Bruce Wayne, Batman, is one of the greatest superheroes of all time. Even though he has no powers, it’s partly because of his lack of metahuman abilities that make the character appealing. If a normal man can stand up to and defeat gods and monsters through decades of training, why not you? For many, Batman being Batman is enough to end the majority of superhero debates. The Dark Knight has gotten a tremendous reputation through the years at being able to defeat anyone. Writers have certainly helped in this, pitting Batman against everyone from Darkseid and Superman, to Doomsday and Wonder Woman.
It really doesn’t seem to matter the opponent, Batman diehards will inevitably argue that Batman wins if he has prep time. If the Caped Crusader doesn’t have prep time, then people still claim it doesn’t matter, since he possesses his utility belt. Batman heads into battle prepared for any eventuality is the idea. The relatively early days of Batman didn’t showcase the level of power and ingenuity we see in comics today. When once Batman struggled against regular thugs, the character has been brought to new heights, defeating living gods along the way. Today at CBR we’re looking at 15 gods and godlike figures Batman defeated!
Darkseid is one of the oldest New Gods and is the mad ruler of Apokolips. Darkseid spends most of his free time trying to rule the universe and acquire the anti-life equation. With a wide and frightening array of powers, there are few who can oppose him, unless you count Batman.
In DC’s Final Crisis, the New God Orion has been killed and Darkseid is attacking Earth, with the help of the Anti-Life Equation. There’s a series of crazy events, but they ultimately lead to a tired Batman confronting the evil deity. Realizing the entire universe is in peril, Batman disregards his vow not to use guns. He shoots Darkseid with the same bullet used to kill Orion, decimating the New God, but not before the villain unleashes his Omega Beams on the Dark Knight, taking the hero with him.
The son of Darkseid, Orion is one of the strongest New Gods. He’s defeated Superman, killed Darkseid himself, and is privy to a long list of impressive feats. With a temper as hot as the Sun, even heroes like Superman and Green Lantern are a little on edge in his presence Let it be said, Batman doesn’t fear gods, be they New or old.
In Cosmic Odyssey, Darkseid summons several heroes, Superman and Batman included, to go and find aspects of the Anti-Life equation before they destroy the universe. At one point Batman teams up with Forager, a humble bipedal human-sized bug from New Genesis, to disable a bomb. Forager dies in the attempt, sacrificing himself to save the galaxy. Later, Orion speaks smugly of Forager. Enraged, Batman punches Orion right in the face, shocking everyone and Orion most of all. Chastened, Orion leaves, unwilling to take the confrontation further.
Circe is one of Wonder Woman’s most powerful and evil foes. She’s a legendary sorceress from Greek mythology and is immortal, undying, and wields magic stronger than that of most gods. She’s instigated Crisis-level events like War of the Gods, killed Hermes, transformed all the male superheroes into animal-human hybrids, and even mind-controlled Superman into nearly killing Wonder Woman.
She initiated the event Amazons Attack!, where Circe revived Wonder Woman’s dead mother and tricked her into trying to reclaim her throne so she would then attack Washington, D.C. Batman, like the rest of the Justice League, gets involved in the fracas. At one point, the Caped Crusader encounters Circe. The goddess-level sorceress does not intimidate Batman. The Dark Knight speaks some magic words he learned from Zatanna, short-circuiting Circe’s magic long enough to punch her in the face and knock out her out.
While this list is being written, the Batman-centric series Dark Nights: Metal is underway. In it, several evil versions of Batman have journeyed from their hellish worlds and into the DC Universe proper. Among the evil Batmen is one called The Merciless. This Bruce Wayne has all the powers of the God of War, but is stronger than Ares ever was.
On his world, Bruce fought alongside Wonder Woman and others in a seemingly endless war with Ares, the God of War. Amidst their final battle, the only two combatants left standing are Batman and Ares, with the god’s newly fashioned magical helmet lying at Batman’s feet. The distraught Bruce puts the helmet on and immediately becomes a merciless engine of destruction, decapitating Ares before moving on to kill the rest of the godly pantheons.
The dark god Barbatos is getting a lot of attention these days, especially since he’s the primary antagonist in the current Dark Nights: Metal series. However, the malevolent deity appeared almost a decade ago in Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne.
