'The Batman' Concludes With a Riddling Message — What Does It All Mean?
Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Batman.
Matt Reeves' doom-laden masterpiece The Batman arrived in cinemas on March 4, 2022. Starring Robert Pattinson as the somber superhero lacking the strength and baked-in moral principles to eliminate crime and Paul Dano as the Riddler, his infuriatingly efficient antagonist, the three-hour action-adventure movie poses important questions about modern life while keeping audiences in a near-permanent state of suspense with its brilliant narrative twists. Does The Batman have a post-credit scene?
'The Batman' doesn't have a post-credit scene — but it doesn't not have a post-credit scene.
Instead of a traditional post-credit scene, The Batman concludes with a surprise sequence teasing the future of the beloved superhero. Unlike the Eternals post-credit scene, which hints at Harry Styles' debut as Eros, the last-after-last scene of The Batman points toward the continued hostility between The Batman and The Riddler.
DC's answer to the the Zodiac — the serial killer who sent near-impossible-to-crack cryptograms to newspapers — the Riddler relies on clues and seemingly random signs to communicate with The Batman. The frame at the end of the movie is frequently interpreted as a message left behind by the Riddler, one that can help audiences guess his plot line in a forthcoming movie.
The words, "Good Bye" appear on the pitch-black screen. Next, a cipher: "You are el rata alada." The coinciding website, rataalada.com, features what looks like a yes/no coding game encouraging fans to correctly guess the identity of the game creator. In this context, the Riddler's signature question marks take on a whole new meaning.
Some The Batman fans have already had a go at cracking the code.
"Cracked the code: 'You are el rata alada' = 'You are the winged rat,'" tweeted @blurayangel.
Others settled for applauding the genius marketing hack.
"I really love how, during the marketing phase they made us solve the whole "el rata alada" thing by ourselves and then they made it an important scene in the movie like — hell yeah, The Batman is solving something we got to solve too, yay! Felt like I was a part of it all," tweeted @r4m0n4_fl0w3rs.
"Solving the cipher below; 'You are el rata alada' = URL: https://rataalada.com. It’s been a really long time since we’ve seen marketing like this for a CBM. Especially an ARG that requires the fans to get involved. Can’t wait to see what else they have in store," tweeted @Bat_Source.
Who was The Riddler talking to in jail? Could it be ... the Joker?
In his last scene in The Batman, the Riddler is shooting the breeze with the mysterious asylum inmate next door — a certain somebody who tries to soothe the failed criminal mastermind. "One day you're on top, the next you're a clown," the voice says. "Don’t be sad; you did so well! And you know Gotham loves a comeback story."
"Riddle me this: The less of them you have, the more one is worth," he says later.
"A friend," the Riddler responds.
Then, the mystery man breaks into his trademark laughter. Actor Barry Keoghan is not credited as the Joker but as the Unseen Arkham Prisoner, according to ScreenCrush. We only have one question left: When can we see the Riddler and the Joker team up to take down Gotham?
The Batman is showing in cinemas now.