When it comes to being an all-round superhero, Batman pretty much covers all the bases. He’s smart, skilled, and has all the best gadgets. But he’s not an unstoppable force of nature, he’s a man. That’s what makes him so enduring, he feels pain, the danger he faces could very well kill him. He lives in the shadows, but they’re our shadows. Most of his foes aren’t uber-powerful, they’re criminals and psychos armed with machine guns, as superheroes go, he’s relatable, which is probably why his popularity is so enduring.
While it’s become something of a cliché, the hypothetical “Who would win between Batman and…” conversations usually end with “Batman would win, because he’s Batman”. While in many cases that’s probably true, we’ve taken a look at some of Marvel’s characters to see if they have some characters who could potentially outmatch the Dark Knight. After all, DC’s Joker, Bane, and more, have all beaten Batman to one extent or another over the years, even if he does come back tougher each time.
We must stress, this is characters that COULD, not necessarily WOULD defeat Batman. We’re also avoiding the heavy-hitters like Thanos or Galactus, because where’s the fun in that?
So, prepare for the most controversial list of 2016 as we look at 15 Marvel Characters That Could Beat Batman.
15. Moon Knight
Often considered to be Marvel’s answer to Batman, Marc Spector A.K.A Moon Knight shares many similarities with the caped crusader. Both are non-super powered, wealthy men, who use gadgets to fight crime. But they have many, many differences too. Whereas Batman fights to avenge his parent’s deaths, Moon Knight fights because he believes himself to be an Avatar of vengeance itself. Also, while Batman has deep psychological scars, Moon Knight is totally insane.
While Moon Knight is an expert martial artist and also employs high-tech gadgets, Batman easily has the edge over him in both these aspects. What gives Moon knight the potential to beat Batman in a fight is Moon Knight’s willingness to kill, coupled with Batman’s reluctance to do so. Essentially, Moon Knight would simply keep coming until Batman either subdued him, or killed him. As Batman would go to lengths to avoid killing, he may just leave himself open to a killing blow or a shot from one of Moon Knight’s guns.
While Batman is considered to be one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) martial artists on Earth, Gamora is an expert in almost every martial art in the galaxy and is a trained assassin. While Batman has fought assassins such as Shiva and Talia Al-Ghul, he’s not used to dealing with someone with that skill set plus superhuman strength. One of the few Batman villains with comparable strength and skill is Bane, who once crippled Batman by breaking his spine over his knee.
Much of Batman’s success is intimidating his enemies. Many run at the first sign of him, few are crazy enough to try to stand against him on-on-one, but Gamora is afraid of nobody. Her skills and strength mean that few superhuman foes can last long, let alone a non-superhuman like Batman. With so few weaknesses, Gamora would have little for Batman to exploit meaning Gamora could be one of the few to actually not just beat Batman, but end him for good.
Batman and Daredevil have a vast amount in common. Both have no superpowers, stick to the shadows, owe their greatest stories to Frank Miller, and use intimidation and fear to gain an advantage over their enemies. But neither man is likely to be intimidated by the other meaning this would be a pure slug-fest of epic proportions. While Batman has a wider-range of martial arts skills, Daredevil does have a narrow edge when it comes to his acrobatic skills, putting his style closer to that of Nightwing. While Batman probably hits harder, and can take easily as much punishment, both men are driven by similar demons, meaning that neither would ever quit.
This one would really come down to circumstance. If some X factor was thrown into the mix to give one the edge, there would be a clear winner. If not, it just comes down to which man holds out the longest.
12. Kaine – Scarlet Spider
The second Scarlet Spider, Kaine Parker, has all the powers of the original Spider-Man coupled with those of the mystical “Other”, he’s also a skilled assassin with no problem killing his foes.
While both men are used to the darkness, Batman uses it to his advantage, for Kaine the darkness is his life, it’s where he belongs. He’s spent the majority of his life as a stone-cold killer, often defeating people with impressive power sets. He taunted Ben Reilly, the original Scarlet Spider, for years while plagued by the madness of clone degeneration. While in this state he could stand against both Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man and hold his own against both men. In recent years, he’s become the avatar for the mysterious entity known as The Other which has granted him powers far in excess of his genetic donor, Spider-Man. Taking all this into account, he could well be more than a match for Batman unless The Bat could find some weakness in Kaine’s fractured psyche to exploit.
