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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jacob's pushing of an old Neil Gaiman Riddler story in the comments of my Dark Knight post has me wondering if perhaps I've sold E. Nigma a little short. Here's the Mindless Ones blog defending the Platonic concept of the Riddler against those who would write him badly in "Rogue's Review" #5:

Remove the focus on the Riddler as a man, absorb him into the text and you get something else entirely: a quintessential (perhaps the quintessential) Bat-threat: the mystery waiting to be solved. Think about it, there should be no greater challenge to the World’s Greatest Detective’s deductive abilities than the Riddler, no tougher puzzles to crack. As Bane is to physicality the Riddler should be to mystery. What I’m proposing here isn’t particularly radical. As I’ve noted above, the Riddler’s presence has a long and venerable history of being articulated without his body. The notion that the Riddler should infect all the panels of a given comic is simply the recognition that his puzzles are as much part of him as his arms and legs, and that puzzles are non-local in that they permeate the stories that house them. In detective fiction the real antagonist is always the mystery at hand - I’m proposing a deliberate and carefully articulated blurring of the lines of distinction between the character and games he sets in motion. A Riddler that literally embodies mystery.
I remain unpersuaded that even this ideal Riddler wouldn't still be just a second-rate substitute for one aspect of the Joker.

Regardless—and I don't know whether it'll be Mindless-Ones-approved Good Riddler or Gerry-denigrated Bad Riddler—if the hints Gary Oldman is dropping are right we're getting the Riddler in the third movie whether we like it or not.