The Riddler is one of our favorite DC villains here at CBR, so we enjoy good fan art of him! Brilliant, ruthless, tactical, ambiguous, quirky, and simultaneously rebellious boss, Eddie is truly an "enigma," which leaves much to the imagination and interpretation of any talented artist. Lately, there has been an upsurge of Nygma related fan art due to the popularity of the TV show, Gotham, and all of the ships that character either engages in or the fan community places him within. And of course, it's delightful! But CBR did not want to limit these selections to only one show or style.
We wanted to find a variety of art for this list that represents Ed from various perspectives and using different mediums. There was so much to choose from, it was quite a feat to narrow it down to these 15 selections, but we solved that particular riddle and are ready to give you our answers. Oh, as a point of order, we included quotes from the artists to give background to their creations, and hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
15 YOU'RE A WIZARD, EDDIE
The beautiful painting you see here, "Riddle Me This," comes to us from the very talented AkiMao on DeviantArt. We couldn't help but smile when we saw this piece, because it reminds us of the iconic image of Harry Potter from one of the posters for The Order of the Phoenix. AkiMao's style varies from the ethereal to vivid, almost parlor-like imagery, with flavors of the southwest and noir.
Says the artist about this piece, "The Riddler, one of my favorite Batman villains... and I love this version from Gotham." Check out the full size version and more of AkiMao's art, including a lovely piece of Oswald Cobblepot, on DevianArt or Tumblr. Edward Nygma with true magical powers and a wand to wield them, now that's a scary thought! Pretty sure he would be with Slytherin, and a fan of Tom Riddle's!
14 BARE KNUCKLE NYGMA
Normally, The Riddler is depicted as a somewhat emaciated looking nerd, with maybe a bit of Dexter meets Holmes charm to him. But this bloodied, bar room brawlin', shirtless version of Ed has us at CBR looking at this villain in a completely different light. We absolutely love the style, now that we have taken a second look at this piece, which is brought to you by Kevin Yancey, aka drawnblud, of DeviantArt.
This Fight Club style Nygma looks like he'd do a lot more than just throw riddles and words your way! "Drawnblud" says of this mixed media painting, "My Nolan Riddler. Kinda saw him a a Bare Knuckle, I.R.A. type Irish boxer. Oh well..." Cheers, you did a fantastic job with this creation, and thanks for sharing!
13 NERD RAGE
We all get frustrated from time to time. Even a super genius has his moments. Enter this awesome digital art by Harseik on DeviantArt. She writes in the entry for this piece a few quotes and personal insights, including an exchange between Bats and Riddler! "Batman: 'You're insane.' / Nygma: 'No! That would imply some mental illness or derangement! I suffer from neither!' ... Because being a neurotic sociopath with an obsessive compulsive disorder doesn't require a certificate or anything! Gawsh I love him so much!"
She goes on to say that she, "gave into my urges and drew Nygma from Arkham City because he's awesome. He gets so blatantly frustrated the more challenge rooms you complete -- it's freakin' adorable! I'm guessing Edward in the drawing is saying something along the lines of, " BATMAN, Y U NO STOP CHEATING?!?" We couldn't agree more, Harseik!
12 WHAT RHYMES AND WEARS A TOP HAT?
This piece by yourfriendpolo on Tumblr may not be the most intricate or complex of art selections on this list, but it sure made us laugh out loud when we saw it! "The Riddler & The Mad Hatter" is a great drawing that contrasts these two seemingly similar yet quite different characters. We should note that we here at CBR find most characters that rhyme to be insufferable, so seeing them called out is always fun. "Yourfriendpolo" claims to "always like the least popular characters".
For some reason, Nygma does tend to get overlooked in the DCU, despite his initial appearance in Detective Comics #140 back in October of 1948. And he has stuck around ever since, making appearances in over 889 issues! And that isn't including all his appearances in animation and film!
11 GOTHAM ED
This gorgeous digital painting by Annabel Trixi Lawrence on Tumblr had our jaws dropping when we first saw it. The intense detail, the lovely shading, the layers of color -- everything about this piece is captivating. In actual fact, all of her work -- which you find out if you swing by and check it out -- is fantastic! And like all the artists on this list, if you enjoy what you see, consider supporting them by buying some of their art.
That is how they can survive and keep making awesome art. And without art, the world would be more boring than Nygma trapped in an Arkham cell with only an already solved puzzle and origami penguin to entertain him. "I can be a member of a group but I can never fit in. What am I?"
10 TOO EASY
Speaking of "simple puzzles" -- unlike those of us at CBR, who find unwinding a tangled ball of twine easier and more entertaining than attempting to solve one -- we're confident The Riddler would find solving a Rubik's Cube to be "too easy." That's why we love this piece by TimelessUknown on DeviantArt. It is well done, with simple, defined lines and minimal shading, that seems to pop all the more from the limited use of color around Edward's hand holding his vanquished puzzle foe, and the colored letters of his exclaimed accomplishment.
TimelessUknown says in the description of this drawing: "The Riddler is better than you. Inspired by 'The Riddler' trailer for Batman: Arkham City. I thought that it would be funny to see Riddler think that he is all high and mighty after solving a Rubik's Cube. Enjoy!" Thanks, Timeless, we sure are!
9 THE ORIGINAL HIPSTER
Ben Deguzman, aka kinjamin on DeviantArt, is a film and animation professional. This panel from his The Dark Knight Trilogy Epilogue: The Riddler is fantastic for so many reasons, including the concept behind it and the other characters we catch glimpses of in the background. What caught CBR's eyes about this panel, though, is the unique styling of Ed by the artist.
