My friend Marie just asked me if Batman could beat Superman. She and a friend were arguing and she said that Batman is more badass and could beat Superman. I figured it is time to discuss this battle.
The first thing to remember is that these two heroes have no real reason to fight each other and neither individual would choose to kill the other. That being said, let’s look at the times they have fought.
In Dark Knight Returns, Batman is an outlaw and Superman works for the government. Superman is sent to stop Batman. Bats uses gauntlets that amp his strength up to equal Supes. He easily beats the crap out of Supes.
Another time is during Jeph Loeb’s Hush series. Superman is controlled by Poison Ivy, and she wants him to kill Batman. Superman fights the control and will not kill Superman, which gives Batman the opportunity to use kryptonite and stop Supes.
My favorite comes from JLA, when Ra’s Al Ghul uses Batman’s files to defeat the entire JLA. It turns out that Batman has a dossier on each member and a method of how to defeat them.
That brings us to how Batman is able to defeat Superman. Planning. If he has the time to come up with a strategy, then yes, he can beat Superman. He would need gadgets and surprise to defeat Superman.
Recently at the on-set of the whole Infinite Crisis storyline Maxwell Lord took control of Superman’s mind. He made Supes see things, and one of those was that Doomsday killed Lois Lane. The person he was looking at was not Doomsday, but instead Batman. When Supes comes to the cave, Batman is completely off guard and is almost killed by Superman.
Well that is one of the only times I can remember. But, what does this tell us? If Superman attacked Batman unaware, Bats would not stand a chance. If Bats could not get to his kryptonite or some other weapon, Supes would easily kill him.
Hell, Superman could hover high above Gotham City, spot Batman and hit him with heat vision and just melt his body. Even Batman acknowledges this on many occasions. He usually thinks things like “if he ever attacked me, he could disable me before I had the chance to move.” This is usually after they team up and fight some super-villain.
I guess my final verdict is that it would depend on the context of the battle. Has Batman decided to take Superman down? Does Superman know it is coming? Then Batman would win, but if Superman just shows up at the cave one day with the intent to kill Batman, well then, Superman has the upper hand. He could grab Bats and fly him up into the sky and just drop him.
This reminds me of a Superman story I thought of before. It revolves around the idea of Superman snapping and finally turning into the monster Lex Luthor believes him to be. Superman realizes the Earth needs ruled over by someone like himself. He knows the one man to stand in his way will be Batman, and so he visits the Batcave and kills Batman without a fight. Batman never sees it coming. After that he starts taking the other heroes down, one by one. This idea was kind of seen Invincible.
Anyways, I hope this helps people out. These two would never fight to the death, and it would definitely depend on the circumstance to decide who would win.