Biggest Differences Between Paul Dano’s Riddler & the Original Comic Book Character

The DC Universe has seen a number of characters come to life with modern iterations on the big screen. From Jason Momoa’s Aquaman to Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, these DC superheroes have worked hard to gain a better rep, but at the top of the list, of course, is Batman. Batman’s story has been told time and time again with performances from different actors, from Adam West and Michael Keaton to Christian Bale and, most recently, Robert Pattinson. Along with these different portrayals of Batman have come just as many, different portrayals of iconic DC villains, all of whom have been given their own flair by whoever portrayed them, with a special shout-out to Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker performance.


Thanks to the recent release of Matt Reeves’ batmana number of DC villains in the Batman universe have seen new iterations, including a new version of the Penguin played by Colin Ferrell, Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman, and, especially, Paul Dano’s Riddler. Indeed, when it comes to Dano’s Riddler, there are some clear changes that have been made to the character. From his unsettling new costume to his odd change in behavior, Dano brings a whole new dimension to the villain. These are the biggest differences between Paul Dano’s Riddler and the original comic book character.

Related: The Batman: Will Paul Dano’s Riddler Return?

The Riddler’s Costume

DC Comics

Probably the most drastic difference between the comic book Riddler and batman‘s Riddler is the costume. With comparisons to the costume of the infamous real-life Zodiac Killer, The Batman’s Riddler costume reveal came as a shock to many. With the color being a rather dark army green rather than the bright cartoony green seen previously, Reeves’ iteration of the Riddler costume is a departure from that of the original comics. Donning a full-face mask with his mouth covered and a single question mark on his torso, it would seem that the Riddler’s appearance is a complete reinvention of the original portrayal of the Riddler. In the comics, the few consistencies to the Riddler’s overall look were the presence of a cane and a hat of some kind. Paul Dano’s Riddler is drastically different, carrying a gun and appearing far more sinister than any previous iterations. This has led Jim Carrey to voice concerns about the new iteration being too violent and disturbing.

The Origins of The Riddler

Warner Bros.

While little has been seen of Paul Dano’s Riddler AKA Edward Nigma, we have been given hints into the Riddler’s origin story. Edward Nigma / Nashton’s origin story has varied over the years, but his comic book origins show him as having a natural knack for puzzles. He embraces this talent and becomes a carnival employee who cheats his customers out of their money with difficult puzzles and mind games. He ends up challenging Batman as he believes him to be a worthy adversary. A tie-in novel for Reeves’ movie Batman: An Original Movie Novel (The Batman) gives us greater insight into the backstory of this new Riddler. This novel shows Edward Nashton as a lover of puzzles, earning him the nasty nickname of “Ed-weird,” and he also shows a great deal of resentment towards fellow orphan Bruce for his family’s wealth. This iteration of the Riddler seems to have greater anger and rage against Bruce Wayne than ever seen in the comic books.

Related: The Batman: Should Riddler Have Been the Film’s Sole Villain?

Paul Dano’s Riddler: More Sinister & Psychopathic

Warner Bros.

While we have only been given a mere glimpse into the world of Paul Dano’s Riddler, it’s clear that in Matt Reeves’ movie, the Riddler is certainly darker and more violent than ever seen before. On top of his eerie costume, the Riddler’s small presence of him in batman is astoundingly memorable for his sharp contrasts: his voice ranging from a whisper to a sudden scream, and his uneasy stillness able to turn to complete violence at any point. Dano gives off a very unstable Riddler as never seen before. Traditionally, the jokester has always used his wits from him and has been less hands-on when it comes to committing crime, but Dano’s Riddler seems not afraid to get his hands dirty. This dark potrayal of the Riddler is part of what makes him such a prominent character that many look forward to seeing more of in any sequels to batman.

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