Bucky Barnes vs. Dick Grayson. Who wins?

With thanks to James Wickenden on the HeroMachine Facebook page for the suggestion, this week’s Versus matches up the two men who are (arguably) the greatest sidekicks ever to graduate into full-blown super-herodom. I give you Bucky Barnes (aka “The Winter Soldier”) versus Dick Grayson (aka “Robin”, “Nightwing”, and “Batman”):

I love that both of these men started out as sidekicks to major super hero stars, and that neither has any inherent super powers. They’re just two highly trained, extremely capable, hardened warriors with plenty of high-tech gadgets to back them up. Also, it’s DC versus Marvel, which is always a bonus!

So lay it out for us: Who do you think would win this matchup, and why?

About Jeff Hebert

Jeff is a 44 year old city boy who has somehow found himself located in Colorado, fulfilling his lifetime dream of making a living drawing super-heroes all day.

32 Responses to Bucky Barnes vs. Dick Grayson. Who wins?

  1. two very similar fighters – both started as sidekicks and then assumed their partner’s identity when they where assumed dead but actually lost in time.

    Despite the fact that Grayson is close enough to “the Batman effect” that he’ll propable win this in votes – I’d go Bucky

    mainly since his partner DID have superpowers, he’d have to do more to stand out and justify the need for a sidekick

    Also he was a trained assassin for years, so I’d reckon if he did get the upper hand in a fight, he’d be more likely to take the oppurtunity than the Bat-deciple

  2. Bucky Barnes (aka “The Winter Soldier” and “Captain America”), Jeff.

  3. Buck’s a brawler. Dick’s an artist. ‘Nuff said!

  4. Jeff not to question this contest but wouldnt Jason Todd vs Bucky have been a closer contest. Despite the similar backgrounds between Dick and Bucky, Todd and Bucky went through the same Trauma. Both came back from the dead and both hate their former mentors. Since thats not the case. Dick would win because like mentioned above hes closer to the Batman and more use to insane and dangerous men.

  5. 1) Bucky never died, as such – just under deep freeze by the Russsians
    2) When has Bucky ever shown that he hated Cap? Maybe when he was still a mindwashed killer, but not since

  6. yeah bucky worships steve

  7. With guns, the Bucky would kill Dick before Dick knew he was there. In a hand-to-hand fight, I give Dick the edge.

  8. I gotta go with Dick. He’s got training, both as a sidekick and as an acrobat so he can dodge most of what Bucky’s gonna dish out. He also has more experience fighting true psychos. Bucky spent most of his time just fighting HYDRA and then AIM, both of which are really just armies of henchmen. Dick regularly wet toe to toe with Joker, Two-Face, Mr Freeze, Killer Croc and Bane. After surviving all of that, my vote goes to Dick.

  9. Ok, When I was growing up Bucky was last seen in front of an exploding plane, he was dead, I wanted him to be alive. The 1990′s roll around yep still dead. 2010′s roll around and FINALLY he is revived! I got to go with Dick- he was “ALIVE” longer.

  10. Going with Bucky. If I recall correctly, Barnes wielded a firearm even as Captain America, and had military training even before the whole ‘Winter Soldier’ bit. Grayson may be a martial artist, but James Barnes is a soldier, and that may well make the difference.

  11. Dick was a sidekick to, and eventually became “The Freakin’ Batman”. Dick wins.

  12. Grayson is my pick in this match-up. He was a literal child when he began his crime-fighting career. He was trained by someone who was virtually the greatest combatant alive to deal with all manner of threats, including barehand fighting, melee weapons, improvised weapons, exotic weapons, ranged weapons, and firearms. He doesn’t rely on a super-strong bionic arm or firearms to even the odds with more powerful foes. Bruce Wayne has even admitted that Dick is probably a hair better than himself, in a match-up of pure martial skill. Also, storylines aside, Grayson has far more “feats” to his name than Barnes, as he was active in the comic universe (literally, if not literarily) for the last sixty years, whereas Barnes was “dead”.

  13. Bucky, due to several viewpoints between the two.
    1. Although Dick HAS killled before, he tries not to. Bucky and Cap… they’ll kill with no problem.
    2. Nightwing isn’t about stealth 100% of the time like batman(1 down at a time) , making ranged combat harder in a one on one with Bucky.

