Warning: SPOILERS for Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Batgirl vs. The Riddler
The Riddler has a new woman in his life - and it's none other than Batgirl A.K.A.Barbara Gordon. Don't worry, the feelings aren't reciprocated. Babs is just as disgusted as she should be to become Riddler's love, which is a lot. Yet the latest issue of DC Comics' miniseries leading up to Batman's wedding, Prelude to the Wedding, explores the untapped relationship between Batgirl and The Riddler.
Prelude to the Wedding Batgirl vs. The Riddler is half showdown and twisted first date as The Riddler realizes his strong feelings for Batgirl. It's not a romance that DC Comics should ever actively pursue. However, it does put a new fascinating angle on the relationship between the two previously unconnected Bat Family characters.
Just like all other Prelude to the Wedding issues, Batgirl vs. The Riddler begins shortly before Batman gets ready to say, "I do" to Catwoman. The Riddler has heard of Batman's nuptials from The Joker and it's inspired him that he needs to find a special someone too. To do that The Riddler does what he does best, he sets up an elaborate scavenger hunt involving attempted murder.
The Riddler has devised this hunt, which involves kidnapping victims, for Batgirl specifically. Edward Ngyma explains that the reason for the hunt is simple. He wants Batgirl to prove her intelligence and therefore why she might be worthy of his affection. The Riddler, convinced of his own superiority, believes that he can't be anyone who is less intelligent than him. Riddler believes that the only woman for him is Barbara Gordon. The whole thing is The Riddler's idea of a first date.
Of course, Barbara ends up proving The Riddler right. Batgirl is a super genius and one of the DC Universe's smartest characters. The Riddler's lame puzzles are nothing for Batgirl. Barbara easily saves the day and hunts down Nygma, who is waiting for her, with his declaration of love.
After proving herself "worthy" The Riddler admits that he's in love with Batgirl. Batgirl responds with the only proper reaction. She kicks The Riddler off a roof. The Riddler, of course, survives. Batgirl is disgusted by him and his little game but she's not a murderer.
However, while nothing romantic comes off The Riddler's declaration, it does open up a possible new chapter for The Riddler and Batgirl. The Riddler has usually been the villain of soley Batman. He rarely goes out of Gotham or even attacks the rest of the Bat Family. Batman and his reputation as the World's Greatest Detective fascinates The Riddler. Yet Batgirl vs. The Riddler makes a compelling argument for the villain becoming Batgirl's main nemesis.
The Riddler's modus operandi fits perfectly with Batgirl's skill set as a tech savvy, genius who is also an accomplished martial artist. The Riddler allows Batgirl to show off her best qualities.
The DCEU's Batgirl movie is still a little bit up the air. The movie does have a new writer, after losing Joss Whedon, but it's still a big question mark if the movie will ever make it to the big screen. Yet if the DCEU movie ever does happen there should be some serious consideration to make The Riddler the next villain. Especially if the two continue to interact in the comics. Although it wouldn't be the worst idea if The Riddler's new obsessive love for Barbara was left on the cutting room floor.
Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Batgirl vs. The Riddler is now available from DC Comics.