'Batman V Superman': How the Dark Knight Can Beat the Man of Steel


Fight Superman with Technology & Gadgets

Batman Arkham Superman Tech Weapons

Even if Batman doesn't resort to playing on Superman's weaknesses (of the body and heart), he could still take down the Man of Steel - if he's got enough high-tech tools in his employ. Rarely has Batman engaged in a straightforward fistfight with Superman mano a mano, since all the martial arts training in the world couldn't do significant damage to a "man of steel."

However, plenty of classic tales that predate comic books have taught readers that brawn does not always beat brains - and in Batman lore, brains come in two (sometimes overlapping) varieties: strategy and technology. Movie fans are familiar with Batman's signature toys (Batarangs, Bat-vehicles, and Bat-grapple guns, among others) but comic book iterations of the character have taken Bat-gadgetry much further. Over time, Bruce Wayne has gone from a well-trained vigilante to a full-on tech genius - a man who out-maneuvers opponents in and out of his Batsuit, and designs some of the most effective crime fighting weapons in the entire DC Universe.

Batman employs both in Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns," setting up the pair's initial fight on familiar turf (Crime Alley - where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed) while utilizing an advanced mechanized Batsuit to take on Superman.

Batman V Superman Dark Knight Returns Armor

Prior glimpses at Batman V Superman's costumes revealed the Dark Knight will sport at least two suits in the film - a traditional Frank Miller-inspired cape and cowl (complete with a utility belt) and an armored variation. The specific technologies that Batman will have available on each suit remains to be seen but in Bruce Wayne's 50 plus years fighting crime in comics, the utility belt has housed laser cutters, smoke pellets, remote detonators, and even a collapsible sword - where his cowl has included night vision, sonar detection, as well as live digitized environmental analysis via Bat Computer uplink.

Any single piece of tech, not to mention high calibre Batmobile weaponry, still couldn't kill Superman. But with a brainy genius like Bruce Wayne utilizing multiple resources in the same fight, Batman could easily stay one step ahead of the Man of Steel - until Kal-El is either worn down physically (depleting his solar-powered abilities) or mentally (ready for a superhero heart-to-heart). Of course, Batman could also meld high tech gadgets with Kryptonite.

Batman Superrman Fight Kryptonite Ring

Comic readers are more than well-versed in the uses of Kryptonite-infused gauntlets - worn by both Batman and Lex Luthor to suppress the Man of Steel's abilities as well as make him more vulnerable to injury (as depicted in "The Dark Knight Strikes Again").


An Ideological, Not Physical Victory

Batman Superman Movie Dark Knight Returns Fight

Without question, fans are excited to see the two heroes battle out their differences, but achieving victory isn't always the same as winning. Given that Batman V Superman's storyline revolves heavily on superhero accountability - specifically whether or not the Man of Steel should be revered or blamed for his role in the destruction of Metropolis - Bruce Wayne can still beat Kal-El, even if Batman loses in the physical fight.

In spite of presumably good intentions, Batman V Superman appears to feature a world where Superman isn't accountable to anyone. He does not answer to a government or solitary leader - relying entirely on his own gut and subjective beliefs to decide when and where to intervene as well as what is best for humankind, prompting Charlie Rose to ask: "Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?

Batman V Superman Bleed

In the same trailer sequence, we hear sound bites of commenters saying, "He's out of control," "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts, absolutely," as well as "The world has been so caught-up with what he can do - no one has asked what he should do." At this point we do not know if Superman has been corrupted by his power over humanity but the trailer makes it very clear that, either way, no one has been able to stand-up to him.

To that end, what if Batman doesn't need to beat Superman to a bloody pulp, but only needs to show that Superman can bleed, that he's not invincible, to beat him? Fans will have seen a similar idea played out in Snyder's breakout film, 300 (where a group of Spartans gave their lives to make Xerxes bleed - and prove he is not a god), as well as Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" - where Batman doesn't necessarily expect to kill Superman, he just wants to push back against a callous government (that wields Superman like a blunt instrument).

Taking a stand to gain an ideological victory may sound like a purely intellectual distinction, but it's one that modern comics have explored in depth - including Marvel's own "Civil War" event.

Marvel Civil War Captain America Ending

To that end, Ben Affleck's Dark Knight might simply have stepped out of retirement to show the people of Metropolis (and Gotham) that, together, they are not powerless against Superman - and that the Man of Steel shouldn't be the sole arbitrator of what is right and wrong on Earth.

If a single man in an armored suit can take on a super powered alien one-on-one, it would make Superman and the people of our world think twice.


Three's a Crowd

Batman Superman Wonder Woman Trinity

There is one other possible explanation: Batman isn't alone in his battle with Superman.

Depending on how the DC shared universe story takes shape, it's possible this Dark Knight already has allies (such as Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, or Aquaman, among others) that could jump in and help take down the Man of Steel. Much like "The Dark Knight Returns" (which counted on Green Arrow to help weaken Superman), Dawn of Justice could see Batman take a beating from the Man of Steel - to distract the Kryptonian while other heroes take their positions.

It'd take sharp story-telling to fit other players into place without undermining the main conflict between the titular characters but, depending on the context of Batman V Superman's iconic brawl, a third party (be it hero and villain) could ultimately join the fray.


Until further details are revealed, we'll just have to continue speculating - so make sure to share your theories in the comment section below.


SEE ALSO: Batman V Superman Trailer Easter Eggs


Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman - June 23rd, 2017; Justice League - November 17th, 2017; The Flash - March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman - July 27th, 2018; Shazam - April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 - June 14th, 2019; Cyborg - April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern - June 19th, 2020.

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