Is Batman too powerful?

Posted by Portimion (31 posts) - - Show Bio

Alright, hear me out.

I was recently watching an old episode of Batman the Animated Series, a show that is beloved, but dated by modern standards. In the episode Batman is taking care of some thugs who were making a "business deal" (not gonna get into details). When Batman fights a particular thug, a regular schmuck with no martial arts training, he gets the drop on Batman and even gets a few hits on him. He is even able to activate some sort of trap before Bats can stop him. Me with my modern Batman mind-set thought "What the heck? Batman would have thought of 10 different ways to stop the guy before he could even breathe!" This is due to modern interpretations of Batman where he is almost God-like in skill.

This vulnerability of the Bat, however foreign to me, was interesting because it was interesting to see Bats have a challenge that wasn't too huge. Then it made me think, is Batman too powerful nowadays? With his current level of skill, writers are constantly having to jump through hoops thinking of fantastic villains and story arcs that push Batman to his limits (Night of the Owls; Death of the Family) These story arcs are amazing, but eventually the gold mine will come up dry. What happens when no more crazy stories can be written? With Batman always learning from his mistakes, one day he will be practically omnipotent. I know he is just a man, but he is evolving into something more.

So, will Batman become so awesome that we can't make an interesting story anymore because he'll either beat the villain in minutes, or he'll get his butt kicked with no probable cause?

What Do you guys think? Leave your thoughts in the comments please.

BTW, the episode was called "Feats of Clay Part 1 of 2"

#1 Posted by NiKva (94 posts) - - Show Bio

Writers have given him abnormal near-super strength, super intelligence, and massive plot armor. Batman has strayed from being the "100% human superhero without superpowers."

#2 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4521 posts) - - Show Bio

No, his fanboys are!

#3 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

nope. He's supposed to represent humanity(at least physically) at its best.

#4 Posted by MuyJingo (1572 posts) - - Show Bio

No, I don't think so. Batman Pre New 52 was as powerful as Batman in the animated series, which I don't really consider dated. I mean, that same Batman was on JLU which only finished a few years ago.

A problem I have with Snyder is that he has Batman get captured, bested in combat, trapped seemingly easy, when givens Batman's strengths those things shouldn't happen as written, yet then he can take out 50 guards in armor without issue. Consistency is key here.

#5 Posted by SUNMAN (7141 posts) - - Show Bio

Well look when Batman was originally conceived he and robin were getting taken out by normal thugs from behind all the time. But now they are untouchable.

Also Batman in Gotham City is often treated differently than Batman on the Justice League imo.

When Batman is with the Justice League they have to up his game so he stands equal or not superior to the other members. In gotham they have to take him back down to an extent. Random street thugs have to become threatening. You've got to suspend some belief regardless your talking about a guy taking on several dudes without any firearms, all non superpowered heroes tend to have pretty crazy feats nowadays.

#6 Posted by Sniper_King (16 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is still only human and have limits

#7 Edited by roboadmiral (538 posts) - - Show Bio

I get where you're coming from, but there's an inherent problem with Batman having trouble with run of the mill street vermin. He's a superhero. Which means he does super stuff. We're accepting the premise that he's one of the smartest, toughest, fastest guys around. Theoretically, the odds are probably in favor of Batman being taken down by a stray bullet or something. But we're already accepting the premise, which establishes why no random thugs happen to accidentally walk up behind James Bond while he's skulking about the enemy base, why no nazi ever lands a lucky punch on Indiana Jones during the brawls, why no orc ever shows up at just the right time when Aragorn's guard is down in battle. Maybe it is a bit silly, but we've already drunk the kool-aid and accepted that they're just that damn good.

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#8 Posted by utkanflash (407 posts) - - Show Bio

yes his powerfull in his class..And why people so obssesed.. Why people ask this question for Hulk, Cap. America, Ironman and Hal Jordan ... keep goin on.............

They r most unvulnurable heroes ı guess.. Hulk have tousands versions and each ones stronger than before version...And Cap he is limitless he beat every style power and skilled men and women or creatures.. ı hate that .... and Hal Jordan why we cant escape him :D ..... Leave Bats..he is nonsuper power superhero...off course writers write this typical for him... Batman's succes rise up but his specullations too :) .....

@roboadmiral said:

I get where you're coming from, but there's an inherent problem with Batman having trouble with run of the mill street vermin. He's a superhero. Which means he does super stuff. We're accepting the premise that he's one of the smartest, toughest, fastest guys around. Theoretically, the odds are probably in favor of Batman being taken down by a stray bullet or something. But we're already accepting the premise, which establishes why no random thugs happen to accidentally walk up behind James Bond while he's skulking about the enemy base, why no nazi ever lands a lucky punch on Indiana Jones during the brawls, why no orc ever shows up at just the right time when Aragorn's guard is down in battle. Maybe it is a bit silly, but we've already drunk the kool-aid and accepted that they're just that damn good.

and this is good explanation :D

#9 Posted by Portimion (31 posts) - - Show Bio

I see what you all are saying. Thank you guys so much for commenting on my first blog post. I agree that Batman is human kind at it's best. I guess the only thing I'm worried about is the inevitable bad Batman comic after so many good story arcs.

#10 Posted by Reignmaker (2234 posts) - - Show Bio

New 52 Batman is gimped.

#11 Posted by Portimion (31 posts) - - Show Bio

@Reignmaker: gimped? You mean to say that the Batman is being used for sexual torture in a sado-masochistic fashion? Seems legit.

#12 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@Portimion: Gimp is also a colloquial term for one who is handicapped.

And the DCAU, while excellent in terms of story and character, was notorious for depowering their heroes in order to facilitate extended fights scenes. Superman gets taken down by heavy machine gunfire regularly in Superman: the Animated Series.

Batman isn't too powerful, comic books just exist on a different level of reality.

#13 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Snyder Batman is definitely at an all-time high in terms of power. The fight scene in the first issue set the tone for that. But I also think that Batman's power is kind of irrelevant. I don't really care how strong or weak he is, as long as the story doesn't suffer. Right now, in Snyder's run, Batman's really powerful, but instead of hurting the story, it facilitates opportunities for awesome endurance feats (Court of Owls, Batman #5 and 6).

Plus, scenes like in Batman #16 (riot guards) are really just opportunities to show off the artist. Having lots of random fight scenes in a regular book (i.e., no pictures) would be boring, but in comic books it's entertaining to look at the pretty pictures.

#14 Posted by arkham4uall (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that batman's "power" is his mind not his brute force, time and time again he has proven that no matter what happens in the future he always a contingency plan for a certain situation. But their are times when the writers just choose to let him focus on his brawn rather then his mind as evidence to batman 16#.

#15 Posted by entropy_aegis (14475 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower said:

I think Snyder Batman is definitely at an all-time high in terms of power. The fight scene in the first issue set the tone for that. But I also think that Batman's power is kind of irrelevant. I don't really care how strong or weak he is, as long as the story doesn't suffer. Right now, in Snyder's run, Batman's really powerful, but instead of hurting the story, it facilitates opportunities for awesome endurance feats (Court of Owls, Batman #5 and 6).

Plus, scenes like in Batman #16 (riot guards) are really just opportunities to show off the artist. Having lots of random fight scenes in a regular book (i.e., no pictures) would be boring, but in comic books it's entertaining to look at the pretty pictures.

Physically yes,mentally though that's a different story.

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#16 Posted by fury714 (589 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with bats being a physical force with Snyder's writing, although he seems to be always bested when it comes to planning/mental stuff. Im guessing this is because of the current run, or because he would be too godlike if he was powerful in both aspects. He is still human after all.

#17 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis said:

@gotwillpower said:

I think Snyder Batman is definitely at an all-time high in terms of power. The fight scene in the first issue set the tone for that. But I also think that Batman's power is kind of irrelevant. I don't really care how strong or weak he is, as long as the story doesn't suffer. Right now, in Snyder's run, Batman's really powerful, but instead of hurting the story, it facilitates opportunities for awesome endurance feats (Court of Owls, Batman #5 and 6).

Plus, scenes like in Batman #16 (riot guards) are really just opportunities to show off the artist. Having lots of random fight scenes in a regular book (i.e., no pictures) would be boring, but in comic books it's entertaining to look at the pretty pictures.

Physically yes,mentally though that's a different story.

Yeah, I have to agree with you. I think Snyder should show his mental ability more often, especially considering that mental feats are much more entertaining than physical ones. The only Batman-style intellect moments I can think of are Batman using camera filament to escape the maze.

#18 Posted by BlackWind (5639 posts) - - Show Bio

Lets just say that some writers try too hard.

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#19 Posted by Portimion (31 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that Snyder's Batman is more of a physical interpretation, but that's okay because we have two other bat books running at the same time. I haven't really read The Dark Knight, or Detective comics, but I'm guessing Detective comics is the more mental interpretation.

#20 Posted by PsychoJack (174 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think he's too powerful, just kinda overrated. To say he can beat everybody (even all-powerful aliens, gods and other omnipotent beings) with enough prep time just takes it out of context with him being just a human. But hey I'm not complaining, he's still pretty badass.

#21 Posted by JohnnyGat (1561 posts) - - Show Bio
#22 Posted by Portimion (31 posts) - - Show Bio

@JohnnyGat said:

I want to thank JohnnyGat on behalf of the entire Comicvine community, Bat fans, and comic books nerds in general, for making our entire day great by adding this ray of sunshine onto this Blog post. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. My worries are now washed away.

#23 Edited by tomchu (522 posts) - - Show Bio

YES, BECAUSE HE'S BATMAN

Batman R.I.P., look no further.

New 52 is a lot tamer I guess, I mean, for starters, Bruce Wayne actually looked like he could lose during the Court of Owls story arc when he was trapped in the maze.

#24 Edited by ZEELLO (223 posts) - - Show Bio

When Batman is able to punch a horse running straight at him, incapacitating the horse.. yea I think he may be too powerful.

But thankfully that has yet to happen. I assume it hasn't happened. Would be very surprised if it did.

#25 Posted by maccorf (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I very much agree with the OP, and though there are many things at play here (JLA Batman vs. Gotham Batman, Greatest Detective Batman vs. Survivalist Batman, etc.), I do find that Snyder's Batman has had too many instances where he is basically invincible, at least physically. I do like that he has been challenged on an intellectual level and is not seen as constantly being prepared for every possible situation, no matter how far fetched. The problem is, despite being mentally fallible, it doesn't matter because he's physically unstoppable. The maze during the Court of Owls arc proved that this current incarnation of Batman is not bounded by even the highest of human limits when it comes to strength and survivability. Bruce gets IMPALED, straight up, and then proceeds to defeat a peak-level fighter (someone who's all but defeated him previously, when he wasn't impaled), only to hold his breath for long periods of time and swim in freezing water to safety. Sure he was helped out, and should have been dead, and then he was shocked back to life by a car battery. Currently, he's been electrocuted by a tool used for literal death sentences. There's so much to like about this incarnation of Batman and the Bat-family, but they've given Bruce way too much survivability. It's one thing to make Batman unkillable, which he always has been, through his combination of physical toughness and mental prowess, but it's another to simply give him a Wolverine-like invulverability to injury.

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