Part of being a fan of comic book characters is the never-ending debating as to whom would win a fight between two improbable characters. It’s a struggle that plagues many a fan, as the devoted and the believers fervently defend the characters in their respective corners for the ultimate boxing match. Such hypotheticals as who is stronger, the Hulk or Superman (Superman) and who wins an armored fight between Batman and Iron Man (Batman) can be talked about for hours. But every now and then, a match-up arises, one that only has one clear answer; one distinct winner.
As characters, Black Panther and Batman actually have a lot in common. They both dress in black and protect their homestead from those who would destroy it and its residents. They are both serious characters, highly-skilled and highly trained. But we here at CBR strongly believe that King T’Challa is the one and clear winner of this confrontation. But it’s not even just about a physical destruction in a one-on-one fight. It’s also because, in some regards, T’Challah is a better hero and man than Bruce Wayne could ever hope to be. Join us as we list the 16 reasons Black Panther absolutely destroys Batman.
16. HE CAN WIELD THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
There are many awesome feats that both Black Panther and Batman are capable of. Both have helped saved the world countless times, and both have defeated formidable villains when the odds were stacked against them. Sometimes, the situation was so grave that they had to employ the use of terrible, powerful weapons. But none come close to Black Panther actually being able to wield an Infinity Gauntlet.
As seen in the pages of Secret Wars, King T’Challa proved that he could be trusted with an Infinity Gauntlet — one that was saved from the remnants of a destroyed universe. Such a powerful, all-powerful weapon could easily lead to corruption, and yet Black Panther only used it to lead in the fight against God Doom. But actually, the best part is that Panther wouldn’t even need to use to Gauntlet on Batman.
15. HE DOESN’T HAVE TRUST ISSUES
The character of Batman has become famous/infamous thanks to the idea that he is prepared for every eventuality, that he has a weapon and a plan to deal with every villain or hero he would come across. Whether it’s Superman, The Flash, Mr. Freeze or Darkseid himself, Batman has a plan to deal with them. He was even shown to be able to take down the entire Justice League rather quickly in the pages of Batman: Endgame.
Such contingency plans hinge on Batman’s cynicism and trust issues. But herein lies the difference with Black Panther. He knows how to trust, whether it comes to his own family, his allies and his friends in the Avengers. Not only can he trust them, they too can trust him to do what is right.
14. HE’S NOT INFALLIBLE
Over the years, Batman has become an undefeatable character, a superhero who can get out of almost anything and everything, that he has been made into what has been called a Bat-god. It has reached a point that there is seemingly nothing he can’t overcome, and that has made him invincible in the eyes of his fans, who believe him to be able to defeat anyone he comes across.
While that is commendable for any hero, it’s also highly implausible. When it comes to Black Panther, the character is far from infallible. He has weaknesses and he can lose. Look no further than his current comic book solo series to see him lose control of his very own kingdom. Black Panther doesn’t have a magical way to get out of any situation, and he’s actually a better character for it.
13. THE DORA MILAJE VS. THE BAT-FAMILY
Both Batman and Black Panther are surrounded by a team of allies that they can fight side-by-side with. No, we’re not talking about the Justice League and the Avengers, but the Bat-family — Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, et al. — and the Dora Milaje, the female protective guard of King T’Challa, absolutely fierce warriors that rank among the best in the entire world.
The Dora Milaje are devoted to their King and take their roles very seriously. In Captain America: Civil War, you saw one member stand her ground to protect her King from Black Widow without even lifting a finger. While the Bat-family would give them a run for their money, the Dora Milaje are much stronger, more efficient and definitely more brutal than any teenager Bruce Wayne has trained.
12. HE DOESN’T NEED TO HIDE WHO HE IS
At the core of the Batman mythology, there is the duality between Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight. There is a mask that hides his true identity, something that he keeps a secret from everyone except those closest to him. It’s even come to a point that Bruce’s friends aren’t sure which is the mask, and which is his true face.
