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The Batman Villain Hiding In The Riddler's Website

The following article contains spoilers for "The Batman."

"The Batman" is now out in theaters, and as soon as audiences step out of the cineplex, their first thoughts will likely be on how long they have to wait to see "The Batman 2." Director Matt Reeves has certainly created an expansive Gotham that he could tell any number of stories for a follow-up. We already know one of the directions the future of this franchise will take, as it's been confirmed that there will be an HBO Max spinofs centered on Penguin (Colin Farrell) coming down the pipeline.

For now, audiences will somehow have to find a way to carry on with "The Batman" now playing. In this story that takes place early in the central character's career, Batman (Robert Pattinson) is on the hunt for a serial killer who leaves riddles and ciphers behind at his crime scenes. Riddler (Paul Dano) is a terrifying foe for Gotham as his intelligence, knowledge of the darkest secrets plaguing the city, and quest for vengeance make him formidable. Fortunately, Batman is able to emerge victorious (in some ways) by the end of the film, locking up Riddler in Arkham Asylum in the process. 

Riddler may be out of commission for any follow-ups to "The Batman," but the Caped Crusader has no shortage in his rogue's gallery for filmmakers to pull from. And now, if you follow the teaser left behind in the post-credits scene, you may get a hint at who the next Batman adversary will be.

The Riddler's video teases Hush

If you stick around until after the credits, you'll get a message from Riddler telling you, "Goodbye." There's also a brief flash of the Riddler's website featured in the movie — www.rataalada.com. You can actually visit the website (once the movie's over, of course), at which point you'll be prompted to answer three riddles. Feel free to test your intellectual rigor if you dare, but in case you need a little help, the answer to the riddles are "renewal," "confusion," and "mask." The questions are randomized with each visit, so you'll have to figure out which answer goes to which riddle on your own.

Once you successfully answer three riddles, you'll be allowed to download a .zip file. The password to access this is "promise." At that point, you can watch a video titled "Thomas Wayne Lies." You see footage from an old Thomas Wayne ad while he was running for mayor, similar to the one featured in the film. However, this one has writing from Riddler laid over the footage, the most intriguing piece reading, "Hush!"

Anyone familiar with the Batman comics will know that's a reference to the villain from the 2002-2003 storyline, "Batman: Hush." In this arc, Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, adopts the moniker of Hush to get revenge on Bruce, and by proxy Batman. He blames Bruce's father, Thomas, for saving his parents' lives when he was intentionally attempting to kill them. At the end of the arc, we even learn that he was working alongside Riddler the entire time, who masterminded the plot. Given Riddler's presence in "The Batman," could a sequel see him working with Bruce's old friend?

Was Hush hinted at in The Batman itself?

There's no doubt Hush would be a welcome addition to the Batman live-action mythos. While the iterations we see of Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) are different in interesting ways, audiences have seen them on the big screen before. Hush would be entirely new in a live-action setting, making for a Batman film we've truly never seen before. And while the website Easter egg is a fun surprise, the character actually gets hinted at in the movie itself.

In the film, the Wayne family has a dark secret. Thomas Wayne (Luke Roberts) asked Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) to silence a reporter who dug up some dirt on his family. Falcone takes this literally and kills the reporter, much to Thomas' chagrin. It's later revealed that this reporter's last name is Elliot, which just so happens to be the last name of Hush — Thomas Elliot.

This could set up future storylines fairly easily. One can see a scenario where Thomas Elliot holds a vendetta against the Wayne family for what they did to his father, even if it was inadvertently, setting up another tale of how looking for revenge ultimately leads to one's downfall. With "The Batman" now in theaters, let the speculation commence for where the future of the franchise will head.