"Tell me, do you bleed?" Yes, Batman, we all bleed. What about you, tough guy? While he might scowl and act like the Cobra Kai master who hasn't been defeated, the Dark Knight has had his butt handed to him on more than a few occasions. Sure, it isn't something that he likes to talk about on a daily – or even a lifetime – basis, but it's as true as the sky is blue. Heck, even his original protégé, Dick Grayson, bested him in hand-to-hand combat, and who could ever forget the time when Bane broke his back?!
In terms of Marvel vs. DC crossovers, we've seen the Bat battle the likes of Captain America and the Punisher, but his foray into indie comics has been rather sparse in comparison. There's a reason for this, though: it's because there are a bunch of superheroes who would lay the smackdown on the Caped Crusader and he's not keen on measuring himself up against them. As a result, what we've done is compiled a list of 16 characters that are more than capable of going toe to toe with Batsy. Some of the picks will be controversial, so we do encourage you to tell us why we're wrong (or right).
Relax, before you flood the comments with vitriol, just hear us out for a moment. Archie has overcome absolutely every obstacle put in his path, including the fact that the dodgy Hiram Lodge hasn't forced him to sleep with fishes yet. He's also faced the Punisher and Predator in crossovers (to admittedly varying degrees of survival), with his freckled hide still intact, so why not the Caped Crusader?
In truth, it's Archie's unpredictably, i.e. his clumsiness, that makes him difficult to read in combat. Batman could very well send a spin kick in his direction, but Archie would slip with his trailing foot, smashing the Dark Knight's teeth in. Look, this ginger has an unfathomable amount of luck on his side, so don't be surprised if he defeats the Bat purely by chance.
When you think of the best comic-book detectives, the first name that should come to mind is NYPD homicide private eye Sara Pezzini. On an average day, Pezzini will take down anyone with her array of street smarts and police training. When she puts on the supernatural, sentient gauntlet known as the Witchblade, however, it's curtains for the bad guys. There's no way that you'll walk away from a fight with her without a few new scars and bruises.
Additionally, if she wears that traditional skimpy outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination, it'll undoubtedly throw the Dark Knight off his game. He's been known to let his guard down when he's around attractive women, and Pezzini won't give him a second chance once his fists drop.
14 SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER
While Batman has been known to punch alligators and use shark-repellent on occasion, has he ever punched a bear? Well, Shirtless Bear-Fighter has. He's taken down a whole bunch of those honey-loving murder machines with only his bare hands and godly beard. In fact, Winnie the Pooh better watch his back, because Shirtless will smack him, Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin and his ugly cargo shorts all the way back to Hundred Acre Wood.
The World's Greatest Detective might think he's clever enough to use gadgets and smoke and mirrors to fool Shirtless, but this guy was raised by bears. He's not about to fall for cheap tricks or underhanded tactics. We wouldn't be surprised if Shirtless took out his rage on the Batmobile while he was at it. He's a bit of an angry dude, really.
Forget the fact that Haunt looks like Venom and Anti-Venom's bastard lovechild, because when brothers Daniel and Kurt Kilgore combine, there's no stopping this ectoplasm being. Also, we'd like to see Batman attempt to adhere to his no-kill policy when the supernatural Haunt comes at him like a bat out of hell. This would quickly turn into a brutal and extremely bloody fight, with many bones broken.
Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman's Haunt might be no more, ending its short 28-issue run in 2012, but there's a part of us that still yearns to see the titular character face off with Batman. If anything, it's unlikely that the Caped Crusader would escape this battle unscathed. How about one more issue for old time's sake, Image Comics?
12 CASSIE HACK
Hunting slashers is no easy feat. Half the time you're chasing the supernatural, and these buggers refuse to stay dead, no matter how many times you stab them or chop off their heads. Hence it's impressive what Cassie Hack is doing to these monsters in Hack/Slash. If she can make a positive and lasting impact in the slasher world, she shouldn't have much trouble beating up Gotham's brooding knight.
If the going gets really tough, Cassie can always look to the hulking Vlad for some assistance. He's the Robin to her Batman, after all, and keeps her out of harm's way. Mind you, he might give the Bat some horrid flashbacks of his brutal battles with Bane, so this could work in Cassie's favor as well.
How do you defeat Valiant Comics' own version of Wolverine? You don't. Bloodshot is a total weapon, combining military training, healing abilities, superhuman speed and strength, shapeshifting, and energy beams into one lethal package. He's like the better version of Jean-Claude Van Damme's Luc Deveraux from Universal Soldier – and we all remember how impressive and dominating that character was.
Now, the Caped Crusader has had his struggles with other military men, such as Deathstroke, but how would he fare against the likes of Bloodshot? Honestly, the odds don't look good for him. His best bet would be to unscramble Bloodshot's mind and get him on his side as an ally. This is one hero you don't want to get on the bad side of, regardless of who you might be.
Well, the Dark Knight has managed to defeat Superman by using his main weakness, Kryptonite, against him. The question is, how would he defeat a similar superpowered Mark Grayson, aka Invincible? Face it, the Batman will be eating through a straw for months if he picks a fight with this superhero.
Superman is too much of a boy scout, while Invincible has a bit more gumption to him. Grumpy Bruce Wayne gets a free pass from the Justice League for his gloomy ways, but we don't think Invincible would take it easy on him if they had to put up their dukes. After all, Batman's only superpower is that he's rich – and has a whole lot of expensive toys to play with. Invincible, on the other hand, is his own living, breathing weapon.
