Be honest, when I hinted at a Batman entry on this list, you guys thought I was going to say The Joker, didn’t you?
But unlike The Joker, Hannibal Lector, and all the other classic examples of this phenomenon, Riddler can’t quite exude that effortlessly powerful brand of evil, try as he might. His villainy isn’t driven by either sadism or rational selfishness but by acute narcissism. Everything he does is for the sake of his enormous but painfully fragile ego. He leaves those riddle-encoded clues to his crimes out of a compulsive need to prove his mental superiority, to the world and to himself.
So, reason number two for the embarrassment factor, on top of being evil, Riddler’s also kind of a little bitch.
Why I can’t help myself:
First, the obvious. Riddler’s a genius. Not as perfect and unrivaled a genius as he wants to be, but a genius nonetheless. I’m a sucker for the smart guy as much as the funny guy. In fact, I find the two are very often the same thing. Also, let us not underestimate the power of cute red hair.
If I were ever to snap, abandon all morality and compassion I was born or raised with, embrace the very worst facets of my character, and become a supervillain, this is exactly what it would look like:
Hey, we’ve all got a dark side, and if you’re spending your free time reading a nerdy writer’s blog, there’s a fair chance that yours might look a lot like mine, like The Riddler. But even if your personal demons and weaknesses usually lie elsewhere, try to tell me you’ve never, possibly while under the thumb of a particularly dim-witted teacher or supervisor, had the urge to issue a challenge that sounds at least a little bit like,