The Biggest Differences Between Paul Dano’s Riddler and 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 earn a better reputation, but top of the list, of course, is Batman. The Batman story has been told time and time again with performances from a variety of actors, from Adam West and Michael Keaton to Christian Bale and, most recently, Robert Pattinson. Alongside these different portrayals of Batman, there have been just as many different portrayals of iconic DC villains, all of whom have been given their own flair by whoever portrayed them, with special homage to Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker performance.


Thanks to the recent release of Matt Reeves The Batmana number of DC villains in the Batman the universe has seen new iterations, including a new version of the Penguin played by Colin Ferrell, Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman and, most importantly, Paul Dano’s Riddler. Indeed, when it comes to Dano’s Riddler, there have been some clear changes to the character. From his unsettling new costume to his bizarre change in demeanor, 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: Will Paul Dano’s The Batman: The Riddler Return?

The Riddler costume

DC Comics

Probably the most drastic difference between the Riddler comic and The Batmanit’s Riddler is the suit. With comparisons to the infamous Zodiac Killer costume, Batman’s The reveal of Riddler’s costume came as a shock to many. With the color being a rather dark military green rather than the bright comic book green seen previously, Reeves’ iteration of Riddler’s costume departs 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 appear that the Riddler’s appearance is a complete reimagining of the original Riddler portrayal. In the comics, the few consistencies to the Riddler’s overall appearance were the presence of a cane and a hat of some sort. Paul Dano’s Riddler is drastically different, carrying a gun and appearing much more sinister than all previous iterations. This led Jim Carrey to express concerns that the new iteration would be too violent and disturbing.

The origins of the Riddler

Warner Bros.

Although little has been seen of the Riddler by Paul Dano AKA Edward Nigma, we have been given clues to 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 gift for puzzles. He embraces this talent and becomes a carnival employee who cheats his customers with their money with tricky puzzles and mind games. He ends up challenging Batman as he considers him a worthy opponent. A novel linked to Reeves’ film Batman: An Original Novel (The Batman) gives us a better look at the backstory of this new Riddler. This novel shows Edward Nashton as a lover of puzzles, earning him the obnoxious nickname “Ed-weird”, and he also shows great resentment towards fellow orphan Bruce for his family’s wealth. This iteration of the Riddler seems to have more anger and rage against Bruce Wayne than ever in the comics.

Related: Should The Batman: Riddler Have Been The Movie’s Only Villain?

Paul Dano’s Riddler: More Sinister and Psychopathic

Warner Bros.

Although we’ve only had a glimpse into the world of Paul Dano’s Riddler, it’s clear that in Matt Reeves’ film, the Riddler is certainly darker and more violent than ever. In addition to his strange costume, the small presence of the Riddler in The Batman is surprisingly memorable for its sharp contrasts: its voice going from a whisper to a sudden scream, and its worried stillness capable of turning into full violence at any moment. Dano unleashes a very unstable Riddler like never seen before. Traditionally, the prankster has always used his wits and been less active when it comes to committing a crime, but Dano’s Riddler doesn’t seem afraid to get his hands dirty. This grim portrayal of the Riddler is part of what makes him such an important character that many are looking forward to seeing more of in the sequels. The Batman.


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