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Will "scifantasy" Frank said on October 4th, 2011 at 10:06 am

Oh well, there goes any hope of getting work done today. Well, it’s only doc review.

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He’s ultimately competing against his father.

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Snap Wilson said on October 4th, 2011 at 11:12 am

It’s obvious. The clues are all there on the chessboard. The riddle is, “how do you eliminate a dark knight?” And the answer is “White Castle (hamburgers).” The Riddler intends on giving him heart disease.

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It’s something political. Which is most definitely my weakest point when it comes to anything.

Congratulations to the person who gets it-

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I’ll make a pitch though there’s clues in the dialogue I’m probably missing.

The Riddle is what his plan is. Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:
panel 1- Bank in the background
panel 3 – suit and fedora
panel 4 – map and US bearer bond. Note the map has multiple dark lines – tunnels? That would also explain the I-beam in the background.
panel 5 – picture of a suburban family in front of a house.
panel 6 – the jacket of the father from the picture in panel 5 is on the chair.

The answer is that he’s kidnapped the man from panel 5 – who works at the Treasury (building in panel 1).

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@michael I’m wondering if “No Question” in Panel 3 along with an image of a mannequin dressed as The Spirit has any meaning. Think that I may have fallen prey to too many red herrings, though, as I’ve spent the past hour looking for anagrams in all of the words that were in bold letters.

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The jacket on the chair in panel 6 looks exactly like the one worn by the father in the picture on the wall in panel 5.

Which leads me to conclude that the circled bit on the map in panel 4 is the location of the guy’s house, and because of the pictures on the wall in panels 4 and 1, I am inferring that the guy works in a bank. Beyond that, I got nothing.

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I wish I had time to work on this today. But I’ll point out that there are several odd turns of phrase that sound like they are probably anagrams for something. “A wild free lad” “gainsay old tactics” The figuring out the plan as I tell it to him also seems to support the idea that the riddle is hidden in anagrams.

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Sean – you weren’t along there – I was thinking “man, if that shirt and tie were just different colours, maybe MGK was implying that the Riddler and the Question have been the same guy all the time!”

Which would have been mind blowing…but no, tie would have to be blue/black and the shirt orange for that to work.

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@Sean: I think the significance of the “No Question” line in panel 3 has something to do with Vic Sage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question_(comics)

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Oh, there are actual comic references? Well I’m out then.

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Prodigal – as I said to Sean – the shirt/tie and fedora are the wrong colors, but man, I went there too.

To everyone else – my take is that the riddle is one truly “of comics” – a combination of visual and verbal. I think I’ve pieced together the visuals (see above), but the dialogue is where I’m hung up.

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Just to make things easier: the challenge requires no knowledge beyond what is represented in the strip.

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Thanks MGK – I was beginning to worry that I had to know some minor continuity regarding Nygma’s bio.

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@prodigal, et al – I’d thought The Question at first, but the colors are The Spirit’s colors and, thus, threw me.

I’d also noticed the fact that The Riddler’s counting up to something. Panel 2, he’s got one finger up. Panel 3, two. Panel 4, three.

THIS is why, were I a Gotham superhero, I’d have just thrown The Riddler into a woodchipper a long time ago. “What’s green, red and white and goes ‘GrindgrindgrindSPLAT’? TELL ME, SMART MAN! SMART YOUR WAY PAST MR. CHIPS!”

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Oh, and to add text to the chaos… all the words in bold, in order are as follows:

BEAT DID NO QUESTION AS I TELL IT TO HIM THAT NO LIMIT WORLD LEVEL DEATH CHESS GRANDMASTER

Once again, probably a red herring. I’ll be over here, cleaning out the woodchipper and preparing to fight crime… my way.

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Cookie McCool said on October 4th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I hate riddles.

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@Sean: “Smart your way past Mr. Chips” is one of the greatest catch phrases ever.

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Panel one has a picture of Wall Street. Two is rules. Three is a suit, leaning: a “lien.” Four: bond. File. Copier. Five is a family, six a chair…holder?

