The Fashion Files, Riddler Edition

Welcome to House of List-ery: Fashion Files, the place we current our candid evaluation of an iconic DC character’s bravest and boldest style selections. This month, the Riddler is getting a graphic novel of his personal with Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler. But does Eddie Nygma have One Bad Outfit? We’ve raided his closet from the Golden Age to his newest to seek out out. We’ll price each outfit out of 5 query marks, with an exclamation level for half-marks.

The Sprang Original
Detective Comics #140

Dick Sprang’s distinctive Batman designs for the Caped Crusader and his allies, his enemies, and the town itself might have been the primary to grant Gotham its signature look. But relating to character, no design of Sprang’s fairly captures his savoir faire because the Riddler. Give or take the variety of query marks on the inexperienced leotard cinched with a classy purple belt, there’s a motive this design continued via many of the twentieth century and onto Frank Gorshin within the ‘60s Batman TV sequence. A excessive bar from the beginning.

Verdict: ????!

Dark Knight, Dark City
Batman #452-454

Batman: The Animated Series is commonly credited for switching Riddler’s signature look from a inexperienced physique sock to a sensible blazer, however the comics received there first with Peter Milligan and Kieron Dwyer’s “Dark Knight, Dark City.” The arc is healthier remembered for introducing the demon Barbatos into the Batman mythology, nevertheless it’s additionally price noting because the sign for Riddler’s style evolution. Bit an excessive amount of purple, although. Future iterations of the swimsuit will tone that down.

Verdict: ????

The Bruce Timm, Mark 1

The improve from blazer to swimsuit pays off from his “Dark City” incarnation, as does the elegant simplification of the query mark motif to a single punctuation on his tie. Not essentially higher than Sprang’s first draft, however a lateral transfer for certain.

Verdict: ????!

Batman Forever

A return to Sprang kind—or maybe, we should always say, Gorshin kind—for this campy tribute to the ‘60s Batman TV series. Honestly, it’s lacking the belt to interrupt up all that inexperienced.

Verdict: ???!

The Bruce Timm, Mark 2

For The New Batman Adventures, Riddler went via a redesign apparently influenced by Batman Forever’s change in visible route. It maintains the understated use of the query mark motif from animator Bruce Timm’s earlier design…however we nonetheless miss that belt.

Verdict: ???!

The Tim Sale

Nothing incorrect with a Tim Sale design. The mixture of bowler hat, bowtie and darkish slacks makes Sale’s hapless Riddler really feel like a wretched little nerd enjoying cops and robbers in a membership which by no means actually accepted him as a member, which is precisely the sensation he’s meant to convey. Sale was one of many greats for a motive.

Verdict: ????!

Night on the Town
Green Arrow #12

Many variations of Riddler’s swimsuit design make the error of overdoing it on the purple. But Phil Hester’s work on Ridder’s elegant tuxedo shirt and darkish, thick lapels set off that daring tie fairly properly right here, like he’s placed on his greatest for an evening to recollect.

Verdict: ????!

Kiss the Genius
Batman Adventures #11

No rationalization mandatory. Perfection.

Verdict: ?????

Scourge of Star City
Green Arrow #35-37, #49-50

Writer Judd Winick’s tenure on Green Arrow is a favourite amongst Arrow Family followers for a quiver stuffed with causes. But certainly one of his most fascinating selections was taking a B-List Batman villain and reshaping him into Star City’s biggest villain. Visually, this run refined the various variations of the Green Suit Riddler into his most interesting kind, reworking Timm’s dressed-down Batman: The Animated Series imaginative and prescient into a visible deal with for the comedian medium. Not an excessive amount of purple, seen query marks with out being too busy, query mark cane, swimsuit, bowler hat, gloves. Pure fashion.

Verdict: ?????

Riddle Me That

Riddler underwent a drastic, dress-down makeover in 2004’s Legends of the Dark Knight storyline “Riddle Me That,” with a gothic aptitude, a motif constrained all the way down to a neck tattoo, and a requirement to be taken significantly. It’s not offensively unhealthy, however it’s a little boring. Which, while you’re speaking super-villain costumes, is sort of worse than unhealthy. The look could be deserted after Riddler received amnesia in Infinite Crisis, after which level, he retreated to his rack of inexperienced fits.

