Batman is a strange measuring stick in the DC universe. Even though Bruce Wayne possesses no superpowers beyond billions of dollars, expert fighting skills, an array of high-tech weaponry, a black book of superhero allies...our point is that he can’t shoot lasers out of his fingers that can destroy the multiverse, which, by DC standards, should put him pretty low on the old power rankings. However, Batman’s ability to analyze his every opponent and exploit the slightest hint of a weakness means that only the very best villains can possibly claim victory over Batman, even if only for a moment.
But what about the villains that Batman has never beaten? Do such beings really exist? Mostly. While the usual rogues such as Riddler, Two-Face, and Joker have gotten their precious “W” over Batman on several occasions, their respective loss columns overfloweth. The honor of never having been truly bested is reserved for those who have made brief appearances in Batman’s life, fought him as part of a larger conflict, and - in some rare occasions - simply chose their battles with Batman carefully. It’s an elite club that contains a mix of the powerful, the fortunate, and those wise enough to hit and run.
These are the 15 DC Villains That Batman Has NEVER Defeated.
During Nekron’s early days, he was mostly treated as an existential threat more than a villain you can punch in the face. As the embodiment of death, Nekron was able to draw from the powers of the dead to force the likes of Green Lantern and Wonder Woman into some rather unfortunate situations. He was certainly feared, but he was more of a puppet master than the “Get ‘em boys!” classic comic book villain type.
That changed during the “Blackest Night” storyline, which saw Nekron claim responsibility for superhero resurrections of the past and use the souls of those he had previously resurrected as double agents. During this time, Nekron actually uses Batman’s clone as a lynchpin for his entire evil scheme. The DC universe was able to overcome this threat, but Batman wasn’t part of the victory party.
Granted, the basic idea behind Bizarro isn’t exactly groundbreaking character design (“Superman...but evil” is some fairly well-tread ground), but the thing that’s always made Bizarro stand out is just how far DC writers have pushed the doppelganger concept. At his best, Bizarro is more of a parody of Superman who so happens to sport many of the Man of Steel's more potent abilities. This often makes him a humorous foe, but no less of a deadly one.
While Batman has gotten the better of Superman on several occasions, his battles with Bizarro have - rather appropriately - gone the other way. Technically, Batman did use a power suit to help Superman win a fight against Bizarro, but his contributions were more of a distraction. In direct battle, Bizarro tends to smack the bat around with relative ease.
You don’t earn the name Genocide unless you can lay claim to some notable swaths of destruction. Well...that or your parents had too much fun naming you. The point is that Genocide is a dangerous entity created when Ares fused the hatred left over from years of genocide into the body of Wonder Woman. The result was a being who was just as powerful as Wonder Woman, but much more likely to something off-kilter like murder millions for fun.
Genocide memorably went up against the Justice League after being unleashed on our pathetic dimension - we really are the worst - and the results were about what you’d expect. She beat the Justice League so handily that some have gone so far as to say that her power level may be far greater than Wonder Woman’s. Batman never stood a chance.
Jericho was created around the time that DC decided to take the training wheels off the Teen Titans and establish them as a true force not necessarily dependant on the members of the Justice League. At first, he was an ally to the Titans despite being the son of Deathstroke. Over time, however, Jericho was reimagined as one of the Titans’ most feared villains. Jericho’s ability to possess most people at will makes him the ultimate saboteur.
In fact, that very ability is why the Justice League had to be called in to help deal with Jericho during a particularly memorable story involving the character’s descent into villainy. During this time, Jericho found that he could easily take over the bodies of humans, and was only stopped because he couldn’t really control Superman. In an extended battle, it’s doubtful that Batman would fair better against Jericho.
There are few villains in the DC universe that truly occupy the untouchable tier of comic book foes, but Trigon is certainly one of them. Trigon was born when a god impregnated one of his worshipers. When Trigon pulled a similar trick, his daughter eventually informed the Teen Titans of the threat that he posed. Trigon was technically bested by the Titans, but all they really managed to do was briefly imprison him. When Trigon returned, he came back as one of the most powerful and feared beings the DC multiverse has ever known.