There’s no question: you expect him to work some menial job. Kidnapping a federal reserve employee, so the Riddler can take his place (again and again) for access to make copies of bonds or records. Perhaps even carrying his impersonation to the victim’s family…or staging a crime?

Super fun. Even if I’m waaaaaay off.

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Stab my twin!

Bat may sit, I win!

Put Smarties tubes on cats legs; make them walk like a robot!

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As far as I can tell, Riddler’s plan is to photocopy an important document and then replace the ACTUAL document with his forgery. He’s already got a picture of the family man’s car parked outside Wall Street AND in his own garage. He’s already told the family man the plan, and threatened him – and as an added incentive, you can see the family man’s wife’s skirt in panel 1, implying she’s a comatose hostage. So, where are the family man’s children and dog? Logically, hidden in the trunk of the car…or in the sewers of Gotham, plotted out on the map.

(And there goes Wrong attempt the FIRST)

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A few random thoughts that may help someone later on:

–Perhaps each of the six panels takes place in a different space. The shifting background colors may be significant. Yes, there are repeating elements in-panel, but that could mean there are duplicates at the other sites. Or it could be artistic convention coming through again.

–The man in the family portrait resembles Jason Blood. He’s not, per MGK’s saying that everything we need is in the strip, but it’s amusing to imagine.

–The handcuff placement on the chair is a little weird. You wouldn’t handcuff a man to a chair like that. He couldn’t sit, except on the very edge of the chair. Plus, he could just stand up.

–The left-hand side of panel one is probably key. What is that stuff? A cracked window or mirror, and something under a sheet?

OH MY GOD I HAVE IT.

THE RIDDLER IS CALVIN.
THE MAN IN THE JACKET IS HOBBES.

The body language, the art style…it’s a Watterson homage.

BOOYAH!

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Painquale said on October 4th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

GOTHAM FEDERAL RESERVE

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He’s going to impersonate the bank chairman and embezzle until Batman catches him.

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Or…

The gray along the side of the first panel is the wife’s skirt. The Riddler has been masquerading not as the kidnapped man, but as the kidnapped man’s wife. Hence the mirror in the same panel — it takes some work to get the look right.

The man has escaped — note the empty chair with the coat over it. The Riddler wants the man to rush home to his “wife” to spill about the kidnapping and the Riddler’s plan. That’s why the map and the framed picture of the bond certificate (or whatever that thing is — I’m too poor to recognize it) is on the wall. It screams “THIS IS MY CRIMINAL PLAN.”

His actual criminal plan is…I have no idea. DAMMIT!

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JimTheFish said on October 4th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Who is he?

Uncle Sam.

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No chance the answer to the riddle is “BECAUSE FUCK SIGNALMAN! THAT’S WHY!” is there?

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Magnabonzo said on October 4th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think we’re on to something.

“My Clues…”

Word 1, charade-style (1 finger, panel 2) “Gainsay Old Tactics initially” = GOT. Something about kosher, not using anything twice ~ HAM.

Word 2 (2 fingers, panel 3) “A wild FREE LAD” = anagram of FEDERAL.

Word 3 (3 fingers, panel 4) “Save my pay, be a good soldier, do my duty, again and again.” refers to RESERVE.

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highlyverbal said on October 4th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Crack
GotHam
Federal
Reserve
Domestic
Bonds

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highlyverbal said on October 4th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

@Michael Paciocco, I believe you have mistaken the output trays of a copier for an I-beam.

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Mecha Velma said on October 4th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

The one line that’s sticking in me is the first line of the second panel.

“My Clues Gainsay Old Tactics Initially”

I keep wanting to look at the initials of words. Unless “Gainsay” means to look at the last letters of the words.

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So it looks like he’s going after Wall Street. That said, in the first panel he says “I don’t care about the money”, so it might not be a cash robbery.

I have no idea what he’s trying to say in panel 2.

Panel 3 & 4 pretty explicitly indicate his plan is to infiltrate a business as a menial worker – possibly multiple times.

