Edward Nygma: 1970 - 1997

Born as Edward Nashton in a quaint little suburb in Kane County called Mystery Miles, Edward seemed to have a charmed upbringing to outsiders. However, what the neighbors did not know was that Eddie's mother was constantly absent and his father was abusive. Of course, Eddie knew the implications of this. He was a smart lad even then. He knew that his father beat his mother regularly and she would escape into the arms of her many lovers to escape the reality of her hellish life. Neither parent ever seemed to care for their son.

Despite his parents, Eddie fared well in school. He got good grades, at least. His school counselors made several pleas for his parents to seek counseling for their troubled son, but those warnings seem to have gone unnoticed.

In high school, Eddie became strangely excited at the idea of winning a puzzle contest. To increase his likelihood of winning, Eddie sneaked into school at night and practiced the puzzle until he could solve it with ease. He did end up winning, and was awarded a riddle book as a prize. Since that time, he has dedicated his life to mastering puzzles, mind games, and riddles.

By the time he was readying for college, Edward was profoundly intelligent and excelled at nearly everything he put his mind to, something his father, out of jealousy, couldn't or wouldn't believe; he therefore started beating Eddie in an attempt to get Eddie to confess that he had somehow cheated or lied.

After Eddie went off to college on a Martha Wayne Foundation Scholarship, neither of his parents were heard from again. At college, Eddie legally changed his last name to 'Nygma', was briefly married to a fellow college student before she left him for a college professor (who died three years later in a 'freak accident'), and aced every class he enrolled in.[1]

The Riddler: 1997 - Present

After college, Edward Nygma found employment at Wayne Enterprises as a strategic consultant. He had a close relationship with Philip Kane, the CEO, and was the real power behind the throne for eighteen months. It may have lasted much longer, if it were not for the return of Gotham's prodigal son, Bruce Wayne. Right away, Nygma and Wayne did not get along (imagine that) and due to the hostility, Nygma tried to assassinate both the CEO and nephew alike, by hiring the Red Hood Gang to crash Bruce's welcoming party. When his part in the crime was revealed, Nygma was sent to Blackgate until he bit off the Warden's ear and was sent to Arkham, where he quickly escaped (almost like he planned that).

Nygma later returned as 'The Riddler'. In his long criminal career, Riddler has made a great number of criminal associates, often working with Nina Damfino and Diedre Vance (aka: 'Echo' and 'Query'). Nygma has also been known to work with the League of Assassins, which had broke Nygma out of Arkham to secure his assistance in planning a terrorist attack which almost resulted in Gotham City's total destruction; Thomas Elliot ('Hush'), who conspired with Nygma in a bid to take down Batman; and Oswald Cobblepot ('The Penguin'), who often hires Nygma for his skills as a sort of underworld information broker. Oh, and he knows the secret identity of Batman, but chooses to keep it to himself since it makes him feel smarter than others.

Despite all of that, though, there was once hints of a possible rehabilitation for Nygma. For a couple of years, Edward Nygma was partially cured of his insanity and led a productive life as a private detective until he relapsed, reconciled with his estranged daughter just to corrupt her into a life of crime with him, and then murdered her in cold-blood just to prove to himself that he was truly evil and beyond redemption. (Yeah... I don't know what else to say. This guy needs to be locked up 24/7.)[2]

Threat Assessment


  • Intellectual Genius
  • Escape Artist
  • Blackmail Expert
  • Information Broker
  • Mastermind
  • Highly Perceptive
  • Often in company of other criminals

Arkham Files

Medical Profile

  • Patient is in good physical health, especially considering that his medical records indicate that he was previously diagnosed with terminal cancer, but all tests thus far have appeared cancer-free.

Psychological Profile

  • Patient has a brilliant mind tainted with histrionic personality disorder, giving him a pathological need to prove his intellectual superiority over others.
  • Patient also has an obsession with riddles, puzzles, and mind games. Patient even legally changed his name from “Edward Nashton” to “Edward Nygma” in order to complete his fixation on puzzles (E. Nygma, get it?).

Behavior Profile

  • Patient enjoys proving he is smarter than others by playing mind games and suffers from violent outbursts when he is frustrated, beaten, or ignored.
  • Patient agrees to undergo counseling sessions but tends to only engage in wordplay, mind games, and sadistic riddles, instead of any productive therapy.
  • Patient was once successfully rehabilitated; but a head injury caused him to relapse, resulting in him murdering his own daughter.
  • Patient claims to know the identity of the Batman, but says that he cannot divulge that information as to do so would be giving away the answer to the “Greatest Riddle of All." Personally, I think he’s bluffing.
  • Threat Assignment: High
  • Treatment Ranking: 5-Defiant
  • Intake Interviewer: Dr. Roy Westerman
  • Assigned Patient Coordinator: Dr. Roy Westerman[3]

Trivia and Notes


  • Riddler found out about Batman's secret identity from the Lazarus Pit. He also got cured of his cancer there.
  • In the Earth-2027 continuity, he's the undisputed kingpin of Gotham, Metropolis, and Blüdhaven. All scum pay him homage or pay the consequences.[4]
  • His criminal activity falls under GCPD jurisdiction.
  • When he's in Arkham he's housed in the Intensive Care Area.
  • When he's in Arkham he has requested Sudoku puzzle books from the library.
  • He has a bachelor's degree in sociology.
  • He is a true disciple of the Light.
  • He stole the identity of Mockingbird from Amanda Waller to screw with her and then gave it to his daughter.[5] With help of Duela Dent they orchestrated a break out in the Arkham Asylum.[6]
  • He delivered Lucy Quinzel during the night of Jason Todd's murder.[7]
  • He used to have a green and purple muscle car. The car currently belongs to his daughter.[8]
  • He was possessed by Azazel and tricked Albert Davis into releasing demons into the world.[9]


  • Riddler's Patient number (#48140) is a nod to his first comic book appearance: Detective Comics #140, in 1948.
  • Roy didn't expect that Earth-27 would become this big and in the process made some decisions that cut out certain possibilities. Among these things was the Riddler's good guy persona as Earth-27's smarmy detective with questionable morals.[10]
  • Edward Nygma having cancer is a nod to the Batman: Hush storyline.
  • Riddler being Mockingbird is a nod to Secret Six, Vol. 4.
  • In the "City Walls" storyline from Green Arrow Vol. 3 it was Albert Davis who tricked Riddler into helping him with summoning demons and being a distraction to the heroes.

Links and References

  1. Oracle Files: Edward Nygma
  2. Oracle Files: The Riddler
  3. Arkham Files: Edward Nygma
  4. Edward Nygma 2027 (Earth-27) Commission
  5. Network Files: Emily Hashton 2
  6. Network Files: Duela Dent 2
  7. Network Files: Lucy Quinzel
  8. E27 Journal: Tales of the Secret Six
  9. Roy Reimagines... the Ghostbusters!!!
  10. E27 Journal 44: Reflections and Predictions
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