Trigon’s subsequent adventures brought him face-to-face with the Justice League, who initially refused to fight him. Trigon managed to defeat the super team with relatively little effort required. In fact, the Justice League - including Batman - has never really claimed a meaningful victory over Trigon.
10 Kobra (One-on-One)
Kobra isn’t regularly listed among the heavy hitters of the DC villain hierarchy, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his moments in the sun. Early on, Kobra faced Batman shortly after enjoying some luxury time in some homemade Lazarus Pits. Because of his day at the spa, Kobra’s otherwise mostly human attributes received a slight boost in effectiveness. When Kobra went on one of those “I think I’ll fight the majority of the heroes in the DC universe” kicks that DC villains are infamous for, he actually managed to beat Batman one-on-one. In the process, he became one of the few characters who could make that claim.
While Batman subsequently beat Kobra with plenty of help from his superpowered friends (cheater), Kobra has historically gotten the better of Batman when it comes to one-on-one battles. The same could be said of Deathstroke, but Batman has taken the boots to him on a few occasions.
Atrocitus is a particularly violent member of Green Lantern’s rogues gallery. He’s a founding member of the Red Lantern Corps and a strong believer in the amount of chaos one can cause when they wield the red power ring. He’s a constant thorn in Green Lantern’s side and has actually managed to get the better of GL on several occasions. Hey, you’d be amazed what you can accomplish when you’re a being of immeasurable power fueled by pure hatred and the desire to destroy.
In Justice League Action, Atrocitus made a special appearance and began to turn his talents towards DC’s mightiest heroes. Atrocitus was getting the best of Superman, Wonder Woman, and - for our purposes - Batman with seeming ease. In fact, the only reason anyone survived his onslaught is that Superman was able to convince Atrocitus that he should help them fight a neutral threat instead.
How many evil versions of Superman does the DC universe need? Apparently, quite a few. Unlike Bizarro, who is half-comedy/half-destroyer of worlds, Ultraman is pretty much all destruction, all the time. He’s the Superman of Earth-Three, a.k.a. the planet that contains the evil versions of nearly every DC superhero. Ultraman has appeared in several Superman comics over the years and even played a part during the Crisis miniseries. Mostly, though, he’s there for when the DC writers have to pull the “What if Superman...had to fight Superman?” card.
During his travels, Ultraman has crossed paths with the Justice League and its multiverse equivalents on a few occasions. During those instances, nearly every version of the League decided it would be best if Batman sits this particular fight out. However, there was an occasion during which the Earth-51 version of Batman was killed by Ultraman.
7 Black Hand
Fun fact: Black Hand was actually named after and inspired by both Batman co-creator Bill Finger and the Dark Knight himself. Black Hand fancies himself a particularly gifted inventor that is often able to beat some of the world’s greatest heroes by either sabotaging their equipment or building some incredible device of his own design. For the most part, he prefers to target the Green Lantern.
However, there was one memorable moment when Black Hand actually digs up the grave of Batman (it’s one of those universes where the Caped Crusader died) and used his remains to amplify his own power. The bones of Batman turned out to be a surprisingly effective tool that allowed Black Hand to one-up the likes of Green Lantern and The Flash. As for Batman...well, no version of the Dark Knight ever sought revenge against Black Hand for the defiling and grave robbing.
In the beginning (not that beginning), Parallax was conceived as the villainous alter-ego to Hal Jordan. It was your standard former hero absorbs the power base of his previous allies and becomes a big bad in the process type storyline. For a time, Parallax was forgotten about by the DC creative team. However, he returned to the fold following a series of events that..look, the point here is that Parallax became a sentient being capable of possessing DC’s best and brightest.
