Poll Position: Batman versus … ?

I have a strange feeling -- call it intuition, call it a gut-check, call it some ineffable transmission from another world, a world run by Chris Sims -- that people 'round these parts like them some Batman. I know, it's a wild idea, but I'm going to roll with it for today:


So many possibilities, it makes my geeky brain esploded! Let's get into the specific:

  • Dr. Doom: You may note that only one villain made it onto this list, which was intended as a "good guys vs. good guys" joint. Why? Because he is DOOM! Your petty, envious, small-minded labels and weak attempts at classification of matters beyond your pathetic understanding have no sway over the actions of Doom. If Doom wishes to crush The Batman, he will do so. However, it behooves the author to point out that Doom has a proven track record of getting swatted aside by hyper intelligent, resourceful inventor types. The question is, does Batman's cunning occupy the same stratospheric level as Reed Richards' intelligence?
  • Dr. Strange: Science and technology have proven ineffective against Batman for years, so at least Dr. Strange would be coming at him from a different angle. Given the otherwordly nature of the powers at his command, you'd have to think Bruce would be at a distinct disadvantage. How do you plan for something about which you know very little?
  • Green Lantern: Let's be honest, no version of the Earth-based Green Lantern has exactly lit it up from a strategic or intelligence standpoint. I know, Hal Jordan has defeated galactic-level baddies before, but I just don't think of him as being in the same intellectual weight-class as Batman.
  • Hulk: Hulk smash! But Batman win! Because while The Hulk is smashing buildings, Bruce is figuring out how to calm him down or trap him somewhere inescapable. Brains > Brawn, folks.
  • Martian Manhunter: I put the Martian Manhunter on the list because I think he's much cleverer than Superman while having a lot of the same powers. I think the addition of telepathy gives him an edge over Batman, but of equal importance to my mind is the fact that since they're both detectives, they're going to think alike to some degree. To beat the Bat, you must know the Bat. The big drawback, as always, is J'Onn's vulnerability to fire. Batman would roast him (literally) a dozen different ways.
  • Professor X: As opposed to the Superman style matchup, Professor X brings his massive telepathic abilities to the fore. Unless Bruce can invent a telepathy-blocking helmet PDQ, I don't see how he avoids the X-Man. Of course, I suppose Batman could just go out, kick Magneto's ass, take his helmet, then dismantle the Prof ...
  • Reed Richards: One of the few people who can claim a mind as inventive as Batman's, I think Reed would have a shot at this. However, while he's smart, I don't know that he's particularly devious. That's one of the tough things about going up against Batman -- he's sneaky as hell!
  • Spider-Man: Much like Dr. Strange brings something new to the table, Spider-Man does as well. In his case, it's dumb luck. The guy's neither the smartest nor the most powerful figure on the planet, but he manages to come up smelling like roses nonetheless. I suppose that's the power of headlining the most popular series in the company.
  • Superman: Batman has battled Superman so many times, I don't think there's much more to say on the subject. I include Big Blue here as a nod to the sub-genre as much as anything else.
  • Wolverine: Two relentless, ruthless, cold-blooded hunters going at it. I don't think it gets much better.

Now, in terms of what I would most want to read, it would clearly be Batman vs. Wolverine. But in terms of the question of who I think would have the best chance of actually beating Batman, I'm going to be a little crazy and pick Dr. Strange. I think that "unknown magic" angle is huge. And don't be fooled by the Seventies facial hair, Dr. Strange is a legitimate global-class heavyweight, fully capable of defending the entire planet from near god-like beings.

But that's me -- who would you pick?, and why?

28 Responses to Poll Position: Batman versus … ?

  1. C. Baize says:

    Dr. Strange.

  2. Dan says:

    I thought of going with Martain Manhunter or Reed, but I went with Spider-Man, and here’s why. Batman has the with preparation he can beat anyone, but Spider-Man has the strength of will to overcome the odds. I still think Batman would win, but Spidey has the best chance.

  3. Myro says:

    Wait, no Captain America? I think Cap would at least be the equal of Bats in the strategy department, and apart from thick armor or a force field, there isn’t much tech response to an indestructible shield moving at high speeds.

    From the guys on the list, I’m going to have to go with…DOOM! Doom’s got the giant intellect AND knows magic. He might not be quite on par with Strange, but a relatively recent story in Marvel did have Doctor Doom as a credible threat to take over as Sorcerer Supreme of Earth.

    Plus, unspoken contractual obligation to vote for Doom no matter the poll.

