|“||You were supposed to understand... I'll MAKE you understand.||„|
|~ Edward Nygma before seeking his revenge on Bruce Wayne for rejecting his mind manipulation invention.|
|“||Riddle me this, riddle me that. Who's afraid of the big, black, Bat?||„|
|~ Ed Nygma/The Riddler|
Edward Nygma, better known as The Riddler, is one of the two main antagonists of the 1995 superhero film, Batman Forever, the other being Two-Face. He is a criminal genius who teams up with Two-Face so he can get rich, become Gotham's cleverest carbon based life-form, get his revenge on Bruce Wayne, and figure out the identity of Batman.
Edward Nygma starts out as an employee researcher at Wayne Enterprises who is obsessed with Bruce Wayne. Nygma wanted to use Wayne to test out his invention which was capable of beaming a TV signal into someone's brain. But Bruce rejects his invention and tells Nygma that it "raises too many questions".
Angered by Bruce's rejection, Nygma goes to his supervisor Fred Stickley, and tests it on him. When Stickley discovers Nygma's clandestine overtime, Nygma knocks Stickley unconscious, ties him to a chair, and then uses him to test his device, discovering that he can use it to absorb people's knowledge. Realizing Wayne was right about it being mind manipulation, Stickley fires Nygma, but Nygma murders Stickley, doctors the security tapes to make Stickley's death look like a suicide, and then resigns from Wayne Enterprises. Everyone except Bruce is convinced that it was a genuine suicide.
Becoming the Riddler
Nygma was so satisfied with the work of Two-Face on live television at a circus. He took his own take on the criminal underworld as the mastermind known as the Riddler. Using his device, the Riddler finds Two-Face in his lair and proposes a bargain: they will steal production capital to mass-produce the Riddler's invention in order to deduce Batman's true identity and use it to plot his downfall. Two-Face accepts the deal (with his coin marking heads in favor of the deal).
As a start, both villains steal a lot of capital for Nygma to start his own company, NygmaTech. With that in mind, Nygma mass-produces his inventions and sells it out to people, who find them to be very popular. As part of the marketing, Nygma's true intention was to use his invention to steal the people of Gotham's quotient of intelligence into his own brain, thus making him more intelligent. He even allows Two-Face to share some of the intelligence so that Two-Face himself can become intelligent.
Outbidding Wayne Industries
At a business party, Nygma uses his now-successful invention to find out Bruce Wayne's secret identity as the Batman. After a deadly attack by Two-Face, they together watch the things that Wayne 'has in his head', finally realizing that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Delighted by this, Two-Face calls the Riddler a genius.
With their knowledge of Batman's true identity finally at hand, Riddler and Two-Face invade Wayne Manor, where Riddler manages to destroy the Batcave. When Two-Face made his move to kill Bruce, the Riddler convinces him otherwise as he placed his final riddle on the doorstep, saying that Bruce won't learn nothing if he's dead. As both Two-Face and the Riddler escape, they kidnap Dr. Chase Meridian to lure Batman and his new sidekick Robin to their lair.
Using a battleship like machine while playing a life and death game with Two-Face, Riddler was able to destroy Batman's Batwing and Two-Face send his goons after him and Robin only to lift up his lair. Two-Face then took the opportunity to capture Robin.
Finally coming face-to-face with Batman, Riddler claims that using his invention, he will use it to go to countless TV's across the globe that will feed him 'credit card numbers, bank codes, sexual fantasies and little white lies' into his brain. He, Two-Face and their henchmen then attempt to test Batman by giving out his ultimate riddle ("Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly co-exist?"). To ensure of this, the prince of puzzlers plans on dropping either Dr. Meridian or Robin into two separate watery death traps.
The Riddler then tests Batman that he needs to choose either Chase or Robin to save. Playing wise on this, Batman distracts the Riddler by giving him his own riddle ("I see without seeing. To me, darkness is as clear as daylight. What am I?"). The Riddler scoffs at this by giving the answer ("You're as blind as a bat!"), to which Batman confirms as he uses a Batarang to destroy his big replica of his invention thus destroying his lair. This causes the Riddler to lose much of his knowledge while Batman manage to save both Chase and Robin from falling. After Two-Face falls to his death in one of the death traps, Batman went back to the Riddler, who is now enfeebled over the loss of his intelligence. Taking pity on his former employee, Batman answered the Riddler's riddle ("You see, I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be. But because I choose to be.").
It is unknown if the Riddler actually understood the answer well or not, but just when Batman was about to take Riddler into custody, Riddler began to scream wildly, as he began to hallucinate a giant bat flying towards him. He is then, afterwards, taken to the authorities and convicted to a life prison sentence in Arkham Asylum. One of the physicians, Dr. Burton, calls Dr. Meridian and tells her that the Riddler would shout that he'd know the true identity of Batman.
Dr. Meridian asks who Batman is, but Ed says that she must say "please". When she asks with "please" who Batman is, the Riddler appears saying: "I am Batman". as he moves his arms like a flying bat and laughs maniacally, indicating that he has lost his sanity after his defeat. As such, Chase tells Bruce that his secret is safe, citing that Nygma is now a complete lunatic.
In the movie, The Riddler gave Bruce Wayne a series of riddles for him to decipher;
1. If you look for numbers on my face, you won't find thirteen any place.
- Answer: A Clock
2. Tear one off and scratch my head; what once was red is black instead.
- Answer: A Match
3. The eight of us go forth, not back, to protect our king from a foe's attack.
- Answer: Chess Pawns
4. We're five little items of an everyday sort; you'll find us all in 'a tennis court'.
- Answer: Vowels
Each of the riddles contain a number that stands for a letter: the first one (13) stands for M, the next two (1 and 8, forming 18) stands for R, and the last one (5) stands for E. The result spells out "Mr. E", which sounds similar to the word 'mystery', which is a synonym for the word 'enigma'. Those clues would decipher to the Riddler's true identity as Edward Nygma ("Mr. E. Nygma")
During the final confrontation, The Riddler gave a riddle to test Batman: "Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly co-exist?" After the Riddler's defeat, Batman finally gave in the answer: "You see, I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be. But because I choose to be."
- It's unknown if The Riddler's real name is Edward Nashton as in the comics.
- The Riddler is the true main antagonist in the film because he had bigger plans than Two-Face and knew Bruce Wayne personally.
- Riddler's costume can be seen in the sequel Batman & Robin, in which it is held in the confiscating room at Arkham Asylum along with Two-Face's suit.
- The Riddler is similar to:
- Syndrome from Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles, in the fact that they were originally both ecstatic fans of the heroes and wanted something in exchange (Syndrome to be Mr. Incredible's sidekick; Riddler, for Bruce to accept his mind manipulation invention). And when their offers are rejected, they both seek vengeance and become their heroes' worst enemies.
- Louis Strack Jr. from Darkman, in the fact that they enlist crime lords to help them with their plans.
- As such, the 2013 film Iron Man 3 would do a similar thing with Aldrich Killian, who seemed to look up to the protagonist Tony Stark and tried to pitch an idea. However unlike Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark flat out refused to give Killian a chance.