When Batman shot the New God Darkseid with a special bullet during "Final Crisis", Darkseid also blasted the Caped Crusader with his Omega Sanction. This sent Batman back in time. Not quite finished, Darkseid then released the Hyper-Adapter from his Ancestor Box. It travelled in time to torment Batman, but with also the express purpose of destroying all creation. Batman would face the Hyper-Adapter, or Barbatos, several times and would prevail or escape him in each instance. Additionally, even though Barbatos is winning in Metal, the tide has begun to turn and it’s likely Batman will be the hero to put an end to malevolent God-Monster.
Kalibak is Darkseid’s first-born son and an incredibly powerful New God. Serving as his father’s second-in-command, Kalibak is prone to launching attacks on Earth, fighting Superman, and generally being a creature of destruction. Kalibak also learns that angering Batman is a terrible idea.
Upon learning that the body of the deceased Damien Wayne, Batman’s son, is housing a Chaos Shard, Kalibak steals the boy’s coffin in hopes of using the shard to further empower his father. When Batman learns what’s happened, he goes on the war path. Donning the Hellbat armor, which he’d also use to beat Darkseid a bit later, Batman lays siege to Apokolips. Kalibak meets the Dark Knight in battle, but it’s a short-lived encounter. Batman beats the New God in literal seconds before moving on to wiping the floor with Darkseid and the rest of Apokolips.
9 WONDER WOMAN
Just as comic book fans enjoy matching up Batman and Superman, the same is true with Wonder Woman and Batman. Wonder Woman, according to Batman, is the best melee fighter in the world. Endowed with the strength and power of the Greek gods, she’s defeated the likes of Superman, demons, deities, and every kind of foe imaginable. So who wins when it’s a mere mortal against the daughter of Zeus, who was also the God of War at one time? Turns out, the answer is usually Batman.
While there’s the infamous Hiketeia fight where the Amazon proves victorious, Batman’s beat her plenty more times. He beat her in the New 52 with special armor devised to defeat the Justice League. In Batman Confidential #53 he defeats her and the League without fancy suits, and Batman also won when he acquired Superman’s powers and thrashed the whole League (again).
8 THE SPECTRE
The Spectre is one of mightiest beings in the DC Universe. The physical embodiment of the Wrath of God, the Spectre can control all matter, and time and space. His human host and their ability to judge someone fairly are the Spectre’s only real weaknesses. Heroes and villains alike do everything they can avoid the supernatural entity and treat the Spectre with immense respect whenever they stumble across him.
Batman, being Batman, doesn’t care if God himself has empowered you. He’s still going to kick you in the face. In Tales of the Unexpected #4, the Spectre is killing criminals throughout Gotham City. Batman won’t stand for it. When the Spectre finds his latest victim at a police station, Batman shows up, kicks him in the face, and then stares him down with his traditional glare. Growling at the Spectre to get out of Gotham, God’s Wrath does just that.
Similar to the Spectre, Eclipso is also the Spirit of Wrath, or God’s Wrath. The first vengeful spirit to serve God, Eclipso rebelled against the Almighty and was sealed away in the Heart of Darkness gem. The evil spirit would possess anybody who touched the gem; Eclipso can possess entire worlds at once. Also referred to as the God of Vengeance and the Prince of Darkness, Eclipso’s power set is almost unseemly, since he manipulates magic to nearly any effect.
Towards the end of the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad story, Eclipso’s taken over practically the entire world, including most of the Justice League and Suicide Squad. Batman, Killer Frost, and Lobo are the only heroes still standing. Off the fly, Batman develops a master plan, all the while dodging and holding off a possessed Superman and Wonder Woman. Though Batman didn’t punch the mad god, his plan defeats Eclipso.
Etrigan is one of Hell’s strongest demons and is a god in terms of raw power. Known for merging his soul with the human Jason Blood, the two live in an uneasy balance. What’s even more uneasy is their relationship with Batman. Etrigan is prone to being manipulated and it’s the reason he fights Batman time and time again. Batman always survives however, which is significant considering Etrigan can punch Superman into orbit. That hasn’t prevented Batman from stopping the demon.
