“I’m Batman”, that is the gritty, formidable, intrepid voice which echoes down our guts and sends chills down our spines. We have seen him wear many attires across many-a-movies, fight countless DC and Marvel superheroes (albeit in multiple crossover comic versions) and he has been the favourite of many – from writers to filmmakers. The Dark Knight has stopped being a superhero and become an eponym of the crime-fighting night-dwelling caped crusaders with his rough form of justice.
The reason why Batman is closest to our consciousness in a given favourite array of superheroes is that of his rightful and just nature despite his fierceness, technological prowess, genius intellect and his punitive yet considerate approach towards unorganised crime consortiums. All of us relate to the Batman at different levels, possibly due to the colour Black or due to the strides he has taken throughout the years with respect to his ideology, his moral uprightness or due the sorrow and suffering he’s had in his early years of life.
Having said all that, though being fearsome and powerful to a larger extent, he isn’t invincible. Let’s face it, Batman is, at times, overrated. We’ve glorified Batman across the decades, even though his portrayal and his methodical approach succeed in a very limited set of circumstances, places and vulnerabilities and at times, he’s just been lucky. An example could be the happenstance defeat of Superman.
Despite having dealt successfully with adversaries like The Joker, Lex Luthor, The Predator and obviously the Man of Steel himself, Batman has toiled a lot to achieve these feats, that too at a considerable cost. And the astounding fact that Batman doesn’t kill, come what may, is probably his Achilles’ heel, but not his only one. If not for the DC Universe alone, here’s a list of arguably the best superheroes who can beat Batman in a fight. Because this isn’t an exhaustive list of superheroes who can beat Batman (trust me there are umpteen possibilities), you may find some of the very famous names or your favourites missing.
13. The Incredible Hulk
Though officially Batman has knocked out the Hulk to unconscious previously with the help of a gas grenade accompanied by a powerful kick, if Hulk has his way without allowing much time for the Caped Crusader, he can beat the Batman to smithereens and won’t care a damn about it.
Deservedly one of the favourites when it comes to dealing with the rich and popular (read Tony Stark), Ant-Man won’t even think twice to go sub-atomic if he’s pushed to a corner. Being an expert in what he’s confronted with, be it technology or astuteness, Scott Lang is the person I’d bank upon.
Unpredictable, amusing, mischievous and miles away from giving a damn, Deadpool won’t himself know how he would fare in a fight against the World’s Greatest Detective. With extreme healing capabilities and an unmatched expertise in hand-to-hand combat combined with his tumultuous mind makes him a strong opponent for the Batman. A battle we’re dying to witness.
To start with, Batman isn’t “worthy” of the Mjolnir, not a bit. In the event of an epic battle between Thor and Batman, Thor definitely seems to steal the show with thunder and flight, coupled with a few powerful blows with the unstoppable and unliftable hammer. The only possible vulnerability which Thor might have, which is also his strength, is the Mighty Mjolnir. A vulnerability that Batman has to be aware of, to begin with. From the looks of it, however, Thor’s hammer appears to be quite ponderous on the Bat’s overall persona.
9. Doctor Doom
Genius inventor, superhuman, an ace mystic and arrogant Victor Von Doom is one of the most powerful persons in the Marvel’s Universe and easily has an upper hand against Batman. Von Doom can summon mystical creatures, control and exchange minds (in some instances) and cast bolts of energy to commence with. Frankly, the number of abilities Doctor Doom has outnumbers the assortments contained in Batman’s utility belt.
If somehow Batman manages to deprive Doctor Doom of his resources (like his ability to summon beings), he still risks losing his mind to the Doctor. Dirty dark secrets, eh? If confronted, Batman seemingly isn’t too far from his doom.
The King of the Seven Seas is empowered with the Trident of Poseidon and abilities like superhuman strength, to be able to swim at extremely high speeds, survive undersea in the harshest of conditions and ability to summon marine beings at his disposal. The Marine Marvel is numerous notches above the Batman in terms of his durability, dexterity and strength.
Probably the only exploitable weakness that Aquaman has is his incapacity to stay out of water for longer durations, which could be disposed of against Batman’s weaknesses such as lack of any superhuman strength or any magical or telepathic ability (except for the ability to summon bats in order to elope). Batman though has a fringe of a chance to beat Aquaman, given he stalls Aquaman long enough to dehydrate him, still, I’ll have my money on The Aquatic Ace.
