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Bale's Batman vs Urban's Dredd: Who wins?

What would happen if these two movie heroes were forced to face off? Would Batman fall before the law or would Dredd get a bat-kick to the helmet?

Who's left standing?

Judge Dredd, a ruthless law enforcer who will not yield until justice is served. Batman, a stealthy combatant determined to strike fear into criminals after the tragic death of his parents. Both operate in completely different and effective ways, but what would happen if they were targeting one another? What if The Dark Knight thought Dredd is a villain in need of taking down... and what if Dredd was under the impression Batman is a criminal and the sentence is death? Would Batman's vanishing act take down Dredd or will he end up riddled with bullets? Let's discuss.

Beware, there will be spoilers about Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Dredd 3D below.

Can raw skill overcome a technological edge?
== TEASER ==

To keep things simple, let's assume they're in a standard city block completely free of pedestrians. It'll be night time and they'll start at opposite ends of the block. This should be a pretty neutral scenario. After all, throwing down in Mega-City One or Gotham would give either unfair advantages. And just in case you glossed over the feature title, this is using the modern movie versions of both characters. Naturally, this is Batman in his peak physical condition. Using older and damaged Batman would be silly and biased.

Dredd's Advantages

Dredd is bringing some major advantages to the table. His standard issue firearm is quite a beast. Aside from spewing generic bullets, we saw first-hand the impressive amount of variety it packs. The weapon can launch an incendiary round that is capable of lighting up an entire section, stun blasts to subdue targets, high explosives, armor piercing rounds and much more. A clear connect with any of these to Wayne is going to be devastating and to top it off, Dredd proved he isn't a shabby shot either. At the conclusion of the first action sequence we see Dredd almost effortlessly defuse a hostage situation... by shooting the villain in the mouth. It's a shame Batman doesn't have kevlar over his mouth.

Even if Batman smacks the weapon out of his hand, Dredd showed he's no slouch in hand-to-hand as well. When another Judge tried to grapple with Dredd, the end result was having his trachea crushed. Ouch. While he's not as good as Wayne in that department, he's not someone that'll be easy to drop. He's a tough fellow and his armor is sure to soak some strikes as well. An armor piercing round ripped through his torso and the man didn't even mutter a word. That's some darn good pain tolerance.

But Dredd is much more than an advanced pistol of destruction equipped by brawn. The man's mind is disputably the most dangerous weapon of them all. If he thinks someone is guilty, he's not going to negotiate. He's not going to falter in the face of overwhelming odds or fear (a key tactic for Batman). He's going to go after his target until justice is served -- and in this case, it means a bullet in Batman.

Batman's Advantages

Stealth: not to be underestimated.

Yes, Dredd's lack of morals and ability to take down Gotham's hero with a single shot is a rather large advantage, but the real question is if Dredd could even shoot Batman. If having a gun was all it took to overcome him, then I imagine Batman Begins would have been an especially short movie. This isn't to downplay Dredd's talent with a firearm, but instead compliment how insanely talented Bruce Wayne has become with stealth capabilities.

For example, let's reflect on the cargo yard scene in Batman Begins. Big shot criminal Carmine Falcone is under the protection of a fair amount of gunmen. Despite being outnumbered and facing pistols and submachine guns, Batman swoops in and out of the shadows, taking them out one-by-one before they have an opportunity to get a lock on him. Sure, it's logical to assume this fodder isn't nearly as effective as the Judge, but moments like this one make it certainly fair to say Batman has become a master of stealth and hit-and-run tactics. This is absolutely a factor worth taking into account, especially in a traditional city block. Regardless of how the fight goes down, Batman won't be an easy target.

While Dredd demonstrated some ruthless brutality in his tactics, Wayne is disputably the more talented combatant. If he can get close and disarm Dredd, his advantage in technique should eventually be a game changer. While Dredd's firearm brings a lot to the battle, Bruce has a few toys of his own. His grappling gun and cape means he can move in ways Dredd might not expect and further compliments his abilities to vanish into the shadows. Aside from the standard batarangs (one bouncing off of Dredd's helmet would be hilarious), Batman also has smaller batarangs that can render a target unconscious in mere moments, sharp gauntlets on his wrists and of course, smoke pellets.

The Verdict

"I am the law" vs "I'm Batman"

While Batman definitely has what it takes to bring down Dredd, I think too many factors need to go perfectly in his favor for him to justifiably earn a victory. Gotham's hero needs to properly take advantage of the stealth provided by the environment, close the gap and then take down Dredd swiftly. It's an obstacle he can accomplish, but even if he starts laying into Dredd, there's no guarantee that the Judge won't successfully get off a lucky shot in close range. Batman is going to need at least a combo or two here. Meanwhile, Dredd just needs one clean shot. Batman's motivation to knock Dredd out instead of killing him also means he'll be holding back to some degree if and when it comes down to fisticuffs. This keeps the anti-hero in the game longer and gives him more opportunities to use his powerful pistol against DC's A-lister.

