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Superheroes Batman Has Defeated

For a guy whose job description is literally "crimefighter," Batman sure does spend an awful lot of time fighting other superheroes. You'd think having an entire asylum full of homicidal clowns, living refrigerators, and the occasional immortal bio-terrorist would keep him busy enough, but no. Every now and then some well-meaning do-gooder says the wrong thing, steps out of line, or just plain gets in his way, and it is on. Seriously, this is a guy who fought the entire Justice League to a standstill by himself. Twice. And the first time, he didn't even mean to.

As you might imagine, being the type of person who can accidentally defeat the world's greatest superheroes has given Batman a pretty strong track record against his fellow heroes. Even other dimensions aren't safe.


Historically speaking, Batman and Superman have been best friends—and the World's Finest crimefighting team—since they met in the mid-'40s. There's an understanding between them, a recognition of their mutual desire to devote their lives to helping others, but like all friends, they occasionally have their disagreements. We're willing to bet that most arguments between pals don't usually devolve into one person using a radioactive space rock to poison the other, but look at those guys. They don't really seem like the calm and reasonable type.

The two heroes most famously came to blows at the climax of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's The Dark Knight Returns. It's one of comics' most famous fights, in which an aging, post-retirement Batman enlisted the help of Green Arrow, Robin, and the entirety of Gotham City's power grid to have a fistfight so brutal that he ended up giving himself a heart attack and changing DC Comics for the next 30 years—and their arguments aren't limited to non-canonical alternate futures, either.

Take a look at Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee's Hush, which is essentially Batman's Greatest Hits wrapped around one of comics' most ludicrously convoluted mysteries. In that story, Superman's mind is taken over by Poison Ivy, leading Batman to put on the Kryptonite ring he stole from Lex Luthor and uppercut Superman back into his right mind. It's worth noting that both of those fights involved Superman holding back, but hey: a victory with an asterisk is still a victory.

Green Lantern

Speaking of Frank Miller and Jim Lee, we have All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and we're going to be real with you for a second: this comic is a mess. So much of a mess, in fact, that there's a good chance you're familiar with its failings even if you don't read comics, if only because of all the bits and pieces that have been floating around the internet for the past ten years. Batman cussing at Dick Grayson in the Batmobile? Wonder Woman calling a random pedestrian "sperm bank?" Batman and Black Canary getting so worked up after beating up criminals that they have sex in full costume on a wharf? All those out-of-context panels come from this one story, and folks, you can trust us: context doesn't really make it better.

The scene with Green Lantern, however, is one of those rare moments where something is so ridiculous and so over-the-top that it loops back around to being amazing. See, in order to face Hal Jordan, whose Green Lantern ring has an unfortunate inability to affect anything yellow, Batman lures him into a room where he has painted literally everything yellow. The furniture. His costume. He's even spray-painted his own face, and to top it all off, he even taunts and sneers at Green Lantern while sipping on a refreshing glass of lemonade until he finally baits him into a physical confrontation.

Of course, it's actually Robin who does the fighting, but considering that Batman's the one who orchestrated the entire situation so that a grown-ass superhero could get his throat crushed by a ten year-old slathered in spray paint, it's fair to say the win belongs to him.

Green Hornet

When the success of the 1966 Batman TV show convinced ABC to greenlight a small-screen revival of The Green Hornet, a hero who'd enjoyed a brief bit of success on the radio 20 years earlier, a meeting was pretty much inevitable. There's even a good hook to it: while they're secretly good guys, The Hornet and his sidekick Kato are known to the world at large as masked criminals, a setup that would naturally lead them into conflict with Gotham City's Dynamic Duo.

Thus, "A Piece of the Action" / "Batman's Satisfaction," a two-parter in which Green Hornet and Kato follow some criminals to Gotham City and wind up in a classic fight-then-teamup situation. It's pretty straightforward, but that first part has one interesting little wrinkle. As scripted, the Green Hornet and Kato would lose their first fight with Batman and Robin. That wasn't a problem for the Hornet—this was, after all, Batman's show—but Bruce Lee legendarily refused to let his character be knocked out by Robin. As filmed, the characters fight to a draw, but not before Robin takes a kick to the face that finds him landing about 12 feet away.


