Does The Riddler Have A Girlfriend In DC Comics? 'Gotham's Ed Nygma Is A Unique Take On The Villain
FOX's Gotham has a lot of similarities with Batman comics, but there are also plenty of elements that so far, are completely unique spins on very familiar characters. One of those new elements is making Ed Nygma's relationship with Kristen Kringle (or lack thereof) such a big part of his origin story. While Ed has a lot in common with the DC Comics version of the Riddler, and others, Gotham is taking its liberties with him in a few ways, including the focus on romance. In general, most of Batman's villains were originally written as eccentric crooks with goofy obsessions, and slowly became darker over time. I don't think Gotham is going to have Ed showing up to work at the GCPD wearing a suit covered in question marks — so it's not super shocking that it's adding more subtle characterization, especially since it will be years until Nygma becomes a notorious supervillain.
But all of that said, there are 75 years of Batman comics, and in all of that time, the Riddler has been associated with some female characters, even if he doesn't have a famous romance like Batman's on-again, off-again flirtation with Catwoman. While the Gotham writers are blazing their own trail in plenty of ways, they may be leaning on the comics to provide some slight inspiration for the Edward/Kristen relationship.
Riddler often has two female associates in the comics, Query and Echo. They're not really his love interests so much as they're his subordinates, and their characters aren't much more than background extras. Already, in just a single season of Gotham, Kristen Kringle is a more interesting character than either of these throwaway characters.
But what does work as a comparison is that while Riddler might fall in love with a woman, he'll always be more obsessed with riddles. That's probably the reason why he's never had much of a love story, even though other villains often are paired off or known to have kids.
In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Riddler's Reform," Ed finds success as a toy designer and has a brief flirtation with a couple of women at a party. Nygma's look of surprise implies that this is not a usual occurrence for this version of the character.
In the short comic The Joker's Asylum: The Riddler , the Riddler is again caught off guard by his attraction to a woman who catches him in the act of stealing. It seems like one common thread is Nygma being scared or paralyzed by the idea of being attracted to someone.
In the very cheesy Batman Forever, Ed Nygma is an inventor working for Wayne Enterprises who, to me, seems to have a borderline Kristen Kringle-worthy crush on Bruce Wayne. Maybe he's just nervous because of his boss hovering over him or because Wayne is so famous and successful, but I think it's just even more evidence that when Ed has a crush, he simply doesn't know what to do about it.
I have to say, even though Gotham's future Riddler is doing a pretty terrible job of wooing his beloved Kristen, he's actually doing pretty well romantically compared to some of the other portrayals of Edward Nygma over the years. At least Miss Kringle sometimes seems to enjoy Ed's antics.
Images: Nicole Rivelli, Jessica Miglio/FOX; Giphy