This is of course just taking into account when Batman manages to bring it face-to-face. It's also totally feasible that Dredd blasts Batman apart with his assortment of projectiles before Batman can get close. As for Batman's tranqs, they have the potential to be a huge wildcard, but it's important to note that the target zone on Dredd which is vulnerable to this weapon is very, very limited.

For me, Dredd's pain tolerance, technology and willingness to kill are key here. In the end, I think it's more likely for a battered and bruised Dredd to walk away from a dead Dark Knight.

Do you agree or disagree with this outcome? Speak your mind below!

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. He's happy to be alive in a year that has been so great for comic book movies.

125 Comments
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Posted by ReVamp

But... its Batman...

Posted by texasdeathmatch

I concur. Awesome article, duder.

Posted by mk111

Batman wins because he's Batman. 'nuff said.

Posted by GR2Blackout
Posted by k4tzm4n
@mk111 said:

Batman wins because he's Batman. 'nuff said.

@ReVamp said:

But... its Batman...

This is certainly true, but it's important to keep in mind he's not "the law." 
 
@texasdeathmatch said:
I concur. Awesome article, duder.
Thanks, brotown.
Staff
Posted by Rixec

You forgot to take one important factor into your reasoning: Batman always wins.

Posted by ReVamp

Still haven't watched it, so I can't decide. I'm even afraid of reading Dredd's section in this article xP

Posted by k4tzm4n
@ReVamp said:

Still haven't watched it, so I can't decide. I'm even afraid of reading Dredd's section in this article xP

Yeah, take note of the spoiler warning.  Stay away until you watch it, sir!
Staff
Posted by nrgb2814

Great article! I was thinking all of this when watching Dredd 3D!

Posted by k4tzm4n
@nrgb2814 said:

Great article! I was thinking all of this when watching Dredd 3D!

Thank you and me too, man!  Happy to know I'm not the only one thinking of crazy crossovers and what ifs while watching a movie :D
Staff
Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

If it is movie versions, then I agree. comic book I do not.

Posted by evilvegeta74

2 many Bat fans to post this article. Besides the bat figures out everything one way or another.Why don't you match up Dredd vs Frank Castle/Punisher? My money is on Frank!

Posted by SavageDragon

Great article

Posted by k4tzm4n
@SavageDragon: Thank you and agreed. 
 
@DarkKnightDetective: Yes, it's the latest movie versions of both.
Staff
Posted by ArtisticNeedham

Batman always wins. Even in a fight of Superman versus the Hulk the winner is Batman.

Posted by zackattack529

@mk111: Thats like saying Dredd wins because he is the LAW lol

Posted by cmaprice

Nolan's Batman is really an incredibly different character than the comic Batman. 
 
Dredd should at least be a greater threat than movie Bane.
 If we were talking comics, Batman would win, hands down. Movies? Dredd has a serious shot.

Posted by thespideyguy

@ReVamp said:

But... its Batman...

Batman always wins.

Posted by Strafe Prower

Nicely done sir! I agree.

Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

These two brawled before and it came out to be even I think. In fact, I think they're good friends.

Posted by pspin

Great article, I am happy to see Dredd winning as I am getting kind of tired of "Batman always wins."

I completely agree that while Batman has a decent chance, too many things have to be just right for him to win in a neutral or hostile (Mega City 1) environment; but I will admit that if this was in Gotham, Batman would win hands down

Posted by NXH
Posted by Nerd Of A Hero

@cmaprice said:

Nolan's Batman is really an incredibly different character than the comic Batman. Dredd should at least be a greater threat than movie Bane. If we were talking comics, Batman would win, hands down. Movies? Dredd has a serious shot.

This

Even so, Bats could just throw a explosive batarang to Dredd's face and call it a night

Posted by daredevilfan777

I love Batman, but he is not willing to kill, which what Dredd mainly does. With guns and unsympathetic determination, Dredd has the upper-hand.

Posted by notarandomguy

This is Bale's Batman, he doesn't win, it would had been Comics Batman, it was definitely Batman's win

Posted by Vincie_Pooh

Just saw Dredd. I liked it. It does bring new life to the film. And Something about Judge Anderson really got me... But I gotta say. Even in my picture says it. BATMAN!!!!

Posted by dcfox

While watching I Dredd I couldn't help but think that's how Batman should sound. Deep, gravelly, and authoritative. Not Bale's high pitched lisp. Great performance by Karl Urban.

As for who would win, I would say Batman has the slight edge.

Posted by They Killed Cap!

I think Dredd wins in the long run... to much tech and as far as quality of movie...Dredd was so much better than DKR

Posted by Whiskeyjack

Not a fan. Would prefer this content stay firmly in the Battles forum.