If you're not familiar with Wildcat, he's basically comics' longest-tenured example of a fursona. Co-created by Bill Finger (also Batman's co-creator) and Irwin Hasen, boxing champ Ted Grant was inspired by a comic book about Green Lantern and decided to dress up as a six-foot kitty cat and punch criminals until crime wasn't a thing anymore.

Listen. It was 1941. Nobody really knew what they were doing back then.

Wildcat has traditionally been shown as one of the fighters that trained Bruce Wayne in the art of combat during his teenage years, but in Bob Haney and Jim Aparo's Brave and the Bold, the Joker was able to force them to fight each other in a boxing ring wearing weighted, spiked metal gloves by threatening to shoot a puppy.

Listen. It was 1975. They definitely knew what they were doing, but that doesn't mean they didn't get weird with it.


For most readers, the most notable thing about Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights was that it was a chance to see artist John Romita Jr. draw Batman despite being in the middle of a 37-year stretch working exclusively for Marvel Comics. It does, however, have one of the best possible moments to get from those two characters.

See, while they're both on the same side in the broadest possible strokes, the Punisher's tendency to leave his opponents as bullet-riddled corpses clashes with Batman's time-tested code against killing, and that comes to a head when Batman stops the Punisher from killing the Joker. Before Batman can explain that this is probably why the Punisher doesn't have a lot of recurring villains, Frank Castle decks him with a hard right, and Batman, in classic fashion, tells him he let him have one punch because he knows he's frustrated.

When Punisher takes a second swing, however, Batman doesn't just catch his fist, he casually throws him face-first into a wall with a blunt "I said one."


The mid-'90s were the heyday of inter-company crossovers, and in 1994, it was hard to imagine one hotter than Spawn/Batman. Written by Frank Miller—less than a decade removed from Dark Knight Returns and still far from burning through the goodwill he earned from redefining Batman in the '80s—and drawn by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, arguably the hottest artist in comics at the time, it was essentially a license to print money.

It's worth checking out, too, mostly because the story takes a back seat to some ridiculously violent, mind-bendingly brutal action. When the two heroes cross paths, they wind up beating each other half to death (or in Spawn's case, even further into death) with Batman pulling out nerve gas, a cybernetic power glove, and even stabbing Spawn in the face with a batarang.

The fight does eventually settle into the usual draw, but there's a good reason to count it as a victory for Batman: after the crossover, Batman stories continued uninterrupted, but Spawn returned to his own comic with a stitched-up batarang-shaped hole in his face as a memento that would end up lasting quite awhile.

Captain America

Batman vs. Captain America is one of the most perfect matchups you could ask for. A soldier enhanced by science devoted to fighting for what's right taking on a man who perfected himself to avenge the world's most devastating wrongs? It's pretty easy to get excited about. In fact, the only problem is settling on a winner, and while the odds would tend to favor the super-soldier over the world's greatest detective, that's not always how it works out.

In 1996's DC vs. Marvel, the decision was left up to a vote by the fans, and the result was a brawl that took place in a sewer, in which the heroes fought each other to a standstill for hours until a sudden rush of water swamped Cap and gave Batman the chance to bop him over the head with a batarang. It's not exactly the most dignified ending to a fight—and kind of makes you wonder if it's the creators making a bit of commentary on the vote—but hey, a victory with a technicality is still a victory.

Interestingly enough, when the two characters squared off again for 2003's JLA/Avengers, Batman conceded that while Captain America could beat him in a straight-up fight, nobody had time for all that. Which, when you think about it is, is a pretty great way to weasel your way out of a rematch.


