“Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” vs “Earth’s Actual Mightiest Hero Times Infinity Plus One.”
I had the pleasure of seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron last week. I am now going to spoil two things for those of you who have no seen it yet:
a) It really good! You’ll like it.
b) Batman does not make a single appearance in the entire film.
If you ask me, this is a wasted opportunity – adding Batman to any movie will increase it’s quality by at LEAST 40%. The Dark Knight was actually a romantic period drama before the studio decided to make it a Batman film. You don’t wanna know what Batman and Robin was before it had Batman in it.
But I guess I can see why Marvel Studios wouldn’t want to overshadow their existing heroes with the caped crusader – it would be too clear that he is vastly superior to all other characters on screen. Let us prove this by comparing him to all the Avengers directly.
Now, according to Wikipedia (the only source any serious journalist such as I should employ), there have been over 100 Avengers members over the years. I will just be pitting Batman against the main 6 from the first movie. I don’t have time to write hundreds of entries for this, and you don’t have time to read them. You think you do, but you don’t. If you have that much free time, have you called your mother recently? She misses you. Go tell her your thoughts on that recent Batman V Superman teaser.
Go on, we’ll wait.
Okay, is that jerk gone? Great. Let’s get on with it.
BATMAN VS CAPTAIN AMERICA
I’d say this is possibly the most even match in this entire lineup. Both Bats and Caps are master tacticians, have teenage sidekicks, and a flair for little weird ear things, if you count the wings on the side of Cap’s head as a legitimate fashion choice. These similarities are highlighted in their 1996 crossover book, written and drawn by John Byrne.
Unlike most superhero crossovers, the two heroes are not at odds for the entire story, instead choosing early on to team up against a Joker/Red Skull partnership. Our heroic team-up begins when Batman saves Captain America from a gruesome plummet to his death. Cap never returns the favour, and Batman has to save himself – and Bucky – from a death trap later in the book.
He even allows this to be a teaching moment for Cap. He’s so dreamy you guys.
Later, Steve Rogers launches an attack on Bruce Wayne, and during a pretty evenly matched fight, Bruce figures out that Steve must be Cap’s secret identity. Steve plays catch up a couple of moments later, but let the record show that Bruce did it first.
Look at Cap, being a big doofus. More like Captain LAMErica, AM I RIGHT?!?
For a real battle though, we must look at the Marvel vs DC miniseries, also from 1996, in which the two heroes faced off directly. After agreeing that the fight is essentially pointless, and that they are being manipulated by a greater evil force, Batman legitimately wins the fight with the most noble move: hitting his opponent with a batarang while he is covered in sewer water.
Perhaps this wasn’t the ideal battlefield.
Bats then saves Cap from drowning in urine, as this is not a suitable death for a war hero. That’s the second time he’s shown mercy to Cap’s incompetance. Batman wins.
Side note: if you were forgetting what the 90s were like, check out the crossover characters that came from this event, such as Dark Claw, the Batman/Wolverine amalgam.
“I am the night, bub.”
BATMAN VS IRON MAN
The media like to present these two as equals, in a somewhat surfacy comparison. “Oh, they’re both rich and like gadgets right?!??!” Yeah, well, that’s also true of Bill Gates. Who do you think would win in a fight between Batman and Bill Gates? I’ll save that revelation for a future article, but here’s a hint: Windows 10 doesn’t have any elaborate death traps…as far as I know.
Really brings a whole new meaning to the “blue screen of death.”
To start, let us not forget the Summer of 2008, in which both Iron Man and The Dark Knight were released, and the latter made ALMOST DOUBLE what the former did at the box office. Both excellent films, but the public decided which they prefer.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Cooper, you handsome devil you, didn’t The Avengers make $500 million more than The Dark Knight Rises when they were both released in 2012?” That’s true! But Avengers had to split it between 6 characters, meaning that Batman comes out on top, on average, per character.
Iron Man is basically a cool suit with lots of gadgets, which Batman has played with many times, most notable in The Dark Knight Returns, in which he defeats Superman with it.
And does Iron Man’s suit have spikes on his shoes?!? NO!!!
Most of the time Batman chooses not to use this level of tech though. Take away Iron Man’s suit and he’s a billionaire genius playboy philanthropist. Take away Batman’s robot suit and gadgets and he’s a billionaire genius playboy philanthropist…who knows ninja moves. Batman wins.
BATMAN VS HULK
An unlikely match-up, but luckily for me there is precedent in the comics. I don’t have time to think up imaginary battles between fictional characters all day, you jerks. Is that jerk who called his mum back yet? Jeez, that guy’s a jerk.
Batman and Hulk actually did fight in a 1981 crossover! Hulk attacks Bats because, well, the Joker tells him too. Hulk’s not that smart. For a moment it looks as though Hulk might win though, with his mightiest move: a big cuddle!