  4. haz says:

    Professor X. Okay, this only works if the professor steps it up on the devious side of things, but remember that stunt with Changeling. He’s capable. So, even if Batman mugs Magneto and steals his helmet (which he won’t–Batman is nothing if not color coordinated and Magneto’s helmet would clash something fierce) Professor X can still get into the minds of other people. Batman’s got enough enemies that all Xavier would have to do would be to give them a nudge in the direction he wanted them to go and then Batman is dealing with more than just the professor.

  5. Danny Beaty says:

    I pick Doctor Doom. In the past Doom has beaten the very intelligent/powerful Iron Man. I did not pic Doctor Strange because a prepared Batman would consult with Doctor Fate or Zatana or the Demon (or perhaps all three magic users) to either borrow or create some kind of magical armory to battle Doctor Strange.
    On another subject, I don’t think Batman is anywhere near as smart as Reed Richards. Reed Richards can open inter-dimensional doorways, something Batman (to the best of my knowledge) has never been able to do on his own.

  6. Bael says:

    Have to go with Spider-Man. He’s on a level with Batman at technology and weapons design. His rogue’s gallery is similarly psychotic, so he can match Batman’s devious streak. He is similarly driven and motivated. Like Batman, he routinely fights out of his weight class, having beat the likes of Firelord and Juggernaut. The difference is that his baseline weight class is higher.

    He’s faster, stronger, and tougher than Batman. Batman’s much vaunted prep time doesn’t help that much against a foe like Spider-Man who doesn’t have a battle plan and fights on instinct and intuition. Oh, yes. Did I mention Spider sense?

  7. Timespike says:

    How about Tony Stark/Iron man. That would be really interesting as they could fight on several fronts. Personal, superteam, corporate…

  8. Kytana says:

    Professor X: “I came to beat you!”
    Batman: “And how would you to that?”
    Professor X: “With my mental power.”
    Batman: “Not when i use my… bat-anti-mental-gadget!”
    Professor X:”…”
    Batman: “So what you to now?”
    Professor: “You forget to switch it on!”
    Batman: *switch the button on
    “Now i have done and i am ready to fight.”
    Professor X: “That fight is over now!”
    Batman: “You give up?”
    Professor X: “No i have won!”
    Batman: “What? How?!”
    Professor X: “I know you are Bruce Wayne!”
    Bruce Wayne: “Noooo!”

  9. Joel says:

    I think prof X’s powers could easily kick batman’s ass no question (I like the idea of going into other peoples mind’s suggested by haz), however I don’t think prof X has the lack of morals to use his powers effectively against batman. If prof X were a villain he would win, but I think I gotta give it to reed Richards. What we are talking about here is prepared batman, and I believe reed is the only one on the list with the brain power to effectively counter batman.

  10. Kountkill says:

    I have to give it to Spider-Man, just because how do you prepare for a guy with great strength, incredible agility, and most importantly, a sense that can detect whatever preparations you ready for him.

  11. Joshua says:

    *Across every plane of existence along the omniverse, a shudder is felt among sentient life. The staff of a private daycare in Upper Manhattan–where tuition alone runs the price of a mid-sized sedan–baffles at the uncontrolled sobs of their toddler clientele.

    Along a dimension comprised solely of digital code, a herd of hexadecimals, grazing on a lush patch of binary, suddenly break off and flee.

    Even in Hell, the torment ceases but for a moment as a cold chill runs over the collective spines of the damned.

    And all this because Doom grows displeased.

    DOOM: Hebert, why must you provoke Doom? You’re like a child slowly inching a crayon up his nasal cavity– seems like fun at first, but it’s going to end with you in tears and a trip to the ER. Doom pitted against Batman? Really? Did Doom sleep with your sister? C’mon, Hebert, this Batman could spend a lifetime plotting with the assistance of history’s greatest minds, given access to the greatest technology and deadliest weaponry, set an ambush…and still, still be woefully ill-prepared to face Doom.


  12. Doornik1142 says:

    The person with best chance at beating a prepared Batman?

    I dunno, God maybe?

  13. Doornik1142 says:

    Incidentally, I picked Superman. Because honestly the only reason Superman ever lost a fight to Batman is because of bad writing.

    The writers have to make Superman stupid and/or make him forget half his powers in order for Batman to beat him. Even if Batman has kryptonite on him he has to get the kryptonite out of his belt to use it, and in that space of time Superman can use his superspeed to knock Batman out.

    Even if Batman walked into the fight holding a chuck of kryptonite in his hand all Superman has to do is zap Batman’s hand with heat vision to make him drop the kryptonite then melt it from a distance.

