Ah, back when I was just a boy! In 1995, the DC annuals came with a ‘Year One’ banner, focussing on the early years and origin stories of their characters. I picked up 2 or 3 of them. I especially enjoyed the ‘Robin’ annual, which re-told Dick Grayson’s origin story, but Detective Comics Annual #8 is one of my absolute favourite Batman books, focussing instead on one Mr. Edward Nigma, a.k.a The Riddler.
‘Questions Multiply The Mystery’ is a Riddler origin story, narrated by Nigma himself from the confines of an observation room in Arkham Asylum. In the story – written by Chuck Dixon – we see where Nigma’s passion for puzzles all began as a child, and how it ultimately develops into a life of crime. We see him go from a bullied kid, to a petty thief who everyone sees as a joke, to the guy who outwits the Batman and finally gains credibility for his criminal genius. Ultimately, he does end up in Arkham thanks to Bats, and the book does a good job of showing how Batman haunts The Riddler’s thoughts as he recounts his tale.
It’s not a key issue, and it’s not a collectible book, but Detective Comics Annual #8 is an issue that has always been one of my favourites. You can even pick it up on Ebay for £1. Actually, I can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t do that!
The writer of this piece was: Alan Shields aka (Al)
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