10 Subtle Details About The Riddler’s Costume In The Batman (2022)

The Riddler is one of Matt Reeves’ most enigmatic villains The Batman, and her costume is full of subtle details that give insight into her character. Far from a typical take on Gotham City’s evil mastermind, The Riddler’s suit changes into a tight-fitting green suit covered in question marks for a utilitarian aesthetic that looks like it was pulled from the shelves of a military surplus store. .

It might not be what most The Riddler fans are used to, but the costume is perfect for a villain gathering an army to crush Gotham City’s corrupt elite. Actor Paul Dano and costume designer Jacqueline Durran offer clues to the birth of this version of The Riddler, from clothing choices to inspiration from serial killers, giving fans of Reeves’ vision a deeper understanding of Edward Nashton, the man behind the mask.


The Riddler costume was inspired by the Zodiac Killer

The Riddler is Gotham City's Zodiac Killer

With his oversized jacket, mask, and goggles, The Riddler resembles early sketches of the Zodiac Killer, drawn from descriptions told by victims who managed to survive upon encountering him. Beginning in the 1960s, the Zodiac Killer terrorized San Francisco and surrounding Northern California towns for decades, provoking local authorities with chilling correspondence.

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In a YouTube clip of her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Dano confirmed that the Zodiac Killer was used as inspiration for his character. The “real life reference” was thought to make The Riddler more chilling and authentic.

He wears the same glasses as Edward Nigma from Batman Forever

Edward Nigma (Jim Carrey) from Batman Forever and Edward Nashton (Paul Dano) aka The Riddler from The Batman

There are a few signature elements to The Riddler’s costume that instantly catch the eye, one of them being the unique goggles he wears. If they look familiar to you, it could be for two reasons; the transparent glasses are actually a designer brand from Gotham (New York City) itself, and they were also a tribute to those worn by Jim Carrey portraying Edward Nigma in Batman forever.

Identified as Gear Patrol, the glasses are made by Moscot, a family-owned company known for its “diamond-shaped rivets on the front of the frames, as well as the gold running through the transparent Italian acetate.” Not only are the glasses a beautiful tribute to a Gotham brand, but also Carrey’s fan-favorite performance.

The Riddler uses plastic wrap to avoid leaving evidence behind

Paul Dano Riddler tapes the mayor in The Batman

What The Riddler lacks in Wayne family funding, it more than makes up for in innovation. For his carefully laid plans to come to fruition, he must be meticulous at every stage of his planning, including avoiding identification at crime scenes. To do this, his head is covered with plastic wrap, ensuring that no hair fiber will be left behind.

On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Dano explained that he nearly passed out on the first day of filming. The Batman due to the constriction of the plastic wrap, but punching small holes to let the air out allowed him to resume assassinating the mayor of Gotham City without incident. His commitment to his performance has made Dano one of the best Riddlers to date.

The Riddler’s costume is heavily weaponized

Paul Dano as Riddler in The Batman

Previous actors who have played The Riddler, such as Jim Carrey in batman forever, or Cory Michael Smith in Gotham have worn bright green spandex or bespoke suits covered in question marks, but Dano’s Riddler opts for a look based on components found at a military surplus store.

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In Batman Art, a book detailing the process of making the costumes featured in the film, Jacqueline Durran explained how The Riddler’s costume was ultimately put together using things he “could have found at a surplus store near his home, like the German jacket, the American trousers and the American boots.” This set is perfect for a villain who feels like they’re waging a “war” on corruption in Gotham City.

The Riddler’s mask is based on a 60s US Army design

The Riddler wearing his glasses and mask in The Batman

With material covering his nose, mouth and all but his eyes, The Riddler’s mask completely obscures his face, preventing him from being identified and creating a truly iconic look. According to The Focus, it was Dano’s idea to select the “U.S. Army Winter Combat Mask”, used to protect soldiers from wind and other thermal elements in conjunction with the uniform in inclement weather. cold M-65, both developed by the US Army in the ’60s.

The era was a time of civil unrest, both at home and abroad, when the M-65 was used in the Vietnam War by troops serving in the central highlands of South Vietnam. Using something from the US military, the mask becomes an effective tool of terror, instilling fear with something that should instill patriotism, making it one of the best live Riddler costumes to date.

The Riddler has a distinct DIY aesthetic

the soothsayer of batman

Both Batman and The Riddler are vigilantes shaped by traumatic childhood memories, but while the former could focus all his family’s money on fighting crime with elite tools, the latter had to improvise. , creating a much more organic and put-together aesthetic. The difference in their appearance highlights the disparity in the privileges granted to each.

In the same interview with Jimmy Fallon, Dano mentioned a “homemade” and “DIY” look for The Riddler’s costume which was made on purpose to simulate the uniforms worn by some rogue militia groups in the United States. This is especially frightening given how close to home these threats are and how chaotic they can become when their ideologies go unchecked.

The Riddler’s costume is designed to be easily duplicated by his followers

The fake Riddler is holding a gun in The Batman

At the end of The Batman, The Riddler enacted his final plan to submerge Gotham in harbor water. When the Caped Crusader goes to confront him, he encounters dozens of followers of The Riddler, all wearing similar outfits to him.

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By wearing an easily replicable outfit from items found in military surplus stores, The Riddler makes it easy for his followers to copy his look, not only gaining a clone army, but an extra layer of protection against Batman.

The Riddler’s logo is a staff

The Riddler from The Batman concept art by Glyn Dillon CROPPED

The Riddler’s costume features his signature question mark on his field jacket, framed in what looks like a bezel. Given how much the Zodiac Killer influenced its appearance, it’s no surprise that the logo is reminiscent of the symbol used by the Zodiac Killer to sign all of its correspondence.

Concept art for Batman reveals a different Riddler logo, which looks more like a target. Jacqueline Durran was the costume designer responsible for deciding which logo should be used, and chose one based on Reeves’ more grounded take on the villain.

The Riddler’s costume makes him easy to identify with

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Alongside Batman, Catwoman or The Penguin, the Sphinx costume in The Batman least resembles his comic book counterpart. With shapeless clothing, everyday materials, and a less defined figure, his outfit can not only be commonly recreated, but also makes him accessible to the citizens of Gotham City.

One of the things The Batman was right about The Riddler was his intelligence; donning a costume that doesn’t appear to be part of an elite cohort in Gotham, he knows his followers will believe in his goals of cleaning the streets of the profiteers and corrupt politicians who feed on his transplant.

The placement of the Riddler’s tape may have had other implications

The Riddler killing the Mayor of Gotham City in The Batman

In one of the most poignant scenes of The Batman, The Riddler attacks the mayor of Gotham City. After bludgeoning him, he retrieves a roll of duct tape from somewhere around his hips to tie him up. This motion was confusing to fans, prompting Redditors like beanieway to wonder if anyone noticed “the Riddler playing with his pants before he killed the mayor?”

The area where The Riddler wears his tape and the manner in which he retrieves it, coupled with the precise placement of the camera when he restrains the Mayor and the noises he makes while doing so, seems to imply that he is getting some kind of gratification of the power he wields over Gotham City’s most important public figure. It proves how effective attention to detail can be, and how essential costumes and props can be for truly provocative storytelling.

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