashton is given to the Gotham Orphanage shortly after birth whilst his mother is committed to Arkham, who later dies in an apparent suicide a few years later. Throughout his childhood, he suffers neglect due to lack of funding and bullying due to his quiet nature, using puzzles and riddles to escape these. Edward also grows up admiring billionaire Thomas Wayne due to his charitable donations to the facility. He is one of the orphans who performs during Wayne's announcement of his mayoral campaign and the Gotham Renewal Program, during which he briefly speaks with Thomas and bonds over a riddle. However, after Wayne and his wife are murdered, sympathies turn from the orphans to their son Bruce, leading Edward to believe he is only getting them because he is rich. He applies multiple times to Renewal to improve his living conditions, though these are always rejected. These events heavily affect Edward's psychology in adulthood, including apathy to everyone in Gotham.

As an adult, Edward works at the accounting firm KTMJ following a recommendation from one of his college professors. After five years working at the firm, his boss Zach Morely sets him to investigate the New Beginnings Animal Rescue shelter, later taking credit for his work. Edward soon uncovers that it is breaking up payments to a front company amounting to $10,000 to avoid automatic checks in the accounting systems. When he brings them up directly with their boss Richard Stone, his discoveries are dismissed and suggested to be a mistake.

During this period, Edward learns of a vigilante operating in the city known as "the Batman" through social media. After noticing him apprehend a thug named Higgins, Edward begins to admire the vigilante and aspire to work with him. Learning Higgins works for New Beginnings, Edward visits the shelter and notices Stone and Zach visiting a nearby nightclub whilst leaving. The following night, Edward breaks into Stone's office and uncovers payments from New Beginnings to various companies in Gotham, including "Renewal".

Deciding to take after Batman, Edward begins performing surveillance on New Beginnings, learning it to be pushing the narcotic Drops on the streets of the city. During one of these, he witnesses Stone confront its owner, John Joon, over a series of payments made to his daughter and several discrepancies in its payments, actually committed by Higgins to post bail. Stone, convinced that Joon is responsible, order his execution by Higgins, unknowingly being recorded by Edward through the hacked CCTV systems. After sending it to the GCPD in the hopes they will investigate, Edward investigates New Beginnings' parent companies and learns it was previously owned by Maroni's gang. Learning the GCPD are involved with Stone and Higgins, he contacts Ana and learns that they are actually working for an unseen figure who took over Drops operations after the mobster's arrest ten years prior.

Using his involvement in another investigation for Stone, Edward begins to investigate finances related to New Beginnings. In secret, he breaks into the warehouse where the records are being kept, using his nights to try to uncover where the profits from the Drops operations are going. After noticing KTMJ also represents Renewal, Edward begins investigating their finances and learns that they have actually been laundering bribes for various political figures in Gotham, including Mayor Don Mitchell Jr., Police Commissioner Pete Savage, and District Attorney Gil Colson. He gradually uncovers that Renewal has fallen into the hands of Carmine Falcone and his syndicate, who took over Drops operations in Gotham after the mobster informed on Maroni for the GCPD. Edward also learns that Thomas Wayne had a personal involvement with Falcone, having had a journalist assassinated after he dug up Martha Wayne's history at Arkham. These revelations shake his already broken psyche and lead him to belief Gotham is unsalvageable.

Edward begins create a grand plan to expose and assassinate Falcone and his allies, planning to gain Batman's assistance to access the mobster. These also include removing various fronts in Gotham by flooding it, and assassinating political figures to ensure they do not fall under the Syndicate's influence. Create a costumed persona based on his childhood obsession called "the Riddler", he begins to recruit a community of followers to help plan and carry out his schemes. Edward also plans to bring Batman into his operations and use the vigilante to bring Falcone into his sights.

In the days approaching his plans, Edward arranges for Ana to leave Gotham with her child and orchestrates Higgins' death, exposing New Beginnings' involvement in Drops. On Halloween, he sends a message to Stone containing the recording of John Joon's murder, forcing him to send it to his family rather than expose his failure to Falcone, and leading Stone to commit suicide. As the office goes to celebrate the holiday, Edward changes into his costume and prepares for his first crime as the Riddler.