Posted by Mandrewgora

sorry, but it's Batman. He always finds a way.

Posted by PurpleCandy

I love Batman, I dont think he can win this time though. If we saw a Movie Batman fight a Movie Deathstroke, I'd go with Bats then

Posted by nomadicxnightmare

@Whiskeyjack said:

Not a fan. Would prefer this content stay firmly in the Battles forum.

At least this article was written well and took into account the strengths and weaknesses of the characters, coming to a very logical conclusion. Personally I despise the battle forums because a) there is far too much trolling ('arguments' that lead to nowhere) and b) most of the time the 'victorious' combatant is seemingly determined by popularity rather then facts (Storm fans anyone?). I was actually pleasantly surprised by the conclusion of this article and I agree with it 100%. As much as I like Batman and thought Nolan's movies were fantastic, Dredd's single-minded determination, ability, arsenal, and willingness to kill would win him the day. Saying 'Batman wins because he's Batman' is simply fans basking in denial when faced with the facts.

Posted by .Longshot.

Judge Dredd has more heavy duty armor. Tranquilizer darts could be a huge wildcard in the fight to curb the disadvantage Batman gets from his no-kill policy, but the only exposed skin on Dredd is his chin and a portion of his neck. Now, a game of chicken with Dredd on his Lawmaster and Batman on his Batpod would be something I'd pay to see. In the end -and I'm saying this from a totally objective point of view- I give it to Dredd 6/10.

Posted by gammaduck

Is Batman talking? Because aside from all the other "kill vs. no kill" debates, I'm convinced Bale's Bat-Voice ultimately uses up too much energy and leaves Batman lightheaded, making him an easy target for Dredd.

On the other hand, Adam West would kick Stallone's ASS!

Posted by darth_jones

@Rixec said:

You forgot to take one important factor into your reasoning: Batman always wins.

There's this...

so debate closed?

Posted by lifeboy

its one of those fights that sounds fantastic but ends up being 2minutes. dredd knocked the F out and batman with the win. ( freakn loved Dredd the movie though, especially the last 20 minutes )

Posted by Bernicky

Dredd ftw

Posted by rasx

Batman beats Dredd to a pulp and sends him crying back to Judge Anderson.

Posted by ScreamingGhost

Batman disables/disarms Dredd. Then Dredd loses. Batman took out a whole Swat team and Joker goons all armed with more then a pistol. Even as movie Batman I don't think Dredd stands a chance.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@nomadicxnightmare said:


At least this article was written well and took into account the strengths and weaknesses of the characters, coming to a very logical conclusion. 

Thanks for the kind words.
Staff
Posted by NightFang

I want another Batman and Dredd crossovers.

Posted by unclekoomba

@cmaprice said:

Nolan's Batman is really an incredibly different character than the comic Batman. Dredd should at least be a greater threat than movie Bane. If we were talking comics, Batman would win, hands down. Movies? Dredd has a serious shot.

i completely agree. i'm a huge batman fan but nolan's batman is an interpretation of the batman we know and love in the comics. that being said there are going to be differences from the original character. It just so happens that those differences give him more humanistic flaws that could hinder him in a fight against dredd. ergo, i gotta give it to dredd on this one, but comics batman always wins in the end lol.

Posted by zyzyx

Nice article. I haven't seen Dredd yet but based on the article I would automatically assume Dredd would win. But I think the real main problem is what toys does Batman have? He definitely have certain things that can augment his strength, or quite possibly reinvent Scarecrow's fear toxin in the first movie to confuse and disorient Dredd. What about the gadget that allowed him to summon a whole bunch of bats? It's hard to say.

Posted by Fudgie29

I think Batman will win this one. I respect the key advantages and how easy it is for Dredd to win but i think with his kind of mentality, he'll underestimate Bats. Not to mention, Batman is a great strategist and he knows his weaknesses.

Posted by x_29

Dredd

Posted by VaizD

Unrelated; but I've said it once and I'll say it again -- Urban would make a wonderful both Bruce and Batman. He has a rugged enough handsomeness to portray a Wayne, but he also, as shown in Dredd, has the grit to portray a sort of brutal avenger.

So basically Urban for 2015 JL Batman.

Posted by StarKiller809

Batman wins... Batman ALWAYS wins...

Posted by HistoryInRust

Comic book-Batman beats Comic book-Dredd.

Urban's Dredd beats Bale's Batman.

Posted by Deranged Midget

Brilliantly written article. Kudos to viewing the battle from each perspective and weighing in on both the strengths and weaknesses of each combatant. I view Dredd's pain tolerance and armour superior to that of Bruce's and while he is slightly lacking in the skill department, he makes up for it with his weaponry and persistance.

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