Batman’s New Riddler Design

Batman’s most intellectual villain the Riddler has had many different looks through the years, his recent costume update is one of his best. The new design evolves Edward Nygma by giving him facial hair and sunglasses, also homaging his previous suits. When the Riddler was first introduced in the DC Universe, he wore neon green spandex covered in question marks, with a purple domino mask. Since then, the villain has seen many alterations and has often worn a green suit, toning down his persona from his original tights. Following Paul Dano’s disturbing serial killer portrayal in The Batman which had Riddler emulating the Zodiac, a new version of the character similarly takes his villainous schemes more seriously in comics.

The Riddler reveals a new look for himself in Detective Comics #1059, written by Nadia Shammas and Mariko Tamaki with art by Ivan Reis, inks by Danny Miki, and colors by Brad Anderson. As the villain returns to Gotham City, he is in the process of gaining affluence with a pirate radio station and social media. Echoing The Batman’s Riddler, he is taking advantage of his followers based around the city as a way to combat the Caped Crusader. His transmissions mark the beginning of a new age for the villain. This fresh start is embodied through his rebrand. Likely inspired by his recent notoriety, he now wears a green trench coat, a button-up shirt, both a tie and a bowler’s hat with a question mark, classy sunglasses, and fingerless gloves. The Riddler also differentiates from past versions by growing an orange goatee with a curly handlebar mustache, adding to his gentleman criminal impression.

Compared to the Riddler’s past looks, this one is distinctly different. Edward Nygma is no longer depicted as a thin body type, as he now appears to have some muscle, with a broader build and definition in his face. Whereas past versions of Nygma have been intended to look geeky, with the previous look incorporating extended sideburns, this one seems particularly concerned with his image. Considering his local fame, Edward is probably conscious of the importance that his style has at this point, as he broadcasts himself to the city. It’s debatable whether a more professional look for the comic book Riddler is in contrast with his characterization. Although he is self-obsessed, he is typically more concerned with his riddles than he is with how others might perceive him. While his methods in Detective Comics #1059 draw strong similarities to the Riddler in The Batman, this new take is eager to show his face to Gotham City.

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