There’s no denying the staying power of Batman. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the Dark Knight first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939 and hasn’t slowed down since.
Whether it be on the panels of countless comic books and graphic novels or on TV and movie screens in both live-action and animated form, Batman has made a name for himself not only as one of the most popular DC Comics characters, but as one of the most popular comic characters period.
Since the tragic passing of his parents, Bruce Wayne has made a vow to uphold justice to the best of his ability. This means having his finger on the pulse in the crime world and knowing how to combat it. Batman has no shortage of martial arts skills, intellect, and gadgets to employ in his battle for justice.
Almost as beloved as Batman is his rogues’ gallery of classic villains. Opponents like The Joker and Two-Face have kept the Dark Knight more than busy all these years. Despite the number of near-even standoffs Bruce Wayne has had over the years, there have been some blowouts. Many Batman villains, and even other DC heroes, have gone toe to toe with the Bat in totally uneven circumstances.
Given the target Batman seems to have on his back, it might be a smart idea for him to pick his battles a little more carefully.
With that in mind, here are 10 DC Characters Stronger than Batman (And 10 Weaker.)
20 Deathstroke (Stronger)
Deathstroke has been picking up some real steam lately. While the supervillain has been popular amongst comic readers for years now, his recent inclusion in 2017’s Justice League and the talk of a standalone Deathstroke film in the works, Slade Wilson seems to be infiltrating the mainstream.
Deathstroke was discovered by the Army for his strength and speed. He was scooped up in hopes of developing a super soldier, so we know he’s strong. But not everyone knew just how strong Wilson was in the 1990’s Deathstroke series.
Issues 8 and 9 of Deathstroke saw the villain square off against the Batman in a fight that sent the Dark Knight down for the count in no time.
19 Green Lantern (Weaker)
There have been several Green Lanterns throughout the years, we’re specifically talking about Guy Gardner here. Most popular throughout the '80s and into the mid-90s and still popping up in more recent comics, Gardner’s time wearing the ring far from finished.
One of Guy’s notable appearances as the Green Lantern was in the 1987 Justice League #5. In this issue, we see Batman and Gardner come to blows, or should we say blow.
Guy hardly finishes his threat to kick Bruce’s butt before the Dark Knight takes him down with one punch.
With Hal Jordan holding his own against Bruce in more recent Green Lantern/Batman meetups, we’ll have to see what the future holds for these two.
18 Bane (Stronger)
Bane is definitely one of the strongest villains in Batman’s rogues’ gallery. By the looks of things, Bane would be strong enough as is.
Once he’s gotten his dose of Venom, he’s a true force to be reckoned with.
We’ve all seen Bane in full freak mode in The Dark Knight Rises and Batman & Robin, but many readers will recognize the Venom-fueled villain from his role in the Knightfall story arc. In the arc, Bane frees all of the inmates of Arkham Asylum, leaving Batman to go through a gauntlet of lesser foes before getting to him.
Bane is able to make quick work out of Bruce Wayne, breaking his back and rendering him helpless for many issues to come.
17 Darkseid (Weaker)
Of all the villains Batman has gone to-to-toe with over the years, few can say they are ruler of an entire planet. Darkseid is one of the few who can.
Ruler of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid has had his eyes set on the title of ruler of the universe for some time now.
Not many have been willing to get in the way of Darkseid, but Batman is one of those who has managed to take the tyrant down a peg. In Final Crisis, Earth is under attack by Darkseid. The villain plans to unleash the Anti-Life Equation, making himself ruler over all sentient beings.
In a rare turn of events, Batman puts a stop to Darkseid with a radion bullet.
16 Swamp Thing (Stronger)
Swamp Thing has a bit of a cult following in the DC comics universe. At one point being written by Alan Moore, Swamp Thing’s dark nature drew in many older fans looking for a little more edge.
It may not come as a surprise that Swamp Thing is a very powerful monster, but many were in disbelief when he took down Batman.
Swamp Thing #53 saw the larger-than-life swamp dweller make quick work of the Bat, though he did so in the name of love. Swamp Thing’s wife had been taken into custody by Gotham police, leading to some pretty intense panels.
15 Scarecrow (Weaker)
Scarecrow has garnered a decent following among Batman fans. From his appearances in graphic novels like As the Crow Flies, on the small screen in Batman: The Animated Series, or in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, the deranged former psychologist has a knack for using fear to get the best of his opposition.
