"I am the greatest mind you'll ever meet... The original genius with Gotham at his feet. Who am I?"
―Riddler to Batman, during their final confrontation[src]

The Riddler is an antagonist in Batman: The Enemy Within. One of the first "supervillains" to operate in Gotham, he terrorized the city years before Batman's operations. Years after disappearing, Riddler returned to terrorize the city as the founder and leader of the Pact. Planning to get revenge on the Agency and SANCTUS, his actions quickly drew the attention of Batman to the group and their plans.

Biography


According to Alfred Pennyworth, Riddler began his criminal career in Gotham, during the years it was controlled by Thomas Wayne, Carmine Falcone, and Mayor Hamilton Hill. He terrorized the city for some time, during which the trio gave him a personal berth to operate out of. However, in the midst of his criminal career, Riddler disappeared so suddenly that many believed he had died.

In reality, Riddler had been recruited by the Agency into their scientific division, SANCTUS. During his time there, he helped research for many of their top secret projects, including the experimental LOTUS virus. After multiple failed tests, Riddler was infected with the virus in an accident and was expected to die. Instead, he survived and was physically enhanced by the virus. However, his brain's chemistry was severely damaged and caused him to develop multiple mental disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Narcissist Personality Disorder.

Riddler was kept within the confines of SANCTUS for years, constantly monitored by their scientists hoping to study LOTUS's effects. Eventually, he was able to escape the organization and fled the labs, though installed a backdoor into their network to ensure he could access their files. With this, Riddler planned to expose both SANCTUS and the Agency as revenge for the experimentation. He also planned to regain his place as Gotham's greatest costumed criminal and rule the underworld.

Following his escape, Riddler built up a small criminal organization of his own and began operating internationally. During this time, he became acquainted with Selina Kyle/Catwoman after recruiting her for a heist. Riddler became a frequent contact to her, during which he seemed to show a kinder nature. He also acquired a personal barge called the Lady of Dublin, though it is possible Riddler gained it before his Agency employment.

Riddler heard tales of the Santa Priscan criminal mastermind Bane, who he believed could be a member of his growing numbers. To achieve his trust, he allowed himself to be captured and taken to Peña Duro prison, where he was being held. Shortly after being captured, Riddler orchestrated a mass breakout and murdered the warden. Though it gained Bane's trust, the breakout gained the Agency's attention, leading Amanda Waller to authorize a search for Riddler. Agents constantly followed Riddler to many counties, but he was able to escape them each time. During an encounter in Sudan, the Agency came close to capturing Riddler, but he was able escape.

Some time after the Children of Arkham's defeat, Riddler returned to Gotham with Bane at his side. Together, they recruited new criminals Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze, Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn, and former Arkham patient "John Doe" into their organization. Calling themselves the Pact, Riddler christened himself their leader and finalized his plan to attack SANCTUS. In return for their assistance, he promised each member access to LOTUS to cure various ailments they or their loved ones suffered, though hid the psychological effects. The group accepted the offer, though only John Doe refused (due to his own interests). Needing her help, Riddler also asked Catwoman to join them but she declined.

During this time, Riddler heard stories of Batman and his reputation in the city. Seeing him as competition and against the wishes of his fellow members, Riddler decided to murder the Dark Knight to make his return known in a spectacular fashion. For his, he allowed the Agency to track him down and bring their operatives to Gotham, including Waller. Setting himself up in an East End water tower, Riddler recruited local criminals in Gotham, including Eli Knable. Though arms dealer Rumi Mori, he gained access to radio signal guided homing missiles. After creating a targeting signal, Riddler planned to hack into the agents' phones and install it onto them, guiding the missiles to their location. After Mori bowed out after learning his scheme, Riddler set up plans to murder the arms dealer in retribution and prevent him from leaking the plans early.

Batman: The Enemy Within

The Enigma


Days before the Pact's attacks, Riddler and his men confronted Mori at the Virago casino. After murdering security guard, he locked the building down and took the patrons hostages. Placing Mori into one of his "death traps, Riddler forced him to answer a riddle, removing two of his fingers when he answered incorrectly. During this, Batman appeared, incapacitated a number of his men and, having gained Riddler's attention, ordered Commissioner Gordon to raid the casino. Stunned at the turn of events, Riddler fought with Batman, but was easily overpowered by the vigilante. Activating the death trap to murder Mori, he fled to the top of the casino's statue, though the vigilante disabled the trap and confronted him.

After another fight, Riddler detonated a bomb to open his escape route and destroyed the statue's supports to distract Batman. Leaving a puzzle box behind, he challenged the vigilante to solve it and made his escape. Batman was able to solve Riddler's puzzle and the radio wave signal emitter inside. Due to the Batcave having a scrambler installed, the missile was unable to receive the signal, thus not locate the Batcave or fire the missile. Batman ultimately brought the box into Wayne Enterprises to receive help, resulting in the signal being detected. This resulted in minor destruction of Wayne Tower and the death of Lucius Fox. After hearing reports of it, Riddler ultimately deduced that Batman was connected to Wayne Enterprises and that Fox had been his ally.

