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Does Batman always win? Batman vs Wolverine

What would happen if The Dark Knight went toe-to-toe with James Howlett?


Art by JayC79

Welcome to the second edition of "Does Batman Always win?" The debut of this segment placed The Caped Crusader against Captain America. I called it a stalemate, but Comic Vine's Editor-in-Chief, Tony Guerrero, gave Captain America the nod. Now The Dark Knight comes face to face with one of Marvel's most famous and violent characters. Can Batman overcome the X-Man's advantages... or will a set of adamantium claws turn him into sushi?

Let's be clear, the segment's title is simply a joke playing off of the commonly used phrase "Batman always wins because he's Batman!" Batman doesn't always win. However, Batman has the resources and tactical mind to often overcome odds that a regular human hero usually wouldn't be able to. While he technically has no powers, he brings a unique skill set to the table that can often allow him to compete well above his weight class. So, do I think he has what it takes to bring down the adamantium laced A-lister from Marvel? Read on to find out.

Place your bets!

These fights will always take place in a neutral setting -- an unpopulated city block at night. They'll begin visible at opposite ends of the street and they're both in character. This is speculating on who would take a majority of wins if this scenario took place 10 times.

Batman's Advantages

In my opinion, Bruce Wayne is bringing 3 key advantages to this battle: a consistent display of superior skill, a brilliant and resourceful tactical mind, and a wide variety of offensive equipment. This of course isn't saying Logan is inadequate in these areas, but I do believe it's safe to say Bruce has the advantage in each one. While Wolverine is a master of countless forms of combat, they are in character, and that means he's not going to fully utilize his technique in every encounter.

No one beats him in ping pong.

After years of studying, Bruce Wayne is now a master of 127 forms of combat. He knows every pressure point, he can recognize the style his enemies are using and counter appropriately, and, it goes without saying that this knowledge makes him absurdly effective in close combat. Considering Wolverine is tossing around 6 claws that can tear Bruce apart, countering is absolutely critical. One clean hit from Logan can turn the tide here and, luckily for The Dark Knight, he's got the talent to compete with Wolverine in close proximity.

All of that skill would be useless without Batman's brain, though. Bruce's intellect is disputably his greatest asset. This has allowed him to overcome even the likes of Darkseid. His raw intelligence makes him incredibly resourceful in combat, even if it's just a random encounter (such as this one). He can study his opponents and detect potential weaknesses, then deploy the appropriate methods (thanks to a gazillion devices) to capitalize on said weakness. Even if the method for victory isn't packed comfortably into his belt, it's by no means above Batman to use the environment to his advantage.

A magnet: Wolverine's kryptonite.

Then there's the variety of weaponry Bruce has in his inventory. You name it, he's likely got it (okay, maybe not the Ultimate Nullifier or Infinity Gauntlet). When it's clear blunt force isn't working against his opponent (and that'll likely be a relatively quick realization against Wolverine), he has an abundant amount of equipment to deploy, including but not limited to sonics (used against Killer Croc in 'Hush'), magnets (used in Scott Snyder's BATMAN), explosives ('Under the Red Hood'), electricity (vs Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT) and much, much more. Once it's transparent his feet and fists won't do much against Wolverine, he'll begin to test these other options. It's unlikely any would defeat Logan right away, but many have the potential to faze him at the very least. The sooner Batman realizes he needs to use a magnet, the better. Seeing as he's a gifted detective and his cowl has different vision modes, it's certainly not a far-fetched possibility.

Wolverine's Advantages

A face only a mother could love.

I firmly believe Wolverine has 3 critical advantages over Batman: his healing factor and durability, his adamantium claws and his enhanced level physicals. While Bruce brings an often unparalleled level of skill, resources and intellect to the table, it might not be enough to overcome Wolverine's advantages in a random encounter.

First and foremost, keeping Wolverine down for the count is a very difficult obstacle. Sure, he has low end showings like getting his lights quickly knocked out by Mr. X or even the infamous Daredevil throat chop (Garth Ennis is notorious for humiliating Logan), but for every low end feat, there's at least two on the opposite end of the spectrum (taking hits from Hulk and going unfazed by bullets, for example). Batman's more consistent display of superior skill means he'll likely get his licks in, but these really won't suffice. They'll annoy Wolverine, but the combination of his adamantium lacing and healing factor means they won't do much -- not even the nerve strikes (Lord Shingen had to poison Logan for them to impact him).

Bruce has plenty of recent experience against enemies with healing factors (Talons), however, the resurrected assassins didn't have the luxury of a virtually unbreakable metal laced around their bones. Additionally, we've seen a wide variety of Batman's equipment tested against the X-Man. He's withstood electric attacks, has been able to hold up to the Hulk's thunderclap, and navigated through smoke and gas. Long story short, incapacitating or knocking out a well written Howlett is often a herculean feat. Batman has the means to give Wolverine one hell of a fight, but making him count sheep will require a relentless effort.

SHZANG!

Logan's a dude that suffers a rather inconsistent display of skill. He's consistently ranked a 7 out of 7 in handbooks for fighting ability, yet it's far too often we see the version of Wolverine that doesn't mind letting his healing factor get to work simply because he knows he can take it. Because of this, I believe it's fair to assume he won't always showcase his complete technical knowledge while in character. Many fights he'll prove far more than adequate in hand-to-hand (he's gotten the better of Captain America at least twice and easily detected flaws in Silver Samurai's form), but it's safe to say in some of the encounters he'll resort to letting his healing factor, durability, enhanced physicals and adamantium laced pointy claws of death do all of the work. Then there's his enhanced senses. The Caped Crusader is a master of stealth, but few have been able to get the jump on Logan thanks to his beyond human nose and ears. Not even a thick layer of smoke has prevented him from taking down his targets. Furthermore Wolverine is physically superior to Bruce Wayne. He's had the strength to briefly hold up an entire elevator by a cable, swung a tree at the Hulk and moves too fast for the human eye to follow. Just like Batman, Wolverine has had no issue vanishing right in from of his opponents.

Finally, not even Bruce's costume will hold up to Logan's six adamantium claws. As we saw in 'Court of Owls,' Batman has the determination and pain tolerance to take a stab or two and keep going, but one clean connect will absolutely take a toll on Wayne's endurance. The same definitely can't be said when Batman strikes Wolverine.

The Verdict

I'd say Wolverine wins. Batman has the skill, tactics and resources to give Wolverine an extremely tough time, but keeping Wolverine down in a random encounter doesn't seem likely to happen for a majority. Batman doesn't immediately know he needs to go all out against his enemy and not having that knowledge off the bat will benefit Wolverine. Otherwise, Batman would know to rely first and foremost on his more dire measures packed away in his belt.

Could he earn some wins in this scenario? Absolutely. But for the most part, I think the following will be the end result for most matches after Wolverine's claws deliver something fierce.

RIP Batman. Dick Grayson, get back in the cowl!

And in the few times out of 10 that Bruce does take down Wolverine, odds are he makes it out looking like this.

Robin, put some pants on.

I think if Wolverine was stripped of his adamantium it could prove to be a closer match (the reason he has adamantium here is because this segment will always use standard versions). Yes, removing the unique metal boosts his healing factor and overall speed, but it makes his durability take a drop and that's something which would greatly benefit Batman.

But enough of my gibberish, who do you think wins and why? Remember, this is just talking about two fictional characters, so keep it friendly!

Gregg Katzman is a writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. Feel free to send him match suggestions for 'Does Batman Always Win?' on Twitter.

302 Comments
Posted by ARMIV2

I agree with this fully.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Neither, they are so evenly matched that the laws of physics recognizes their prowess apart and decides to do what the major companies did back in 1995 and make this a reality...

But alright, if you want an answer, I think there MIGHT be a possibility that Logan has the edge in this matchup considering that he's lived a longer life than Bruce and thus can bring more experience to the table. I give the match to Wolvie, but it is a Pyrrhic victory for him in the end.

Posted by moywar700

Since winning counts as incapacitation, Batman can win by getting him tied up.

Posted by Mediumguy

The magnet Batman used could easily level the playing field.

Posted by Blood1991

Wolverine is next to unkillable and does have the benefits of an adamantium skeleton and claws. The only thing Batman really could do was to try and overload his senses or knock him out via knock out gas. I give this to Logan as well.

Posted by The Stegman
 
 
WOLVERINE, OR TWO BATMEN??
Edited by Ballistic_z

The only fight I want to see from the big two comic verse's is Batman vs Dare devil since DD is the batman of the marvel universe and he's has actually even beaten batman once in of of their marvel verse dc events . And they have both had the title the "man with out fear" if you have ever seen the super powers/ super friends show. hen you know of this fact. And the fact that Frank miller Before he went nuts as people like to put it showed such interest in them both, cause of their similaritys. lol I really don't see wolverine or captain America as batmans match. Despite the obsession for cap or wolverine. Heck I rather see cap fight Jim Harper (Guardian) and lobo(for wolverine) otherwise this was an interesting article.

Posted by JakeN7

I feel obligated to post this:

Online
Posted by RogueJuggernaut

I agree that wolverine will win because he has more experience in fighting,Is an expert in fighting skills,Has a healing factor and heightened senses not to mention his Adamantium bones and claws.

Posted by utkanflash

First met..Wolverine beat and stomps Batman but second time Bats always has it...We never false in second chance ;) ... and every one want beat batman why ?!?

Posted by Mega_spidey01

wolverine would win hands downs, but batman would put up a decent fight.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@Mediumguy: i am interested in seeing proof of this magnet you speak off.

Posted by BennyB

@ARMIV2 said:

I agree with this fully.

Yep, me too. spot on.

Posted by MyronLee26

I absolutely agree with this. BTW, you guys should have Batman against Black Panther on the next one. Just a thought.

Posted by k4tzm4n
@theTimeStreamer said:

@Mediumguy: i am interested in seeing proof of this magnet you speak off.

 
Staff
Posted by Superguy1591

I'd like to see how Batman would possibly beat Diana even with 100 years of prep. Also, Mark Waid's plan was stupid so don't think you can use it.

Posted by rickygabrielbird

Wolverine would win this in hand-to-hand combat based on his experience but Batman would probably win through preparation and planning. Similar to TDKR with Superman.

Edited by God_Spawn

Bruce loses his face in under 5 minutes. I really do think Wolverine is a bad fight for him and Wayne's only shot is in a city setting he knows of or if he preps or knows of Logan before fighting him.

Moderator
Edited by bloggerboy

SHZANG!

That panel is from the excellent mini-series Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men by Claremont.

Posted by ripcurl

Batman could ONLY win with prep.

Posted by Superguy1591

@rickygabrielbird: Doesn't work, Wolverine isn't Superman who would hesitate killing Batman like Superman did in TDKReturns. Superman would've killed Batman in Returns if he wanted to, those were his orders (I hate that book.). But he wanted to talk Batman into surrendering.

Plus, Batman doesn't get help from Oliver in this fight.

Edited by Gritterr

Grabs Popcorn:

Waits Patiently for Batfanboys to storm thread

Posted by Cavemold

as long if he has that magnet

Posted by Lvenger

If he had time to prepare or the fight took place in Gotham then Batman would win. However, in a standard, random encounter I agree with you Gregg in saying that Wolverine would win most of the time. The enhanced physical stats don't matter as they don't with Cap but his healing factor and bone claws give him a notable edge over Batman.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Patiently waits for Batman VS Galactus 
 
I agree with the OP, I think Wolverine is just to much in a straight fight 

Posted by MaxSchreck

Hm , maybe if he used knock out gas ? Wolverine isn`t immune to that as far as I know ...

But I agree with this more or less .Wolverine would probably defeat Batman .

Posted by sentryman555

I agree that without Batman knowing anything about wolverine, wolverine wins this encounter. But I do think there is a chance that since Wolverine knows nothing about Batman either, Batman could always surprise him with a gadget and take the win that way. That chance is definitely lower though. At this point in his career Wolverine is probably an "Expect anything" type of fighter.

Posted by Chaos Burn

Batmans only chance is prep and/or environment

Posted by LordRequiem

If Batman had such trouble with the Talons then he's going to have a much harder time against old canucklehead, who is for the most part invulnerable. I'd say with preparation Bats could take him and incapacitate him sometimes, and go toe to toe with him, but on most occasions he just wouldn't be enough.

(If it's anything like the weak Batman from DKR who lost to fat Bane, then he loses this every single time)

Posted by entropy_aegis

Completely agreed k4tz,hopefully you'll get around to doing one with Black Panther and Daredevil.

Edited by entropy_aegis

@LordRequiem said:

If Batman had such trouble with the Talons then he's going to have a much harder time against old canucklehead, who is for the most part invulnerable. I'd say with preparation Bats could take him and incapacitate him sometimes, and go toe to toe with him, but on most occasions he just wouldn't be enough.

(If it's anything like the weak Batman from DKR who lost to fat Bane, then he loses this every single time)

Fat Bane who was punching through concrete,breaking cuffs and snapping necks with one hand? would love to see you going up against him.

@Superguy1591 said:

I'd like to see how Batman would possibly beat Diana even with 100 years of prep. Also, Mark Waid's plan was stupid so don't think you can use it.

That particular plan along with the GL one were great(sloppy execution though),Superman and Plastic Man ones were predictable,Aquaman plan was cool but eh he had better options,the Flash plan was flat out stupid.

Posted by roboadmiral

I don't know, I think the article somewhat underestimates Batman's physical capabilities. The man's demonstrated some serious physical strength; holding up collapsing roofs, pushing a rail car, etc. He can sneak up on Superman who's senses are as good as (if not better than) Wolverine's.

And judging by Wolverine's last encounter with Daken, asphyxiation and drowning are very effective options for dealing with guys like them. Quite frankly, Wolverine's healing capabilities have been written extremely inconsistently. Sometimes it seems that he doesn't even have to heal wounds, they just disappear, which I call PIS on. Getting decked by Hulk would result in a severe concussion, ruptured organs, and multiple dislocated joints. Accelerated healing still requires healing to take place.

Posted by kapitein_zeppos

I think it all depends on how much time Batman has to figure out Wolverine's claws are his main edge and he needs to get out of range. If Batman figures this out before Wolverine gets him a slice of adamantium, Once he gets his rope out and moves the fight to ranged combat, it's only a matter of time before Batman finds a weakness and takes out Wolverine.

Wolverine wins in a cage fight because Batman can't keep on dodging the claws forever and cannot block them. Batman wins if he can use space to his advantage to stay out of range of the claws.

Posted by BoyWander

@JakeN7 said:

I feel obligated to post this:

Super Power Beat Down ftw...Now if only they would update.

Posted by ClarkJosephKent1938DC

I am going to be different and say Batman wins. He might fight Wolverine hand to hand for a time until he figures out it wont work. He would grapple onto a rooftop and create distance from Wolverine, or even retreat back to the batmobile. He then grabs more gear and ends up knocking Wolverine out with gas or darts and then restrains him giving him the win.

Posted by laflux

@god_spawn said:

Bruce loses his face in under 5 minutes. I really do think Wolverine is a bad fight for him and Wayne's only shot is in a city setting he knows of or if he preps or knows of Logan before fighting him.

I pretty much agree with this. I really can't see Logan losing more than One fight- at most, against Batman- but hey that's just me.

Posted by Cyborg6971

If Batman started singing "When your a jet", and started dancing, this would confuse Logan long enough for Bats to pull out Chuck Norris out of his utility belt. Hence rendering Logan dead.

That should be next month. Chuck Norris vs Batman. The universe would implode.

Edited by FadeToBlackBolt

This is a stupidly lopsided battle.  
 
You have a guy with the plot power to never die and have knife-hands that kill everything against a regular martial artist in a (rendered useless) suit?  
 
Batman would, of course, tear Wolverine's skull out with any foreknowledge of the fight, but a one on one is just stupid. Clearly a fight picked so that Batman would lose. I can see these articles getting more and more annoying to read.

Posted by MysteriousUsername

@FadeToBlackBolt:

I think Batman could stand a chance if he's lucky enough to bring along the right gadgets.

Posted by JakeN7

@BoyWander said:

@JakeN7 said:

I feel obligated to post this:

Super Power Beat Down ftw...Now if only they would update.

Frickin' word. The Nightwing vs. Gambit one was fairly recent though...

Online
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@MysteriousUsername: He wouldn't though. Not like he's going to bring along gas pellets that are concentrated enough to drop Logan anyway. And Bruce isn't likely to have a chance to pull out this "Magnet of Deus Ex Machina" since Logan will just stab him in the chest.  
 
But if Bruce had even fifteen minutes of foreknowledge; freeze gun, Insider Suit, one of his other over the top battle armours, a call to Superman, enhanced gas pellets, super magnets, etc... 
 
But a one on one? There is zero chance for Bruce. 
Posted by MysteriousUsername

@FadeToBlackBolt:

Eh, maybe the magnets could work? I got to admit Batman doesn't have the pure combat ability to win without pretty much cheating.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@MysteriousUsername: Look at it this way.  
 
Wolverine and Batman get into fight. They exchange blows, Bruce realises he's outmatched (as he's doing zero damage and being punched by a 2-tonner), and drops a smoke bomb. Logan then sniffs him out and snikts the claws. If you saw that, would your initial thought be "he must have a metal skeleton", no, it'd be something like "gotta avoid those". But by that time, Logan just does one of his leaps and starts stabbing. He's faster and stronger than Bruce, doesn't get tired, and his claws meet no resistance. Batman would die. Spitefully dull battle. 
Posted by TDK_1997

I can't see Batman winning againt Logan.He has the skills but I think he will win this only with prep.

Posted by Sidious

I think what we're looking at here is the classic "first fight loss, second fight win" scenario. Where Batman is not fully prepared for an encounter with Logan at the start and later is fully prepared (packing gadgets) in a later match-up.

I can see the first fight with lots of evasion and dodging from Batman feeling out Wolverines strengths and weaknesses. Also, let's face it, Wolverine has never been one not to brag about his "unbreakable adamanitum skeleton" or his "mutant healing factor". He pretty much gives away some of his best secrets in every fight. The other stuff; skill, strength, speed, senses; Batman could easily figure out simply by observation of Wolverine's technique.

Like the saying goes "to truly know someone, fight them." Yeah first match Wolverine, any re-matches go to Bats.

Posted by DMXN

A much as I want Batman to win, I have to go with Wolverine. His adamantium claws and healing factor is just too much for the Caped Crusader and his gadgets to handle. Wolverine can take many of Batman's hits, while if Wolverine delivers a blow, and those unbelievably strong claws go into Batman, not even his tech armor will save him.

Posted by Chris207

Again...Bruce Wayne would lose - the first time - but figure out a way to win the second bout. 
 
Now here's a question: Assuming Bruce would document what he learned from fighting (and eventually beating) Wolverine, would Dick, Tim or Jason win their first meetings with the mutant? Or would they have to come up with their own ways of wining?

Edited by Sissel

Batman dies if Wolverine is written as a blood-lusted murdered, but if it isn't, it's going to be a decent fight that will surely cripple Batman for some days. Batman with prep is a different match though. Batman wins in that kind of scenario.

Posted by Timotheus316

I was thinking the pressure point angle for Batman before I read the article and then Gregg mentioned that Mariko's dad tried that in the first Wolverine mini....after that I was like, yeah, all Wolverine then. Lights out Bats! Either way is a win for me, Wolverine is my favorite Marvel character and Batman is my favorite at DC.

Posted by WilliamJBatson

Explosive batarang to the face, extreme pain for Wolverine which will take awhile to heal and then Batman can deliver a flurry of punches and kicks to him, knocking his head clean off. :) Or Batman could just call Superman or Shazam to come and help him fight. If he did, Wolverine would be crapping himself. :) Orrr, Batman could just electrify him. Metal + Electricity = Dead Wolverine. :)