The Zodiac And The Riddler 

The Zodiac Leaves An Impression 

It is an undeniable fact that the Zodiac lives on in the minds and imaginations of many all over the world, even decades after this killing spree in Northern California in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s easy to understand why, too. The horrific crimes he committed, his taunting letters, and his cryptic ciphers all made him stand out. He’s left such an impression on our collective conscious that you can see his presence even in pop culture. The Zodiac has been an inspiration for many stories, and most recently his influence can be seen over one of comic’s most well-known supervillains. 

Riddle Me This, Batman… 

Those who have followed the Zodiac Killer case closely are in for a surprise when they see The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves. The villain that stars in this particular Batman film is none other than Edward Nashton, otherwise known as the Riddler. However, this particular iteration of the Riddler is somewhat different than you might expect – and yet eerily familiar all the same. 

This Is This Riddler Speaking 

Director Matt Reeves admits that the Zodiac played a large role in how he chose to portray The Riddler in his film. Given the Riddler’s penchant for riddles and his well-known need to show his smarts to Batman, drawing inspiration from the Zodiac seems like a perfect choice. As Reeves himself said, 

“I revisited the Zodiac story and I thought, ‘gosh, when you look at the Zodiac who was leaving all of these ciphers and puzzles and taunting the police and the newspapers…that sounds like the Riddler.’” 

The Riddler’s use of codes to communicate with Batman and the Gotham City Police Department in the film isn’t the only thing he shares with the Zodiac, however. The film makes the allusion to the Zodiac clear in several ways. 

The Riddler’s Speech Mimics The Zodiac 

At one point in the film, the Riddler begins a chat with “This is the Riddler speaking” – an obvious reference to how the Zodiac began many of the letters he sent. It’s not just this line that mimics the Zodiac’s speaking patterns, though. In this film, the Riddler often refers to the police as “pigs” – slang that has fallen out of popular use now but is a term the Zodiac used to taunt police in several of his letters. 

The Riddler’s New Symbol 

The Riddler is well known for his signature question mark symbol. The Riddler’s symbol has been adapted in this film to mimic the crosshair or gunsight signal the Zodiac left on many of his letters. In this film, the Riddler’s costume bears a mark very similar to that crosshair symbol. The circular sight in the middle, however, is replaced with the Riddler’s question mark. 

The Riddler’s Crimes Echo The Zodiac’s Crimes 

Even some of the victims we see the Riddler claim on screen mimic famous cases that are linked to the Zodiac Killer himself. As the Riddler attacks a man after waiting in the back of his car, those in the know are sure to be reminded of the Zodiac’s attack on cab drive Paul Stine. 

What Other Similarities Did You Notice? 

There are many other similarities between this Riddler and the Zodiac in The Batman. If you haven’t seen the film yet, try to see which similarities you recognize. 

Learn More About The Zodiac Killer Case 

If you’re interested in reading more about the inspiration behind this version of the Riddler, try reading Tom Voigt’s Zodiac Killer: Just the Facts. This book contains police reports, letters, and ciphers – all related to the Zodiac killer case. You can read through each item in chronological order or pinpoint the information you’re interested in with the easily searchable index. 

Tom Voigt is responsible for the creation, curation, and editing of the #1 Zodiac Killer website, Launched in 1998, remains the ONLY Zodiac Killer website recognized by law enforcement. To learn more about the release of Zodiac Killer: Just the Facts, as well as other information about the Zodiac Killer case, visit today. 

Information Gathered From the #1 Zodiac Killer Website