All Joker’s wanted all these years is some kind of delicious bat paste.
Batman gains the upper hand though by releasing a gas into the air, forcing Hulk to hold his breath. Taking advantage of this, Batman kicks Hulk in the stomach, winding him, and knocking him unconcious. Yes, you read that right: Batman kicked the incredible Hulk so hard that he knocked him out.
Excellent use of “thoom”, the best comic book sound effect.
Batman wins. Pretty simply, actually.
BATMAN VS BLACK WIDOW
A tricky one! Batman would never hit a woman unless it was to save innocent people that they had put in danger. Obviously Widow would never do this. To make things harder, there seems to be no evidence of a prior clash to compare.
This is a battle in which Batman would have to go on the defensive. Widow uses a variety of fighting techniques, and Batman, unable to retaliate, would have a difficult time fighting back. However, his range of non-lethal gadgets and gizmos, which he has used many times against other female opponents, would come in handy. Widow, distracted by the fight, would probably get caught up in…a net or something? Has Batman ever used a net?
(WRITERS NOTES: Listen, Cooper, is this the best you got? I’m having a hard time believing that Black Widow is turning out to be Batman’s hardest opponent. If this bit is left in the article and you have failed to prove to these jerks why Batman is better, then you have FAILED. That jerk who stopped reading to go call his mother is probably laughing at you right now.)
OH I GOT IT. Black Widow is kinda like Talia Al Ghul, who Batman has defeated a bunch.
BATMAN WINS OKAY.
EDIT: BREAKING GOTHAM BULLETIN. I learned mere HOURS after publishing this article that there was in fact a villain that Batman faced in the 1966 TV series named “Black Widow”, in the season 2 episodes “Black Widow Strikes Again” and “Caught In The Spider’s Den.” Black Widow in this is like a thousand years old and uses a bunch of spiders and stuff.
I think those red things are webs, but they just look like liqorice.
What’s interesting is that that symbol that those henchmen have on their chest is very similar to the symbol commonly associated with the Marvel character, particularly on her belt buckle.
Widow hold her gun sideways to look EXTRA cool.
This symbol is taken from the black widow spider originally in both cases, but I’m calling it now: these Batman episodes are actually the first Marvel/DC crossover, and this Black Widow is the SAME Black Widow as from Avengers, following some kind of freaky time loop.
At the end of the second episode, Black Widow is defeated by Batman. Batman wins.
(Phew, that was close.)
BATMAN VS HAWKEYE
Haha…um…what? Really? Well, okay.
Here’s how that fight goes down:
INT. WAREHOUSE, NIGHT
HAWKEYE fires a dumb arrow at BATMAN. BATMAN easily dodges it, runs over to HAWKEYE, and punches him in the face. All without looking up from his iPhone, probably.
BATMAN VS THOR
Perhaps the most difficult match up here. Thor is one of the few comic book characters that beats Batman even on legacy and mythology – Batman’s 75 year history seems tiny compared to Thor’s 1300 years or so (at least.)
In addition to that, Batman is clearly underpowered here. Thor is mighty and powerful, and his hammer is even slightly more dangerous than Harley Quinn’s.
Y’know, Marvel Thor’s flying powers, super strength and big red cape remind me of another popular superhero that Batman has defeated several times…
They even both like smashing the ground so lots of little bits of debris fly up!
A few “normal” people – as in, people who don’t spend their day writing about silly superhero fights – asked me for my opinions on the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice teaser a couple of weeks back. Mostly alongside questions like “Why are they fighting?” and “Why is the screen so dark, I can’t see anything.”
Most common was “how would Batman even stand a chance? Superman’s way more powerful.” This is true. And yet, many stories depict the caped crusader coming out on top in a straight fight.
This is because Batman is the ultimate underdog. He has no powers, and yet still defeats enemies way stronger, more powerful, and sometimes even smarter than him. This is a basic storytelling idea – the David and Goliath principle, that the less likely opponent will end up winning.
This is why I have no doubt that Batman will defeat Superman in that film next year – it’s a more interesting story to show how a man with no powers defeats this godly entity than to have Superman punch Batman square in the face brutally for 3 hours (God, I hope that film isn’t 3 hours.)
John McClane will always single handedly defeat a skyscraper of terrorists. The little Hobbits will always manage to stop the ultimate evil in Middle Earth. And the dirty little secret of these articles is that Batman will always be able to punch up and be victorious over those mightier than him.
(And yes, I realise I just took 5 entries to show you how Batman wins because he is stronger and mightier than those other characters, only to use the last to tell you he wins because he’s an underpowered underdog. If you don’t like it, go write your own stupid internet article. And call your mother again. You jerk.)