The Punisher and Batman have a huge amount in common. Both have lost their families to crime and have dedicated their lives to vengeance and stopping criminals. Their methods could hardly be more different however. Batman uses intimidation and fear as well as his exceptional skills as a detective to hunt down his foes and apprehend them. He understands that some criminals are worth leaving as they often provide useful information, allowing him to go up the criminal food-chain until he can take out the man at the top. The Punisher doesn’t leave even small-time criminals alive, believing that they are just as bad as the man giving the orders.
Each man would probably consider the other to be a criminal, each feeling that their individual missions were just and right. A showdown between the two would no doubt come down to an epic hand to hand battle after each has levelled the surrounding area with their respective arsenals. While Batman has a clear edge with regard to martial arts skills, The Punisher has far more experience with killing and would be going for a killing blow while Batman would be holding back from doing so. It could be that single killing blow that decides the fight in The Punisher’s favour.
Carnage is as close as Marvel will ever come to producing a villain to match the insanity of The Joker, which is why he’s the perfect foe to fight Batman. Like The Joker, he believes in anarchy and chaos and believes that killing is an essential part of life.
While Batman has dealt with his fair share of psychotic killers from Joker to Two-Face he’s rarely come across someone as lethal as Carnage. Carnage is as insane as Joker but more powerful than Batman’s strongest foes such as Bane, making him uniquely qualified to take down The Bat.
While Carnage has the dual weaknesses of sonic weapons as well as fire, Spider-Man only knew to exploit them due to his knowledge of symbionts. Should Batman come across Carnage, he wouldn’t have the knowledge to defeat him unless he happened to utilise a heat or sonic attack by happenstance. The chances are, Carnage would have torn him apart before that happened.
Where Batman is generally considered to be DC’s greatest martial artist, with the possible exception of Shiva, Shang Chi is Marvel’s greatest martial artist, making a grudge match between them the kind of fight that would stand equal to Jackie Chan versus Bruce Lee or Ali versus Foreman.
A hypothetical battle between each man assumes that it would be settled by a hand to hand fight, otherwise why bother? While each man is an expert in multiple martial arts disciplines, Shang Chi does have a slight edge as his senses to border on the supernatural due to the arcane teachings of his father, the criminal once known as Fu Manchu. While it can appear that he merely anticipates his foes next move, he actually “sees” events a moment before they happen giving him a fraction of a second longer to react. While that might not seem like much, it’s the kind of edge that could mean all the difference when dealing with Batman.
8. Iron Man
Another Marvel character with much in common with Batman is Iron Man. Both are incredibly wealthy industrialists who use their genius and financial assets to battle the forces of evil. Although they could not be any more different in their approach. Batman utilises stealth, Iron Man flies around in a suit of golden armour.
While you might imagine that Iron Man’s raw power would allow him to defeat Batman quite easily, let’s not underestimate Batman. Batman is a genius in his own right and with enough prep time can take down almost anyone. He could, potentially, counteract Iron Man’s armour with a gadget of his own.
However, the more likely outcome is Iron Man utilising the same technique he used to stand against Captain America in a hand to hand fight, using his armour to analyse Batman’s fighting style and come up with a counter measure, all the while being protected by his armour’s strength.
7. Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom has the genius of Reed Richards, the armour of Iron Man, and the magic skills of Doctor Strange, making him the ultimate triple-threat. While we did say we’d avoid the bigger threats of the Marvel Universe, there’s no foe as enduring as Doom and no foe we’d rather see Batman take down. Despite his many defeats, Doom remains a smug and pretentious ass we’d like to see take a beating.
But, while Batman might well be a cerebral match for Doom, he’s no match for Doom when it comes to resources. As wealthy as Bruce Wayne is, Doom is far wealthier and has far more technology at his disposal. Batman also has no defence against magic, making Doom’s victory all but certain. Even if Batman could somehow strip away Doom’s resources and access to magic, he still has to contend with the genius of Doom. While Batman is a genius in many fields, he cannot defeat Doom’s expertise in pretty much everything.
All in all, Batman’s only hope is to challenge Doom to a hand to hand contest. Given Doom’s record at cheating death through whatever means are necessary, he’d probably find a way to cheat in the fight too.
Psylocke is rarely thought of as a heavy-hitter, but in truth she’s probably the most lethal X-ManX-Man after Wolverine himself. Not only is she an incredibly skilled and powerful telepath, but she’s also developed telekinetic abilities making her a physical powerhouse. If that weren’t enough, she’s a ninja with training from The Hand as well as the Mandarin. She’s also something of a thrill-seeker and enjoys a challenge, there’s possibly nobody more challenging in a fight than Batman.