During the next week, Riddler set up another death trap within his lair as part of a puzzle for the Agency, leaving one of his missiles as a clue to his plans. He also set up a supercomputer capable of breaching SANCTUS's security underneath the living space, along with another trap to guard it. Riddler tracked down and captured Special Agent Mario Fernandez, forcing him to solve it his puzzle. The agent failed to get enough clues and was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to his death. After Batman and Gordon discovered and solved the trap, Riddler contacted them from the Lady of Dublin. Noticing they had allied with the Agency, he revealed his past with the organization, alluding to their responsibility in his connection, and warned them about Waller. Riddler also mocked Batman not saving Lucius' life and alluded their connection to Gordon. Calling an end to the challenge, he challenged the vigilante to find and stop him.

Later that night, four agents, including Iman Avesta and Vernon Blake, tracked Riddler to the Lady of Dublin, but he was able to capture them. Holding them within death traps, he and his men tortured them for their amusement. As they prepared to fire the missiles, Batman arrived, having retrieved his location from either Mori or Knable, and subdued his men. Riddler was apparently also knocked out with a Bat-Stunner, though he had prepared by wearing protective materials under his suit. As Batman released Avesta from her trap, Riddler activated a trap, capturing them, and revealed his status to them.

Revealing his knowledge of how he gained his location, Riddler unveiled the missile launcher. Though he was planning to wait for the Pact, he decided to test Batman's code and how well he stuck to it. As part of his game, Riddler threatened to murder the hostages unless the vigilante solved three simple riddles he asked. However, he would blast Batman and Avesta with the sonic devices every correct answer, which he assumed would kill the latter after three blasts. If Batman refuses to answer or gets one wrong, Riddler will activate Blake's trap, killing the agent. If the vigilante does answer both correctly, he will also kill another agent. However, if Batman answers both correctly, Riddler will blast both him and Avesta with the devices.

During the final riddle, Avesta distracted Riddler long enough for Batman uses a drone to emit the signal and direct one of the missiles towards the cage. Though he attempted to stop them with a sonic blast, Riddler failed to prvent their escape. Fighting Batman, Riddler was brutally defeated by the vigilante. In a final attempt to exact his revenge, he fired the missiles at Gotham. However, Batman redirected them into the Gotham Bay and restrained Riddler. Depending on how he cooperated in the game, he will either mock Batman for cause at least one death or congratulate the vigilante for keeping everyone alive, though uses Avesta's deafening to torment him.

After realizing that John had set him up, Riddler was shot by a poisoned dart from a drone operated by Tiffany. As he died, he mentioned how they had "broken the Pact". This comment caused Batman to realize that John and "his friends" had been involved with Riddler and his actions.

Legacy

Waller and the Agency would place the blame for Riddler's death on Gordon and the GCPD, leading them to take over law enforcement in Gotham. They also took his corpse into possession and placed it into cryogenic preserve, hoping to use it as bait for the Pact and extract samples for LOTUS development. Batman took possession of Riddler's cane, which he kept in the Batcave to remember his victory over the criminal.

After learning Riddler's death, the Pact put together a plan to retrieve his corpse in order to gain access to SANCTUS's lab and also create safe versions of Project LOTUS. After they retrieved a Phalanx Key and EMP generator from Wayne Enterprises, they attacked the Agency convoy transferring his corpse and retrieved it. With his body, the Pact were able to duplicate his eyes, allowing them to bypass SANCTUS's retinal scanners, and obtain blood samples to create safe versions of LOTUS. However, the Agency ultimately gained access to their lair, stole the samples and damaged the cryogenic case, causing Riddler's body to go into decomposition quickly. Bruce Wayne speculated this might have been caused by his long term exposure to LOTUS or a side effect of being in cryogenic preserve. After learning the Agency's actions, Avesta would later destroy Riddler's blood samples to stop Waller.

Riddler's murder would remain unsolved for weeks, though the blame was frequently pointed towards the Pact and "John Doe", now the vigilante/criminal Joker. His murder also convinced Catwoman to stop the group, leading to her alliance with Batman. Batman would eventually discover Tiffany's guilt after she either confessed to save Waller's life or was forced to reveal it to him by the Joker. Depending on whether she learns his identity, she would either see her actions as justified or regret doing so. If Batman confronts the villain Joker, he can let the Agency take her into custody and tried for the crime.

Personality

Despite his high intelligence, the Riddler was brash and arrogant, taking pleasure in beating his opponents and believing himself to be superior to his victims and pursuers. Riddler also seemed to be sadistic, taking pleasure in seeing his victims either scared or be gruesomely injured. Riddler would also leave elaborate clues and puzzles behind at his crimes, believing that the people who would not be able to solve them, something which he was proven wrong on many occasions. He was also willing to kill civilians or put them at risk, as seen when he ordered one of his men to execute a hostage to distract Batman.

