I’m becoming a big fan of audio dramas, or “fiction podcasts” whatever you want to call them, at the moment as they’re often an entertaining and easy listen to replace the audiobooks I constantly have in my ears. The latest and greatest of these I’ve listened recently was The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark, the latest audio drama by Warner Bros and Spotify Studios, the same people that brought you Batman Unburied and Harley Quinn and The Joker; Sound Mind.
The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark focuses on another of Batman’s anti-heroes, The Riddler. The description on Spotify describes it as: “A masked vigilante is on the loose, murdering notorious super-villains all over Gotham City… and all clues point to the suspect being the Caped Crusader himself, Batman. Now, with a target on his head, the charming yet deadly Edward Nygma, better known as The Riddler, is forced to break out of Arkham Asylum and team up with the Caped Crusader. The unlikely duo must solve the mystery before they too, become victims.” And I tell you what, it was really entertaining!
The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark plot – 4.25/5
As described above, the plot of The Riddler puts Edward Nyga, The RIddler, and Batman together to stop a new masked menace who at first glance appears to be replicating Batman’s deeds but with far more violence.
The plot itself is entertaining, focusing not only on the action of that described above but also a much deeper story of Nygma’s past and what’s caused him to be the slightly psychopathic anti-hero he is today. Now, I use the term anti-hero because this is very much how The Riddler is depicted in this series. Yes, it’s noted he commits awful acts but he’s also shown to have a softer side with some reasoning behind everything he does. He also has an admiration for Batman which, as the listener of a podcast in the Batman world, you can’t help but relate to.
The plot is fast-paced and nearly always engaging with barely a wasted line. Everything is either relevant to the story or adds depth to characters.
The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark characters – 4.75/5
One of the best things about listening to audio dramas is it’s like listening to a television programme. Instead of it being an audiobook reader who has to read 80,000+ words of text, it’s usually a trained actor which results in some really immersive listening.
The Riddler has some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in any of these with Edward Nygma, played by Hasan Minhaj being the absolute star of the show. If you’re a batman fan, you’ll know The Riddler is always quite a camp, extravagant character who will steal any scene and this is absolutely the case here too. He’s funny, delivers his lines with passion and is absolutely perfect to help you visualise the story. Minhaj also does a fanatstic job of making you hear the anger, fear and sadness in his voice too when appropriate, adding to the immersion.
I wasn’t sure about Colman Domingo as Batman – i’m not quite sure he nailed the voice and slower more careful delivery of Batman that Winston Duke did in Batman Unburied but it wasn’t offputting enough to take me away from the immersion.
And then everybody else was good enough that it didn’t ruin my immersion either which is exactly what you hope for when you’re trying to visualise a world and story you’re only listening to.
The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark final rating – 4.75/5
The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark is one of the best audio dramas I’ve listened to. I wish it was longer and I would love to hear more from this character as it was incredibly entertaining! The plot was fast-paced and a spoken line was barely wasted; the characters were entertaining, believable and kept you deeply immersed and the back-up sounds and background noises were of the highest quality, as I’ve come to expect from Warner Bros’ audio dramas now.
Even if you’re not a Riddler fan, I’d definitely recommend giving The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark a go. It’s so entertaining!