Without his fear toxin, however, the Scarecrow doesn’t stand a chance against the Bat. In Batman Begins, we see that Batman not only found a way to work around the chemical attack, but he even turned the fear toxin back on the villain.
With a limited amount of control on his weaponry and no real backup plan, Scarecrow has his work cut out for him in the villain realm.
14 Aquaman (Stronger)
It’s easy to discredit Aquaman’s as a heavy hitter in the super hero roster. He’s been the butt of jokes for years now, but are they really that justified?
One of the best examples of Aquaman’s true strength is in the Legends of the DC Universe series.
Issue 27 sees him square off with Batman in a scrap that was a lot more evenly matched than people seemed to have expected.
With Jason Momoa picking up the trident for the forceable future of the DCEU, it seems that at least Hollywood has started to take Aquaman a little more seriously.
13 The Penguin (Weaker)
Oswald Cobblepot is one of the classic Batman villains. The Penguin manages a balance between mafioso and eccentric, finding himself amongst the highest ranked in the dark knight’s rogues’ gallery. But does he really deserve to be there?
The Penguin yields a lot of power, though it’s very rare that we see him in hand-to-hand-- or hand-to-flipper-- combat. While he is one of the most dangerous of Gotham’s criminals, it is usually due to some combination of gadgetry and his many goons.
The Penguin’s strongest asset as a villain has got to be his wit. While it’s clear that Batman is the stronger of two, the question of who is the smarter of the two is up for debate.
12 Wonder Woman (Stronger)
Despite theit larger-than-life nature, comic books have been known to tackle some pretty important social issues. That’s just what happened in the 2002 graphic novel Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia.
After engaging in the Hiketeia ritual, the lasso-wielding superhero is bound by her honor to protect a young woman named Danielle Wellys. Things are all well and good until Batman catches wind that Danielle has been taking out numerous dealers and slavers.
The morals of Danielle’s actions are at the heart of this story, which comes to a head with a standoff between Wonder Woman and the Bats. Batman is ultimately forced to surrender, recognizing that he simply can’t win.
11 Mr. Freeze (Weaker)
Depending on your first introduction to Mr. Freeze, his inclusion on this list might come as a bit of a surprise to you. If the name Mr. Freeze only brings images of a sparkle-painted Arnold Schwarzenegger to mind, we’re going to have to drop a bit of knowledge on you.
Outside of Batman & Robin, Mr. Freeze is no bodybuilder.
While he remained a prominent villain in the DC universe, it wasn't for any major feats of strength.
Without his gadgets, Mr. Freeze doesn’t pose any real threat to Batman. Coupled with the fact that Freeze has to remain in his cryogenic suit, the deranged doctor is left to survive on his wits rather than his strength.
10 Nightwing (Stronger)
Nightwing is a favorite amongst readers due to his unique backstory. After retiring from the role as Batman’s sidekick Robin, Dick Grayson stepped out on his own as Nightwing. While Grayson has had many standalone adventures, his meetings with his former boss are of special interest to many.
Nightwing #30 saw the former duo at odds with one another, with the one-time Robin trying to prove his worth to Batman.
Sick of still being treated like a mere sidekick, Nightwing is soon standing over Batman, proving his worth with the simple phrase “I win.”
Maybe Batman should just look at Nightwing’s strength as a compliment in his teaching ability.
9 Solomon Grundy (Weaker)
Appearing in comics as early as 1944, Solomon Grundy has often toed the line between antihero and villain in the years since. One notable meet-up between the larger-than-life zombie and the Dark Knight occurred in the late '90s limite series Batman: The Long Halloween.
While trying to track down Mickey Sullivan, Batman finds himself wandering through the sewers. In the process, the dark knight is forced to fend off an intruded-upon Solomon Grundy.
Lukckily, there didn’t seem to be any hard feelings between the two, as Batman later leaves a plate of Thanksgiving dinner in the sewers for Grundy to chow down on.
8 Clayface (Stronger)
Clayface is a favorite amongst Batman fans, especially those who grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series. The shapeshifter was an especially worthy villain, making himself nearly impossible to attack and essentially swallowing his prey up whole.
The 1999 crossover story Batman: No Man’s Land saw a return of Clayface when he crept onto the pages of Shadow of the Bat #75. In the issue, Batman’s capture of Mr. Freeze is rudely interrupted by the amorphous villain. On top of that, Clayface showed up with new electrical abilities.
