Batman always wins. Such are the perks of being a genius, a brilliant martial artist and oh, immensely rich! It’s kind of his thing and it’s an issue that has always resulted in a lot of heated comic debates between the most loyal DC and Marvel fans. Batman’s writers over the decades always conveniently have him planning and prepping for all apocalyptic scenarios, the nastiest villains that DC has to offer, and at times, even his own Justice League teammates. Say what you want, it’s always good to have backup plans and he usually has a dozen. Not even death can stop him, as we saw in Final Crisis.
However, while Batman is seen as unbeatable, what if he were thrown into the Marvel universe? He has crossed paths with it before but what if it was an objective no-holes-barred fight against somewhat even opposition? Entities like Thanos (especially with his Infinity Gauntlet), the reality-bending Beyonder and the planet-devourer known as Galactus may be a bit too much but we picked out a few — a mix of heavy-hitters and some not-so-heavy ones — from the Marvel-616. So forget the Bat’s past victories, let’s get into 15 Marvel villains he would never be able to defeat!
15. DOCTOR DOOM
Victor Von Doom is one of Marvel’s most brilliant and dangerous villains, and one that no hero should ever underestimate. In fact, Doctor Doom, as he’s usually called, is a super-level genius that rivals the likes of Reed Richards, Hank Pym and Tony Stark, which fans are currently seeing in the Infamous Iron Man.
He’s a master of science, with armies of Doombots at his disposal to launch an assault. While this matches him with Batman in terms of cutting-edge tech, what gives Doom an advantage is that he’s also versed in the mystical arts thanks to his mother, a witch named Cynthia. We’ve seen him merge spells and science together with remarkable effect. Recently, we witnessed Doom razing Wakanda and also reshaping the Marvel universe in Secret Wars as God Emperor Doom. It would take everything in Batman’s arsenal just to survive his threat!
Mister Sinister, aka Nathaniel Essex, is one of the X-Men’s most notorious villains. He has held a big reputation in the Marvel universe as a “mad” scientist but there’s always a reason behind his madness. His genetic manipulation and horrific experiments often yield dangerous results because Sinister simply knows no limits, as seen through his toying with the Summers’ bloodline.
Cloning is a tool he loves to deploy, and coincidentally, this process is something that has wreaked havoc against Batman in the past. We saw it when a Damian Wayne clone attacked Bruce and his son (who was Robin at the time) with lethal effect. Sinister is exactly the kind of sadist to mimic this, clone and send all the members of the Bat-family after Batman. He may even send a perfect clone of Bruce! After all, Sinister usually savors striking at his enemies’ hearts and not necessarily their heads.
13. NORMAN OSBORN
Norman Osborn isn’t someone you’d expect to give Batman a tough time on the battle field, right? Especially not as the Green Goblin. However, Marvel recently finessed him into a stronger, deadlier villain. After heading up the Thunderbolts, he helped stave off the Skrulls in Secret Invasion and was then chosen to head up the H.A.M.M.E.R. program to replace S.H.I.E.L.D.
With this power, Osborn became more cerebral, yet crazier than ever. After being given the keys to the Marvel kingdom, he spat in Iron Man’s face by becoming the Iron Patriot, re-purposing Stark’s technology. As the Iron Patriot, he evolved into one of Marvel’s more technologically-superior villains, and the kind of man who wouldn’t hesitate to sic his Dark Avengers or the all-powerful Sentry on the Bat. Anyone who’s crazy enough to attack Asgard, as seen in Siege, is someone who’s ready to paint Bruce’s cowl in blood.
Batman is one of the most mentally strong characters ever created. But while DC’s Bane broke his back, Marvel has Mephisto who can break his mind. Batman has always been driven by the grief of losing his parents as a boy, so what if he’s provided with an offer that he simply could not refuse? What if he could bring his parents coming back to life?
What if they didn’t die in that alley and Bruce Wayne could be made whole again? He’s refused the chance to rewrite history before but Mephisto knows just when to pick his moment of opportunity. Comic readers saw this in One More Day, when Mephisto saved Aunt May’s life but at the expense of Peter Parker and MJ’s marriage. In fact, Mephisto would offer a great life for all the Robins and that picket fence dream with Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) to sweeten the deal.