But T’Challa is both sovereign of Wakanda and its protector. He is both a hero and king, inside and outside of his costume. He doesn’t hide his identity from the world, as evidenced by his unmasking in front of government officials in Captain America: Civil War. He doesn’t need to hide who he is because there is no use for it. He knows what must be done, and he knows these other governments can’t do a thing about it.
11. HE IS ABOVE PETTY SQUABBLES
When it comes to infighting and squabbles amongst teammates, Batman has shown that he can be very hands-on. Whether it’s punching out Guy Gardner (he might have deserved it) or a continued rivalry with Hal Jordan, Batman has quite the ego that can sometimes get in the way of what must be done.
In Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther chose to side with Tony Stark’s side, but only so that he could reach his own goal. It was merely a means to an end. He didn’t care about the dispute between the Avengers, he was only after the man who he thought had murdered his father. When Hawkeye introduced himself, T’Challah responded “I don’t care,” and that is the perfect microcosm to illustrate who he is, both in the MCU and in the comics.
10. HE HAS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY (AND IT’S MADE OF VIBRANIUM)
To help in his never-ending crusade to fight crime in Gotham City, Batman has an almost infinite amount of special weapons and gadgets to use. Batmobiles, batwings, electric-discharge guns, mech suits small and giant – there’s nothing that he doesn’t have at his disposal. But most of these gadgets are disposable. They have weaknesses and limits, and they can be destroyed.
Black Panther, for his part, also has a few gadgets, but considerably less. He has claws, and yes he too has a stealth jet that can even allow him to tail Iron Man undetected. That’s because all that T’Challah has in his arsenal is made of the very powerful metal known as vibranium, an extremely durable material that is seemingly indestructible and shock-absorbent. And that is something that Batman simply couldn’t get through, no matter what he uses to hit it with.
9. HE IS A GOOD FRIEND
One of the caveats of Bruce Wayne’s trust issues and all around bleakness as a character is that it makes him a tough nut to crack. He closes himself off from the people who are closest to him, whether it’s Alfred, Dick Grayson or his friends in the Justice League. He keeps everyone at arm’s length and will hide many things from them, as seen as recently as Dark Days and that, more often than not, makes him come across as disrespectful and highly irritating.
King T’Challa is also a serious person, but this doesn’t come at the expense of his relationships with those around him. He is an outsider to his friends, but that doesn’t make him close himself off. He is respected and he respects in return. He can even admit he was wrong, and offer protection to Steve Rogers and his friends after having fought against them, as seen in Civil War.
8. HE HAS EARNED HIS TITLE THROUGH TRIALS
Bruce Wayne created the persona of Batman after spending years of training abroad. He took it upon himself to travel the world, taking every bit of knowledge he could find to use in his crusade. Once he had all that he needed from various teachers, he returned home and became the Batman to fight crime in his city.
While T’Challa also had to go through rigorous training, he did not go off to create his own persona. The Black Panther is a title in his country, and he had to go through many Wakandan trials to earn his title. The Black Panther mantle could have fallen on others, but T’Challa fought his way to the title with everything he had. Instead of sneaking from place to place, T’Challa stood his ground and became what he deserved to be: the Black Panther.
7. HE IS DONE LETTING VENGEANCE CONSUME HIM
Batman was created when Bruce Wayne was but a child, when his parents were tragically murdered in a dark alley. It was a loss and a thirst for vengeance that pushed him to devote his life to fighting crime; a fire inside that fuels him, a need for vengeance that he simply can’t let go of, because that is who he is — who he always has been.
Black Panther suffered a similar loss. When his father T’Chaka was murdered, it sent T’Challa on a hunt for revenge. But, as we have saw in Captain America: Civil War, when he finally had the chance to strike down Zemo, the man responsible for his father’s death, T’Challa chose to stay his hand, stating that he was done letting vengeance consume him. That is something Batman will simply never be able to do.