Equipment

  • Costume: Riddler's costume consisted of a dark green suit jacket, a purple shirt, a green tie, dark green trousers and a pair of black leather shoes. To hide his identity, he would also wear a green domino mask and a hood, the latter of which seemed to been sown to his suit jacket. Riddler also wore a golden question mark on his left lapel and black gloves, to prevent him from leaving evidence that could lead to the authorities learning his identity. It is unclear how much protection he wore, but it is known that he had equipped a device that neutralized Batman's Bat-Stunners during their final confrontation.
  • Cane: Riddler would wield a golden-topped black cane during his crimes, which he used as both a weapon and a tool during his crimes. The top of this cane was stylized as a question mark, though the inside of it was sharp enough to cut human flesh. Riddler would use this as a method of execution of his victims and within combat with his opponents, using the hooked edge to grab at his enemies and objects to use in combat. The hook could also act as a grappling hook, with a button to detach and fire it at specific objects. This also came with a pulley system to pull the Riddler towards his target. The cane also had a multitude of different buttons on it, which could act as transmitters to activate or operate devices and contraptions, such as explosives and his death traps.
  • Puzzle Boxes: Riddler would often leave these boxes at his crimes, believing that his pursuers would not be able to solve them. These would often consist of elaborate puzzles, including riddles and methods to reshape them, and clues to his plans. Riddler would also place advanced circuitry within them for the purpose of challenging his opponents, such as one where the person had to manipulate waveforms to access their next clue.
  • Murder Boxes: Riddler would use death traps (or "murder boxes", as other people called them) to either taught his victims or challenge his opponents. These would consist of many different machines or devices, including controllable saw blades, sonic blasters and a multitude of different devices, most of which he made himself. One such was used on Rumi Mori, where he was trapped within a small glass chamber and his fingers were removed for each time he got the solution to a riddle wrong. Another trap, set for Batman, forced the vigilante to solve a puzzle whilst coping with a sonic blast if he got a riddle right, or killing an Agency agent if he refused or got it wrong.

Quotes

  • "Stop me if you've heard this one before. I begin and have no end, and I end all that begins. Who am I?"
  • "Our issues can't be solved with handshakes, Mori."
  • "I've heard stories in the street about you, Batman. You're the biggest name in Gotham since... well, since I've left town."
  • "You're supposedly the 'world's greatest detective', yet here you are, completely at my mercy. I don't see much evidence of that. I expected more of a battle from you, Batman. Something longer, more of a match of wits. While my men mop up what passes for law enforcement in this town. It would've been hard to deal with you both at the same time, but no cause to hold back now. You surprised me a little with how quickly you arrived, but just a little."
  • "Let me show you how it was done, back in the day."
  • "You should see your face. Its confusion is delightful. I think I'll take it with me."
  • "Halfway there, Batman. Means you've got half a chance of stopping a whole lot of pain. To be honest, you're already doing better that I thought. But don't sit around feeling pleased with yourself. Unless you want to see me tear this city apart."
  • "Don't say stupid things, okay? Not when you've just started earning my respect."
  • "I wasn't always like 'this'. The Agency made me."
  • "That's the thing about having a mind like mine. You remember everything... even the things you'd rather not."
  • "Come on, now. Don't get your tights in a twist. I knew you weren't sharp enough to do it on purpose. There's no room at the top for schoolboys who're too squeamish to fight in the gutter. You don't have what it takes to be a player in this town. Not without giving up those 'values' you hold so dear. Game on!"
  • "You brought this on yourselves, all of you."
  • "You can't possibly think clunking a few heads is enough to make me roll over."
  • "Now, let's get started. We have a lot to get through. I'm curious to see how you'll handle it all."
  • "Very good Batman, you saved a life. But..."
  • "Well, congratulations Batman. You managed, even in my twisted game, to keep everyone alive. But at what cost?"
  • "Welcome to the maelstrom. Deeper and deeper you go. This is the vortex of life, pulling you down into its depths."
  • (After stepping on a panel) "Ah ah ah! To truly understand my mind, you must first walk a mile in my... well, certainly you know the rest."
  • "I take you by night, by day I take you back. None suffer to have me, but do so from my lack."
  • "This is my city. This is my plan. Nobody will interfere!"

Trivia

  • This iteration of the Riddler differentiates from other versions, as he is skilled at hand to hand combat, older than Batman and wears a hood rather than the traditional bowler/derby hat. He is also treated as a very serious threat (rather than comedy relief), as he is recognized as one of Gotham's first "supervillains".
  • Riddler serves as the main antagonist of "The Enigma", though remains a large presence after his defeat. There is much debate to whether he is a minor or secondary antagonist throughout Batman: The Enemy Within.
  • Whilst it is confirmed that the Riddler's forename is "Eddie" (possibly short for Edward, Edgar or Edwin), his surname is never revealed. It is ambiguous whether it is the character's traditional surnames (Nigma/Nygma or Nashton) or something else.
  • Bruce notes that Riddler's bed couldn't be more uncomfortable if he tried [to make it], a large indicator of his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  • It is speculated by some that Riddler was the client who hired Catwoman to steal the prototype Phalanx Key in "City of Light", hoping to use it to bypass SANCTUS security. However, with a backdoor already installed within their systems, he may would have already been able to do so.
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