Batman is accustomed to doing battle with mercenaries over at DC, such as Deathstroke and Deadshot, but when it comes to Taskmaster, he’s one of the most unpredictable wildcards Marvel has. The cult favorite character floats between anti-hero or a straight-up villain, but one thing doesn’t change and that’s that he is an assassin of the highest order.
What makes Taskmaster so extraordinary, though, is that he can quickly study and replicate his opponents’ movements in a fight. This means that in terms of one-on-one combat between the two, stylistically Batman could well end up fighting himself. Taskmaster is an expert with all sorts of weapons, too — guns, bombs, swords and shields — and functions as a one-man army. He can also mimic the voices of others so Batman needs a keen ear against him because he often uses this kind of trickery to set traps.
Loki is the very definition of a trickster and in the Marvel universe, he has caused a lot of chaos. We’ve seen his scheming ways time and time again against his brother, Thor, all of Asgard and of course, against the Avengers. While Batman might be familiar with such shenanigans and games, courtesy of his experiences with the Joker and Riddler, Loki has a different dimension to him.
Odin’s adoptive son can use mystical spells (he’s the new Sorcerer Supreme after all), summon Frost Giants and can even even steal an Infinity Gem to make himself more powerful against the Dark Knight. Loki has always been ruthless and should never be underestimated, especially when he possesses secrets, trinkets, artifacts and methods of recruiting armies from all Nine Realms. He’s even capable of brainwashing the Hulk and using him against Batman… though admittedly, that hasn’t worked out so well against the Dark Knight in the past.
Mystique isn’t your average shapeshifter. In the Marvel universe, she uses her powers so well, she can fool just about anyone, especially as she knows how to work their trust. What could put Batman at a major disadvantage is that he doesn’t have senses as keen as Wolverine — meaning Mystique can perfectly imitate any of the Bat-family, such as any of the Robins, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon or even Barbara, to get close to Batman.
Another edge Mystique has is that Bruce has a weakness for females. Mystique can transform herself into one of his lovely femme fatales, such as Talia al Ghul or Catwoman, especially as we’ve seen his judgement get clouded in the past when it came to these women. She can identically copy these two ladies’ personalities and use them as Bruce’s kryptonite, luring him into position to take him out.
Batman has gone up against expert marksmen before, namely Deadshot, but Bullseye is a whole different level of beast. Bullseye has zero conscience, which could tip the scales in his favor against Batman. Whether it’s the evil Hawkeye version from Dark Avengers or the bloodthirsty murderer that stabbed Elektra, rest assured he will put the Caped Crusader to the test.
Bullseye is one of comics’ most lethal snipers, and killers in general, whose accuracy is unparalleled. He’s also the kind of hothead that will use any available civilian as leverage, even children. It’s not easy to go up against such a criminal, who can kill you with something as simple as a paper-clip or a toothpick. What makes Bullseye so deadly is that he has the warped mentality of Joker, but goes straight for the jugular. He’s not about games, but about the thrill of the kill.
7. THE HOOD
Batman would find something very familiar in a battle against Parker Robbins, or as his fellow criminals call him, the Hood. That would be the Hood’s gangster mentality, which Bruce has encountered numerous times during his crime-fighting career in Gotham. However, Robbins has a special supernatural weapon with him — his red hood — which has enabled him to throw down with big guns like the Avengers.
This piece of cloth was powered up by the demonic Dormammu, and it has also allowed Hood to tussle with Doctor Strange. This is all the more reason he should be able to use magic and handle Batman with ease. What could make Robbins an even bigger danger is that he’s also shown a proficiency with the Infinity Gems in the past. Access to all of this, backed by his mystical powers, would see him swatting Batman like a fly on a wall.
In terms of deadly androids, Batman has taken on Amazo. When it comes to lethal artificial intelligence, he’s taken on Brother Eye. How would Batman fare if both threats were combined, though? That answer can be found in the form of Ultron and we’re betting the Dark Knight wouldn’t do well. Just look at what transpired in the Age of Ultron comic event. When Ultron goes haywire, things end up really bad!
