Is there a ranking of DC martial artists out there?

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#1 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio

Who is top ten?   
 
I say Batman, Lady Shiva and Richard Dragon are top three, with no clear champion.  Then Cassandra Cain, Cain, Bronze Tiger, Dick Grayson, Ras al Ghul, Catwoman and Bane.  

#2 Posted by nightwing91 (3877 posts) - - Show Bio

karate kid is number one with pure skill he can battle  kryptonians 
 
sensei,dragon, shiva,cassandra cai n, bruce wayne, bronze tiger, connoor hawke, dick grayson, 
 
some of these they order are interchangable, sensei was complately destroying bruce in hand to hand

#3 Posted by Video_Martian (5562 posts) - - Show Bio
@nightwing91 said:
"karate kid is number one with pure skill he can battle  kryptonians  sensei,dragon, shiva,cassandra cai n, bruce wayne, bronze tiger, connoor hawke, dick grayson,  some of these they order are interchangable, sensei was complately destroying bruce in hand to hand "

I agree to this =P
#4 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont count Karate Kid.  Anyway Bruce outfought him once.  

#5 Posted by nightwing91 (3877 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz: karate kid is a human but bruce  has never out fought him, he beat  him with assistance from black lightning deffinantly not outfighting. 
 
and the number one fighter isn't karate kid it's batman 1 million whos masted every martial art in the 853rd century, and has telepathic martial arts, not from powers but skill.
#6 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know why people don't count Val.He doesn't have any powers.He's technically a regular human like any other DC martial artist.He's #1 as ar as I can tell.I would put Dragon above Shiva if I'm not mistaken he HAS beaten her.I would put Cass Cain above her as well because she's also beaten Shiva.I don't know what the Sensei's actual level is but like was stated earlier he has fought Bruce h2h and almost killed him.Bruce had to outsmart him to win and he didn't really beat him h2h.He kind of made him hurt himself.I think Wonder Woman deserves to be mentioned among these fighters..to be honest I think she's better than Grayson.It's too hard to really give a definite top 10 I think DC purposely keeps you from knowing.I also think that some characters are on the same level of skill so you would just be choosing who you like more by placing one about the other.

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#7 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

It's Batman 1,000,000. 
 
God I hope we never see him.

#8 Posted by Maniac2312 (920 posts) - - Show Bio

No Conner Hawk?  I've seen some scans that showed him giving Shiva a good battle and her mentioning his skill.

#9 Posted by nightwing91 (3877 posts) - - Show Bio
@Maniac2312: connor was in my list, he did fight shiva, and he defended himself against batgirl asweel. And he also wrestled a dinosaur.
#10 Posted by Maniac2312 (920 posts) - - Show Bio
@nightwing91: oop, my bad, would you believe I actually DID read that? 
 
lol......errrm......
#11 Posted by saiyan_earthling (5497 posts) - - Show Bio

Putting Karate Kid, Batman 1 million and Wonder Woman, since they're inhumanly strong and skilled:
 

  1. Richard Dragon
  2. Lady Shiva
  3. Bronze Tiger
  4. Cassandra Cain
  5. Bruce Wayne
  6. Constantine Drakon
  7. Connor Hawke
  8. David Cain
  9. Deathstroke
  10. White Canary
#12 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@saiyan_earthling said:
" Putting Karate Kid, Batman 1 million and Wonder Woman, since they're inhumanly strong and skilled:
 
  1. Richard Dragon
  2. Lady Shiva
  3. Bronze Tiger
  4. Cassandra Cain
  5. Bruce Wayne
  6. Constantine Drakon
  7. Connor Hawke
  8. David Cain
  9. Deathstroke
  10. White Canary
"
How is BT better than Cassandra Cain? Also how is David Cain better than Deathstroke or even on the list for that matter? There are many better fighters than David Cain
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#13 Posted by saiyan_earthling (5497 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro: I can't take the full credit for the ranking I put in, because that ranking belonged to Ryonslaught, who made the Martial Arts Masters - DC list. Go to his profile and look at it, or you can click the link down below.
 http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/ryonslaught/martial-arts-masters-dc/75-11484/
#14 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (84704 posts) - - Show Bio

Post Crisis Richard Dragon hasnt shown me anything that would suggest he is better then Shiva, Conner, Cass, Batman, or even Black and White Canary to be honest (but if there are examples out there I would love to see them cause I'm a fan of the character). Pre-Crisis Dragon I dont recall ever actually beating Shiva. She was tricked into believing he killed her sister but they soon teamed up for the rest of the original run. I believe it even states (Pre-Crisis) that Shiva is his equal or match. I'll look for the scan. 
 
Prometheus Chad ranked Shiva as the third best fighter in the World in Birds of Prey, and Batman stated that because of Conner's excellent showing against Shiva, that he would now be the unofficially ranked number two martial artist in another issue, meaning Shiva was number one. All of this means nothing though as most of the top level martial artists are inner changeable (Karate Kid being the exception. He's easily the number one MA fighter with or without a ranking). Also just to add, Batman beat Karate Kid when he was already dying from disease. I believe in that same issue Superman has Batman ranked....fifth? I cant remember. I may have that scan as well.

#15 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler said:
" Post Crisis Richard Dragon hasnt shown me anything that would suggest he is better then Shiva, Conner, Cass, Batman, or even Black and White Canary to be honest (but if there are examples out there I would love to see them cause I'm a fan of the character). Pre-Crisis Dragon I dont recall ever actually beating Shiva. She was tricked into believing he killed her sister but they soon teamed up for the rest of the original run. I believe it even states (Pre-Crisis) that Shiva is his equal or match. I'll look for the scan.   Prometheus Chad ranked Shiva as the third best fighter in the World in Birds of Prey, and Batman stated that because of Conner's excellent showing against Shiva, that he would now be the unofficially ranked number two martial artist in another issue, meaning Shiva was number one. All of this means nothing though as most of the top level martial artists are inner changeable (Karate Kid being the exception. He's easily the number one MA fighter with or without a ranking). Also just to add, Batman beat Karate Kid when he was already dying from disease. I believe in that same issue Superman has Batman ranked....fifth? I cant remember. I may have that scan as well. "
I recall a fight between Shiva and Dragon where he already had her beaten but he was distracted and she capitalized on it and ended up winning.
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#16 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (84704 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro: Isnt that the one from his mini series? The one that destroyed his entire history and was later discarded by the writers of 52?
#17 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler said:
" @Vance Astro: Isnt that the one from his mini series? The one that destroyed his entire history and was later discarded by the writers of 52? "
I believe it is.
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#18 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (84704 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro said:
" @Gambler said:
" @Vance Astro: Isnt that the one from his mini series? The one that destroyed his entire history and was later discarded by the writers of 52? "
I believe it is. "
Yeah that is no longer canon I guess. I use to think it was but its been reconted in two separate story arcs since then. (Question Blackest Night and 52). Their Pre-Crisis meeting has been reconted on Shiva's side as well.
#19 Edited by entropy_aegis (15434 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman one million 
Karate kid  
Anyone with prometheus helmet 
Sensei
Richard dragon 
Lady shiva 
Cassandra cain 
Batman 
Bronze tiger 
Black canary 
Connor hawke 
Deathstroke 
Bane 
Dick grayson (he's been on the roll as batman,stalemating a perfect bruce clone and will fight sensei.)
 