    Or he could just knock Batman out with a thrown rock. If he can have sex with Lois without involuntarily crushing her to jelly with his superstrength then he can throw a small rock hard enough to knock Batman out without killing him, from far enough away that the kryptonite won’t affect him.

  14. Dan says:

    @Joel, you’ve obviously never read any of the 60’s X-Men stuff to think that Xavier has morals. He had no qualms about wiping peoples memories, or just making his students think he was dead. Kitty was wrong, Professor Xavier isn’t a jerk, he’s a dick!

  15. William A. Peterson says:

    Doom, of course! Yeah, I want to see Batman ‘prepare’ for this fight with a Force Field penetrating, Armor Piercing Batarang… {Snicker!}
    Martian Manhunter should also be able to do Bruce in quite well… Yeah, I know, he’s ‘vulnerable’ to Fire, but he’s a Telepath, so he’s going to know exactly where Bruce keeps the Zippo, and when he’s going to flick it…
    {I know, Batman Rulez, Everyone else Drools….}

  16. Malfar says:

    I think it would be Dr. Strange. Maybe it’s because of my love to fantasy, but I think that magic can do almost everything.

  17. StarMan2000 says:

    Sad to see Wolverine is winning the poll. I can understand the logic behind Wolverine being the best for a prepared Batman but i reckon most people kinda see Wolverine and vote for him regardless of the question. It’s all opinions of course but character popularity is not a great ideal for choosing the victor in a poll such as this.

    That being said I personally voted for Dr Doom. Doom has endless power to draw from from his own personal army of robots, to his high level of magical power. Not to mention he has political power as well being the King of Latveria. He can bring more to the table than Batman can muster by far. To discount the others: Spiderman’s luck would eventually run out and even his spider-sense can’t save him forever. Prof X isn’t devious enough to really take out the Batman, besides the mobility issue is enough to stop the fight. Dr Strange was my second choice, partly because of the list he’s my actual favourite but mostly because a prepared Batman would be able to have something to counter his Sorcery. Hulk, yeah Jeff said it best Brains > Brawn. Green Lantern: Bats would just force the fight out til the ring ran out of juice. Or sever his finger. Reed Richards: Intelligent but definately not ruthless enough to do the job. Martian Manhunter: too easily defeated by fire. Supes: Been there done that, Bats has beaten him several times by being prepared. Wolvie: Just no, raw animal brutality and a lack of thought nid-fight would tip this one against the clawed one. (plus I can’t stand him :P)

  18. Shade2075 says:

    Dr. strange probably has the best chance of all of them, At first I thought wolverine might have a chance given his healing rate, but then I realized Batman would quickly catch on to his hyper-sensitive smell and take advantage of it.

  19. Captain Steroid says:

    I’d take Professor X (barely) over Richards. Even IF Batman had some manner of blocking his telepathic abilities, similar to Magneto, Xavier’s still one of the most brilliant minds in comics. He’d stand the best chance out of all of them, including Superman, of rationally talking Batman down and diffusing the situation.

    And, if force was the only alternative, Batman most likely would look to devise a means to protect HIMSELF from Xavier’s telepathy. Let’s say Batman forges a helmet similar to Magneto’s. Who’s to say the professor wouldn’t, as a last resort, mind-hack some random dude/mutant to jump Batman and *YOINK* the helmet off his head?

    Would it be the most exciting scenario to watch? Probably not. But, as the only person on this list with the potential to truly go INSIDE the head of the Bat, the solution to this problem is X.

  20. nakiato says:

    though not on this poll I always felt a batman V.S. the punisher would make for a pretty good fight. both have good tactical minds and given the punishers personality he wouldnt be handicaped by a strong moral code. anyway it is a battle that me and one of my friends have often contemplated.

  21. Rodimus Mike says:

    This is obviously a popularity contest for fanboys resulting in Wolverine taking the lead. It doesn’t take a genius to assume Batman could bring a giant friggan’ magnet to take Wolverine down.

  22. Pete says:

    I always thought the best ‘Batman versus’ was Bats v. Dredd, an awesome storyline and kick ass fights! From the list I gotta go with Dr. Strange.
    Not that I think any of them would win, after all, they all gotta take a crap sometime and when your pants are down and your junk is dangling, you’re at one hell of a disadvantage when Bats jacks you from inside the crapper!

  23. Tigerguy786 says:

    After reading the list, my instinct was Dr Strange and Jeff’s reasoning didn’t convince me otherwise, so that’s what I went with.

