Lowkey high key hate what Gotham has done for Riddler. Socially awkward nerd Edward feels like such a copout. He's into obscure shit and is an intelligent bloke so he mist be an 80 s stereotype before putting on a suit in turning into a mister M'lady? I get why people are into it but I am more into the failed potential of rebirth Riddler who is a man that could blend into good society but refuses to. He can also get a date and not just on looks alone. He can't keep a relationship but still
You want to know my absolute hottest take?
Riddler was NEVER a nerd.
There were Riddlers that LEANED nerdy. But you never saw a Riddler who watched anime or played D&D or collected comic books. You never even saw one who would bore someone’s ear off with obscure knowledge they didn’t care about. Riddler was, for the most part, sophisticated and classy. He enjoyed fine art, fine clothes, fine restaurants. That’s not to say he never did ‘nerdy’ things, but his entire identity didn’t revolve around his intelligence nor the fact that nobody appreciated it. Riddler wore a suit because gentlemen wear suits. He went home and watched a foreign film with a glass of vintage wine. He didn’t own fandom t-shirts (unless they were rare and valuable), he didn’t collect action figures (unless they were rare and valuable), and he had never tried Mountain Dew. Because he was not a nerd.
Riddler has ALWAYS been that man who could blend into good society but refuses to. Not because society rejects him, but because he rejects society. What’s the point of being a good person? What does a man who lacks morals get out of that? There’s no profit in it and the fame is fleeting. He has no incentive to be a good person because altruism often requires forgoing the credit lest people accuse you of doing it because you wanted credit. It’s much more fulfilling and rewarding to do whatever you want, whenever you want, especially when you can thwart the consequences. It’s more exciting.
Riddler doesn’t WANT a relationship. Being in a relationship means you have more or less solved the other person and that, to him, is boring. Once he has the other person figured out, he is no longer interested in them. This is why, canonically, Riddler falls for people he doesn’t know or who refuse to return his interest. If he EVER got someone who WANTED a long-term relationship, he would dump them. If they want that out of him, they’re solved. They are now worthless to him. Dates and initial parts of a relationship? Those are puzzles. Those are exciting. Beyond that? No. He has no interest in it. He wants the challenge of talking someone into something they originally don’t want to do.