While Batman’s fighting skills may well exceed Psylocke’s, her ninja skills coupled with her telepathy may well give her the edge overall. And while Psylocke prefers not to kill her foes, she is a trained assassin and could well decide to scramble Batman’s thoughts enough to go in for a killing stroke with her katana if she had no other alternative. As skilled as Batman is, and as disciplined his mind may be, he has little defence against a combination of a physical and telepathic attack.
While Gamora was considered to be “The most dangerous woman in the universe” for many years, when she first encountered the fallen angel known as Angela, she found herself outmatched for the first time. Angela is the sister of Thor and Loki, and is the daughter of Odin. She is both incredibly powerful and has deadly skills, making her one of the most lethal beings in the Marvel Universe.
In a hypothetical battle with Batman, he’d be outmatched in a hand to hand fight almost instantly. However, when he faces a more powerful foe he tends to attempt to outsmart them by staying on the move until he can either call for backup or trick them into falling into a trap. With Angela, neither tactic would be especially effective. She could take on some of Batman’s most powerful allies and her skills and combat experience mean that she’s unlikely to fall into a trap either.
At the peak of his power, Cable has the telepathic strength to hear a stray thought on the other side of the planet and the telekinetic strength to destroy a star. However, since infancy Cable has been unable to access his full power for long as he has spent many years fighting a techno-organic virus. He’s had to depend on his skills as a fighter ever since.
But Cable is far more than a fighter, he’s a tactical genius who once took out the Avengers by taking them out one at a time and exploiting their individual weaknesses, all the while taking his last breaths as the techno virus was killing him. While Batman is considered to be unbeatable with enough prep time, he’d have to come up with something truly special to outsmart Cable who is easily his match when it comes to tactics and experience.
If Cable was at peak power, Batman would stand no chance, but even if Cable is unable to use his powers he’s still one of the most dangerous fighters in the Marvel Universe and someone Batman might not have a defence against.
Batman has fought plenty of crazy people. The Joker, Two-Face, even The Riddler are all bonkers and Batman has been able to get in their heads each time. But Deadpool is so crazy that even Batman is unlikely to be able to find method in his madness. Deadpool is still, at heart, a mercenary and despite being a good guy these days is still the guy to call when you want someone taken out. If he went after Batman he’d be unlikely to think the entire plan through, preferring to spray bullets and rockets in all directions and hope for the best, while arguing with the little yellow boxes that serve as his internal monologue. Batman tends to try to anticipate a foe, but with Deadpool that’s impossible as even Deadpool doesn’t know what he’s going to do next.
Of course, there’s also Deadpool’s healing factor to contend with. Where Batman is the better fighter, he’d have to find a way to restrain Deadpool as simply pummelling him just wouldn’t work. Essentially, Deadpool only has to put a single killer blow onto Batman while Batman would have to pull something incredible out of his cowl to beat Deadpool.
Wolverine versus Batman is a dream match-up and one that people have been debating for decades. While Wolverine has decades of experience behind him, as well as a healing factor and an adamantium skeleton, Batman is a far more measured fighter who would be able to use Wolverine’s rage against him.
As skilled as Batman is, wolverine has certain advantages that could very well ensure his victory. Where Batman will eventually tire after prolonged fighting, Wolverine’s healing factor means that he can exert himself for far longer before fatigue can take hold. Once Batman tires, he leaves himself open and Wolverine strikes. Game over.
Also, where Batman could strike with a near fatal blow, Wolverine could recover and continue fighting. All Wolverine needs to do is strike once with his Adamantium claws and even Batman’s suit wouldn’t be able to protect him. In Batman’s case, he needs to strike every blow perfectly, while not taking a single hit. Wolverine can take as many hits as necessary, while only needs to strike once. The odds are very much in Wolverine’s favour in this particular fight.
1. Black Panther
While Moon Knight may be called Marvel’s answer to Batman, another contender for that title has to be Black Panther. Both are stealthy, skilled, geniuses, and have awesome gadgets. Both are also at the very peak of human mental and physical conditioning.
Black Panther does have a single advantage over Batman however, his connection to the Panther God. This increases his strength and skill level to greater to that of Captain America, making him physically stronger than Batman. This could very well be the edge needed as the Panther God is also able to impart wisdom on Black Panther, giving him a mental edge over Batman.
Much is made of Batman’s ability to plan and find a weakness in a foe. Black Panther is also a genius tactician, meaning that while both men are expert fighters, it would really come down to who had the most time to plan ahead and come up with the winning strategy. It’s as close a battle as there has ever been, and one we wish we could see play out.