Batman is frequently characterized as the second-smartest person in the DC Universe, with contingencies in place to take down the entire Justice League, should the need ever arise. However, a new study finds the Dark Knight isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.
Using scientific principles, students at the University of Leicester spent seven years examining the feasibility of the powers of superheroes, and discovered — to the surprise of absolutely no one — that Superman may be the “best-equipped” of them all. The Man of Steel has his “Super Flare” attack and higher-density to thank for his position as “the number one candidate for ‘most powerful superhero.'”
He’s followed by Wolverine, for his “increased regenerative capacity,” and Mystique, for her “mastery of gene manipulation to aid in disguise.” Thor gets name-checked for his “high-energy efficiency and explosive powers,” while Black Bolt is singled out as possibly the most destructive superhero? (There’s even a superpowers “pros and cons” section.)
But Batman? Despite his high intelligence, detective skills, arsenal and enviable bank account, the Caped Crusader was determined to be the “most ill-equipped superhero.” Apparently largely due to his lack of superpowers.
“Though his cape proves to be a vital utility when gliding in comic and media depictions, the student-led research suggests that when gliding Batman reaches velocities of around 80km/hr – which could be fatal upon landing,” states a University of Leicester press release. “This inability to perform even the simplest of superhero feats suggest Batman would struggle to get off the ground, let alone save Gotham from the likes of The Joker and Bane.”
Ouch. Of course, what does that say about The Joker if he hasn’t managed to defeat ill-equipped Batman once and for all? Explain that, science.
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