Batman #23.2: Riddler #1
Story: Scott Snyder & Ray Fawkes
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Jeremy Haun
Colorist: John Rausch
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Review by Patrick Brennan
It’s funny how the resurfacing of a character can make you realize how much you’ve been missing him or her from your favorite comics. Such is the case for many readers regarding the Riddler and his recent return to the pages of Batman via Scott Snyder’s “Zero Year” storyline. He was a character that seemed to lose some of his allure in the years leading up the New 52 reboot, so it’s been a happy surprise not only to encounter him once more but to see that the character is shedding his former laughable persona and getting some of his greatness back.
This one-shot follows Edward Nigma as he pulls a daring one-man assault on the Wayne Enterprises Tower. Showcasing that trademark Riddler-arrogance, he does this in plain sight of the building’s security after creating a backdrop of protestors to act as a smokescreen for his invasion. As he effortlessly makes his way to the top of the building, we soon realize that theft isn’t at the top of his agenda for this caper.
If there is one thing Fawkes and Snyder demonstrate to us in this story, it’s that this new incarnation of the Riddler is not someone to be trifled with or underestimated. This is still the fast thinking master strategist that we all know and love, but he now has an edge to him that makes him far more intimidating than usual. Fawkes breathes a sort of obsessive anger into the character that, unlike some of the other New 52 revamps, does not feel forced or out of place. It’s the Riddler that many fans have dreamed of.
Jeremy Haun’s artwork, while not entirely mind-blowing, captures the mischief of Nigma very well. His nonchalance, swagger, and overall cockiness is all there, communicated wonderfully through his body language and facial features (something that can be hard to get across for some artists). And his rendering of the violent twist at the end is pretty jaw dropping.
Pick this one up. Riddler #1 is at the top of the heap for this week’s Villain’s Month installments, and is definitely worth the money. It’s great to see our favorite trickster back at peak form.