Comic Vine News

85 Comments

Batman's Best Battles

Do you love seeing Batman punch goons in the face? If so, prepare to enjoy some very awesome fight scenes.

We've shown you some of Batman's best covers and suggested some of his must read stories, and now the time has come to celebrate some of his best battles! Bruce Wayne's fought dozens upon dozens of characters over the years, so to keep things simple, we're going to stick to some of the fights that he won or it was at least a flattering showing for him. Now, let's go see why so many villains are afraid of the Dark Knight. Seeing as Batman's been around for 75 years, we obviously won't have every extraordinary and fun fight on the list. So, if your top choice isn't below, go ahead and post it in the comments.

vs. Talon (BATMAN #6)

William Cobb, a.k.a. Talon, is a lethal assassin with an impressive healing factor. As if that wasn't challenging enough, Batman is beyond exhausted in this issue. He's drugged, dehydrated and injured. Needless to say, the odds are heavily in Talon's favor. However, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO's chapter goes above and beyond to show just how far Batman's willpower can take him. Even though he's been humiliated, he realizes the fate of Gotham City is up to him and not only does he find the will to fight, but he ends up absolutely wrecking Talon. The art team really goes all out with this one and there's great symbolism having the fight in the middle of model of Gotham.

vs. Superman (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #4)

No, Superman fans, this isn't a jab at you. Frank Miller's epic fight in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #4 is making the list because it was a brilliant and seriously cool way to show where Batman stands in the story and how far he's willing to go to fight for what he believes in. Superman, who's basically the Government's attack dog, has been ordered to stop Batman and will do everything possible to reason with his former friend and ally. Batman, on the other hand, refuses to abide by these rules and will use everything he's got -- in this case, it's resources, friends, and a sharp tactical mind -- to fight for what he believes in. Or, you can simply cast aside the meaning behind the fight and just celebrate the fact that Batman puts a beating on Superman. Sure, Superman's holding back and Batman had major prep and assistance, but we all know Superman could and should destroy Batman if he really wanted to, so let's let Bruce enjoy this one, yeah? Plus, the dialogue Miller gives Batman is quite badass. Now we just have to wait and see how this is handled in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

vs. Bane (DETECTIVE COMICS #701)

Batman and Bane have brawled quite a few times, but their battle on the docks back in DETECTIVE COMICS #701 is probably their most balanced and intense one yet. These two often slug it out and rely on raw striking power, but this was a contest of skill and brains. Bane is able to take the edge, but Batman's finds the strength to overcome and he clocks the villain with some huge hits. It's a fight that does both characters justice and is a total blast to observe.

vs. Aikido Warrior (LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #62)

After Bane broke the Bat, Bruce had to recover and retrain. He wasn't ready just yet to take Gotham by storm and he sought out the lethal Lady Shiva for assistance. Naturally, she couldn't be trusted and, to test Bruce, she made sure several deadly characters would go after him. The final challenger was a big fellow who specialized in Aikido and it was a riveting contest of technique and strategy. Shiva wanted to push Batman to the point where he'd take a life and, when all is said and done, it seems like he gives her just what he wants. He allegedly uses the leopard blow -- a move that can kill in just one hit -- and Shiva is satisfied with the result. However, it was all a trick and Batman just knocked the combatant out. You see, at that point, he had all of the training he needed to get back in the vigilante game and that "kill" would make Shiva back off.

vs. Ra's al Ghul (BIRTH OF THE DEMON)

Batman and Ra's al Ghul have battled plenty of times before and it's often a grand stalemate before something changes the odds. Yes, there are some times where Wayne has flatout defeated the Demon's Head (e.g. Hush) and there's a number of fights that are well worth highlighting, but their melee in Birth of the Demon more than deserves the love. The choreography keeps your attention glued to each and every panel and Norm Breyfogle's artwork is amazing. Seriously, take a look at the panel above one more time. If you haven't read this one, do your eyes a favor a check it out.

vs. Lady Shiva (BATMAN #427)

The Caped Crusader is one of the most gifted unarmed combatants on DC's Earth. Only a select few can step up to him and overcome or make him work really, really hard for a victory. Lady Shiva happens to be one of those people. Squaring off during A Death in the Family, Shiva stalemates Batman and even makes a swift recovery after getting hit quite hard by the hero. Batman thought about what he'd need to do to hopefully win the encounter, but luckily for him, Jason Todd was there to turn the tide in his favor. Also, fights illustrated by Jim Aparo are always a good time.

vs. Mutant Leader (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #2)

Batman made the mistake of trying to go hit for hit with the Mutant Leader, a character who's stronger and faster than the hero. Batman isn't known for making the same mistake twice, so you can bet he makes sure the rematch is set it a place that'll balance the odds. The location: a mudhole. This slows the Mutant Leader down and allows Batman to eventually triump thanks to his exceptional tactics and technique. Unfortunately for the Mutant Leader, Batman shows the goon no mercy. He doesn't kill the villain, but he makes sure the evil guy won't pose a threat for a very, very long time.

vs. Jean-Paul Valley (BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #63)

Now, you'd probably think the lengthy Knightfall event would end with the explosive and over-the-top clash between the new violent and mentally unstable Batman, Jean-Paul Valley, and the plain ol' regular Batman, Bruce Wayne. Sure, the two do have a scuffle, but this encounter isn't great because of the physical aspect -- even though that part is entertaining -- it's great because of the spotlight it places on character. Is Valley too far gone and how does Batman feel that the cowl has changed -- in both appearance and the message it sends -- so drastically? It's a massively character-driven exchange that also happens to have a few pretty cool flips and attacks thrown into the mix.

vs. KGBeast (BATMAN #420)

Believe it or not, there was a time where KGBeast was a really formidable mercenary and he even gave the Dark Knight some major trouble. Batman is going all out, but he's still unable to stop the Russian's killing spree. The murderer escapes into Gotham's sewers and the two have a gripping battle and constantly test one another's abilities. They both take steps in an effort to push the battle in their favor, but then their opponent will do something to bring it back to an even level. This one's thoroughly engrossing from start to finish. Sure, you know Batman will eventually win, but man, it's one heck of a ride.

vs. SWAT (BATMAN #406)

First and foremost, you need to go read Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's BATMAN: YEAR ONE if you haven't already done so. Really, you can't get a proper handle of a character if you don't see and understand their roots. Now, it's an awesomely immersive story and Wayne's battle with the SWAT team more than deserves to be on this list. Despite already having bullets in him and having a majority of his gear unavailable, Batman's able to put his mastery of stealth and skill to superb use. And just when you thought it couldn't get any crazier, the bats come storming in. It's a fantastic conclusion to an especially fantastic action scene.

vs. Sensei (BATMAN #671)

Batman has studied martial arts for decades. Not many can hold their own against him in a melee fight and even fewer can beat him down (we're talking about character that aren't absurdly powerful, obviously). Sensei has studied for centuries and it certainly shows. He obliterates Batman, but because of his age, he can't withstand fighting for more than two minutes. He unleashes, but Batman's endurance and willpower shines through and he's able to stay in the fight until Sensei loses control and takes a little dip in the Fountain of Life. Unfortunately for the martial arts master, it only brings death to people who lack purity of spirit. This is yet another showing that proves Batman's pain tolerance is seriously commendable.

vs. Superman (BATMAN #612)

Batman and Superman's brawl in Hush is often misunderstood. Someone will share the double page spread of Batman slugging Superman and everyone assumes it's a win for Batman. But if you read the captions, you'll see Batman flatout admits that things aren't going well and the best he can do is buy some time. That said, this is on the list because it's still a praiseworthy effort against the Man of Steel. He makes it clear he isn't going to bring the Kryptonian to his knees, but he has a plan set in place that'll allow him to keep the immensely powerful hero occupied and eventually reason with him. It's a solid display of tactics and Jim Lee's art is a delight.

vs. Red Hood (BATMAN #650)

The rooftop fight between Batman and Red Hood in Under the Red Hood is fierce, but their final conflict is overflowing with emotion and it's easily the story arc's highlight. Everything from the heated dialogue to how the resolution is solved is simply gripping and the intensity is never turned down. There was so much buildup in this storyline between these two and this was a terrific way to conclude it.

vs. Nobody (BATMAN AND ROBIN #7)

When it comes to saving your kidnapped child, Liam Neeson has nothing on Batman. Morgan Ducard, a.k.a. Nobody, pushed Batman too far and dared to kidnap and harm his son. What follows is an absolutely savage brawl between Batman and Ducard, and artist Patrick Gleason makes it every bit as brutal as it should be. It's vicious and you can really feel the rage that's inside both of these fighters. It's a harsh display of violence and the ending is a real jaw-dropper.

vs. Night-Scourge (BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #15)

There aren't many street level characters out there that can give Batman a run for his money in a fair fight. Despite that, a lot of goons still walk around with an inflated ego and think they have what it takes to clobber the Justice Leaguer. Night-Scourge is one of those people (thanks to Hugo Strange). Yes, he gives Bruce an exciting fight with his blades, but the DC hero's able to adapt and eventually Scourge is hit with the realization that he isn't on par with the World's Greatest Detective and he flees. However, it's the GCPD that ultimately brings this vigilante down.

vs. Joker (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #3)

You didn't think we'd have a list of Batman's best battles without including Joker, did you?! The two have a long history of memorable clashes and it wasn't easy at all trying to figure out which should be featured. From their classic first encounter to fighting on a plane in The Long Halloween, it's tough to side with just one Joker fight, especially since many are so different. However, the vicious encounter they have in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is a real jaw-dropper and the fight just oozes with intensity and hatred as Miller puts their dynamic on display. We've seen these two trade hits time and time again, but you know it's on when someone gets a Batarang in the eye. And the ending? Yeesh.

vs. Guy Gardner (JUSTICE LEAGUE #5)

"One does not simply challenge Batman to a hand-to-hand fight."

This has been a pretty long read, so we'll be nice and end it on a note that'll hopefully make you smile. Batman's spent 75 years duking it out with all kinds of opponents, but the time he knocked Guy Gardner's lights out with "ONE PUNCH!" is priceless. Sure, Guy's Power Ring should make the fight unfair, but the Lantern's ego took control and he was foolish enough to challenge Bruce without the ring. Obviously, it didn't go well for him, but it sure went amazingly well for readers. ONE PUNCH!

92 Comments
  • 92 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by RustyRoy

Awesome list

Posted by HarlowC

What about Batman vs Deathstroke from Deathstroke: The Terminator issues 8/9?

Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

Nice work Gregg! Haven't seen some of these fights myself. Very interesting read!

Online
Edited by Life_Without_Progress

No Batman 17 ? That beating Bats gave Joker was brutal.

Posted by dagmar_merrill

I spot a few spelling errors. Such as "bane broke bat" and "realy" (over in year one for the second one)

Online
Edited by Lvenger

Too much Miller for my liking but for the most part, some solid choices in Batman brawls Gregg. The KG-Beast and Shiva fights are some of my favourites on the list.

Edited by Conniption_Fit

Here's what I think a lot of people don't get about the DKR fight. The victory isn't physical, its mental. Batman manipulated Superman into helping him fake is own death. If it were a real fight to the end, he would not win, because he is not willing to kill, and if he would not kill Superman he would just come back to defeat him later.

Batman does a lot of posturing in the fight, but that's for everyone watching, not Superman. Its also him talking Superman into turning away from the lap dog he has become and he knows Sups hates being. That's why in the end he winks at Robin. He knows Clark, he knows Clark will hold back, giving him enough time to say his piece for those listening in, make a display of force and then slip away. A lot of people focus on Batman's last line before he crumples, but for me its when Superman refuses to let anyone touch him. Despite everything they're brothers. So to me that fight is less Batman beats Superman and more Batman beats Ronnie using Superman as theatre.

Posted by dagmar_merrill
Online
Posted by Lvenger

@lvenger: Millar or Miller?

Put an a instead of an e so that's poor grammer on my part. I meant Miller.

Edited by Brione

Great list. Reading these brought a big smile to my face. Batman has had so many great battles.

Posted by Super_SoldierXII

Really good list. Reminds why Batman is given the credit he deserves on the Vine ... despite us overzealous fans wanting to give him just a little more from time to time.

Posted by jackbensley777

court of the owls and night of the owls was golden, one of the best batman stories ever, cool art and great writing. then death of the family came and it just felt ehhh. and do not get me started on zero year, t dragged on way too long and i dont like how snyder reinvented batman, it didnt feel right, the whole riddler story was silly nhow he takes over for a whole year and somehow gotham becomes a jungle. the capullos art came across way too colorful and didnt look like the court of the owls story at all. i want another good story from them.

Edited by TimeLordScience

I realize that you're going to tell me it's just opinion and all, something I fully understand, but the fact that there's nothing from Morrison's run is extremely disappointing.

Edit: I guess The Resurrection of Ras Al Ghul kind of counts, even though Dini was also involved and it's really very much not the highlight of Morrison Batman.

Edited by AmazingWebHead
Posted by Techherofan

Seeing all these best of Batman fights really remind me why he's apart of the big three of comics and why he survived 75 years of publication.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

Great list.

Posted by braynehurricane

@amazingwebhead: It doesn't say The Long Halloween is their first fight, it says "from their classic first encounter to fighting on a plane in The Long Halloween."

Posted by TheBlackHood

I realize that you're going to tell me it's just opinion and all, something I fully understand, but the fact that there's nothing from Morrison's run is extremely disappointing.

Edit: I guess The Resurrection of Ras Al Ghul kind of counts, even though Dini was also involved and it's really very much not the highlight of Morrison Batman.

I think that's because Morrison is a different kind of writer. He seems to focus more on weirdness and
"A-ha" moments than he does epic fights. Personally I haven't really liked Morrison since Justice League. He seemed to go off the rails with his X-men run and has never really been reined back in.

Posted by iDude

Great list!

Posted by Nefarious

What about Batman vs Zeiss? The guy STALEMATED Batman TWICE.

Online
Posted by Krypton-115

Good god the Talon battle was one epic fight.

Posted by micah

@lvenger said:

@dagmar_merrill said:

@lvenger: Millar or Miller?

Put an a instead of an e so that's poor grammer on my part. I meant Miller.

What's wrong with Miller, his fights were brutal.

Posted by TheBournePoster

I knew it wouldn't be here, but I love Batman vs the Monster Men, where Hugo Strange traps him in a pit with three monsters.

Online
Edited by Lvenger

@micah said:

@lvenger said:

@dagmar_merrill said:

@lvenger: Millar or Miller?

Put an a instead of an e so that's poor grammer on my part. I meant Miller.

What's wrong with Miller, his fights were brutal.

It's more the Superman one I have a problem with but it's best if I don't say anymore. I'm not a huge Miller fan anyway.

Posted by ZZoMBiE13

One of my favorite Batman fights is (no surprise) from the Animated Series. I know that's it's own separate thing and all, but it's still my favorite.

The episodes with Kyodi-Ken (no idea if I spelled that right) were always exciting. It was strange to see Batman be unsure of himself and doubly rewarding to see him overcome the villain. I mean sure, you know in a show ostensibly for children that the "good guy" is going to win anyway. But they handled it with such grace. With such powerful voice over and music, as that show always did.

I watched those shows when I was in college. They all left a lasting impression. Even all these years later, even after the improved versions of Batman in Justice League Unlimited, the fight with his old rival who he wasn't sure he could beat still gets me.

Posted by Lvenger

I was going to make a suggestion on one of my favourite Batman fights but they're all covered here. You do a top job of getting the best battles of any character's history Gregg.

Posted by micah

@lvenger said:

@micah said:

@lvenger said:

@dagmar_merrill said:

@lvenger: Millar or Miller?

Put an a instead of an e so that's poor grammer on my part. I meant Miller.

What's wrong with Miller, his fights were brutal.

It's more the Superman one I have a problem with but it's best if I don't say anymore. I'm not a huge Miller fan a.nyway.

Ahhhh, I see. That one alot of people have problems with LOL

Edited by batcat91

Great list, well except for Guy Gardner lol. I know it was meant to be humorous but i would not even call that a "battle". For me it would have to be...

Batman vs the Heretic rd 1

To provide a little background, the Heretic was a genetic abomination created by Talia and whose fighting skills where honed by placing him in a pit filled with artifically made metahuman bodyguards and he massacred the population, there were only two survivors to my knowledge. Now even though Batman does lose the first time around, the fact that Batman was able to hold his own and land some good blows against this behemoth just demonstrates Batman's amazing physical prowess and skill. Also it's rare to see Batman let loose and go all out in a fight without worrying about fatally injuring his opponent--and he breaks the sword with a kick how bad#ss is that! Thank you Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham!

While the Heretic was the victor the first time around, don't worry because Batman returns with a vengeance :)

Batman vsTerminus

Faced with a foe who possesses superhuman strength and durability Batman has no choice but to get a suit upgrade to lay the beatdown on this massive fellow. While displaying a dazzling spectacle and smackdown, it also shows Batman's impressive use of technology. He keeps a power suit stored in the batmobile and is able to armor up on the fly!!

And let's be honest... that augmentation suit is just freakin cool! :)

Edited by StMichalofWilson

Great list! Here's to 75 more years of awesome battles!

Edited by Xwraith

I don't really like "where's my favorite?" posts, but I still want to get it out there:

Batman vs. "Jason Todd", Batman #618 (I'll admit this is kind of biased - Hush is my favorite Batman story).

Online
Posted by CrazyScarecrow

Batman vs. Joker at the end of Mad Love will always be my favorite Batman battle.

Posted by THEOCITYLEGEND

Glad to see Batman vs Sensei included.

Posted by BigCimmerian

1) Batman vs Bane from Detective Comics 701

2) Batman vs Nobody

3) Batman vs Jean Paul Valley

Edited by ULTRAstarkiller

Great list

Edited by Jyger85

I always find it hilarious how the really over-the-top Bat fans always point to The Dark Knight Returns for how Batman is supposedly superior to Superman, when if you really think about it, despite the fact that Frank wrote it just so he could have Batman beat Superman, it perfectly illustrates why, 99/100 times, he'd lose. BADLY. lol But yeah, I will let him enjoy this one win.

Also, I implore everyone, do not read Batman #6 without reading #5 first, because #5 is the creepiest shit and really illustrates just how awesome a win this is for Batman after enduring that shit.

Posted by Teerack

Man, Batman is a jerk.

Posted by Jmarshmallow

I must say, I am seriously surprised by the lack of Deathstroke in this thread.

Still a great list though k4tz!

Jmarshmallow

Online
Posted by batcat91

@teerack said:

Man, Batman is a jerk.

Loki are you trying to incite chaos and mischief among the batfans -.-;

Posted by Teerack
@batcat91 said:

@teerack said:

Man, Batman is a jerk.

Loki are you trying to incite chaos and mischief among the batfans -.-;

He is? Look at all the jerk things he's saying mid fight. I never realized what a jerk he was till I looked through the scans here.

Posted by batcat91

@teerack: lol in his defense they were trying to murder him, I think that would make anyone cranky. The Talon deprived him of food for about 5 days before going in for the kill and another assassin nearly killed his son. I have a good feeling you're trolling me but I'll humor you

Posted by Banes_cat
Posted by ccraft

Most of my favorite Batman fights are mentioned here, Batman vs Mutant Leader/Joker/Superman were awesome fights, makes me wanna watch TDKR again.

Posted by Owie

Nice...the Mutant Leader fight wasn't an obvious choice, but it brought back memories...that was really a great hard core scene.

Posted by Neghead

@jyger85: I got the belly chuckles when I realized that all of the reasons people say that they love Batman? It's the same as Lex Luthor's humanity-over-dependence-on-aliens rhetoric.

Posted by superior_prime_maybe

When you scroll down fast it looks like batman fighting a very epic fight

Posted by Jyger85

@neghead: I wouldn't say ALL the reasons are the same, but some of the more over-the-top fans have some, yeah. And what's funny is that the first person who would probably tell people to stop elevating him to such a point where you could make that comparison is Batman himself!

  • 92 results
  • 1
  • 2