Concluding our month-long "What If?" tribute, I bring you a scenario so unsettling, I may not be able to sleep tonight:
Rampaging muscle-bound Hulks and sinister Kryptonians are a walk in the park next to this one, folks, so let's take it below the fold and not scare the kids.
See, the thing about Batman is that he's all twisted. His mind travels down dark and winding passages, and you never know where he's going to pop up or what he's going to do when he gets there. I seriously can't imagine anyone I'd rather have as an enemy less. I think if he decided to turn his hand to evil and take over the world, he'd be almost impossible to stop. You can't beat him with straight-up brawn, because he's too slippery for that -- you'd never get close enough. That made the list of possible opponents very tricky to come up with, but I'll run down my thoughts on them one at a time.
- Dr. Doom: As has been discussed before, I think Doom is one of the few who can match Bruce Wayne both in terms of ruthlessness and financial resources. Unfortunately, I think Doom would eventually get hung by his own arrogance, something Batman is quite adept at manipulating. I don't think he's clever enough to match wits with the Caped Crusader.
- Green Arrow: I include GA on the list mostly for his familiarity with Batman. They worked together for years, and I think that gives him some insight to how Bruce's mind works. He's also a detective, which I think would be key because I would guess that a) uncovering the plot and b) figuring out how to find Batman to bring him down in the first place would take some sleuthing.
- Guy Gardner: Frankly I just want Batman to have a chance to kick Gardner's ass. Again.
- Hellboy: He won the last poll, so he deserves another entry. Plus, I think that his completely bull-headed, charge-straight-ahead and don't confuse me with details approach might actually be effective against the myriad schemes he'd be facing. Sometimes brute force and a refusal to get caught up in bullshit is exactly what you need.
- Lex Luthor: Like Doom, Lex has the financial backing to challenge Wayne in the toy department. However, I think he has all the same liabilities of Doom with no real compensating strengths. I spit on myself for including him on this list -- as penance I shall shave my head. Oh wait, too late!
- Ozymandias: From Watchmen, for those of you not in the know. He's the smartest man on the planet, and -- clearly -- is ruthless enough to get the job done. I think he'd be an excellent opponent for Bruce Wayne. However, I also think he'd end up just taking over the world himself even if he won, only in a way we'd never even realize. Sort of an out of the frying pan and into the fire kind of thing.
- Punisher: I tend to think Frank wouldn't stand a chance, but then again, a sufficient quantity of firepower has a certain quality all its own.
- Reed Richards: I put him on this list because he's the only one I can say for sure is definitely smarter than Bruce. I just don't know if that would be enough.
- Superman: Batman's beaten him before but, come on, he's freaking Superman. You can hardly go wrong with the Man of Steel for any job other than Kryptonite Janitor.
- Wolverine: Logan has the physical prowess to take Batman down, and I think he has the toughness and determination to fight through the various obstacles that would be thrown in his way. More relentless than the Punisher, more lethal than Hellboy, less principled than Superman, I think he'd have a real shot at it.
Batman's just so ... bad-ass. At so many things. That's the thing about Batman, if you bring strength he brings smarts. If you bring smart he brings clever. If you bring clever, he beats your head in with a car battery. It's his mastery of misdirection, the fine art of jiu jitsu, of directing your enemy's strength against him that makes Bruce so deadly. But, if I were the one in charge of choosing someone to do the job of taking down an Evil Batman, I supposed I'd have to go with ... Ozymandias. Let's get real, he basically IS Evil Batman in the Watchmen world, and look what a bang-up job he did at it. But I bet I'd end up regretting it.
Who would you choose?