Like most long running characters from comic that have been around since before most of us were even born, they go through many writers and many transitions as the times change. Sometimes a change or two (or fifty) is needed to make the character relevant, less ridiculous or more threatening for the hero. I often see people suggest Riddler become a cold blooded serial killer in the style of the Zodiac killer or Jigsaw from those deplorable "Saw" films. The odd thing about this is Nigma has been okay with killing someone since his debuted, such as when trying to trap the dark knight and the boy wonder in a place where they would eventually croak, or trapping a man in a puzzle deathtrap that would literally crush him to death. Even the lighthearted and wacky Frank Gorshin Riddler made deathtraps for the dynamic duo, but many people don't seem to think Riddler has the capacity for killing. Maybe they want him to slaughter people by the thousands or something. I don't know.
Fact of the matter is many incarnations of him have been okay with spilling blood, but only when there was a motivation behind. Something tangible, real, maybe even understandable and relatable. Certainly most people would disagree with killing the business man that has stolen your ideas and fired you right after, but you would be hard pressed to find someone that didn't at least want to punch his lights out. Nigma, being the eccentric genius that he is, concocts a plot to get revenge on him. A plot I might add that didn't get enacted until two years later. Yet, somehow, Nigma really isn't a bloodthirsty animal like the rest of Batman's rogues. When he's going to kill someone, there's a reason for it. A motive. Like in a classic murder mystery almost. There are some conflicting stories where Nigma is more or less willing to murder someone, and he oft will blame their death on their own "stupidity", but then that's when I hear other people complain that he shouldn't be violent.
The point with this thread is to ask you, the fans and haters alike, which way you prefer your Riddler. Do you think he should be more homicidal, keep his track record bloodless, or stick to the "motive" angle I covered above? I personally grew up watching the animated series where he tried more than once to ice the Bat and to take revenge on someone that wronged him. I feel Riddler should be one of the few villains that is more about crime as a whole being an art, with murder only being an option he reserves for true enemies. Bonus question: How do you all feel about Riddler cheating? Again, this is something that he has done since his early days and has done even in more recent incarnations. I recall reading a conversation on another site (I believe it was run byfrom right here on Comicvine) where someone had the idea that Nigma could cheat against anyone OTHER than Batman, a way of "reserving his A game for the world's greatest detective". That sounds about right to me. Perhaps he only cheats against Batman when Batman "cheats". After all, Nigma's games are fair, at least in his own mind.