2002's Bruce Wayne: Murderer storyline had a lot of interesting elements, chief among them the fact that Bruce Wayne had not only been framed for murder, he'd been framed by someone who knew that he was Batman and had gone as far as rigging up the crime scene so that even his allies would have a good reason to suspect that Batman had crossed the line. It all built up to a confrontation between Batman and Nightwing, in which—after Batman said he was giving up on his tainted secret identity and leaving "Bruce Wayne" in the dust—the Dark Knight's former sidekick tried to get him to listen to reason and clear his name rather than running away from his life.

If you've made it this far into the list and realized that Batman can be pretty quick to settle minor disputes with his fists, you can probably guess how this all ended.

So hey, you know what's not a great way to convince people you're completely sane and thinking very rationally about your situation? Having a fistfight with your adopted circus acrobat son that ends when one of you accidentally smashes the glass case holding the clothes your other adopted son was wearing when he was beaten to death and exploded by a murder clown.

Guy Gardner

Coming at you from 1987's Justice League #5 (later rebranded as Justice League International #5) this might actually be the single most famous hero-vs.-hero punch in the history of the DC Universe. On one side, you have Guy Gardner, the bowl-cutted Green Lantern commonly known as the biggest jerk in the DC universe, constantly running his mouth about how he should be running the team and why he's the best and toughest hero around. On the other side, we have Batman, and at this point, you probably know what happens next.

The conflict builds for a few issues until finally, Guy rears back to take a swing, and Batman drops him with a single stiff right directly to the nose, knocking him out cold. And the best part? Guy remains unconscious on the floor of the Justice League's kitchen until halfway through the next issue while the rest of the team goes on a mission—then knocks himself back out by hitting his head on the underside of a counter as soon as he wakes up.

In other words, Batman punched him so hard it knocked him out twice.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The weirdest thing about the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover—aside from the part where all of Batman's villains are exposed to mutagen and Mr. Freeze turns into a very grumpy polar bear in a robot suit, which is amazing—is that it somehow didn't happen in 1990. It wasn't until 2015 that they actually met up, but when they did, James Tynion IV and Freddie E. Williams II did a story that gave you pretty much everything you wanted to see: dimension-hopping adventure, Shredder taking over Gotham City's underworld only to find himself pitted against Ra's al-Ghul, and—this truly cannot be stressed enough—Mr. Freeze temporarily being turned into a mutant polar bear.

And of course, it also gives you a fight between its principal characters just to start things off. Unlike most hero-versus-hero fights, though, this one actually makes a lot of sense. If you're Batman and you see a bunch of five-foot turtles with ninja weapons running around your town, literally everything that has happened over the past 75 years is going to lead you to the conclusion that they're probably up to no good.

When it sits down to ask the question of whether four teenage ninjas who are also animals can beat one full-grown super-ninja who only dresses like an animal, it comes down pretty hard on the side of the latter. Batman not only takes out each of the four Ninja Turtles in turn—and fights Splinter to a draw before the Turtles have to retreat—he also takes their weapons, using Raphael's sai to shatter Leonardo's katana. It takes a lot for a single fight to outclass "guy gets turned into a polar bear" in terms of memorable moments, but that one does it.


Ask a Batman fan what they really like about the character, and nine times out of ten you're going to get an answer that includes the idea that he doesn't have super-powers, and is just a normal human man. An endlessly rich, highly trained, physically perfect normal human man with a photographic memory, sure, but with skills that he worked for, that we could all acquire if only we had the time and money. And that's a good answer, but it kind of ignores the fact that one time, he beat up the Hulk.

It happened, appropriately enough, in 1971's Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk, and for the most part, Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez give us a pretty fantastic fight. It puts Batman on the defensive against this unstoppable physical force, and includes awesome moments like the Hulk hurling a car and Batman busting out a Jackie Chan-style dodge by leaping straight through the open windows before the car can be smashed against a wall. The end of their first encounter, though, has one of the biggest bits of belief-stretching since Captain America was swamped by sewer water.

After realizing that punching isn't going to get anywhere, Batman simply drops some knockout gas, and then delivers a kick to the solar plexus so hard that the Hulk—the Hulk!—is forced to take a deep inhale of that sweet, sleepy cloud. Hulk hits the floor, and Batman celebrates what might be his most improbable victory ever.