  14. I think you can best judge a hero by his enemies, and, frankly, that Nightwing is able to handle the Batman pantheon of villains and come out on top, makes him, in my measure, a good deal more dangerous than Winter Soldier. More than that, he was able to actually take over for Batman and do so proficiently. Not to mention Nightwing’s suit is composed of kevlar with armor inserts which means that firearms may not be particularly effective.

    I could see the battle going somewhere along the lines of the two seeing each other down a long alley, Winter Soldier shoots first aiming for the heart, not realizing the skintight bodysuit is actually bulletproof. Nightwing’s chest armor plate takes the worst of the attack while he drops smoke pellets rapidly closes the distance, lobbing a wing-ding which disables the firearm. Before Winter Soldier can pull a second firearm Nightwing has closed to melee range and proceeds to absolutely flatten Winter Soldier using twenty different martial arts simultaneously. Then, if DC wiki is to be believed, he tazes Winter Soldier with one gauntlet and shoving knock out gas up his nose with the other. Winter Soldier isn’t a slacker at hand to hand by any stretch, but neither is he on par with Batman or Deathstroke or Ra’s Al Ghul where as Nightwing is; once it closes to melee range barring an extremely lucky hit Nightwing will wipe the floor with him.

    Oh, also, per DC Wiki, he can dodge gunfire from multiple adversaries at point blank range and lift over half a ton. I think he can probably be classified as a superhuman human.

  15. Abraxas:
    Winter Soldier isn’t a slacker at hand to hand by any stretch, but neither is he on par with Batman or Deathstroke or Ra’s Al Ghul where as Nightwing is.

    Winter Soldier is on par with people like Captain America, Crossbones and Red Skull though, and they are probably equal to who you mentioned, especially Cap and Batman (it would be close than you’d think, maybe Batman shading it on skill.)
    And Bucky is probably better tactically than Dick, as that was always Cap’s strong point, he was a tactical genius, which Bucky would have picked up on.

    darkvatican:
    Grayson is my pick in this match-up. He was a literal child when he began his crime-fighting career.

    And Bucky wasn’t?

  16. spidercow2012

    I’m giving it to Dick, for various reasons already stated better than I can and with which I concur.
    And can we up the ante? Batman vs Nightwing. Who wins? Think about it.
    That’s a poll I’d like to see.

  17. JR19759: Winter Soldier is on par with people like Captain America, Crossbones and Red Skull though, and they are probably equal to who you mentioned, especially Cap and Batman (it would be close than you’d think, maybe Batman shading it on skill.)
    And Bucky is probably better tactically than Dick, as that was always Cap’s strong point, he was a tactical genius, which Bucky would have picked up on.

    Essentially correct. I’m at a bit of a loss by those that consider that Winter Soldier would not be in the same league as Nightwing in a fight. As an assassin, sources say he was at least comparable, and often thought better than, other Marvel assassins like Elektra or Bullseye. And on straight fisticuffs, he’s not far off the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, and actually good enough to have taken Wolverine down once.
    I had hemmed and hawed over this matchup for the entire day and essentially, it’s pretty close to a draw. This one will likely end one of two ways: Either they realize they have nothing to fight about, and go their separate ways, or the winner gets lucky and puts the other one down, but comes out looking only slightly less bloodied than the loser.
    Well, if you’re really going to push me on this to pick a winner, I’ll take Dick Grayson. Why? I just like him more.

  18. spidercow2012:
    I’m giving it to Dick, for various reasons already stated better than I can and with which I concur.
    And can we up the ante? Batman vs Nightwing. Who wins? Think about it.
    That’s a poll I’d like to see.

    Honestly, I’d probably still vote for Dick. He wouldn’t have to worry about the cape getting caught on anything and would probably use that to his advantage in some way against Bruce.

  19. X-stacy: With guns, the Bucky would kill Dick before Dick knew he was there. In a hand-to-hand fight, I give Dick the edge.

    Agreed, though I think dick does have the use of smoke granades, which will make it harder for Bucky to see, this tips the fight to Dick.

  20. William Peterson

    If THAT were the case, Batman would have been dead a long, long time ago!! Both Bucky and Dick were dodging full-automatic weapons fire from multiple sources before they went out on their first date! ;)

    X-stacy:
    With guns, the Bucky would kill Dick before Dick knew he was there.In a hand-to-hand fight, I give Dick the edge.

