Is Batman's deduction skills on par with Sherlock Holmes?

#1 Posted by CannotSpellMyName (92 posts) - - Show Bio

Just finished watching the TV miniseries "Sherlock" the other day (loved it), and it made me wonder - as Batman is often referred to as the world's greatest detective, does his intellect work in the same way as Sherlock Holmes or is he more dependent on his knowledge and technological data to gather information? Because I've never thought of Batman as the type of hero who can look at a dead body and know exactly what happened to the victim by observing the tiniest details, I've always thought of him more like the type of detective that uses great knowledge in many fields to solve puzzles and crimes. Or does Batman in fact possess that kind of observation skills? I'm not disputing Batman's intellect, because everyone knows Batman is a damn resourceful man, I just can't recall ever seeing him tell a person's life story just by looking at him/her or display such deduction skills as Sherlock Holmes uses (anyone who has seen the series or movies will know what I mean). Anyone got scans or examples of Batman displaying such deduction skills? I certainly wouldn't mind if Batman does have such skills, it would only make him even more awesome :-)

#2 Posted by Daaerk (204 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say Batman has better if not on-par deduction skills as Sherlock Holmes. After all he is a bas@$$ strategist and rules at Chess. He is a preparation master when fighting against his enemies. I do not think he is the observational type though, when I read his comics he picks up on specific details yes but it takes a while for him to find it out, at times he needs an autopsy to lead him part of the way, though he eventually solves all of his mysteries. So no, he can’t presume the details of a crime by sight, he is no Sherlock.

Post Script: I hate the mini-series; I can’t understand a single word Sherlock says. Though I love the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Robert Downey Junior for the win! :D

~ Daaerk

#3 Posted by ccraft (3961 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is so good, when Batman enters a crime scene, he already knows what clues he'll find.

#4 Posted by Captain_Yesterday (807 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd say Sherlock.

A lot of Batman's Detective work comes with the help of a bunch of high tech gadgetry, Sherlock using more simple observation.

#5 Posted by Veshark (8506 posts) - - Show Bio

The Sherlock miniseries is fantastic. Yeah, you need subtitles to understand the thick accents of Holmes' rambling deductions, but it's a very well-scripted, directed, and acted show.

But yeah, your observation is more-or-less spot-on. While Holmes' detective works is based more on observational deduction, Batman uses a more hands-on approach of gadgetry and beating up/interrogating criminals. I guess that's more attributed to their different skill sets and personas - Holmes is a human private eye, while Batman is a superhero.

On a related note, the Holmes/Batman crossover in Brave and the Bold was hilarious. They're investigating a murder where the killer left behind the note: "The granite demon crumbles in your city's bloody frame. When ten o-clock strikes, I'll never sleep again."

Sherlock thinks it's a reference to gargoyles at a chapel, before Batman replies "Actually, 'granite demon' is an anagram for Demon Etrigan, Jason Blood's his alter ego, and bloody frame refers to framing Blood. And ten-o-clock indicates the number of victims." Bat-Troll lol.

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

@Captain_Yesterday said:

I'd say Sherlock.

A lot of Batman's Detective work comes with the help of a bunch of high tech gadgetry, Sherlock using more simple observation.

I agree, based on what we've seen in comics. I mean, if a writer was a smart as Batman, he might be able to showcase Bats' true detective skills. However, I don't think anyone can be equal to Batman intellectually, and thus Holmes' detective feats are better written (I guess Doyle is nearly as smart as Batman?). Holmes's deductions are just more interesting to be heard explained.

#7 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1639 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain_Yesterday: Both of them use the "art of deduction". By the way, when Kane created the Batman, he used elements from the fictitious persona of Sherlock Holmes. Now, who's the best?

You'll find the answer here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17CLlZuiBkQ&list=SP59A6BAB16A05B4AA&index=11

#8 Posted by Captain_Yesterday (807 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower said:

@Captain_Yesterday said:

I'd say Sherlock.

A lot of Batman's Detective work comes with the help of a bunch of high tech gadgetry, Sherlock using more simple observation.

I agree, based on what we've seen in comics. I mean, if a writer was a smart as Batman, he might be able to showcase Bats' true detective skills. However, I don't think anyone can be equal to Batman intellectually, and thus Holmes' detective feats are better written (I guess Doyle is nearly as smart as Batman?). Holmes's deductions are just more interesting to be heard explained.

So wait, let me see if I get this, you're saying Sherlock was better written by a better writer to appear to be more intelligent and yet Batman is still smarter... just because???? Even more so than Doyle... Sigh... The Batman logic on these forums sometimes...