Batman ultimately escapes, but not because he was able to defeat his foe.
Batman runs off when Clayface and Mr. Freeze get into an argument over who should decide his fate.
7 Gog (Weaker)
Gog is one of the most versatile villains in the DC universe. The survivor of a nuclear disaster, Gog has the ability to fly, alter time, and unleash blasts of energy all while possessing superhuman strength. One of Gog’s most savage displays of his power was when he eliminated Superman, traveled back in time, and then terminated him again.
In The Kingdom story arc from 1999, Rip Hunter recruits the Justice League’s Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman from the Kingdom Come arc to put a stop to Gog’s mayhem.
After a good deal of fighting, Batman is able to defeat Gog with the use of a Phantom Zone Projector. The god-like villain is sent partway into the Phantom Zone, sustaining very serious injuries along the way and eventually collapsing in agony.
6 Prometheus (Stronger)
Prometheus may not be the most well-known villain in the DC comics roster, but he is definitely one worth knowing about.
Just like Batman, Prometheus’ parents were gunned down at a young age. The twist is, Prometheus’ parents were taken by law enforcement, leading him to devote his life to the perversion of justice.
One of the villain’s greatest assets was his helmet. Connected directly to his brain and central nervous system, Prometheus’ helmet helps him to whoop the dark knight’s butt in the 1990’s JLA series.
Equipped with the skills of dozens of martial artists, Prometheus made relatively easy work of Batman and the rest of the Justice League.
5 Baby Doll (Weaker)
Okay, this one might be obvious, but there’s something to be said about the fact that there was an entire episode of Batman: The Animated Series devoted to Batman vs Baby Doll.
Inflicted with a bizarre condition that keeps her from physically aging beyond 5 years old, actress Mary-Louise Dahl looks to enact revenge on those who caused her television series to be canceled.
Batman is given the runaround throughout much of the “Baby Doll” episode, finally capturing the would-be starlet in a house of mirrors. Batman spends a lot of time at the carnival, come to think of it.
4 Shiva (Stronger)
Gadgets aside, one of Batman’s greatest strengths is his martial arts skill. As recently as 2005’s Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne has been seen training extensively in a variety of martial arts.
It’s not often that the Dark Knight meets his match in this skill, but that’s where Shiva comes in.
Assassin-for-hire Shiva is a martial arts master. One of her most notable victories was in Nightwing #0, when she singlehandedly defeats Batman and Nightwing at the same time.
Shiva’s strength is perhaps best exemplified when she is helping Batman. In the Knightfall story arc, the bat’s back is shattered by Bane. During his recovery process, Bruce enlists the help of Shiva to retrain him.
3 Orion (Weaker)
Orion has made a name for himself as one of the strongest of DC’s New Gods. The son of Darkseid, Orion has managed to defeat not only his own father, but Superman himself, amongst a long list of others. With a resume that impressive, many DC heroes shy away from any kind of tussle with god. But not Batman.
Cosmic Odyssey saw Batman and co. team up to try and find the elements of the Anti-Life Equation before they destroy the universe.
After Orion speaks ill of one of Batman’s allies, the Dark Knight unloads a right hook into his face, leading him to bail on the confrontation altogether.
2 Superman (Stronger)
Batman and Superman have squared off with one another . Whether on the big screen, like in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or on the pages of books like Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, the two heroes have had their fair share of scuffles.
Nearly every time the hero of Metropolis and the Dark Knight meet up, Superman comes out on top.
In The Dark Knight Returns, the fight ends in Batman perishing from a heart attack-- temporarily, of course.
Batman really should learn to be a little more careful with who he picks a fight with.
1 Calendar Man (Weaker)
Calendar Man is one of the weirder Batman villains, up there with the likes of the Condiment King and Polka-Dot Man. Obsessed with dates, Calendar Man is an extremely intelligent villain whose crimes always had a profound meaning, according to him at least.
Calendar Man has appeared in many comics since his first appearance in 1955’s Detective Comics #259, showing up in high profile stories like The Long Halloween as well as in animated form in Batman: Brave and the Bold.
No matter where he appears, Calendar Man never seems to last long when Batman comes around.
Despite being temporarily outsmarted by the bizarre villain in Batman: Brave and the Bold, Bruce manages to save earth from obliteration and hand Calendar Man some justice in seemingly no time.
Which Batman standoff is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.