Writer: Paul Dano
Artist: Stevan Subic
Colorist: Stevan Subic
what’s it about?
As depicted in Matt Reeves’s hit movie The Batman, the Riddler wasn’t simply an amusing eccentric with an affinity for wordplay and baffling clues, but as terrifying a villain as any in the annals of the Dark Knight. Here you can see Edward Nashton evolve into the menace known as the Riddler. How did an unknown forensic accountant uncover the dark secrets of Gotham’s underworld and come so close to bringing down the entire city? This six-issue miniseries is an immediate prequel to The Batman—the detailed, disturbing, and at times shocking story of a man with nothing to lose.
Well done, Mr. Dano! Well done! I wasn’t sure what to expect when this series was announced. I love the idea of continuing to explore the world of The Batman in any format, comics preferably. I am largely unfamiliar with Paul Dano’s acting (outside of The Batman and Swiss Army Man). I’m also not familiar with any of Dano’s writing. I will say I was pleasantly surprised by this piece.
The art is stunning and appropriate in its representation of Edward’s anxiety and inadequate feelings of worth. Showing the Riddler as a fan of The Batman and his efforts to clean up Gotham is a genius move. Riddler doesn’t see the Bat as a threat but rather an inspiration. This is an excellent way to explore the Riddler, expand the Matt Reeves Batman Universe and celebrate an iconic Bat-villain.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, more so for the ambitious and bold art, but would absolutely recommend this book to any Bat-fan. My largest issue with the story is that it feels like a perverse and twisted version of the Riddler story we got in the Batman Animated Series and, more closely, the Riddler we saw in Batman Forever. Paul Dano’s Riddler story is the Jim Carrey Riddler drawn in an abyss. I can’t say enough about Subic’s panel work and page layouts but if you’re looking for something original, look somewhere else.