Batman: Every Live-Action Riddler Ranked Worst To Best

Riddle me this, riddle me that, who fought best against the big bad bat?!

The Riddler Jim Carrey Paul Dano Batman Forever The Batman
Warner Bros.

It's no secret that Bruce Wayne's rogues gallery is one of the most iconic collections of baddies in fiction. If you were to make a list of the best comic-book villains of all time, then the Caped Crusader's biggest enemies would be all over it like crime to Gotham City. Still, fans tend to see a lot of the same when it comes to live-action.

Despite his ever expansive collection of baddies, there isn't much variety in Batman's live-action endeavours. Viewers have gotten used to seeing the likes of Joker or Catwoman again and again, with other compelling antagonists being left on the bench.

However, Edward Nygma himself, otherwise known as The Riddler, sits between overdone and underdone. This Gothamite is best summed up as an unstable genius, as he's always three steps ahead of Batman, thanks to his incredible intellect. Adding even more fuel to this fire is his obsession with puzzles and - you guessed it - riddles.

There have been five live-action Riddlers (thus far), and they certainly vary in degrees of quality. Of course, they all have a charm to them, but some are certainly better than others.

5. John Astin - Batman (1967)

The Riddler Jim Carrey Paul Dano Batman Forever The Batman
20th Century Fox

This entry should start by stating that John Astin is an excellent actor, famed for being the first person to play Gomez Adams in The Adams Family. The man is a legend, but his time in Gotham City is far less iconic than his turn as the head of that Gothic household; in fact, many people forget it even happened.

During the original Batman TV series, Astin was brought in for two episodes to replace Frank Gorshin (a name you'll need to remember). Accounts differ as to why this happened in the first place, with the most popular theory stating that there was a dispute after Gorshin requested a pay rise.

Regardless of why it happened, it's easy to see this version of The Riddler as the weakest. The iteration lasted only two episodes, and while Astin brought a suitable wackiness to the role, it was hard to shake off the legacy of Gorshin. Overall, it seemed like Astin was delivering on a lacklustre impression, leading to the character falling flat.

It was a tough job, and sadly, Astin didn't quite solve this riddle.


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