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Riddler Just Proved He’s So Much Smarter Than Paul Dano’s Movie Version

While the version of the Riddler that appeared in The Batman movie is incredibly intelligent, his comics counterpart just proved he is smarter.

Warning! Contains spoilers for Detective Comics #1061!

While the version of the Riddler that appeared in The Batman was an interesting villain, the comic version of the character just proved that he is much more intelligent than his movie counterpart. The Riddler has been adapted in many different ways in a variety of movies, TV shows, and games. But 2022’s The Batman is easily the darkest interpretation of the character so far.

In The Batman, the Riddler embarks on a campaign to reveal the corruption of various political and influential figures in Gotham before murdering them in brutally ironic ways (which has coincidentally been copied by the new Batman villain Manray). He plants clues and riddles at each of his crimes that point toward both the hidden darkness that he wants to reveal and his potential future victims. Eventually, he is caught by Batman and sent to Arkham, but while behind bars he is able to inspire some Gothamites who agree with his vision to help him flood the city and attempt to kill the mayor-elect. This version of the character largely casts aside the campier aspects of the comics Riddler while seemingly retaining his great intelligence. But the comics Riddler just showed that he is actually much smarter than the movie would give him credit for.


Related: Batman’s First Battle With Riddler Proves He’s Not as Smart as Fans Think

In Detective Comics #1061 by Mariko Tamaki, Nadia Shammas, and Ivan Reis, the Riddler completes a scheme to expose Gothamites who had committed crimes but never been punished for them. His plan is much less gruesome than in the movie or in other Riddler comics, as he just sends these characters envelopes threatening to expose their previous crimes unless they commit a different crime for him. This corruption even extends to important city figures like a judge who threw out cases for the District Attorney. In this way his scheme resembles the plans of his filmic counterpart. But unlike in The Batman, this Riddler covers his tracks and in the end there isn’t enough evidence to actually convict him. And since he didn’t actually brutally murder anyone, just revealed crimes that had been covered up, many people in Gotham actually start to praise him as a hero.

If the Riddler in The Batman had taken the more subtle approach than the character takes in the comics he would have been free to continue to expose the corruption plaguing Gotham, potentially making Riddler one of DC’s many antiheroes. Also while in the movie he was able to gain the support of a select few people willing to commit acts of terrorism for him, gaining the support of the general public like he did in the comics would likely have been more useful to him in the long run. After all, Batman was able to thwart his plans by defeating that terrorist cell.

The Batman’s Riddler may have been incredibly smart, but he clearly lacked the long-term vision that his comic counterpart possesses. While it is unclear exactly what the Riddler will do next in the comics, he is out of jail and people are more likely to support him given the “good acts” that he just committed, giving him a lot more leeway than the movie Riddler has. Thus by controlling how his crimes are seen by the public, the comic version of the Riddler has shown that he is much more clever than his counterpart in The Batman.

More: Batman Writer Officially Confirms the Dark Knight’s Most Terrifying Villain

Detective Comics #1061 is now available from DC Comics.

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