Riddler: Year One Comic Stills Reveals Edward Nashton’s Obsession With Batman

At the San Diego Comic-Con 2022, DC Comics revealed the preview pages for Riddler: Year One #1. In a panel called ‘Jim Lee and Friends’, Paul Dano shared the details about the comic book as well. The six-issue comic book series will feature Edward Nashton’s emotionally traumatic past and his mental struggles against the corrupt Gotham administration. It was these experiences that turned Nashton into The Riddler, who would go on to terrorize the city and face off Batman.

The illustrations are designed by Stevan Subic, with idea inputs from the series writer Paul Dano. They feature Edward Nashton struggling through his daily life, crunching numbers as a forensic accountant, and getting frustrated over the growing corruption and poverty in the city. And most importantly, we see Edward witnessing Batman taking on the criminals in the streets and striking at the organized crime in Gotham.

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In The Batman, Edward Nashton madly believes that he and Batman are some unknown allies who share the same vendetta against the corrupt. But, Nashton, on the one hand, wants to eliminate the wrong-doers; Batman, on the other, draws the line at killing. However, Batman has not been entirely non-violent. And Riddler: Year One #1 has revealed some illustrations showing how that could have affected Nashton, who was growing weary of all the injustice.

The illustrations show how Edward Nashton observes the city’s state, wherein the poor constantly face degradation while the elites grow richer. There is a contrast between the Gotham skyline and the suburbs in one of these illustrations (see pic below). Here, the Wayne Enterprises building takes center stage amidst the affluent urban localities, referencing Edward’s specific hate towards Bruce Wayne.

As Edward tries his luck at gambling, taking advantage of his skills with the number game, his focus lies on a newsreel that talks about a “Bat Vigilante.”

And then Edward witnesses Batman taking on a few criminals, apparently solidifying his belief in the violent methods to tackle corruption. However, the two socioeconomic statuses of the two individuals send them in two opposite directions in their quest for justice.

Edward Nashton and Bruce Wayne: Two Sides of a Coin

Warner Bros.

Batman inspired Nashton, but the two men grew up in different social environments. Nashton was an orphan who fell prey as a kid to Gotham’s elites and politicians who promised the upliftment of the deprived. However, Bruce, though alone, grew a financially wealthy household while also having Alfred as his trainer and caretaker. The Batman portrays how Bruce Wayne sees the criminal world through a more accepted sense of justice and righteousness. That’s probably because he grew up without facing survivability issues or going through the oppression of the rich. At one point, even Selina points out that Batman talks like someone who grew rich. Bruce had choices, and the likes of Selina and Nashton did not.

Riddler: Year One will focus on this crucial difference between the two and reveal what events caused Nashton to take matters into his own hands. In The Batman, we dived into Bruce’s mental state, and with Dano’s comic book series, there will be an insight into the other side of that coin.

The first issue of the series will release on October 25th.