WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Batgirl vs. The Riddler by Tim Seeley and Minkyu Jung, in stores now.
Everyone has reacted to the news of Batman and Catwoman’s upcoming nuptials differently. Superman takes Bruce and Selina on a double-date with him an Lois, while the Joker vies, in his very own bloody way, to be the best man at the ceremony. Of course, such a world-shattering and character-altering change is bound to have some effect everyone around the two characters, heroes and villains alike, and in this week’s Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Batgirl vs. The Riddler, we see how Edward Nygma, another important villain in Batman’s rogues gallery, reacts to the news.
Unsurprisingly, it sends the question-mark obsessed madman on a rampage. But oddly enough, his target isn’t Batman at all. Instead, he focuses on Barabara Gordon, the one and only Batgirl. But the Riddler’s latest scheme is not one meant to demonstrate his superior intellect. Quite the contrary, in fact; this time, Riddler is looking for a match.
That’s right, on the eve of Batman’s wedding, Edward Nygma takes Barabara Gordon out on a date, the only way he knows how.
Edward Nygma is an intellectual. His beliefs are defined by practical proof, and he believes that his superior smarts set him apart from everyone else. But the news of Batman’s wedding to Catwoman shakes his foundation. As calculating as he is, the Riddler never saw this coming, and now he finds himself faced with some questions, err, riddles that he hadn’t considered before. As he explains, this made him wonder if he had an intellectual equal, an opposite to complete him, like the holy union of the vigilante and the criminal. Naturally, this leads Nygma to land his sights on Batgirl.
With her background as Oracle, as well as her crime-fighting as Batgirl, Barbara Gordon is a match for Nygma, someone who is opposite him, but also like him in a lot of ways. In his search for a companion, the Riddler therefore leads Barbara on a series of complicated riddles throughout Burnside, where she must rescue five different people, to test and seduce her all at the same time. This is Nygma’s idea of a date, as twisted as it might be. In fact, he goes so far as saying that he might already be in love with her, given her propensity to understand him and solve his riddles.
But when Batgirl finally finds him, Nygma doesn’t he ask her out like a normal person. Instead, he attacks her, declaring that unlike Catwoman, he can’t be redeemed. He has gone too far, and his path is one that will never change. The Riddler knows who he is, and he knows what he can’t have. His outlook on life has changed, and this will perhaps make it even more dangerous than before. When Nygma surfaces next, his revelation will likely make him more lethal, and perhaps even smarter than before. The Riddler won’t be holding back, and he will use everything he knows to lay waste to Gotham City.
As for Batgirl, well, she managed to beat the Riddler, as you’d expect. She shows him she isn’t just his match, she is his superior. She isn’t defined by anyone other than her own self. But — she does still need a date to the wedding.
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