Batman has so many villains in his Rogues’ Gallery that he can face a different villain once a month and not repeat anyone for years. The most recent film version of the caped crusader, Matt Reeves’ batman, went with one of Batman’s most famous Silver Age foes, the Riddler. Thanks to the 1966 Batman television series, the Riddler became the household name on a par with Joker and Catwoman.
The Riddler is Edward Nigma, whose crime motif includes riddles to his victims, law enforcement, or Batman. He’s exceptionally intelligent but often sees his compulsion to get in the way of his success. Over decades, the villain has had some of the most successfully designed costumes in DC comics.
10 The Tangent Universe’s Riddler Looks Somewhat Unimpressive
In Secret Six #1, the Riddler makes an appearance. He doesn’t use the name to imply a love of wordplay puzzles. Instead, the Riddler refers to riddling someone with bullets, which is reflected in his costume. After all, there were plenty of armored villains with guns.
The Tangent Universe’s version of the Joker defeated the Riddler by simply tying his bootlaces together while he stood at the top of a tall staircase. His defeat of him was given coverage on the news, but Joker’s involvement of him was n’t mentioned. The Riddler exists as a footnote and minor player in the Tangent Universe, and his purple costume was unimpressive.
9 Batman: Earth One Has An Edgy Feel That Looks A Lot Like Paul Dano’s Riddler
In the premiere chapter of Batman: Earth One, Batman thwarts the vigilante-like mission of the Riddler. Much like the villain of batman, this Riddler sees himself as the savior of Gotham City. His true colors of him are revealed when he violates his promise of him to free his victim if his riddle is solved.
This Riddler makes use of a trenchcoat but keeps a bare chest beneath it. The question mark motif is tattooed over the Riddler’s left eye. His disturbing appearance of him is reminiscent of a methodical serial killer.
8 In Pieces, Riddler Combined Two Iconic Looks
Batman #711 hinted at a new look for the Riddler, combining two iconic older looks. The next issue gave a clearer look at his costume from him. The Riddler’s green question-mark-covered spandex was covered by a coordinated green trenchcoat. His costume of him was also topped with a green and purple bowler hat.
The purple mask is replaced by more stylish sunglasses. Of course, since most of the story takes place at night, the wisdom of such a choice is debatable. Although, he did keep the short purple gloves from his much better Riddler suit.
7 The Riddler Of Earth 3 Has A Little More Panache
Earth-3 was the first massive departure for an alternate Earth in the DC Multiverse as good and evil were reversed. The Justice League became a superhuman crime syndicate and, over the years, familiar DC villains were reimagined as heroes on Earth-3.
In Countdown: The Hunt For Ray Palmer: The Crime Syndicate, the Joker finds himself saved by the Riddler and his “family” of harlequin-themed teammates. This Riddler has a costume similar to the traditional spandex, but with a much more modern design on the upper torso, sporting more purple. A mask is replaced by goggles, and he has the addition of what appears to be a type of utility belt, much more stylish than his Silver Age counterpart.
6 New 52 Riddler Tries To Update A Classic
While some Riddler costumes try to draw upon the original spandex, the redesign for the New 52 Riddler went for the green and purple suit. The question mark is reserved for the Riddler’s bowler hat and his trusty cane from him. The entire suit is green and the Riddler sports a purple tie, gloves, and socks.
By going with a suit, the Riddler strikes a different symbolism than many of Batman’s villains. Instead of being a regular criminal, the suit gives the Riddler an air of respectability and professionalism. It works in the same way that the Penguin’s tuxedo marks him as a figure of “organized” crime, a different look compared to the average criminals who frequently terrorize Gotham City.
5 In Justice, Alex Ross Gave Riddler A High-Tech, Functional Costume
Alex Ross’s Justice gathers together the iconic feel of various DC heroes and villains. Centered around the Bronze Age groups most resembling the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom, Justice did see a few characters get heavily updated. The Riddler sported a high-tech upgrade when he faced off against Batman.
Underneath a black trenchcoat, the Riddler wore a version of his traditional spandex costume. This version was equipped with a bright holographic projector. When opened, it seemed that the question marks on his costume were erupting and enlarging into deadly projectiles.
4 Batman: Zero Year Has The Riddler Sporting A Fedora And Bandana-Like Mask
The Riddler in Batman: Zero Year adapts the New 52 costume into a more primitive version. The big departure is in Riddler’s headwear. The green fedora and bandana mask mark a villain with some focus on appearing more trendy than fearsome.
The black bandana mask is a stylish choice of eyewear but is less practical when facing a foe who’s very focused on hand-to-hand combat. The fedora’s coloring is much like the bowler hat but lacks the branding. The later version refines this outfit into something with a more timeless style.
3 Kingdom Come Is A Subtle Use Of The Question Mark Motif
In designing an elderly Riddler for kingdomcome, Alex Ross had the challenge of making him stand out among the Mankind Liberation Front. While Catwoman went with a darker version of the dress she wore in her very first appearance, the Riddler could do no such thing because he was always more colorful. He was limited to a black suit but found his expression in his eyewear.
The elderly Edward Nigma sports glasses, the frames of which are two question marks. It’s very subtle and many readers missed them on the first reading of kingdom come. It’s also an addition that works best with the older Edward Nigma.
two The Original, Silver Age Costume Is Iconic
When he first appeared in 1948, the Riddler sported a green spandex suit covered in question marks which would receive slight tweaks over the years. The question marks would get more dense, purple gloves would be added, and occasionally, the bowler hat would be sported.
This was the look adapted in the 1966 Batman television series and loosely in the film batman and robin. Most importantly, it was also the version that appeared in the 1982 DC Style Guide. This would cement it in the minds of people everywhere as it would show up in merchandising for a generation.
1 The Suit And Bowler Hat Keep Getting Redesigned
Actor Frank Gorshin portrayed the Riddler in the 1966 Batman television series and film. It was at his request from him that the Riddler first wore a customized green suit with question marks. It’s become so iconic that author and researcher Matthew Lesko adopted the question mark suit in many color variations, including lime green.
As with the spandex costume, there are numerous variations. However, this is the iconic look that many fans associate with the villain. The bowler hat comes from this outfit, and it gives the villain a sense of class only second to the Penguin. With every variation, each artist can lend their unique spin to the Riddler, making this costume one of the best costumes in comic history.
NEXT: DC: The 10 Best Joker Costumes, Ranked
Venom: Ranking the Strongest Symbiotes
About The Author