#9 Edited by UncleEmu (179 posts) - - Show Bio

Knowledge - Batman definitely has more knowledge and the resources to find out more things than Sherlock

Observation - Sherlock has Batman beat, even though Batman is pretty good at deducing things

Objectivity - Sherlock wins by a lot because he really doesn't care about anyone around him.

Thinking quickly - Batman hands down as he is constantly engaged in combat and situations where he needs to do exactly the right thing or improvise perfectly for his plan to work

Considering every option - it's even, Sherlock thinks of everything, Batman plans for everything

Open mind/thinking outside of the box - Batman understands emotions better, he even did the isolation chamber to understand how the Joker thinks, so he wins

Deduction - Sherlock seems to just be better

I would say Sherlock is the better detective (barely), except for one thing - his arrogance. It really takes away from things, and sometimes gets him into stupid situations. Because of that, the Dark Knight barely pulls ahead.

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

@Captain_Yesterday said:

@gotwillpower said:

@Captain_Yesterday said:

I'd say Sherlock.

A lot of Batman's Detective work comes with the help of a bunch of high tech gadgetry, Sherlock using more simple observation.

I agree, based on what we've seen in comics. I mean, if a writer was a smart as Batman, he might be able to showcase Bats' true detective skills. However, I don't think anyone can be equal to Batman intellectually, and thus Holmes' detective feats are better written (I guess Doyle is nearly as smart as Batman?). Holmes's deductions are just more interesting to be heard explained.

So wait, let me see if I get this, you're saying Sherlock was better written by a better writer to appear to be more intelligent and yet Batman is still smarter... just because???? Even more so than Doyle... Sigh... The Batman logic on these forums sometimes...

Lol my comment's a little bit misleading. When I said, "I don't think anyone can be equal to Batman intellectually," I meant, "I don't think any comic writers can be equal to Batman intellectually," as well as, "I don't think any Batman comic writers can compare to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective writing." The first, because no comic writer has learned everything that Batman has (because it's pretty much impossible) ad so they can't perfectly imagine what his deduction process is like, and the second because books have a lot more room for detail than comics.

#11 Posted by jayskee (1903 posts) - - Show Bio

Holmes>> Batman in everything but h2h and knowledge

#13 Posted by consolemaster001 (4473 posts) - - Show Bio

Definintely not.

#14 Posted by rolldestroyer (3508 posts) - - Show Bio

yes and it's greater.

#15 Posted by Stronger (4948 posts) - - Show Bio

Holmes is a better detective.

Batman is a way better fighter and scientist.

#16 Edited by TDK_1997 (13668 posts) - - Show Bio

His detective skills are on par and maybe even better than Sherlock Homes'.

#17 Edited by Ghost_Knight (32 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce is definitely superior even without all the high tech from what I've seen of his deductive feats. But I could see Bruce acknowledging Holmes as his better in this area if they were both lived in the same universe & era.

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

Bruce is definitely superior even without all the high tech from what I've seen of his deductive feats. But I could see Bruce acknowledging Holmes as his better in this area if they were both lived in the same universe & era.

Not definitely. He might be superior in knowledge, but I think he is only equal Holmes in pure deductive skills. If you read any Holmes stories, and then you read something like The Long Halloween, you realize Holmes is uniquely brilliant.

#19 Edited by End_Boss (725 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say that, in their respective universes, they're about on par. Remove your sentimental attachment to the characters and really think about it. Sherlock Holmes was the greatest detective of the past, Bruce Wayne is the greatest detective of the present.

#20 Edited by MuyJingo (1348 posts) - - Show Bio

Part of how Sherlock was able to do what he did so well, was his crazy amount of knowledge. He was able to recognize different types of dirt from different parts of london, recognize different chemical substances, all back in the time when computers and technology were not able to do so.

Batman can do all of that and more...he has a greater amount of knowledge, and has a greater advantage (although not reliance on) due to technology. I've always considered Batman the modern successor to Sherlock.

Also, the BBC show is terrible. When they say things like "I could tell he was a software engineer by the type of tie he wore" it's pure fail.

#21 Posted by RustyRoy (9193 posts) - - Show Bio

Holmes is a far more realistic character than Batman so while Holmes has limitations, Batman has none, so I'd say Batman's a better detective.

But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a better writer than any comic book writer so Holmes deductions are far more interesting to read than Batman's.

#22 Edited by novi_homines (1321 posts) - - Show Bio
#23 Edited by RustyRoy (9193 posts) - - Show Bio
#24 Edited by novi_homines (1321 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy said:

@novi_homines said:

@consolemaster001 said:

Definintely not.

Wait, are you saying he's skills are better than Holmes or worse?

