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Did the Zodiac Killer inspire The Riddler's look in The Batman 2021?

Leigh McManus May 19, 2021
zodiac killer the riddler


New promo art from The Batman has been leaked, leading people to see similarities between between the Zodiac Killer and The Riddler, played by Paul Dano in the upcoming 2021 movie.

Who is the Zodiac Killer?

The Zodiac Killer was a serial murderer active throughout the sixties and early seventies in the Bay Area of California.

The killer’s true identity was unknown and his pseudonym was born after he sent series of taunting letters and cards the San Francisco Bay Area press.

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The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Napa County, and San Francisco, respectively, between December 1968 and October 1969.

He claimed to have murdered 37 people in total, but investigators have only confirmed seven victims of his attacks, two of whom survived the attempt.

The Zodiac, who remains uncaught and unidentified, would often send cryptic codes – or clues – to the press and police in his letters and encourage them to solve his riddles.

Is The Riddler’s 2021 inspiration based on the Zodiac Killer?

The Riddler concept art doing the rounds online has led people to believe that Paul Dano’s character is based on the infamous serial killer.

Batman fans lost it after a peek at The Riddler’s mask design, which many say is a direct nod to that of the real life killer’s mask.

“It was a black mask and it came over, over his shoulders, down his front, around his back and had a circle with cross hairs in the centre,” said retired Napa County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Collins, one of the first responders to the Lake Berryessa crime scene in September 1969.

In the latest incarnation of the classic Batman villain The Riddler, according to leaked images, we see Paul Dano don a full face covering that drapes over his shoulders, inspiring comparisons.

Twitter reaction to Paul Dano’s Riddler

Twitter is awash with conversation about the new look for The Riddler, who debuted in the Detective Comics in October 1948.

One fan tweeted: “The Zodiac Killer is clearly a huge inspiration for the design of the Riddler.” Another agreed, saying: “The Zodiac Killer vibes Riddler is giving off in Matt Reeves’ The Batman is the exact reason why I know he’s going to blow our minds.”

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Needless to say, fans are looking forward to Dano’s version of The Riddler, who has previously been depicted by Jim Carrey in the 1995 film Batman Forever and Cory Michael Smith in the television series Gotham.

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Leigh is a 26-year-old journalist from the north of Ireland. He studied International Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, where he earned a 2:1 grade. He has worked for Mail Online and has experience with the Liverpool Echo, Irish Mirror and SWNS. Leigh is also a huge music fan and has his own show on a community radio station.