  24. Robin says:

    i went with spiderman because, while batman has inventions and a plan for everything. spiderman has a different kind of brain power. thinking on the spot. (or as i like to call it: indiana jonesing)

  25. knight1192a says:

    Dr. Doom: “For I am DOOOOMMMMMM! I have an enormously big ego and am tremendously arrogant. Batman can’t possibly when for I am DOOOOOMMMMMM!” And then Bats simply uses his ego and arrogance against him, taking Doom down in a few hours. Heck, you don’t have to be Reed Richards to beat Doom, just use his ego and arrogance against him.

    Dr. Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, Bat’s can’t possibly no how to deal with his powers. It’s not like he’s hung out with Zatanna, Jason Blood, or Dr. Fate. Oh wait, he has. Strange ain’t got an angle Bat’s hasn’t seen before.

    Green Lantern: Seriously? Green Lantern is like Superman, Bat’s has teamed with various Green Lanterns and is gonna know their strengths and weaknesses well. A prepared Batman takes down Green Lantern in any number of ways, including using yellow against them (I still say that is the lamest weakness), forcing them to use their ring to the point where they have to recharge it then jumping them before they can recharge, and just removing the ring. And as it’s Batman he’d know a way to remove the ring.

    Hulk: Yeah, Batman would just wait until he’s at peace. No fight here. Batman Wait’s until Hulk transforms into Banner then just takes him in and ends up using some kind of gas to keep him peaceful.

    Martian Manhunter: Again, like Superman, Bat’s has teamed with him often enough to know his strengths and weaknesses. He’s even commented on his shapeshifting ability as also being exploitable.

    Professor X: Take Magneto’s Helmet? Why, he could simply invent his own in the form of a cowl after just studying Xavier and Magneto. But actually Bat’s would just get the Xavier Protocols and look at 0-0-0. Xavier told how he code possibly be fought with this one. Big oops, Bat’s wins with an upgraded version of the anti-pisonic armor Xabier himself created.

    Reed Richards: Sure he’s smart, but Bat’s has Plastic Man and Elongated Man to study how to deal with Strech’s elasticity. Capture him, render his power useless to allow him to escape on his own, and all his intelligence does him no good.

    Spider-Man: Hmmmmm, tough one. Getting rid of his webslingers only removes his webbing. Without webbing it’s his agility, ability to stick to walls, strength, and Spidey-sense that makes him Spider-Man. But his Spidey-sense could also be his greatest weakness. Overwhelm it to the point where it could drive him to his knees and Bat’s has him.

    Superman: One word. Kyptonite. Bat’s has teamed with the Man of Steel so often that he’s bound to have plenty of kryptonite to use against him.

    Wolverine: Need I really say it? Wolverine’s skeleton is his greatest weakness against Batman. All Bat’s would need to do is use a large electromagnet and the adamantium in his skeleton would plaster him to the magnet, keeping him in place. Then Bat’s uses a constant does of tranquilizer gas to keep Logan knocked out long enough (gotta be constant to make sure he’s out for a long while as his healing factor allows him to regain conciousness faster than most) to put him in an adamantium cage. On top of that Xavier has a protocol on how to deal with Logan too, though I doubt Bat’s would decapitate him and keep his body from his head in order to defeat him.

    I doubt any one of these stand a chance of beating a prepared Batman. Unless he let’s them win because he’s got a bigger goal in mind.

    The real question is, could an unprepared Batman beat a prepared Batman. Bruce Wayne against Bruce Wayne here, not Dick Grayson, Jean-Paul Valley, or anyone else who has worn the cowl or born the mantle of the Bat.

  26. Knighthawk says:

    I have to say spider man for a single reason: a majority (51+%)of spider-mans enemies are technical in nature and he trumps them almost every time.
    Batman is much like Mysterio with the gadgets, Kraven for the physical prowess, and daredevil for his detective work and X factor. As I recall there have been people who are specifically engineered just to take out spiderman and come fully prepared yet still loose to the wall crawler.
    Don’t forget that brilliant strategy is no comparison for dumb luck, but it would be cool as hell to see batman integrate the web-shooters into his utility belt.

  27. Michael says:

    You honestly think Bats knows nothing about magic? Just because he can’t use it himself doesn’t mean he has no info on it. And you said a PREPARED Bats. That’s the key word there.

    I agree with knight1192a, I doubt anyone could defeat a prepared Bats.

    Nakiato they have already had a Bats vs Punisher. Frank lost if i remember correctly.