Detective Comics Annual 8 (1995)

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It’s easy to feel sympathetic for The Riddler here. Chuck Dixon and Kieron Dwyer cover a little of his pre-costume days, but mostly they’re telling a semi-sequel to Batman: Year One. The only time Batman’s ever sympathetic–he seems a vicious bully otherwise–is when he and Jim Gordon banter a bit.

Through The Riddler (who narrates), Dixon keeps reminding the reader it’s not a Batman story and it isn’t. It’s the story of an angry, unexceptional young man. Dixon’s characterization of Edward Nigma is compelling for just that reason. There’s nothing special about him whatsoever, except his self-awareness.

Dixon goes a little quick in parts–some more with the childhood scenes would have been nice, along with some more with his weird female sidekicks (who Batman uncomfortably wails on)–but it’s a fine origin rehash.

Dwyer’s artwork is simply fantastic. It’s frantic, emotive and always measured.

CREDITS

Questions Multiply the Mystery; writer, Chuck Dixon; artist, Kieron Dwyer; colorist, Richmond Lewis; letterer, Albert DeGuzman; editors, Darren Vincenzo and Scott Peterson; publisher, DC Comics.

One Comment

  1. wwayne

    My favorite Detective Comics issue ever is “And Red All Over” (Detective Comics # 796, September 2004). It’s a perfect stand alone story: it has a delightful combination of story and action, it pleasantly focuses on Bruce’s ethic and way of thinking, it has a very enjoyable atmosphere and, the icing on the cake, the cover is drawn by Tim Sale.
    Another worthy comic book starring the Riddler is Gotham Underground. That miniseries gives us a deep version of a character usually considered and portrayed as campy.

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