In Batman: The Dark Knight #5, Etrigan temporarily allies with the evil demon Blaze. Batman’s response is to choke Etrigan with a mouthful of gas and throw him off a building. In Trinity Annual #1, Etrigan and Jason are separated from one another, but Batman manipulates them into joining together again, quieting their inner turmoil and saving the world. Rarely does Etrigan get the upper hand on Batman.
In the comic series Injustice, Superman has gone crazy and taken over the world. Batman’s spent years trying to find non-lethal ways to bring down Superman and his regime, but his refusal to apply deadly methods is proving his undoing. When Injustice: Year Three rolls around, Batman decides to try applying magic to beating Superman. Taking the Teen Titan Raven, who’s working with Superman, hostage, Batman and John Constantine lure out the evil Man of Steel.
Their actions also smoke out the neigh-unbeatable demon lord Trigon in the hope Trigon would defeat Superman. Unfortunately Mr. Mxyzptlk, agreeing with Superman’s twisted version of the world, fights to protect him. Trigon and Mxyzptlk fight, leading to Dr. Fate and Billy Batson sending them into the void, which in turn helps Batman and Constantine get two powerful pieces off the board.
Kaiyo is a New God from Apokolips and uses her uncanny powers to alter reality. A trickster, Kaiyo travels throughout the multiverse to find champions strong enough to defeat Darkseid. To that end, she manipulated Superman and Batman to get them ready for Darkseid’s arrival.
Though she escapes after their first encounter, her second encounter with the Superman and Batman doesn’t go so well for her. Though her heart is in the right place, her actions are misinterpreted otherwise. While she’s messing with Earth’s heroes, Lord Satannus notices Kaiyo, captures her, and threatens to devour her. Bargaining, Kaiyo promises him entertainment by showing the chaos she provoked. Though she wiped Batman and Superman’s memories, Batman regains his memories, which foils the New God’s plan. She tries to get away but is captured again by Satannus. So yeah, just messing with Batman is enough to bring other gods down on you.
Gog possesses a remarkable array of powers including bending time and reality, granting wishes, super strength, energy blasts, and flight. His power is such that he can and has killed Superman on multiple occasions. During The Kingdom by Mark Waid, Gog goes back in time and kills Superman easily. Then he travels back a day into the past, killing him again and repeats the process over and over. The time-travelling hero Rip Hunter recruits Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman from the Kingdom Come timeline, along with their younger selves, to battle Gog.
Their fight with Gog is long and epic, but eventually it’s Batman who lands the decisive blow. Amidst the battle, Batman uses a Phantom Zone projector to partially send Gog into the Phantom Zone, which severely scars and injures the villain. Unable to withstand any more punishment, Gog collapses.
Batman and Superman have fought more times than is healthy for two people who claim to be best friends. Superman is a god amongst men, but that hasn’t stopped Batman from taking on the Man of Steel. For years fans have debated about who would win a fight. The amount fights between Batman and Superman is borderline ridiculous. Surprisingly, it’s Batman who usually emerges victorious; maybe it’s because Superman holds back a majority of the time.
Once Poison Ivy tried making Superman kill Batman, but Batman prevailed. Then the Joker mind-controlled the Justice League in the New 52 Batman and Batman defeated Superman with Kryptonite gum. He beat down Superman in Injustice: Year Five in a back alley, nearly killed the Man of Steel in The Dark Knight Returns, and many of the evil Batman in Dark Nights: Metal have killed the Supermen from their worlds.
1 DARKSEID (AGAIN)
A threat like Darkseid is usually reserved for Superman, but Batman cares very little about an opponent’s power level. Perhaps the only non-superhuman mortal to constantly challenge Darkseid, Batman doesn’t see the New God as unbeatable. Everything has a weakness and finding an enemy’s weakness, is Batman’s specialty, even if it is just punching them in the nose. To deal with Darkseid, Batman and the Justice League forged the Hellbat armor, equipping it with enough power to beat the god right out of Darkseid; that’s exactly what Batman did.
Following the death of Damien Wayne, Batman’s son, the boy’s body is stolen and taken to Apokolips. There’s a chaos shard lingering in Damien’s corpse that’s needed by Darkseid. Enraged, Batman dons the Hellbat armor, attacks the totality of Apokolips, defeats Darkseid’s army, Darkseid’s son Kalibak, and then eventually Darkseid himself.