In order for an actor to play his character to the best of their talent, they have to get involved and really delve into that character’s background and understand how they ended up where they are. For some characters, the background is so rich that it prompts the artist to go the extra mile and reveal that background research to the public. Back in March, Paul Dano announced that he was going to explore the origin story of The Batman’s villain in a comic book titled The Riddler: Year One.
The Riddler is, of course, the character that challenged Bruce Wayne’s (Robert Pattinson) wits by committing crimes around Gotham City and leaving behind enigmas that provided clues to his next target. The spin-off origin story is a six-issue bimonthly limited DC Black Label comic book series, and it was written by Dano himself along with illustrator Stevan Subic. The story centers around a younger Edward Nashton and the journey that transformed him into one of Batman’s most formidable foes.
In celebration of the first issue getting released, DC Comics released a video in which Dano and The Batman director Matt Reeves talk about the comic book’s inception. In the video, Dano reveals that there was a lot of discussion between them about the story of the Riddler (Reeves also penned the movie’s script along with Peter Craig), and that the filmmaker got really excited with the research that Dano did on the character.
In the video, Dano talked about being inside the mind of the villain and his solitary upbringing:
“To really geek out about Batman and the history… it just really gripped me. The idea here was to enter the comic in a really subjective way, so a lot of this is about somebody like Edward Nashton and what is going on inside his head. And I always felt like the only positive affirmation Edward Nashton has ever gotten in his entire life was from solving riddles or playing games.”
The Riddler: Year One mirrors another widely popular DC comic book from the same universe: Written by Frank Miller (Sin City) and released in 1986, Batman: Year One reimagined Bruce Wayne’s origin story and became one of the most popular stories of the superhero, and it served as inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
The first issue of The Riddler: Year One is available for purchase now. You can check out the trailer for the comic below: