This month, Batman's abilities are being tested against the man who once wielded the shield: James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes. Since the poll was created on Monday, 400+ Viners voted and there were a lot of superb posts praising both characters. Well, the poll is now locked and the community has spoken: Batman wins. Gotham's hero took 64% of the votes while the Winter Soldier earned 31%. 5% of voters thought this match had the potential to go either way and voted too close to call.
The community thinks Bruce defeats James, but do I agree? Let's go ahead and take a look at the advantages, shall we?
First and foremost, there's no denying Bucky's a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. While it's not clear just not many styles he knows, he's been able to hang with highly talented individuals and overcome some tough challenges with relative ease. When it comes to martial arts, Bucky may not be among the absolute best in his universe, but he's damn good. Throw in the fact he won't mind using dirtier tactics and he should absolutely not be underestimated in this regard. But at the end of the day, there just isn't enough to justify Bucky being Bruce's equal in unarmed combat. There's certainly no shame in that, though, seeing as Bruce has mastered 127 styles and is without question among the best in his respective universe.
While Bruce would of course take a majority of victories in a purely unarmed battle, this isn't a simple melee and Bucky has one key variable: his cybernetic arm. One clean hit from this arm with superhuman-strength could be exactly what James needs to take the edge. Moreover, it can release a powerful electric attack or even an EMP (which could potentially disable some of Bruce's gear, but in turn, Bruce's EMP holds the potential to shutdown Bucky's arm, too). We all know Batman's cowl is insulated from electric attacks, but as recently proven by Wrath, a powerful enough attack can still indeed faze the hero. After researching, I was unable to find exactly how many watts Bucky releases with this attack, but it's fair to speculate this has the potential to, at the very least, momentarily stun Bruce. When you're dealing with someone who will do whatever it takes to win, even the slightest opening can serve as a game changer. This can open the window to land a hit with his cybernatic arm or even use his high caliber pistol. Batman's cowl is bulletproof, but a hit from that modified S.H.I.E.L.D. pistol is sure to be felt in close proximity. Batman is by no means an easy character to shoot, but it is worth noting that Bucky's a very formidable marksman. With little time to respond, he's been able to catch and even shoot down numerous arrows fired by Clint Barton and blast away Daredevil's billy club. He may not hit Bruce at a distance in this environment, but if anything, he's sure to keep him on his toes.
Bucky's equipment can serve as massive wildcards, but if we're talking gear, Bruce is hardly lacking in that regard, either. While it's nonsensical to believe he'll have every piece of gear we've seen him use throughout the decades, he still has a commendable amount of options on him at all times, and quite a few could definitely impact his opponent's performance (though smoke/stealth is unlikely since Bucky's mask can generate a 3D map of the entire location and see his targets). When it comes to gear and equipment, the Caped Crusader plainly has more options to utilize as the fight progresses.
In the end, this comes down to the simple fact that Batman does indeed possess a skill advantage and has a more than wealthy variety of gear at his disposal which can turn the tide. It won't be any easy or even short fight -- not at all -- but ultimately, I agree with the majority that the Dark Knight has what it takes to eventually triumph in a fight that would be well worth witnessing.
Viner Argument of the Week for Batman is by SlimJ87D
"He [Bucky] really isn't just a guy with a gun, he is capable of using it WHILE performing H2H combat. He's also shot out projectiles from Hawkeye and Daredevil. Hawkeye had shot 3 arrows behind Bucky's back and Bucky shot them all out in mid air. He's also capable of catching Hawkeyes arrows with both arms. He shot Daredevil's Eskrima sticks when Daredevil threw them.
So I think the gun can be used pretty well offensively, a lot of Batman's batarangs could be caught and thrown right back at him, even worse if Batman throws any tech lethal batarangs at Bucky, Bucky is fast enough to catch and return them just like he did to Hawkeyes explosive arrows when he caught and immediately threw them at Wolverine's torso. Again, I think their gear is pretty even.
Batman's stealth won't really work because again, he's up against someone that has sneaked around Doctor Doom's castle past all his security tech. He has snuck up on Wolverine 2 times and followed Wolverine around for months without Wolverine not even catching his scent. Lastly, his domino mask acts like a sonar just like Daredevil's ability to know where people are.
In the strength department, Bucky actually has the advantage here thanks to his metal arm. The other advantage is that Batman doesn't know Bucky's arm is a metal arm. Bucky's new arm actually is capable of jamming tech to give it off as a normal arm. It even looks and feels like a normal arm when he wants it to, giving off heat signatures like a normal arm as well.
Batman's main advantage would be his skill and years of experienced clocked in. He's fought and has a much larger number of feats compared to Bucky. He's also older than Bucky is and has evidence of more training than Bucky does. The importance in skill probably outweigh the difference in strength, but slightly due to the arm being an element of surprise.
This is why I give it to Batman 6/10 in a difficult fight. If Bucky had the SHIELD, then it would have been too close to call IMO because Bucky can throw the shield fast enough to slice through metal objects and is as skilled with it as Steve is, but unlike Steve he has been shown to use his fire arm very well with the SHIELD's trajectory of ricocheting around."
Want more Batman battles?
- vs. Cyclops (CV: Too close to call / Viners: Batman)
- vs. Taskmaster (W: Batman)
- vs. Kraven (W: Kraven)
- vs. Deadpool (W: Batman)
- vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (W: Batman)
- vs. Daredevil (W: Batman)
- vs. Gambit (W: Batman)
- vs. Wolverine (W: Wolverine)
- vs. Captain America (W: Too close to call)
- vs. Black Panther (W: Black Panther)
- Official Discussion Thread for the segment (use this thread for future match suggestions!)
Next week will be a usual and Batman-free "Comic Vine Battle of the Week." Batman battles will only take place during the first week of each month. Additionally, the "Batman Battle of the Month" will soon begin to include Batman family characters instead of always being Batman. The detective will of course still be used from time to time, but we're going to give him a break once in awhile to let his cast of allies and villains shine. For example, next month could potentially be Nightwing vs ___, Joker vs. ___, etc. Anyhow, check the homepage Monday to see who's brawling in the next Comic Vine Battle of the Week, mon ami. Oh, and do try to have a good weekend!