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Edward Nygma (Prime Earth)

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Quote1 But just know that for all your posturing, all your strategy and gameplay, you're still nothing but a shadow. Forced to hide behind your alias. No one will ever know your name in this city. So what good is all that intelligence and maneuvering if no one knows it's you? Edward Nygma is and always will be nothing but an empty question mark. Quote2
-- Philip Kane src

Before the first appearance of the vigilante known as the Batman, Edward Nygma was the trusted strategist of Philip Kane, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises during Bruce Wayne's absence, despite Nygma having what was described as a "questionable past". [1]

Ed Nygma, Wayne Enterprises employee

Ed Nygma, Wayne Enterprises employee
Disregarding Nygma's insidious suggestions for dealing with the reappearance of Kane's nephew, Philip greeted Bruce Wayne with open arms, even organizing a party for him at the Gotham Museum. Wayne, uncomfortable with the party, attempted to sneak out but encountered Nygma skulking in the shadows of an empty room. Through the use of riddles, Nygma tipped Wayne off to the fact that Kane was using the company to give weapons to the Red Hood Gang. Wayne, deciphering all of Nygma's hints, successfully escaped the party and told the mysterious man that they would meet again. However, Nygma did not expect it, though, since he tipped off the leader of the Red Hood Gang, Red Hood One, to Wayne's location, giving the gang leader the ability to ambush and kill the newly returned Gothamite. [2]

Discovering the conspiracy to kill his nephew, Kane threatened Nygma with a gun, claiming that having Wayne killed was not Nygma's decision. Not intimidated, Nygma used a magnet and the metal implant in Kane's head to incapacitate his boss, considering that his resignation as Kane's adviser. [3]

"Zero Year"

Having strategically calculated his plans, Nygma, donning the alias "the Riddler", cut the power throughout the entire city of Gotham, telling the people that they would need to get smart or die. As the lights darkened in Gotham, Riddler kicked off what he would later call "Zero Year". [4]

Working with a vengeful scientist named Karl Helfern, Riddler sat back as Helfern collected all the materials needed to bring the city to its knees. While Helfern's motives were to hurt Wayne Enterprises, Riddler's motives were to make the city of Gotham smarter - to eradicate those that dumbed down the human race. [5]

As Batman was distracted with Dr. Helfern, Riddler used the time to further the survival challenge he initiated in Gotham by blowing up the retaining walls around Gotham. The approaching hurricane that the city had been preparing for was now unchallenged, and the streets immediately flooded with several feet of water. [6] Using a special chemical developed by Dr. Pamela Isley, Riddler hastened the growth of plants throughout the city. The city, now a dark, savage jungle, was told to get smart or die by it's new overlord Riddler.

Riddler's beginning

Riddler's beginning

Nygma challenged the city: for one hour every day, he would show his face on the huge television in midtown. If anyone could ask him a riddle he couldn't answer, he would give the city back to the people. But, if the Riddler answered the brave challenger's question, that person would be dropped down a trap door to his death. [7]

Working with Lieutenant Gordon and Lucius Fox, Batman discovered the Riddler's location after multiple difficult tasks to find his broadcasting spot. Riddler and Batman met for the first time with their masks on where they had met for the first time with their masks off - the Gotham Museum.

Pointing multiple lasers at the vigilante, Riddler challenged Batman one last time by demanding he answer twelve riddles. Batman went along with it for a bit, afraid that the villain would detonate weather balloons throughout the city if he did not play along, but ultimately punched Riddler in the face before the mastermind had a chance to ask all his questions. Turning the power back on, Riddler's reign was ended. Nygma, deemed too dangerous for the usual Blackgate Penitentiary, was put in a straight jacket and detained at Arkham Asylum. [8]

Death of the Family

With the Joker's return to Gotham, sporting his own cut off face as a mask, the clown prince took over Arkham and began to spruce it up in anticipation of Batman's arrival. Nygma, still in his cell, asked Joker to let him out using the keycard of a dead guard. Considering Riddler to be a useful ally, Joker decided to challenge the Riddler in order to make sure he was at the top of his game for when Batman arrives. Tossing a toxic gas capsule into his cell, Joker told Riddler that, in order to survive, the mastermind had to figure out a way to get himself out of the cell. Without a problem, Riddler succeeded in his escape and joined Joker in his plan, being given the "strategist" title in Joker's royal interpretation of Batman's rogues gallery. [9]

Some time after the Joker's defeat, Riddler was taken back to his cell in Arkham.

Forever Evil

When the Crime Syndicate arrived on Earth, the team of super criminals liberated Riddler, as well as all the other villains around the country, after seemingly killing the Justice League. Nygma, taking advantage of his freedom, immediately invaded the Wayne Enterprises building in order to kill a security guard who had denied him a pack of cards five years ago. Alone in Wayne Tower, having defeated all the advanced security systems of the building, Riddler opened up a pack of cards and played solitaire, waiting for Batman to eventually return. [10]

Batman Eternal

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During Joker's endgame, Riddler remained in his cell in Arkham Manor while the rest of the city was infected by Joker's mind control toxin.

When the city was saved and Batman was seemingly killed, the inmates were shipped off, and Wayne Manor was restored to Bruce Wayne, who was trying to restart his life after receiving amnesia during the Joker attack. However, Riddler, Clayface, and Mister Freeze secretly remained behind and ambushed Wayne as he attempted to move back in, hellbent on ruining his life the same way he ruined theirs by funding Batman. The villains were eventually foiled by the new Batman, and Riddler was brought back to the newly renovated Arkham Asylum. [11]


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Fighting the Flash

Sometime during his stay in Arkham Asylum Nygma became interested in how to stop The Flash, considering him a new and formidable opponent. After a breakout, the Riddler donated drones to the Central City Police Department through a series of shell corporations. Finding and capturing Heat Wave after he had been left in Gotham during the Rogues' rebellion against the Crime Syndicate, the Riddler soon enlisted the help of the Trickster, giving him a new bionic arm as payment. As Riddler's plan began to be set in motion, the drones he donated went active, claiming to be for "protecting" everyone in Central City. [12]

Another formidable opponent - the Flash

Another formidable opponent - the Flash

Turning the city against him, Riddler secretly convinced the police force to allow the Rogues to apprehend the Flash, under the pretense that he was a threat. [13] Waning to know the person ruining his life, the Riddler revealed himself and took control of the drones that paraded through Central City, threatening to kill anybody if the Flash used his powers. [14]

Not allowing a single person to die by the drones, Flash was forced to stay still as Nygma went up to him and began beating him with brass knuckles. After the Flash was saved by Pied Piper, Nygma announced to the city that, if the Flash did not reveal his secret identity to the world, he would destroy the city by overloading the still capture Heat Wave like a nuke. The Flash then arrived, revealing himself to be Barry Allen. [15]

When Wally West tried to fight back elsewhere in the city, his secret super speed powers were detected by a drone, causing Riddler to assume that Barry was really just a distraction for the real Flash. Working together with the Rogues, who felt betrayed by the Riddler, the Flash defeated Nygma and the drones and handed him over to the Central City police to be taken back to Gotham. [16]




  • Riddler's Staff: Riddler uses a staff with technological capabilities.[17]



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