  21. William Peterson

    I went with Nightwing on this one…
    Yeah, I’m quite sure that Cap would mop the floor with Batman, no problem! Batman takes on a room full of cheap hoods, Cap takes on a room full of Elite Nazi Commandos with Grenades and full-auto weaponry, trained especially to kill him! Which do YOU think is tougher? ;)
    But, Bucky is not Cap. He doesn’t have the Super-Soldier serum, and, quite frankly, any edge he got from the ‘Winter Soldier’ program should have disappeared when Cap used the Cosmic Cube to revert him back to being Bucky (and, yeah, that was the scene that got me to stop reading Captain America!)…
    Nightwing, on the other hand, is showing every sign of being better than the Bat, especially once you take out the ‘fanboy factor’!

  22. Myro:
    I had hemmed and hawed over this matchup for the entire day and essentially, it’s pretty close to a draw. This one will likely end one of two ways: Either they realize they have nothing to fight about, and go their separate ways, or the winner gets lucky and puts the other one down, but comes out looking only slightly less bloodied than the loser.
    Well, if you’re really going to push me on this to pick a winner, I’ll take Dick Grayson.Why?I just like him more.

    This is exactly how i felt about it. Seems to me if they had several matches, Dick would win some and Bucky would win some. Which is pretty much how is see a fight between Batman and Cap going too. Since i think plenty of others will cover their abilities and achievements, i’ll just explain why Dick is my favorite.

    i’ve been familiar with him since i was a kid watching Batman the Animated Series (Back then Batman was even my favorite superhero). In the comics, he became Nightwing before i was born, but by the time i got into the characters enough to know about that i was a teenager myself, which kind of gives me the sense that Dick grew up with me; and Nightwing’s become one of my favorite characters.

  23. When I suggested this to Jeff on the Heromachine facebook page, I had hoped it would be a bit closer than it has turned out to be. I can understand why Nightwing has run away with it, he is by far the cooler character, but really, 83% to 17%?
    Never underestimate the Bat-factor.

  24. I’m not the only one who wants to see a Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye post am I?

  25. @Aaron it happened – I forget who won though

  26. Oh did it? i’m completely sorry the fact that CW’s the Arrow comes on in October has got me thinkin bout Archers alot lol!

  27. JR19759: And Bucky wasn’t?

    Bucky was 15 when he began his time as Captain America’s sidekick, and Grayson was 8. However ridiculous that might seem nowadays, there you have it.

  28. JR19759:
    Never underestimate the Bat-factor.

    If this versus match-up were between the two young men’s mentors, I would have voted against the Bat, myself.

  29. Yeah…the guns make this fight a little one-sided. I could see a pure hand-to-hand brawl going either way, but Dick has no real answer to a long-range opponent other than “duck”. And in a realistic fight, kung fu flipping never beats a gun.

  30. Dick would win, despite Bucky and Cap Dick has seen and been through alot he saw his parents die before his eyes (just like Bruce) he has been trained by Bruce to his physical peak, knows the criminal mind exellent detective skills and knows several fighting styles, Dick has even fought Red Hood (Jason Todd 2nd Robin) with Damien Wayne as the current Robin, despite everything Dick Grayson is the no.1 Robin and he was a kid at the start we all wish to of been him, but i just gotta say that Dick has been through so much i don’t think he’ll be put to an end by Bucky.

  31. William Peterson: If THAT were the case, Batman would have been dead a long, long time ago!! Both Bucky and Dick were dodging full-automatic weapons fire from multiple sources before they went out on their first date!

    True enough. I meant that Bucky, using his Winter Soldier assassin training, would probably be using a sniper rifle from ultra-long distance. It’s something that, realistically, would be impossible to dodge. But of course, it’s comics, so not realistic by nature.

  32. JR19759: Winter Soldier is on par with people like Captain America, Crossbones and Red Skull though, and they are probably equal to who you mentioned, especially Cap and Batman (it would be close than you’d think, maybe Batman shading it on skill.)
    And Bucky is probably better tactically than Dick, as that was always Cap’s strong point, he was a tactical genius, which Bucky would have picked up on.

    They were very good, certainly, but there are better martial artists in the Marvelverse such as Taskmaster, Mister X, and Shang-Chi. They would represent the peak, unaugmented human skill, whereas in DC there is no human better at hand to hand combat than the Bat, Deathstroke, and yes, Nightwing. Nightwing is considered the single most agile human in the entire DC universe, bar none. Assuming humans in DC are on rough parity with humans in Marvel, from what we see I think we have to say Dick is the superior hand to hand combatant.

    As far as being tactically better, I wouldn’t count on it. Nightwing was trained in tactics by “preparation time” Batman and is almost as good.