While Parallax didn’t possess Batman during this particular encounter, he did confiscate the bodies of Green Lantern Corp members as well as DC heroes such as The Flash. Given Parallax’s ability to absolutely destroy those who do not have access to great sources of mystical power, we’re guessing there’s a reason that DC keeps him far away from Batman.
5 Red Hood (Jason Todd)
Without getting into the entire history of Batman, Jason Todd, and how the former Robin came to be one of his mentor's foes, we'll just say that a series of unfortunate occurrences led to Todd’s death, resurrection, and subsequent turn to the dark side. Of course, the details depend on which version of the Jason Todd story you choose to follow. There have been a few rewrites of the Todd arch over the years. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t really cohesively tell Todd’s full story until you commit to a timeline.
However, if we’re going with one of the most popular of Todd’s runs, then Batman did suffer a notable defeat at the hands of his former protege when Todd (as the Red Hood) beat him to the ground and forced him to murder The Joker. Now, Batman did escape that situation, but Todd got the better of him, and he never really returned the favor with his fists.
You know, we’re starting to get the impression that if it weren’t for Green Lantern's villains, DC would have a lot fewer beings of power overwhelming who can destroy the universe before breaking sweat-type characters running around. Krona was once a simple Oan scientist who delved a bit too deep into the power source of the universe and accidentally gave birth to the Monitor and Anti-Monitor. He is turned into a being of pure energy for his involvement in this matter which, if we’re being honest, ain't that bad so far as punishments go.
Anyway, Krona ends up playing a significant role in the JLA/Avengers crossover event. During that time, a team of heroes that included Batman discover Krona’s evil intentions, but don’t really beat the villain. Later on, Krona goes up against Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and a coalition starring some of DC’s most powerful heroes. While Krona was briefly imprisoned by these forces, he eventually escaped and destroys the Earth. Hardly a victory.
Giganta was a product of the Wonder Woman Golden Age which...well, they don’t always call it the Golden Age because it was the absolute best era for a particular character. Giganta is certainly a product of those times. She’s a giant female warrior who has all the proportional strength you’d expect a giant female warrior to have. While Giganta has never really been portrayed as a deep character capable of being the star of some compelling narrative, she really fulfills the giant villain requirements quite well.
Giganta typically fights Wonder Woman and her associates, but there was a memorable episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold in which the Dark Knight and Captain Atom were discussing whether Batman’s lack of traditional superpowers means that he is especially prone to losing to powerful supervillains. The Caped Crusader denies this, and is stomped by Giganta shortly thereafter. Batman never got his revenge.
2 General Zod
General Zod may not be the greatest Superman villain of all-time - we’ll bestow that honor upon Lex Luthor - but he’s certainly among the most capable of Superman foes. Zod’s military mind and incredible physical abilities mean that he’s not only capable of going toe-to-toe with Supes, but that he can also plan out large-scale attacks that the Man of Steel isn’t always able to defuse in time. It’s a deadly combination that has led to Zod claiming quite a few victories over Superman over the years.
Zod has crossed paths with Batman on a few occasions - Zod’s actions proved to have huge ramifications in Batman’s corner of the world in Batman vs. Superman - but the two haven’t had the chance to settle their differences via old-fashioned comic book violence in a notable way. Push comes to shove, we’d give the nod to Zod.
1 Lady Shiva
There’s a little room for debate here on all fronts. First off, Shiva’s classification as a villain typically depends on the specific storyline that we’re talking about. Similarly, Lady Shiva and Batman have done battle in the past and there have been incidents in which you could argue that Bats got the better of her. However, those incidents were marred by the motivations of each character. Lady Shiva wasn’t really out for blood, and Batman wasn’t trying to just outright shut her down.
Batman has admitted that Shiva is a better fighter than him - she’s probably the best hand-to-hand combatant in DC - and Shiva is not afraid to use a dirty trick like a poisonous knife to swing things her way. We’re guessing the reason these two haven’t had a proper duel of note has something to do with the fact that writing a Batman victory could prove to be quite difficult.