Is his plan to get a job as a bank teller and hand out funny money, then plant the guilt on some high end bank official and cause a giant panic?

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I think highlyverbal’s got it.

But I still like my Calvin/Hobbes theory. It’s crap, but it’s entertaining, wild crap. And isn’t that the important thing?

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I’m just thinking out-loud:

There’s a reason for everything he says or does in the comic. It all means something.

He’s snowing Gotham.

He believes he can take the Dark Knight in three moves. The plan has three beats?

It involves a suit against a chairman of the bank in panel one. The man in the photo is a chair holder – he may be the chairman.

That’s all I got.

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Cookie McCool said on October 4th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Peter Stormare! Fights injustice! AS The Woodchipper!

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highlyverbal is on the money, but I’m not happy about ‘crack’. ‘Counterfeit’ would be logical, but I can’t see why. Forge!!! = beat…. Forge Gotham Federal Reserve Domestic Bonds.

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In panels 2, 3, and 4, the Riddler starts counting with his hand. In panel 2, he has 1 finger up, in panel 3, two, and in panel 4, he has three. I don’t know if that’s relevant.

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Matthew Johnson said on October 4th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

The odd syntax reminds me of cryptic crossword clues. Sadly I can’t solve a cryptic to save my life, but maybe someone else here can.

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Matthew Johnson said on October 4th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

(Although having to save a cryptic crossword to save his life seems exactly like something the Riddler would make Batman do.)

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“Although having to save a cryptic crossword to save his life seems exactly like something the Riddler would make Batman do.”

I was going to say that sounds more like something the Puzzler would do, but then I remembered how the Puzzler actually operated and realized he would probably just try and hit Batman with a cross…and then have his ass handed to him by Batman for being stupid enough to try and hit him with a cross.

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Gainsay Old Tactics, Initially. –>GOT
Wouldn’t be Kosher – HAM

Gotham.

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Counterfeit it is. Counter-Feet.

Counterfeit Gotham Federal Reserve Domestic Bonds.

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Hmm, yes ‘counter feet’… but I returned to stick my neck out and say

Forge Gotham Federal Reserve Victory Bonds.

Succeed = victory.

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highlyverbal said on October 4th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Covering all the bases:

CounterFeet
GotHam
Federal
Reserve
Bearer*
Bonds

* talking about what makes life worth living – “bearable”

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highlyverbal said on October 4th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I am not in love with “counter-feet” – looks more like a desk. Could that be a mint in the picture?

Mint
GotHam
Federal
Reserve
Domestic/Victory/Bearer
Bonds

(I don’t really need to make 3 separate posts, do I?)

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The Whelk said on October 4th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

So the Riddler is going to create some kind of disastrous banking scheme that will make him rich and ruin Gotham’s finances just to prove how smart he is?

Touche’ MGK.

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I return…
He makes it clear he won’t use the scheme twice, repeating himself will mean ‘he’ll notice’. (and we were told it had to be exact), so…

Forge Gotham Federal Reserve Domestic/Victory/Bearer Bond (singular!)

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By the way, my British head was stuck on the idea a cup of tea making the world liveable for a while.. so I was going to say T-Bonds. Talk about stereotype!

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For some reason the BEAT NO QUESTION part makes me think he’s trying to defraud Ozymandis. I know that it makes almost no sense.

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At this point, I think that if none of the guesses so far are correct then we have to be looking for two words per panel rather than one. There are a lot of excess elements in some of them (the pencil sharpener and map, say. And all the dialog from the ones where we’re going art-side), and he says there are reasons for everything he says _and_ does.

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Savage Wombat said on October 4th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I like the progress you’ve made. But I think the cryptic crossword clues are played out, since he only physically signals the three words. As Jeff R. said, it’s what he says and does.

“blank” Gotham Federal Reserve Chairman?

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on second thought
panel two points at WOULDN’T
panel three points at A WILD FREE LAD
panel four points at chair/dummy in p.3
panel five hand grasping in shrubbery area
panel six grasps staff
can’t figure it out past that
have feeling most objects are red herrings

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He’s going to kidnap and replace the chairman of the gotham federal reserve in order to counterfeit bonds.