7. Scarlet Witch
For naysayers, Wanda Maximoff is a mutant to start with. She’s been known to create hex-spheres, hex-bolts, to alter reality, warping capabilities and to control, create and destroy matter. Probably the only one in the list who’s not yet aware of her fullest potential, she’s known to be one of the most powerful Avengers and a pretty badass at that. When confronted with the worst, she’s like a cornered animal. Well, there are absolutely no chances of Batman’s win that I reckon, except for infatuation probably. Unless Scarlet Witch falls for the Caped Crusader in a hypothetical scenario, no one can stop her from beating the hell out of him. Not even herself, if it comes to that.
Unless Batman gets bitten by a genetically modified spider and a new species is created therein, Spiderman holds a bucketload of finesses over Batman in terms of precognitive senses, an ability to spin the web, crawl over everywhere and super-strength. Let’s say if Batman, by means of his technological prowess and his tactical edge gets super strength (by creating a powered Bat Suit) and ability to spin the web or crawl, he still might not get to precognition.
Spiderman is rather generic in terms of other weaknesses like fatigue, lack of a quicker healing capability and almost no formal combat training. He’s still a moderately enhanced kid. Batman could capitalise on these but it’s rather difficult to assess the extent to which the Batman’s efforts would materialise. I see the balance shift towards Spidey for this one.
Let’s consent to the fact that no one beats The Wolverine. He either gets disoriented or demotivated or disinterested, but never loses regardless. A mutant with an adamantium skeleton and exceptional healing capabilities combined with a wild animal’s rage, retractable claws and the intent to kill makes Wolverine a tough monster against the dark yet morally upright Batman. Batman can slow the Wolverine down but probably can’t stop him, unless of course if Wolverine wants it.
Although, if Batman has his hypothetical way, he could get a chemical or a toxin introduced into Wolverine’s bloodstream which could hinder the latter’s capability to heal or render him weak and vulnerable. But Wolverine won’t linger and ponder about his own shortcomings whilst Batman takes away the prize. This could be a clash of the titans.
4. Wonder Woman
Zeus’ immortal daughter is a demigoddess, more powerful than Amazonians and humans both, has durability, strength, quick-healing powers, ability to manipulate energy, to fly and has a number of arsenal and armour like the Lasso of Truth, the sword, the armour itself, the indestructible shield and the Bracelets of Submission. Batman probably possesses the only advantage that he’s a man. By the Aphrodite’s Law, by binding her, she can be rendered powerless if only a man ties her hands. But Batman has to be made known of this shortcoming of her. If not for this, Batman surely can’t evade this Amazonian, not even with The Bat.
3. Black Panther
T’Challa, Black Panther’s alter-ego possesses augmented calibre granted by the Panther God himself along with his vibranium-clad armour. He is a rich scientist, tactician, politician and a trained martial art combatant, more suited for an unarmed combat. His enhanced senses and strength could be a threat to the Batman, who relies more on technology, weaponry and deception. Black Panther could be one of the closest resemblances to Batman in terms of appearance, sharpness, knowledge and wealth. Theoretically, Black Panther beats Batman in all the major avenues like his armour, Godly connection and his senses. Let’s be game for The Battle of the Blacks.
Rather described as a synthetic human being, all his bodily functions have been created in vitro. Empowered with the Solar Jewel on his forehead that provides him energy, he can conjure up powerful optic beams to inflict enough damage on his enemies when required. He can change his body’s shape, density and appearance, can fly, almost disappear or pass through solid objects, has superhuman and supercomputing abilities which make him impervious to any physical or psychological damage. How can you beat someone who you can’t physically alter or affect? A question that will have even Bruce Wayne and Alfred pondering.
1. Iron Man
The fact that he’s The Invincible Iron Man speaks volumes about the hero of the heroes and his ill-fated enemies. Being a genius inventor and engineer himself, there are many parallels between Batman and Iron Man. While Iron Man doesn’t have any formal training in hand-to-hand combat, he does possess the upper edge in terms of his powered Iron Man suit which makes him fly coupled with Jarvis’ grey matter. Tony and Bruce, both are rich, powerful industrialists who had lost their loved ones, have access to all the technological marvels and resources and have a similar approach towards justice. In a way, Iron Man’s shortcomings are Batman’s advantages.
But Iron Man’s intent to inflict maximum possible damage, even if that means killing, wins over Batman in all sorts of mind games.Tony Stark’s uncanny and witty attitude and the fact that everyone knows who the Iron Man really is, gives him a strategic privilege. A question I had been wanting to ask, now that the ensuing conflict is around the corner, why do we fall, Bruce?
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