6. HE’S NOT AFRAID TO OPERATE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
Batman is a creature of the night, plain and simple. Under the cover of darkness is how he operates, where he can use the shadows to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. While there have been sparse occasions where Batman will be seen before sundown, it’s quite rare for the odd Gotham resident to look up skyscrapers to see Batman perched on a gargoyle at high noon.
But Black Panther has no such limits. His is a creature of the hunt, no matter the time of day. Whether you’ve seen him fight for his country out in the bright jungle in the comics or slide down a building in the middle of the day in Civil War, Black Panther has proven that he doesn’t abide by the hours of the day. He does what must be done, no matter what time it may be.
5. HE CAN (AND WILL) KILL SOMEONE
Whether it was the “one rule” established in The Dark Knight, or the absolute code that he abides by in the comics, Batman simply doesn’t kill criminals. No matter what they’ve done, no matter how bad the situation, he preaches that to kill his enemies would make him no better than they are, even if everyone knows the Joker will just break out of Arkham to kill again.
But when it comes down to it, Black Panther would have killed the Joker a long time ago. In fact, when he judges it to be the best or safest course of action possible, when he knows that there is simply no other way, Black Panther will not hesitate to end a life. It’s a line he is willing to cross that frankly Batman should consider once in a while.
4. HE ONLY NEEDS ONE SUIT
How many suits does Batman have? It seems he has one for every situation possible, whether it’s visiting Apokolips, going into the heart of a volcano of fighting a horde of undead talons. It has reached a point that, with so many various suits at his disposal, Batman almost has as many suits of armor as Iron Man.
How many suits does Black Panther need? One. T’Challa doesn’t need countless variations of his suit to fight in (okay, we’ll give you the gimme for his sweet Hulkbuster armor). He doesn’t need to prepare for any and all eventualities because he is already prepared. Simply put, T’Challa doesn’t need anything more than his classic vibranium suit. The Black Panther armor is simple and elegant, and has become iconic.
3. HE IS AN ACCOMPLISHED FIGHTER/TRACKER/HUNTER
Black Panther has proven to be one of the most accomplished fighters in the Marvel universe, whether in the movies or in the comics. He can hold his own against Doctor Doom himself and get the best of Namor, and we have seen him pose a very real threat to Captain America, Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier in Civil War. And, as the Panther, T’Challa has many skills when it comes to tracking and hunting as well.
All of those skills would come in pretty handy in a fight against the Batman. Sure, Batman would be as prepared as he could be, but T’Challa, with his tracking skills, would no doubt have the element of surprise. While Batman is also a strong fighter, Black Panther is much more agile, faster and deadlier, in or out of costume.
2. HE CAN HOLD OFF ENTIRE NATIONS
With the resources and people of Wakanda at his back, T’Challa is capable of a great many things, least of which is being able to defy entire nations when he disagrees with them. In the Marvel comic series Secret Empire, where an evil Captain America has led Hydra to seize control of the United States, T’Challa, as the representative of his nation, was the first not to recognize Hydra’s authority in front of the UN.
In Civil War, T’Challa chose to protect Bucky Barnes, knowing full well that he was a wanted criminal, challenging any who would dare try to come for him. While Batman is the eternal fighter, T’Challa has a power that stems not from his fists, but his feet. He stands his ground and he defies anyone or anything he dislikes.
1. HE IS THE KING
Whether in or out of costume, T’Challa is a King. Whether he bears his title or it has been stripped from him, he’s still the King. He fights for Wakanda above all else, for its people and for its beauty. Even when most of his country has turned its back on him, he will fight for them. When Wakanda is attacked, he will avenge them. When there is no longer a Wakanda to defend, he takes the fight to the hooded God responsible.
Batman is no King. He may be invincible to some, and he may be just as powerful as any god-like superhero in the DC Universe, but he has no throne to sit on, just a batcave. He may be the protector of Gotham City, but Black Panther is a sovereign ruler. Batman just can’t compete with that. Ring the bell. This fight is done.
What do you think? Is Black Panther the better man or does Batman still win? Let us know in the comments!
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