WARNING: Spoilers for Season One follow.
If the first season of Telltale’s excellent Batman adventure series taught us anything, it’s that terrible, permanent things can happen to iconic franchise characters. The Enemy Within picks up a year after the events of Season One, and in my carried-over save file, Bruce Wayne is missing a chunk of his ear, and Alfred suffers from what is effectively PTSD following the climactic encounter with Lady Arkham. That norm-ignoring, convention-flipping dynamic is precisely what I liked about Telltale’s M-rated Batman, and if The Enigma is any indication, Season Two is going to be another violent, memorable ride.
The Enigma re-introduces The Riddler, who’s been mysteriously absent from Gotham City for many years. As in most Batman tellings, he’s got a grandiose ego to go with his big brain. Here, though, he’s also ruthlessly violent, carrying a scythe in the shape of a question mark and strapping hostages into “torture boxes” that slice off fingers one by one. His absence from the limelight is never explained, and it doesn’t seem like it will be. That’s no big deal, but his initial encounter with Batman doesn’t feel particularly developed. A mind as inquisitive as The Riddler’s would no doubt take a much deeper psychological interest in the Batman, but we never see that explored in their meetings. Despite being the central villain in The Enemy Within’s premiere episode, The Riddler is arguably its least compelling character.