Most likely iconic villain will be the main antagonist in Matt Reeves’ upcoming film
With filming virtually closed, The Batman has entered a period almost as important as post-production: advertising. In this phase, several products related to the film are launched and announced, some of them providing completely new details on elements of the narrative such as the batmobile, Robert Pattinson’s uniform and one of the possible visuals of the Riddler.
The villain made his first appearance on the pages of Detective Comics # 140 in 1948, still around the time that Batman creator Bill Finger was leading the stories. In the first pages of the magazine, an origin story for the criminal is already presented, with a character deviation from an early age (when he cheated on a puzzle challenge in school) and growing up to be a crook who uses puzzles to apply punches.
Even so, his motivation to intellectually overcome the Bat Man was already present from that first glimpse. Even though his personality was much more focused on the comedic approach, mainly because the reading audience at the time was entirely made up of children, the most important characteristic of the Riddler was already established as his intellect.
Over the decades, he’s also shown himself to be one of the Batman Gallery’s most suited antagonists, participating in such animations as Super Amigos and Batman: The Animated Series; in the games of the Arkham saga; at the movies in Batman Forever. Even so, his version of Matt Reeves’ upcoming project promises to be unlike anything that has ever been offered to the villain in all media outside of the comics.
In the only trailer released to date, the little material related to the character indicates his inclination to fight, in his twisted way, against corruption in Gotham. In August 2020, the CBR portal reported on a theory that Reeves took inspiration from Heath Ledger’s Joker when developing this new take on the Riddler. Much of the reason for the theory is based on how the villain seems to be pushing the city to the limit (opposing him to Batman), using a device to hide his face, changing his voice, and setting traps for him. vigilante and Gordon.
That perception may change after the recent release of a timeline containing official footage from the film, including that of the villain. As far as you can see, he’s wearing a mask that completely covers his face, even his mouth, accompanied by thick-rimmed glasses.
The new aesthetic perspective led to the promotion that Matt Reeves and the costume department were inspired by the look of the infamous Zodiac Killer. Between December 1968 and October 1969, fourteen people were victimized by a masked man across the state of California. The description of the time indicated that the killer was wearing a black garment with his face covered and glasses placed on the outside of the mask.
What made the case so symbolic was that part of the criminal’s modus operandi was to send cryptograms to the police for them to solve. Some have been resolved, but most remain unresolved, as well as the identity of the zodiac itself (a name given by itself in letters to newspapers).
The similarities between the Murderer and the Riddler are visible but also refer to another movie that may be another inspiration outside of the comics. In Se7en – The Seven Capital Crimes, the story is told of a pair of police officers, one experienced and the other unstable, who investigate a series of homicides that refer to each of the Seven Deadly Sins. All victims invariably have some connection to these sins, probably not unlike the victims the Riddler might do.
The point is, the future version of the antagonist of Batman will have a much more violent proposition than that of Jim Carrey or the animations; maybe even for the game version. The movie as a whole should have an unprecedented take on the hero’s mind, especially his volatile side. Therefore, it is not wrong to expect the Riddler to be the violent catalyst that brings Bruce Wayne face to face with his other personality.
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