AUTHOR: MARK RUSSELL | ART: SCOTT GODLEWSKI | PUBLISHER: DC | FORMAT: SINGLE ISSUE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
One of the A-list and yet at the same time, often underutilized and misunderstood, the Riddler has struggled to find his place in recent years’ Batman comics. Like so many villains in the wake of the Joker, he’s been reinvented as a mass-murdering horror villain; a far cry from the puzzle-obsessed nerd of his origins.
Eddie the Saw villain takes a backseat in this one-shot Year of the Villain tie-in, which nullifies his recent sadism and brings back the geeky egomaniac we all know and love(d). No more War of Jokes and Riddles; now the Riddler is chumming about with (a reinvented, modernized) King Tut, plotting their revenge against the Batman. This one bears more in common with Batman 66 than anything Tom King or Scott Snyder have been putting out recently. It’s nice to have the old Eddie back, if only briefly.
Tying this directly into DC’s big old Year of the Villain is a perfunctory appearance from the now-godlike Lex Luthor, popping up not to bestow Eddie with awesome Batman-beating superpowers but instead kick the bastard when he’s already down. As it stands, Riddler the Sad Sack fits the character far more than Riddler the Homicidal Maniac ever did or will, and this is a pleasant break from the usual doom, gloom and try-hard grit. This is, of course, directly at odds with recent characterisation – which may upset continuity hounds – but a step back in the right direction. This is a relatively minor book, but a light and entertaining one, which may well have serious repercussions for its characters some way down the road.
But with all that nonsense now out of his system, here’s hoping that the next iteration of the Riddler finally gets Eddie Nigma some of the recognition he deserves.