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The Batman teased a friendship between the film’s villain, the Riddler, and another convict, played by Barry Keoghan. However, things will not go well for them.
The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, hints a potential team-up between the Riddler and the Joker near the climax of the film, but it’s doomed to fail. To date, The Batman has received a rousing critical acclaim, with much of Reeves’ film’s popularity owing to its radical new take on Gotham. The Batman’s box office success is another indication of its success, as it is the studio’s highest-grossing feature since 2020. Despite the positive reviews for The Batman, the latest Batman film makes one misstep with its enemies.
Paul Dano’s Riddler is portrayed as a deliberate, calculating opponent who methodically plots out every piece of his strategy throughout The Batman. Except for the one element that wrecks his fun – human nature – he has everything down to a science. He makes a disastrous error in comprehending Batman’s character, causing him to be imprisoned with another famous Batman villain.
It’s no secret that the cackling criminal the Riddler chooses to pursue is none other than this universe’s version of The Joker (Barry Keoghan). The issue is that their criminal styles contrast far too much, especially in light of Dano’s portrayal of The Riddler. Not only that, but The Joker has a history of manipulating people like his Arkham neighbour, as well as a well-documented history of enmity between the two in DC comics. All evidence shows that, while such a collaboration is appealing, it will not end well for either of them.
The Clown Prince of Crime is known for being unexpected, and he exists to reflect “crime’s randomness.” While the Joker has plans, few of them are as complex as the Riddler’s in The Batman, therefore their approaches would clash. Joker, on the other hand, might be depending on it.
The Joker is known for his ability to manipulate people. Many of the people who’ve joined his gangs over the years are folks he’s controlled as one of Gotham’s greatest gang commanders in most continuity. The most notable character is Harley Quinn, who began her career in Arkham and was eventually seduced by the Grinning Gangster. If The Batman has demonstrated anything, it’s that Riddler is unstable, at least to the point where Joker would have no trouble winding the scheming serial murderer around his finger rather fast. The question therefore becomes, for what purpose is Riddler being used?
However, if Riddler notices, a problem may arise. He’s at least smarter than most of the individuals Joker catches, which would almost surely cause resentment between them and make their team-up an immediate catastrophe.
Despite what the Batman stories of the 1960s portray, the Joker and the Riddler don’t always get along. Most Batman rogues, especially those with their own gangs, are almost as much at odds with one another as they are with Batman. Most recently, there was Tom King’s The War of Jokes and Riddles, which depicted a gang war between the Riddler and the Joker two years into Batman’s vigilante career and ran from Batman vol. 3 #25 to Batman vol. 3 #32. Interestingly, The Batman is set in the same time period, so it’s completely plausible that Matt Reeves’ Batman cinematic world is setting up that plotline.
The Joker and the Riddler are almost certainly going to appear in any sequels to The Batman. While the film hinted at a possible relationship between the two, considering their canonical background, it is unlikely to succeed. Because of Joker and Riddler’s contrasting styles, Joker’s proclivity for manipulation, and their recorded history of loathing for one another, it might end terribly.
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