The Riddler’s 10 Best Costumes In The Comics, Ranked

Batman has so many villains in his rogues gallery that he can take on a different villain once a month and not repeat anyone for years. The most recent film version of the caped crusader, Matt Reeves The Batman, went with one of Batman’s most notorious Silver Age foes, the Riddler. Thanks to the 1966 Batman television series, the Riddler has become the household name on par with Joker and Catwoman.

RELATED: 10 Batman Villains Who Finally Need To Be In A Movie

The Riddler is Edward Nigma, whose motive for the crime includes riddles for his victims, law enforcement, or Batman. He is exceptionally intelligent but often finds his compulsion getting in the way of his success. Over the decades, the villain has had some of the most successful costumes in DC comics.

ten Tangent Universe’s Riddler Looks Unimpressive

Tangent Universe Riddler

In Six Secrets #1, the Riddler makes an appearance. He doesn’t use the name to imply a love of puns. Instead, the Riddler refers to riddle someone with bullets, which is reflected in his costume. After all, there were plenty of armored baddies with guns.

Tangent Universe’s version of the Joker defeated the Riddler by simply tying his shoelaces together while standing on top of a large staircase. His defeat received media coverage, but Joker’s involvement was not mentioned. The Riddler exists as a footnote and minor player in the Tangent universe, and his purple costume was unimpressive.

9 Batman: Earth One has an edgy feel that’s a lot like Paul Dano’s Riddler

the dc riddler comics

In the first chapter of Batman: Earth 1, Batman thwarts the Riddler’s vigilante mission. Just like the villain The Batman, this Riddler considers himself the savior of Gotham City. His true colors are revealed when he breaks his promise to free his victim if his riddle is solved.

RELATED: 10 DC Heroes Who Need Their Own Earth One Stories

This Riddler uses a trench coat but keeps a bare chest underneath. The question mark design is tattooed on the Riddler’s left eye. His disturbing appearance is reminiscent of a methodical serial killer.

8 In pieces, Riddler combined two iconic looks

Riddler from Batman #712

Batman #711 hinted at a new look for the Riddler, combining two older iconic looks. The next issue gave a clearer look at her costume. The Riddler’s question mark-covered green spandex was overlaid with a coordinating green trench coat. His costume was also topped with a green and purple bowler hat.

The purple mask is replaced by more stylish sunglasses. Of course, since most of the story takes place at night, the wisdom of such a choice is questionable. However, he kept the short purple gloves from his much better Riddler costume.

7 The Riddler Of Earth 3 has a bit more panache

The Riddler family from Earth-3

Earth-3 was the first massive departure for an alternate Earth in the DC Multiverse as good and evil were reversed. The Justice League has become a superhuman crime syndicate, and over the years familiar DC villains have been reimagined as heroes on Earth-3.

In Countdown: The Hunt for Ray Palmer: The Crime Syndicate, the Joker finds himself rescued by the Riddler and his “family” of harlequin-themed teammates. This Riddler has a costume similar to traditional spandex, but with a much more modern design on the upper torso, sporting more purple. A mask is replaced with goggles, and it has the addition of what appears to be some kind of utilitarian belt, much sleeker than its Silver Age counterpart.

6 The new 52 Riddler attempts to update a classic

The enigma Batman 23.2

While some Riddler costumes try to take cues from the original spandex, the New 52 Riddler redesign opted for the green and purple costume. The question mark is reserved for the Riddler’s bowler hat and trusty cane. The entire costume is green, and the Riddler wears a purple tie, gloves, and socks.

RELATED: The 10 Best Catwoman Costumes In The Comics, Ranked

By going with a costume, the Riddler strikes a different symbolism than many Batman villains. Instead of being a regular criminal, the costume gives the Riddler an air of respectability and professionalism. It works similarly to the Penguin’s tuxedo marking him as an “organized” crime figure, a different look compared to the average criminals who frequently terrorize Gotham City.

5 In Justice, Alex Ross gave Riddler a functional high-tech suit

Justice #2 cover detail

by Alex Ross Justice brings together the iconic feel of various DC heroes and villains. Centered around the Bronze Age bands most resembling the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom, Justice saw a few characters get heavily updated. The Riddler sported a high-tech upgrade when he faced Batman.

Beneath a black trench coat, the Riddler wore a version of his traditional spandex suit. This version was equipped with a bright holographic projector. Once opened, it looked like the question marks on his suit burst open and grew into deadly projectiles.

4 Batman: Zero Year has the Riddler sporting a Fedora and bandana-like mask

Year Zero Riddler

The Riddler in Batman: Year Zero adapts the New 52 costume in a more primitive version. The big start is in Riddler’s headgear. The green fedora and bandana mask mark a villain that emphasizes looking more fashionable than dreadful.

The black bandana mask is a stylish choice of goggles but is less practical when facing an enemy that is very focused on melee combat. The coloring of the fedora looks a lot like the bowler hat but lacks the branding. The latest version refines this outfit into something with a more timeless style.

3 Kingdom Come is a subtle use of the question mark pattern

Riddler and Catwoman in Kingdom Come

By designing an aged Riddler for Kingdom come, Alex Ross had the challenge of standing out within the Humanity Liberation Front. While Catwoman went with a darker version of the dress she wore in her very first appearance, the Riddler couldn’t do anything like it because it was always more colorful. He was limited to a black suit but found his expression in his glasses.

RELATED: DC: 10 Surprising Facts About Kingdom Come

The aged Edward Nigma sports glasses, whose frames are two question marks. It’s very subtle and many readers missed them on the first reading of kingdom come. It’s also an addition that works better with the older Edward Nigma.

2 The original Silver Age costume is iconic

silver age the seer

When he first appeared in 1948, the Riddler wore a green spandex costume covered in question marks that would receive slight modifications over the years. Question marks would become denser, purple gloves would be added, and occasionally the bowler hat would be sported.

It was the look adapted in the 1966 Batman TV series and vaguely in film batman and robin. More importantly, it was also the version that appeared in the 1982 DC Style Guide. It would cement it in the minds of people everywhere, as it would appear in merchandising for a generation.

1 The costume and bowler hat continue to be redesigned

who's who riddle #5

Actor Frank Gorshin portrayed the Riddler in 1966 Batman TV series and movies. It was at his request that the Riddler first wore a custom green costume with question marks. It has become so iconic that author and researcher Matthew Lesko has adopted the question mark costume in many color variations, including lime green.

As with the spandex suit, there are many variations. However, it’s the iconic look that many fans associate with the villain. The bowler hat comes from this outfit, and it gives the villain a sense of class second only to the penguin. With each variation, each artist can put their own unique spin on the Riddler, making this costume one of the best costumes in comic book history.

NEXT: DC: The 10 Best Joker Costumes, Ranked

Palpatine and Count Dooku header

Revenge of the Sith wasn’t the first time Sidious used Count Dooku as bait

Read more

About the Author