Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Scott Godlewski
Colors by Marissa Louise
Letters by Travis Lanham
The Rundown: The Riddler is upset that he hasn’t been tapped by Lex Luthor for a gift of power and he will have to solve the riddle of his own life to understand why.
The Riddler is upset. He has been passed over by Lex Luthor as other villains are given gifts that increase their power and focus their purpose. He meets up with King Tut to try to determine what it is he’s doing wrong and the two villains contemplate whether or not it’s the way they conduct themselves that is a turn off to bigger things.
When Lex confront Riddler at his home, Edward is surprised that the villain offers him a story that parallels the reason why Riddler is considered unworthy of his help. It’s a story that Edward fills in with a parallel of his own life and what he has chosen to hold onto. When the opportunity arrives to finally take down Batman with King Tut, Riddler jumps at the chance to prove himself. But as he watches the Dark Knight fight through a series of traps designed by Tut, Edward comes to a realization that will change everything about who he is and what he believes.
The Story: This is an interesting comic that tells a subdued story. There are moments of humor throughout, but what makes it readable is how Mark Russell crafts an engaging character study of the Riddler in its pages. He doesn’t lay everything out for the reader. The story allows Edward to contemplate who he really is and what he really wants. This was a thoroughly enjoyable side story that I hope resonates with the character.
The Art: Scott Godlewski creates some great art in this issue. With the more subdued theme of the story, the art reflect an emphasis on the characters and it works.