Riddler: Year One

Dated Jan 31, 2024; last modified on Sun, 03 Mar 2024

The Riddler: Year One. Paul Dano; Stevan Subic. www.dc.com . www.hoopladigital.com . batman.fandom.com . 2023.

EDWARD. Do they deserve a chance? How do they go on in a city that tells them day after day that they are fractured and broken… that there is not way out or up?

EDWARD. The pieces don’t fit. C’monnn, Edward, think! He knows! Just breathe.
MR. STONE. You were right to flag it. I will talk to the owner myself and handle any further investigation. Consider it taken care of. Thank you, Edward.
EDWARD. Liar! But no one has ever thanked me before. You’re welcome.

EDWARD. How do you do it? How did you take the leap? To take matters into your own hands. When everyone else around you looks the other way.

How does Edward turn out to be a villain and not a vigilante? hopes to illuminate the origin story for the Riddler in The Batman (2022).

EDWARD. Wake up, Edward. Brush your teeth, Edward. Don’t forget to eat, Edward. Don’t chew on glass, Edward. Go to work, Edward. Be a good boy, Edward. Don’t say anything, Edward. You’re risking your life, Edward. It’s been days, Edward. No one’s coming, Edward. No one is ever coming, Edward.

EDWARD. The rich and the criminal legally hiding behind a corporate facade so they can buy up property. A safe place to hide their money. Or to run it through. It drives the housing market up, making the rent unaffordable to us lowly citizens. The tools of the rich are the tools of the criminal. Protected by the system. The ultimate tool they can hide behind.

THOMAS. I believe in Gotham. I believe in its promise. But too many have been left behind for too long, and that’s why I’m here today. To announce not only my candidacy for mayor, but also the creation of the Gotham renewal fund. Win or lose, the Wayne Foundation pledges a one-billion-dollar donation to start a charitable endowment for public works. I want to bypass the political gridlock and get money to people and projects that need it now, like these children behind me.

Visceral artwork that capture’s Edward’s raw desperation.

Visceral artwork that capture’s Edward’s raw desperation.

The artwork in does a good job of depicting Edward’s inner struggles: frantic scribbles on used paper, amorphous depictions that make folks look inhuman, etc.

EDWARD. Continue to find the truth. Know the answer to all your questions already. Because they will LIE. And the people will believe them. Or even worse, they won’t care. So beaten down and helpless (hopeless!) they can’t even muster the courage to stand up from their stupor. They’d rather roll over like dead dogs in the street.

EDWARD. To write any great riddle (let alone the greatest riddle of them ALL!), you must first know your final answer. I will work backward from Falcone him. But it’s the questions that take root in us. That help us. (Force them) to think, see. Answers are cheap, unless you have to work (suffer!) for them. It’s the questions that last forever…

Edwards descent into the Riddler grows with each page. Intrusive thoughts sneak in through the parentheses. Good storytelling.

KLEIN. This is the problem the Batman poses that the criminals, strangely, do not: he strikes at the legitimacy of the state. His existence is their failure. The public’s fascination with him, its growing support of him, is a curdling of its confidence in them. The inability to police him reflects the broader inability to police. Gotham does not successfully claim the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within its territory. It is a failed state.


  1. The Riddler: Year One #1. Paul Dano; Stevan Subic. batman.fandom.com . 2022.
  2. The Riddler: Year One #2. Paul Dano; Stevan Subic. batman.fandom.com . 2022.
  3. The Riddler: Year One #3. Paul Dano; Stevan Subic. batman.fandom.com . 2023.
  4. The Riddler: Year One #4. Paul Dano; Stevan Subic. batman.fandom.com . 2023.
  5. The Riddler: Year One #5. Paul Dano; Stevan Subic. batman.fandom.com . 2023.