Batman: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 48 – What is Reality? – The Riddler’s Game

What is Reality

“What is Reality?” is an all around great episode and one of my favorites. The premise begins with the return of the Riddler who is stealing money from all electronic sources and erasing all records of the existence of Edward Nygma. It comes to a head when he leaves virtual reality game that he traps Commissioner Gordon within and Batman and Robin have to rescue him.

Pros: Robin – Robin is great in this episode. Once again we see why he is Batman’s protege with him being the puzzle master who is able to help Batman through the games that the Riddler poses. It is implied together they would have beat the Riddler if the Riddler hadn’t locked him out of the game.

Commissioner Gordon – Gordon is fantastic in this one too and is the one who needs rescuing…which we haven’t seen for a while. This is the time we see him powerless before the public as the Riddler is taking everything without consequence. We also see his inquisitiveness get him into trouble when Riddler uses it to trap him in the game.

Batman – Batman’s deductive skills are on display here as he solves every riddle the Riddler poses and uses to defeat the game and remain in control of himself as well as find where the Riddler was controlling everyone from. He even manages to trick the Riddler to getting stuck in the game himself.

The Riddler – This episode shows what I hope we see of the Riddler when he appears once more on the big screen. In virtual reality the mind is the greatest thing and we see that here as he uses it to trap Batman and Gordon and keep Robin out of the game. He manages to wipe away all record of his existence as Edward Nygma too fully becoming the Riddler. This version is by far the greatest of all the Riddlers and the one I hope is used as inspiration when we see him again in the movies (using hacking to reek havoc and trapping the heroes in a virtual reality game). His defeat is sad (trapped in his own game in a coma) but we know he gets out of it at some point.

The music – Captures the mysteriousness of the Riddler. Also, I love the Riddler’s theme music.

Puns – The Riddler’s are largely world play and puns but never overused…and quite intelligent when said puns are enemies in the game used to try and kill you. Hats off to the Riddler.

I highly recommend this episode. The only thing that keeps it from being perfect is the Riddler not being able to escape like he did in his first appearance. Still a sold story though that I’m going to give full points too. It was a fun ride and showed why Riddler is one of the greatest rogues and what made this Riddler so memorable.

10 / 10.

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.