When Ultron takes on Hank Pym or the Avengers, there’s some reasoning with him, though, as he has an emotional connection to them. However, when it comes to the Bat, he’ll have no strings attached as Batman will be a total stranger. Can you imagine Ultron-bots sent to raze Gotham? Ultron could also compromise the Batcave and all of Bruce’s vaunted technology, not to mention his Justice League secrets as witnessed in the Tower of Babel books.
Once Batman’s utility belt or his arsenal in general has metal in them, consider them broken. Does he have metal in his bones after all those years of fighting? Consider them extracted. That’s what Magneto will do. Just ask Wolverine, who he nearly killed in the ’90s, after pulling the adamantium off his skeleton.
Magneto, even after joining the X-Men, harbors a strong hate for humans, which will automatically put him at odds against Batman. However, all Magneto would require to triumph is one meeting with an unsuspecting Dark Knight. This would result in Magneto trapping Batman amid all his gadgets and using them against him. Unless Batman gets time to prepare, it won’t even be a close fight. Bruce may be a world-class superhero but he’s still human after all, which would surely strengthen Magneto’s resolve to kill him.
4. DOC OCK
Otto Octavius experienced a rebirth in recent years as the Superior Spider-Man. His consciousness was placed in Peter Parker’s body and he had quite the time masquerading as a hero. That said, he’s smart enough to lure Bruce Wayne into a similar trap and do the same. Can you imagine him as an evil Bruce Wayne, undoing the Batman’s legacy?
Better known as Doc Ock, he’s another scientific genius that has caused a lot of trouble in the Marvel universe, threatening not just Spider-Man, but the Avengers as well. His deadly arms, his technological expertise and all of his robots and drones make him quite an adversary, which we further saw when he joined HydraCap’s side in Secret Empire. If Batman ends up proving too much too handle, he also has the option of inviting his villainous friends, the Sinister Six, to the party.
Kang has tormented the Avengers for decades due to his time-traveling ability. He’s the kind of villain who also prefers brains over brawn, and would use this as a weapon to crush the Bat. Imagine if Kang went back in time and prevented Bruce Wayne from losing his parents to crime. That would mean no Batman, right? Conversely, he could even go back and make sure that a young Bruce actually died with his parents.
Time-travel is a tricky issue, as DC fans would know from all of the Flash’s escapades and the broken timestream that resulted in Flashpoint. However, we could see Kang traveling back in time, intercepting Superman and raising him to kill the Bat. This is exactly the kind of scheme Kang, who has had no problem traveling back to ancient Egypt to manipulate the future, would partake in.
2. RED SKULL
Batman has been through the gauntlet with villains who love mind games, from Doctor Hurt to the Court of Owls, but the difference here is that Red Skull is a lunatic Nazi. He isn’t just about torture, but about destruction. Outside of his political shenanigans, he also employs brute force as we’ve seen with HYDRA and A.I.M. in the past, so right off the bat, that’s two organizations he can send after Batman.
Skull could also take an even scarier route, which is using a Cosmic Cube to rewrite reality or toy with Batman’s world. We can already envision him playing with Bruce, fracturing his mind, before willing him out of existence. If Skull has Professor Xavier’s brain, as Marvel fans recently saw, then that’s a whole different ball-game. Being a super-psychic, as well as a bigot, is something not even Batman can withstand.
Apocalypse has always been about the strong surviving and this has shaped him as one of Marvel’s most iconic villains, especially against the X-Men and Avengers. DC fans may argue that if Batman can defeat Darkseid, maybe he can give En Sabah Nur here a run for his money. But given that Apocalypse has a near-indestructible metal body which can alter size to become gigantic, or even turn into weapons, we’re betting that Batman will be biting off a lot more than he can chew.
Apocalypse isn’t relegated to just Omega Beams. He has his Four Horsemen to throw into the fray as well, so the numbers game won’t be in Batman’s favor. We expect the Dark Knight to put up some resistance but in the end, it will be futile. Such an ancient powerhouse will simply be too much to overcome.
Let us know in the comments which other Marvel villain you think Batman won’t be able to beat!
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