Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 40 – If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? – The Arrival of the Riddler


The Riddler is one of my favorite villains and this episode is the reason why. “If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” was the first “Batman: The Animated Series” was the first episode I ever saw when I was little. Suffice to say it holds up and is one of my favorites. The premise is Edward Nygma gets cheated out of the computer game he invented by his boss Mockridge, from here he seeks revenge against him after getting fired and it is up to Batman and Robin to stop him.

Here is my assessment of the episode:

Pros: The Riddler – You can understand why the Riddler went bad, he was cheated and let go by a corrupt boss when he was the man who designed what the boss was profiting from in the first place. He is the best Riddler as he is calm, collected, intelligent and even has some great puns as well as advanced tech. that we haven’t seen from a human enemy since the Joker’s early episodes. He also escapes at the end too and to save Mockridge both Batman and Robin are needed.

Batman – We get to see how smart Batman is in this episode given that he realizes the Riddler is Edward Nigma after the first riddle that is used to haunt Mockridge. We also see him hack “The Hand of Fate,” which is fitting since he doesn’t believe in fate. We also see that he sees Mockridge for the horrible person he is.

Robin – This is a great Robin episode since Robin was the one playing the game at the beginning of the episode before they are in the physical game where the enemies are real robots. He is able to figure out a lot of the riddles too showing that once again there is a reason he is Batman’s protege.

The story – Having the minotaur and maze from Minos be an actual game is a cool idea and making the game real is also a great salute to Greek Mythology, with the Riddler as the King. He is also an understandable baddie compared to many of Batman’s other rogues. The story is great.

The music – The music fits the haunting and mysterious theme of the episode quite well and achieves the purpose it needs too.

This is one of my favorite “Batman: The Animated Series” episodes and the best of the Riddlers that have been created so far. It is a shame we got the Jim Carrey Riddler in “Batman Forever,” when we could have got one like this…the calm collected engineer, programmer and man of riddles. If you want a good origin story and one of the best of the Rogues in this series, check it out.

My score for this episode is 10 / 10.

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