While Gotham has often been touted as a show taking place before the years of Bruce Wayne’s donning of the Batman persona (Wayne is portrayed as a child in this continuity, naturally), it seems more fair at this point to call Gotham an entirely separate universe altogether. After all, most of the villains have been introduced far earlier than their comic counterparts (or even been killed off and later resurrected, such as in their “Proto-Joker” character), where they showed up well into Batman’s crime-fighting career.
Either way, this has certainly allowed the writers of Gotham a lot more freedom when constructing stories while simultaneously serving to keep viewers on their toes as far as what to expect from the show. Now the series is set to debut another well-regarded villain as Cory Michael Smith’s Edward Nygma character will officially don his Riddler costume in the next episode of Gotham.
In a trailer (available above) for the spring premiere of Gotham season 3, which is appropriately titled 'How the Riddler Got His Name,' the show offered a quick sneak peek at Nygma in what is more than likely an early incarnation of his trademark all green Riddler suit. This comes in the wake of Nygma’s apparent revenge plot against Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) finally coming to a head in the most recent episode 'The Gentle Art of Making Enemies,' with the latter’s fate left unknown.
While the trailer itself doesn’t give a definitive answer to Penguin’s fate after 'The Gentle Art of Making Enemies', it certainly makes it clear that the episode will be heavily focused on Nygma (if the episode title didn’t already give that away) and his rise to Riddler glory. The costume itself is surprisingly unadorned, lacking the full display of question marks that have popped up in a lot of iterations, and instead opting for a simpler all-green look.
Of course, this is a very early version of Riddler’s suit and it’s likely that the character will evolve and tweak the outfit as Gotham presumably continues onward with its recurring theme of focusing on the rise of Gotham City’s most prominent Batman villains. For now, it’s fantastic to finally see Nygma don the green outfit, as the character has experienced quite a shift in development during Gotham’s three-season run, changing from shy forensic scientist working at the GCPD to a criminal mastermind.
Some fans will continue to say that the show is bringing in the villains from Batman’s catalog way too early, and that the timeline won’t match up for when Wayne finally grows up and inevitably dons the costume. While certainly a concern, Gotham has opted from day one to be its own thing, drawing from established Batman canon but not chaining itself to it. To deviate from that path now would just be counterintuitive to everything the show has established up to this point.
Gotham continues on April 24, 2017 with 'How the Riddler Got His Name' @8pm on FOX.