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Didn’t really make much of an effort at solving the riddle, because it’s not my forte, but I’ve been saying for a while now that this, this is exactly what the Riddler’s motivation should be. He is not a remarkably unsuccessful criminal, he is a remarkably dangerous high-stakes Dungeon Master. :)

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highlyverbal said on October 4th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

@Jeff R. “…and he says there are reasons for everything he says _and_ does.”

Imagine Batman walks into an office and all there is the copier machine. He would be instantly able to deduce that the scheme involved copying. The clue would become too obvious. Sometimes, objects can be included to create context – and assigning meaning becomes a figure/ground type of problem. There is a chair for the desk, because a missing chair would be a different sort of clue! He must walk around the panels, because teleporting would be a different sort of clue.

“Everything has meaning” actually means very little.

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For what it’s worth, in panel 4, he’s signaling with the thumb and two fingers of his right hand, which can indicate either “3” or “7”.

What sort of room has three very different styles of wooden chairs? (two-piece square back in #1 & 2, rounded back with spindles in #3, square back with spindles in #6)

Given panel-to-panel object continuity, panels #1-3 go together, #4-5 go together, and #6 could be anywhere.

The objects on the desk in #1 & #2 are both attention-getters for Batman– The Dark Knight, and the Bat-signal.

Ah, I see. His fingers only form clear numbers in the three panels that have obvious word-play.

Panel #2, one finger: GOT-HAM

Panel #3, two fingers: Wild/anagrammed “free lad” = FEDERAL

Panel #4, three fingers: the three phrases of the “again and again” word bubble are all synonyms for RESERVE

In panel #6, his left index finger is pointing at either his smile, his cheek, or the chair/handcuffs. (So BONDS is a likely possibility, but not the only possibility.)

But is all that part of the *riddle*, or is that part of the *answer*, since *both* are supposed to be contained in the strip?

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I would just like to say that if you rearrange all the first letters of the words in first bubble of panel two you get “Magic Buttock Wits.”

That is all.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on October 5th, 2011 at 10:51 am

So he kidnaps some guy, infiltrates the bank, starts his marvelously complex scheme, and some guys in clown masks burst in, the Riddler loses it due to stress and not anticipating this, picks up a shotgun he’d snuck in, just in case…..”YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE MESSING WITH?”

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MonkeyWithTypewriter wins at Internets. :)

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I like how he never says “Batman” in his whole monologue. Even assumes that just because he’s a Batman villain, he’s up against Batman. And yet, MGK said that you didn’t need to have any knowledge beyond what’s in the comic to figure out his riddle. If I was seeing this guy, this “Riddler” for the first time with no context, I would think he’s crazy and is somehow gaming against himself. Non?

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Metaphasia said on October 6th, 2011 at 12:38 am

In panel one, we get the word beat and the Riddler’s feet. Beat feet = run.

As previously explained, panels 2-4 make “Gotham Federal Reserve”, with the fingers telling us it’s a single concept.

In three, we get a fedora (fed = law, as White Collar has taught me) and a suit. Lawsuit.

In four, we have him leaning against a cabinet. Lein, cabinet?

Panel five says that he’s going to tell his plan to “him”, with the intention of it failing.

And then six has the chair and the handcuffs, which someone said might be “chairholder”.

So his plan is to kidnap the chairholder of the bank (the guy with the coat), reveal his plan to him, then let the guy “accidentally” escape and reveal his plan, which will cause a run on the bank, letting the Riddler bring a lawsuit against…the chairholder? the bank? And letting him seize their property?

If only I knew a comics fan who was a lawyer and could easily come up with a supervillain plan that involved the law…

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[…] answer to the riddle from the Riddler comic I posted last […]

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[…] As always, you can also go to the dedicated Al’Rashad site. And of course please welcome Adam Prosser back to the thrilling world of MGKomix, to which he has not been in some time. […]

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