The Riddler has gotten a fashion refresh in Detective Comics, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
It can be tricky to iterate on the Riddler. Many writers and artists have attempted to modernize the flamboyant, verdantly suited, and nattily-hatted quizzer into something more aligned with modern fashion — both in terms of clothes and the changing vibe of comic book supervillains. He’s been given question-mark scars and scantily clad henchwomen with themed names. Once, he just started wearing black lipstick and a black suit with the shirt wantonly unbuttoned to show off his question-mark neck tattoo. But none of those looks ever last.
So why am I so into this new one? Because Mariko Tamaki and Nadia Shammas have finally found the best reason for the Riddler to wear a bowler in 2022: He’s an insufferable menace who delights in being awful on purpose. That’s showing your understanding of the character.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
Detective Comics #1059
God. The close-up on his horrible mustache! I hate it! He’s forcing Gotham to listen to his daily morning show (on radio and streamed as live video) where all he does is pontificate in a plausibly deniable way about the latest rash of murders he’s obviously responsible for! It’s perfect, and I hope it lasts forever!
For the many folks who hold Al Ewing and Lee Garbett’s Loki: Agent of Asgard close to their hearts, they should know that they get a whole short story to return to their version of him in Thor #750!
Justice League #75
The Justice League … is dead. Which we knew was going to happen in this week’s landmark Justice League issue, in order to pave the way for DC’s upcoming crossover event series Dark Crisis, which is all about their sidekicks and friends picking up the pieces of Earth’s defense against newly energized supervillains. Still: Pariah? Pariah, the guy whose Promethean-style punishment is that he must observe every crisis event for the rest of time, is the guy who killed the Justice League?
Honestly, good for him.
Sabretooth, the comic about Sabretooth, keeps surprising me with what it’s actually about with every issue. Are we doing The Good Place but with the X-Men’s least redeemable villain? Are we doing an Alcatraz escape, but with Krakoa? Are we doing a book about the difficulties of being a minor mutant character on an island that may be a paradise, but where all power is non-democratically concentrated in those with the most useful mutations, and the people who know them?
Whatever the answer turns out to be, in the meantime, the book is doing my favorite X-Men thing: introducing me to a bunch of characters I’ve never actually read about before and making me fall in love with them.