In the latest Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossovers, we've seen the Dark Knight and Raphael clash several times. After all, they're alike in the sense that they're trained by ninjas, stubborn, aggressive, and think their way is the only way. Naturally, the prospect of them taking each other on is a mouthwatering affair, but who would come out on top?
Our money's on the Turtle here. When Raphael channels his aggression down the right path, there's no one who can match him in battle, including his other brothers. He's physically the strongest out of his group, as well as the most protective of his siblings. We imagine him clocking his caped nemesis more than a few times, while being unafraid of taking some punishment in the process. Whichever way it went if these two threw down one-on-one, it would be a fight for the ages.
8 X-O MANOWAR
As The Lego Batman Movie let us know, Iron Man sucks. Tony Stark might have a nice, expensive metal suit to protect him, but he has the hand-to-hand combat skills of a drunken donkey. Sorry, Marvelites, but the truth is the Bats would whip Iron Man in a regular fight. One suited superhero who would completely destroy Batman, though, is Valiant Comics' X-O Manowar.
Not only does Aric of Dacia understand the art of war better than anyone else, he also possesses a great and powerful relic in the form of the Shanhara, the sentient X-O Manowar armor. When he bonds with his armor, he's unstoppable and becomes a one-man army; we're talking Superman-level stuff here combined with a battle-hardened visigoth fury. We'd love to see anyone try to stop this hero when he's in full flight.
In many ways, Mindy McCready, aka Hit-Girl, is a lot like Cassandra Cain. Both are young, costumed assassins who can take down opponents three times their size with relative ease. Additionally, both of them are better fighters than the respective hero of their franchises (in this case, Kick-Ass and Batman). And make no mistake here, Hit-Girl would decimate Batman in a clash of fisticuffs.
As aggressive as Rambo is, with a similar desensitization to death, violence, and blood, Hit-Girl is the ultimate killing machine. She doesn't just kick your butt; she'll spill your guts and make sure you rue the day that you messed with her. Batman might've gotten through to Cassandra in the end, but would he be able to get to Hit-Girl, too? We doubt it.
Look, let's not ignore the fact that Shadowman has an insane cool factor. In several ways, he's reminiscent of the WWE's Undertaker, whereby the mystique is what makes the character all the more memorable and powerful. Nonetheless, he's no slouch in the superhero game, either, and possesses powers such as regeneration, enhanced strength, and other voodoo powers.
If you think about it, he's Valiant Comics' version of Ra's al Ghul (but more powerful and otherworldly) – and as you already know, Ra's has taken the Caped Crusader to the brink of defeat more than a few times. With Shadowman using his powers for good, though, it gives him the edge over Ra's and his constant egomania. So, the big question remains, would Batman be able to overcome the Shadowman's voodoo magic? We vote no.
No, Dragon doesn't just have a '90s look and a controversial comic book cover to his name; he's also a legitimate and beloved superhero. If that isn't convincing enough, Savage Dragon happens to be one of only two Image Comics titles that debuted in 1992 to continue well into the 2010s – plus, he's had his own animated series, too. In other words, he is a franchise.
The Bat has gone to war against green-skinned foes, such as Killer Croc, but he's never met someone like Dragon. As a police detective, he takes care of the rotten elements of society – and he certainly wouldn't be averse to taking down a certain vigilante if he got in his path. When it comes to the Dragon, Batman might bite off more than he can chew.
No, we aren't talking about the Universal Monster known as the Wolfman here. This is all about Wolf-Man from The Astounding Wolf-Man, which was created by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics from 2007-2010. In the series, the protagonist Gary Hampton is a successful businessman who turns into a superhero with werewolf abilities.
Now, we hear you: how would a character like this beat the World's Greatest Detective if all you needed to trick him is throw a stick or a medium-rare steak into the air? Well, despite having what some would deem a curse, he uses his abilities for the greater good, to help others. This shows us that he has strong willpower, something that's essential in order to defeat the Dark Knight.
3 RICK GRIMES
Yes, we know that Rick Grimes is another controversial pick, but there's method to our madness here. First of all, how long has the zombie apocalypse been going on for? Ages! This means that Rick is a survivor. He's outlasted people who undoubtedly have better martial arts training, more money, more resources, and better tactical minds than him. While the world burns, he still keeps it together (if only just) for himself and others.
Second, how many bad guys (both living and dead) has he dropped in this time? He doesn't need a stupid barbed-wire bat or fancy weapon to make his point. All he uses is a trusty gun and his fists to take down those who oppose him. Would you want to scrap with Rick? Oh, hell no.
When you think of Ninjak, he's a combination of James Bond and Batman. He has all the martial arts training necessary to defeat his foes; plus, all the charm and spy gear to infiltrate his latest target. Quite frankly, he's one of the most exciting comic book characters around and it's a shame that he isn't mentioned in the same breath as other major heroes.
Now, thanks to Bat in the Sun Productions and Valiant Comics, we'll be seeing a live-action version of Ninjak (played by Michael Rowe) as he takes on a host of characters in the Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe web series. So, if he's prepared to take on his entire comic book line, what do you think he'd do to Batman?
Batman and Spawn have already met each other in the comic book world. The first time was in the 1994 one-shot Spawn/Batman, written by Frank Miller and illustrated by Todd McFarlane. In the book, the Dark Knight and the man formerly known as Al Simmons canceled each other out in battle before realizing it would be in their collective best interest to team up.
However, it begs the question: how does Batman beat something that isn't alive? Spawn isn't an undead hack like Solomon Grundy. He's a powerful, supernatural being who is capable of maximum carnage and damage. While the Caped Crusader might use his smarts to evade him for a while, there's only so much he can do before the inevitable happens – and that is Spawn coming out on top.