This Comic Will Answer Batman’s Last Questions About The Riddler
Viewers met The Riddler on the big screen. Now the comics will help readers really get to know him.
The Batman is a box office success. Naturally, DC Comics has no intention of letting this success pass without capitalizing on it.
In addition to the TV spinoffs currently in the works, DC has announced Riddler: first year, a comic strip written by Paul Dano and Stevan Subic. Firmly grounded in the continuity of the new film, the book will attempt to answer questions about the Riddler that the film left unanswered.
Some readers might already recognize Paul Dano’s name as the man who starred The Batman‘s Riddler, and no, saying his name was no accident. For the first time in the Batman comics, one of the film’s actors dives in to write their own story. Stevan Subic will ink the book. His work, seen in French publisher Glenat’s comic strip Conan the Barbarian (alongside writer Christophe Bec and illustrator Giulia Brusco), relies on heavy shadows, harsh lines and sinister expressions. In other words, just perfect for a Batman book.
The prequel novel Before Batman (no author listed) has already dropped some info on the Riddler. It covers Bruce and Edward in the years leading up to Batman’s reign and Riddler’s campaign of terror. Edward Nashton gets a lot of attention, with the book arguably offering more insight into Riddler than Batman. While Bruce spends his resources on street racing and modifying test cars, Edward delivers food to stay in school. Bruce nearly crushes Edward during one of his escapades, sparking his disdain for the wealthy.
Given that the prequel novel briefly touches on the origin of the Riddler Cinematic Universe, it almost seems like there aren’t enough questions for the comic to answer. But some threads still linger, and Dano would be wise to iron out a few loose ends. On the one hand: who is Patrick Parker? Riddler was arrested with two different pieces of ID, each with his face on it. One reads “Edward Nashton”, his name in the comics, and the other is “Patrick Parker”. This could allude to the fact that he eventually changed his last name to Nygma, but there could be a number of other implications. For example, was Parker once his victim, or is he just a pseudonym?
Batman’s The prequel establishes Nashton’s grudge against the Wayne family, but it doesn’t include the class motives present in the film. The book ruled out his streaming career. They created Edward’s fascination with puzzles, but it’s basically his only hobby. The puzzles aren’t exactly super streamer-friendly. Maybe Nashton took CS:GO or Minecraft. Maybe he sat in a hot tub and read donation messages until he got a big following. It would be nice to see this highlighted in the pages of First year since his internet community did most of Riddler’s work.
While movie tie-in comics are pretty standard for DC, it’s not every day that a comic book actor turns around and writes a comic for their character. Keanu Reeves won over many readers with his work on 2021 BRZRKR (starring Matt Kindt, Ron Garney, Bill Crabtree, and Clem Robins), but even though the protagonist bears his likeness, the comic remains original property. It’s more like Heath Ledger writing an origin story for his Joker in 2009 or William Dafoe writing a Green Goblin book. Maybe it will set a trend, or maybe it will kill any possibility of actors writing comics in the future. Either way, it’s definitely going to be something any Batman fan should check out.
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