Batman and Riddler just had a Valentine’s Day date on a rooftop in Gotham City, and it’s actually one of the most heartwarming DC stories this year!
Spoilers ahead for DC Strange love affairs #1!
This Valentine’s DayDC Comics has Batman to sit intimately and dine with one of his greatest enemies: Edward Nygma, aka Riddler. Although it might seem unusual, in DC’s final story Strange love affairs #1 – “Dinner for Two” by Ram V and Phil Hester – the story reunites Batman and Riddler for a moment fans never knew they needed.
Batman and Riddler have a more complicated history than most fans realize. The concepts of Riddler’s plans never change much, as he always seeks to challenge Batman to a plethora of puzzles. However, during Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee Batman: Hush storyline, Riddler eventually discovers Batman’s identity. While the New 52 the comics rebooted a lot of DC stories, a considerable amount of Batman history remained intact, whether it was Joker crippling Barbara Gordon (although she eventually regained the use of her legs) or the Riddler’s knowledge of Bruce Wayne’s dark secret.
“Dinner for Two” begins with the relationship between Batman and Riddler, as fans regularly know; the world’s greatest detective is on the hunt again, following a strange trail of clues left by Riddler on Valentine’s Day. Sure, he eventually discovers Riddler’s location, but what’s surprising is how he finds him: Edward Nygma awaits Batman with champagne, flowers, and a tidy table with two seats. Batman pleases her and Nygma opens up. Every day, Riddler walks past a crossword-loving woman sitting in the park named Jasmin Shroff. However, he never finds enough courage to approach her. He says to his cape rival: “I’m afraid some puzzles are unsolvable, Batman.” Batman then responds by stating: “There are no unsolvable riddles, Nygma.”
Nygma appreciates his adversary’s reassurance and proves that Riddler and Batman don’t entirely hate each other, at least not as much as Batman hates some of his other enemies. Riddler also comments that Batman could be anywhere else, but he chooses to accompany Riddler, “at a table for the two loneliest men in Gotham.” Batman gives Riddler the ultimate “touchdown” by nonverbally clinking his date’s glass. While Riddler is undoubtedly a criminal, his main goal is to challenge Batman. In response, the Dark Knight almost always plays with Nygma’s game, much like he indulges Riddler by joining him for dinner. Their situations make Riddler and Batman a perfect non-romantic couple for Valentine’s Day, a night when singles feel loneliest.
While it might seem odd at first, Batman and Riddler’s dinner ends up being a surprising treat for even the biggest DC Comics fans. Something about a quiet, chilly Valentine’s Day evening in Gotham is the perfect environment for two enemies to put aside their differences. The story also ends ambiguously, as Batman: The Killing Joke. While Riddler robbed a flower shop, he didn’t violently hurt anyone to bring Batman here. The story ends with the flower vase toppled as petals fly away. This ending could mean Riddler runs away, Batman delivers him to the cops downstairs, or as Valentine’s Day present Batman actually lets Nygma off the hook – for now.
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