Deguman sums it up best in the caption under his panel, saying, "He looks like a hipster because he has BEEN the ultimate hipster since before hipster was even a thing... he has always been the ultimate hacker since even before computers were big! While I love his Arkham City appearance, I wanted go a different route and keep him a Beta male that locks himself up in his basement or his office."
8 ARKHAM KNIGHT
Speaking of the video game, Batman: Arkham Knight, here is a completely different interpretation of Ed from the digital DeviantArtist JenL that we just adore. Says JenL of this piece, "One thing I like about the Riddler is how he's got this almost playful nature to him, despite being an Arkham inmate. He's crazy, but he's not that psycho type of crazy that most of the other inmates tend to be. He's just out to prove he's the smartest guy around. I can't help loving that jovial, egotistic nut."
She goes on to say, "I actually like his outfit in Arkham Knight. The grease monkey look kinda works for him. Y'know, with the way he builds robots and fights in a big mech, he'd fit right in with the robot scientists from other games. I have a theory he's the ancestor of Robotnik or Wily. A family history of robots and failure."
"The Riddler and Harley Quinn. I absolutely love both characters." We here at CBR couldn't agree more, perditionxroad! This lovely art from her portfolio on DeviantArt, "City Night," portrays a softer side to two of our favorite DC villains. It isn't often you get to see Ed and Harls together, but when you do, it's absolutely electric!
As this quote from one of our favorite DC animated films of all time, Batman: Assault on Arkham so eloquently sums up -- (Riddler to Harley and the Suicide Squad) "Grab a chair! ... It's the electroshock! ... I'm gonna run a thousand volts through your heads..." Harley replies, "Oh, I love electroshock! It's like a shiatsu massage for your brain!" "Good," says Nygma,"put the chairs in a circle here around ole sparky..." Aww, aren't they sweet?
6 HANNIBAL RIDDLER
Another DeviantArtist joins this list of Ed fanart goodness in MikeMahle. His fresh interpretation of this classic DC villain , "The Riddler," is so perfect its hard to put into words. So just look at, among the many other pieces in his portfolio, and admire the glory. "I've never really been a fan of the manic Riddler, I've always imagined him as a bit more of a Hannibal Lecter type. Refined and super smart. Enjoy."
Thanks, Mike! We really do love the introspective, creepy, brilliant, serial killer vibe you gave Nygma here! We especially like it when you're so used to The Riddler having a more quirky aspect to him and an artist shakes it up. We can just hear him saying to Batman, "So you did it. Well done. I would have expected a child to work that one out, let alone the world's greatest detective."
5 DISNEY VILLAIN
On the other side of the Riddler spectrum, we have this creative and whimsical digital art from SeanE of DeviantArt. We just love this style, it makes us think of what Eddie would look like drawn as a Disney Villain! Says Sean of his piece, "This one was buckets of fun because I was trying all sorts of new things in it."
He goes on, saying, "First off, the light source coming down from directly on top is something I haven't tried before and I was also using layer masks of colour and changing the layer modes (mostly to saturation with a red-tan mask) to see what would happen. That's how I got the brassy/gold look to the cane and washed out the intensity of the skin tones. Pencils are by Jon Sommariva, a fellow Aussie who lives in Brisbane and is a member of the 'ledheavy' crew."
4 A CLOCKWORK GREEN
This jaw-dropping piece is the creation of Thomas Lishman, aka CRYart-UK. It reminds us of a certain poster image, character, and style of A Clockwork Orange. "Oh, this is very exciting. Who will win? Well, obviously that will be me, so who will lose first? You, or the rats running the maze like their lives depend on it?" Definitely sounds like something either Edward Nygma or Alex DeLarge would say!
You'll definitely need make to sure and take some time to examine the works of Mr. Lishman! He has been a member of DeviantArt for over nine years, and we can see why. Not only does CRYart-UK dabble in digital art, but he makes amazing 3-D Art as well! Warning: stay away if you love figurines!
3 ORIGAMI PENGUIN
Regardless of how you may feel about the Gotham TV series' portrayal of their interpretation of the convoluted relationship between Ed Nygma and Ozzie Cobblepot, one cannot help but fall in love with this painting by the artist Riss. The colors and style are so beautiful, it almost has the soothing effect of looking at a Monet.
We can just imagine The Riddler playing with the origami penguin he made that one day in Arkham, when Oswald brought him an "unsovloable puzzle" that Edward promptly solved in less than a few seconds. "Details can be distracting. Sometimes a simple solution is best. Remember, penguins eat fish." Ah, friendship, one of the greatest gifts a human can give and receive! To check out more of Riss' work, follow her on Twitter @aka_rissalf.
2 STEAMPUNK HACKER
Sean Ellery, aka SeanE on DeviantArt, made our list once again, with this super creative and beautiful piece! We just love the utility belt, the goggles on his hat, the wing-tipped shoes, and other touches he added to this vision of The Riddler. Somehow he is able to blend Steampunk and Victorian touches into a character who is a modern day tech genius. Lots of fun and lovely to behold!
"I just love the expression in his face on this one." So do we, Sean! But, what's in the vials, we wonder? Do we want to find out? Knowing Ed Nygma, probably not..."You are all experiencing fear. An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger. This is perfectly understandable." Umm, thanks, Eddie...
1 SPLASH PAGE
Our final selection of Riddler-y fanart is from the French creator Sno2 of DeviantArt. We fell in love with this one the moment we laid eyes on it! Like a puzzle in itself, the media seems to define Nygma by the very chaos and order dispersed throughout the piece. The mystery and enigma of it is fantastic. And, we love splash style art!
Sno2 has a very diverse style and portfolio though, so be sure to swing by and check out his work! "Hello again! I'm afraid you'll find I've stepped things up considerably. Which means I think our time together is coming to a close. It's been fun, Batman. But all good things must come to an end." Bye, bye, Nygma! It's been fun!