Definitely not on par with holmes. In terms of deduction.

#25 Posted by RustyRoy (9193 posts) - - Show Bio
#26 Edited by novi_homines (1321 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy said:

@novi_homines: An why is that?

Holmes is unmatched in terms of deduction. Batman is a great detective, alot of which is supported by the technology and resources he has. Holmes on the other hand, has core deduction skills that allow him to be successful without any of these resources. This however, is my opinion. I grew up reading alot of holmes stories. The way he gets to conclusions are mind blowing. He simply can't be matched in that regard. Have you read some of his stories? You really should, they're fantastic.

#27 Posted by SOG7dc (6713 posts) - - Show Bio

Just finished watching the TV miniseries "Sherlock" the other day (loved it), and it made me wonder - as Batman is often referred to as the world's greatest detective, does his intellect work in the same way as Sherlock Holmes or is he more dependent on his knowledge and technological data to gather information? Because I've never thought of Batman as the type of hero who can look at a dead body and know exactly what happened to the victim by observing the tiniest details, I've always thought of him more like the type of detective that uses great knowledge in many fields to solve puzzles and crimes. Or does Batman in fact possess that kind of observation skills? I'm not disputing Batman's intellect, because everyone knows Batman is a damn resourceful man, I just can't recall ever seeing him tell a person's life story just by looking at him/her or display such deduction skills as Sherlock Holmes uses (anyone who has seen the series or movies will know what I mean). Anyone got scans or examples of Batman displaying such deduction skills? I certainly wouldn't mind if Batman does have such skills, it would only make him even more awesome :-)

those movies are incredible. I like RDJ better as Sherlock than as ironman

#28 Posted by pretur22 (61 posts) - - Show Bio
#29 Edited by MasterDetective (676 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman and Sherlock do have brilliant minds, but I'd say Sherlock is the better detective. Batman sometimes relies on technology and Advanced sciences to cack a case, while Sherlock Holmes could mostly rely on observation and deduction since he lived duing the 19th/20th Centuy. Also,

In terms of knowledge though, both Batman and Sherlock have leart a lot of things, so it may be a draw

But to answer your question, Batman did use the same kind of investigation as Sherlock in some comics

#30 Edited by Stormyboltz (5 posts) - - Show Bio
@novi_homines said:

@rustyroy said:

@novi_homines: An why is that?

Holmes is unmatched in terms of deduction. Batman is a great detective, alot of which is supported by the technology and resources he has. Holmes on the other hand, has core deduction skills that allow him to be successful without any of these resources. This however, is my opinion. I grew up reading alot of holmes stories. The way he gets to conclusions are mind blowing. He simply can't be matched in that regard. Have you read some of his stories? You really should, they're fantastic.

Batman uses tech and expertise because his caliber of detective work is higher than Holmes is. For example in a recent issue of Justice League he was able to deduce that Amazo was repairing himself with nanites by looking at him, even Superman was baffled how he knew that. If you threw Holmes in DCU he wouldn't be able to get by solely on his deductive ability.

I do believe that Doyle's Holmes from the novels and short stories has a slight edge in deductive work. You can even make the argument that Sherlock Holmes is a more effective detective for his time than Batman is in DC comparing ratios.

Batman and DC have pretty much admitted that Sherlock is the true king of the detectives. But in terms of who's the better detective, Batman's own comparable deductive ability in combination with his expertise in most area's of science makes him a formidable and effective detective overall, but Sherlock is still the king in deductive ability and reasoning.

In terms of deductive ability and reasoning skills. I rank them like this

Doyle Sherlock Holmes

Adrian Monk

Bruce Wayne

Batman and Sherlock do have brilliant minds, but I'd say Sherlock is the better detective. Batman sometimes relies on technology and Advanced sciences to cack a case, while Sherlock Holmes could mostly rely on observation and deduction since he lived duing the 19th/20th Centuy. Also,

In terms of knowledge though, both Batman and Sherlock have leart a lot of things, so it may be a draw

But to answer your question, Batman did use the same kind of investigation as Sherlock in some comics

Same as above, the caliber of work Bruce does ei Amazo's nanites are above Holmes payscale, I agree that Holmes has a more deductive, reasonable mind but Bruce would of solved most if not all of Holme's cases, if you threw Holmes in DCU Without any tech or expertise he'd be stumped on a majority of the cases Bruce works on.

#31 Posted by ULTRAstarkiller (4915 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman RIP…Batman was crazy in there Detective skills and prep.

#32 Posted by MuyJingo (1348 posts) - - Show Bio

They are the same. Batman is better because he is more exaggerated..having more knowledge, several PhDs etc...

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