Verdict: ??!

The Batman

Speaking of the unhealthy ones, although.

Verdict: !


As beautiful as Alex Ross’s artwork is to behold in any kind, now we have to admit that this trenchcoat look could be criminally bland beneath the pen of some other artist. You could not even inform it was the Riddler with out the query mark cane, and he seems to have stolen the Corinthian’s glasses.

Verdict: ?!

Gotham Underground

Riddler wore a lot of variations on his trademark fits over the course of his reformation interval from 2006-2011, all of which common out to a few 7/10. But we’d prefer to single this one out from the Gotham Underground sequence specifically for the missed alternative of query mark cufflinks.

Verdict: ???


This is a glance, all proper. The Riddler’s no angel on this standalone graphic novel from Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, however the actual legal right here is his tattoo artist. Hopefully Batman caught him as a result of he can’t be allowed to stay at giant.

Verdict: !

Riddler Deformed
Batman #712

The ensemble for Riddler’s return to supervillainy feels prefer it tried to mix profitable parts from earlier Riddler designs, marrying the Sprang traditional to an up to date swimsuit, nevertheless it finally ends up trying like a disturbing hodgepodge. Which we suppose is acceptable for the story, the place Riddler himself seems to be dropping it.

Verdict: ??!

Riddler within the Dark
Legends of the Dark Knight #53-55

A reasonably customary Riddler look, save for that double query mark-shaped domino masks. A daring alternative, however one which doesn’t fairly work. (More like “Accessorizing in the Dark.” Zing!)

Verdict: ?!

Zero Year
Batman: Zero Year

Okay, okay, okay. We get it. Of course, Riddler would put on a fedora. Of course, he would develop these muttonchops. Of course, he’s the man who will problem you if he spots you carrying a Batman shirt to call your prime 5 comedian e book artists. The look is rancid, nevertheless it serves its goal effectively: it is a man you are supposed to hate.

Verdict: ???!

Arkham Knight

Hey, bear in mind all these debunked rumors that David Tennant was going to play the Riddler in The Dark Knight Rises? Because Rocksteady Studios certain did. Impossible for us to rank with out bias as a result of we’re in love with this terrible goblin.

Verdict: ?????

War of Jokes and Riddles

If we’re not mistaken, this play on Azzarello and Bermejo’s Joker design by Tom King and Mikel Janin is equally impressed by an emotionally gut-wrenching scene in Paul Dini’s autobiographical Dark Night: A True Batman Story. We commend them for swinging for the fences, however on the finish of the night time we’re nonetheless being compelled to have a look at bare-chested Riddler. Button it up, Eddie.

Verdict: !

Dark Nights: Metal
Teen Titans #12

We’re going to chalk this one as much as the corrupting affect of the Batman Who Laughs. He appears to be like the half for the story, however we’d be simply fantastic if we by no means needed to see him trying like this once more.

Verdict: ?

Their Dark Designs

An fascinating replace on the Sprang traditional married to the crossword puzzle aesthetics of Scott Snyder’s Riddler interpretations, however in execution feels a bit too ordered. Sometimes an outfit that’s true to the character lacks the punch wanted for the reader. Still, it’s virtually there.

Verdict: ???!

The Batman

And right here’s our newest, contemporary from theaters and at present streaming on HBO Max. Look at this factor. It’s terrible. Zero craftsmanship. Frightening to have a look at. Truly the work of a diseased thoughts. Admittedly fairly cool lapel emblem. This is, objectively, the least flashy and fashion-conscious costume the Riddler has ever worn, however we are able to’t assist however admire it as a result of it’s in order that intentional to the themes, messaging and character of the movie itself. We award this costume a single interrobang, with our highest honors. This is actually The Riddler’s One Bad (or perhaps badass) Outfit.

Verdict: ‽

DC House of List-ery runs each Thursday right here on

Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler by Tom King and Mitch Gerads is now out there in print and as a digital comedian e book.

Alex Jaffe is the creator of our month-to-month “Ask the Question” column and writes about TV, films, comics and superhero historical past for Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and discover him within the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed on this function are solely these of Alex Jaffe and don’t essentially replicate these of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.


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