Riddler: 5 Marvel Characters That Could Easily Solve His Puzzles (& 5 That Couldn't) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

What would happen if infamous DC trickster The Riddler were to challenge the Marvel Universe with his games?
The Riddler‘s whole schtick is in his name and it’s made him one of Batman’s most iconic villains. Riddler isn’t going to punch it out with anyone, but instead outthink them, enmeshing them in riddles that he hopes are beyond their capacity. While Batman has stopped him numerous times, the Riddler has outsmarted the Caped Crusader, adding to his mystique and making him a dangerous foe.
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Marvel has few villains like the Riddler, which is good for some heroes as he would easily outsmart some of them. Not all of them, though, as Marvel has some of the smartest heroes around. It would be interesting to turn him loose in the Marvel Universe, just to see what would happen.
When people think of Wolverine, they think of the most dangerous mutant hero on Earth rather than some cerebral titan. This discounts many important details about Wolverine. He was a spy for years and had to use his brains more than his fighting skills many times. Wolverine may enjoy ripping through things but that’s not his only move.
Wolverine is way smarter than he gets credit for. Even with his healing factor and other improvements, he wouldn’t have survived the black ops world without learning a thing or a two thousand. His enhanced senses would also be a big help for any maze-like deathtraps Riddler enjoys employing.
Deadpool is known for being as funny as he is dangerous but he isn’t known for being smart. He’s pretty much the opposite of Wolverine; while he’s an expert at fighting, he depends on his healing factor entirely too much to get him through every situation. Deadpool doesn’t have to think because he’s basically indestructible.
His style is basically just to bull his way through things and this has affected him to the extent that his brain has seemingly atrophied. Riddler would put him in situations where his healing factor would be useless, taking him completely out of his game.
Loki has proven himself as one of Marvel’s greatest villains. While his power is a part of this, a bigger part is his trickery. As the Norse god of mischief, tricks and schemes are what Loki does best and he’s been doing it for millennia. Riddler is good and he’s pretty smart but he doesn’t have the sheer weight of experience and intelligence that Loki does.
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Loki would easily solve Riddler’s puzzles. He’d probably have a good time doing it too, as few out there challenge him in that way. He might even take the Riddler under his wing for a time and teach him a few things before eventually betraying him for kicks.
Thor is the kind of person who has a very particular set of skills and doesn’t really go outside of them. That set of skills is battle and Thor’s an expert at it. He’s been fighting for thousands of years and while he has a rather good base of knowledge, calling him smart is a road way too far, as he constantly gets outsmarted by his brother Loki.
While Riddler is below Loki’s level, he’s still way smarter than Thor and that would make all the difference. Thor has accomplished some great things but outsmarting the Riddler definitely wouldn’t be one of them.
Doctor Doom is one of the most intelligent people on the Earth. He’s a master sorcerer and has created amazing technology over the years. His armor can drain the power of gods and leaves Iron Man’s most advanced suits in the dust. There are few on any planet that can outsmart Doctor Doom. Riddler is good but Doctor Doom is much, much better.
Doom is the kind of person who, after he figured out Riddler’s puzzle would go over, in excruciating detail, how he easily came up with the solution to the puzzle and point out all the mistakes Riddler made. He’d then throw him into the most terrible Latverian prison imaginable.
Hercules is probably the most fun hero in the Marvel Universe. He’s the kind of guy who goes to a bar, starts fun drinking contests, arm wrestles everyone, and then gets everyone dancing. He has a boisterous love for life and that includes fighting. Hercules is a great hero who would never let down his friends but that doesn’t make him smart.
Hercules would try to solve Riddler’s puzzles but it just wouldn’t work. He doesn’t really think that way. Puzzles aren’t his thing and Riddler would easily take advantage of this weakness.
Iron Man is one of Marvel’s shadiest heroes but there’s no denying he’s smart. Engineering is all about solving problems and that makes Iron Man perfect as someone to deal with the Riddler. Iron Man has had to solve all kinds of puzzles over the years; his deductive reasoning is quite high. He has a wide enough base of knowledge that even Riddler’s more esoteric puzzles wouldn’t daunt him.
While Iron Man has been fooled in the past, he’s always figured a way out of things. This will help him against Riddler and allow him to outsmart the villain known for outsmarting his foes.
Saying that Reed Richards couldn’t solve a puzzle is almost blasphemy but the thing about Reed is that he’s too smart. He doesn’t notice some things and he’s thinking at a level that most don’t even understand. This is why the Riddler would be able to stump Reed. Reed is used to figuring out the secrets of the universe; child’s rhymes and fiction are almost beneath him.
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Riddler’s puzzles play off so many things that Reed doesn’t even think about. He’d almost certainly be able to figure out a way around Riddler’s puzzles but actually solving them? He’d leave that to Valeria.
Spider-Man has faced down all manner of villains. Whether they be super strong titans like Rhino or Juggernaut, evil masterminds like Kingpin and Green Goblin, or super geniuses like Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man has faced them all. This experience would serve him well against the Riddler. While he hasn’t exactly took on anyone like Riddler, he’d be able to outsmart the Riddler.
Riddler is smart, but so is Spider-Man. He’s also an intuitive thinker and his wide base of knowledge will make Riddler’s puzzles easy for him to figure out. His spider-sense would also help immensely, as it’s his power with the most utility.
Captain America is one of the greatest tacticians on the planet. He can easily solve just about tactical problem and do it on the fly. It’s the skill that has made him so important to the Avengers and has kept him alive in battles against all kinds of foes over the years. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t really help him against Riddler. Cap is battle smart but he doesn’t have the kinds of smarts that would allow him to solve Riddler’s puzzles.
Cap could certainly beat Riddler and any henchmen thrown at him in a fight, but getting to the Riddler by solving his puzzles wouldn’t be something that Cap would be capable of.
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David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter- https://www.twitter.com/harth_david.


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