Wonder woman,orion and darkseid have shown really good skills as well,but their levels are too much to get an accurate description of their skills. 
There are numerous others like king snake,white canary,david cain,o-sensei,cheshire,dragon,armless master,legless master ,wildcat,katana and Ra's al ghul and many more .these would follow the ones mentioned above,some like king snake were even reputed  to be on par with shiva.
#20 Posted by Outside_85 (10233 posts) - - Show Bio

Was under the impression that Cassandra Cain was the ultimate martial artist in DC (but that might just be 'DC today'), but here goes for my top; 
 
Cassandra Cain 
Lady Shiva 
Bruce Wayne 
Sensei 
White Canary 
Black Canary 
David Cain (he's supposedly top notch, but I have only seen him a few times in a fight vs normal people) 
 
Those above are those i consider the top as they are all sufficiently human as martial arts are what they all rely on. People like Deathstroke and Promethius i disqualify due to them either being artificially enchanced (like DS relying heavilly on his enhanced reflexes) by drugs or mechanics that arent a part of them, Dinah slips through here since the Canary Cry seems to be a rarity she only uses on things she cant beat otherwise and sometimes not even then. 
Also i disqualify Karate Kid and Batman 1.000.000 here since they supposedly knows every martial arts there is in their timelines, meaning stuff noone on Earth has ever encountered. Besides the feat of fighting Kal is kinda void because KK cant really harm them (if he really has let me know and I will stand corrected).
The rest I either dont know enough about to properly rank, use weapons or dont know at all.

#21 Edited by nightwing91 (3877 posts) - - Show Bio
@Outside_85: sensei is above bruce, he had blinded and almost killed him in under a minute, bruce  has to outthink him to win. 
 
@saiyan_earthling: and im not sure constatine drakon counts since he is most likely a metahuman and all
#22 Posted by Outside_85 (10233 posts) - - Show Bio
@nightwing91:
well, isnt that part of being 'skilled'? meaning you can actually think while you fight rather than mindlessly trading punches?
#23 Edited by nightwing91 (3877 posts) - - Show Bio
@Outside_85: Sensei could he set about blinding Bruce, and paralyzing him. He most likely didn't think bruce would resort to throwing him and himself in the fountain, cause he probably assumed Bruce couldn't survive it. Sensei isn't a mindless brawler, read the resurecction of Ra's Al Ghul, if you want a good showing of his skill level.
#24 Posted by Sukislide (52 posts) - - Show Bio

Basically most of the best martial artists come from the Batman comics.  So people like Batman, Nightwing, Lady Shiva, Red Robin (Tim Drake), Cassandra Cain, Huntress, Ra al Ghul and David Cain are in top ranks of fighters.  There are others that should recognized like Richard Dragon, Conner Hawke, Black Canary, Bronze Tiger, Karate Kid, Prometheus and Sensei.
#25 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler said:
" @Vance Astro said:
" @Gambler said:
" @Vance Astro: Isnt that the one from his mini series? The one that destroyed his entire history and was later discarded by the writers of 52? "
I believe it is. "
Yeah that is no longer canon I guess. I use to think it was but its been reconted in two separate story arcs since then. (Question Blackest Night and 52). Their Pre-Crisis meeting has been reconted on Shiva's side as well. "
I am aware that it has been retconned I just assumed they had the same skills as before though or even more than before.
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#26 Edited by DEGRAAF (7911 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok, i've worked off and on most of the day today on this list and think it has to be pretty close to being in order...  
 
Best of all Time.....
Batman one million
_surpassing the Karate Kid in fighting, and memorizing every fighting style ever created on Earth and dozens of other planets, this Batman creates his own style with both Physical and Mental attacks, having mastered over 1,000 of them. 
    
Karate kid_he is master of every form of martial arts to have been developed up to the 30th Century. The computer in the Fortress of Solitude has him ranked as a class 15 whereas Batman is only ranked as a class 12.  
 
Best of the present DC Non-Super humans 

Sensei_master martial artist and cunning leader.  He has been able to beat and wound Batman with relative ease, but due to his age he has incredibly poor endurance and grew tired in only a few minutes. 
   
Lady shiva_Trained by various unnamed masters and seneis'; Trained Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, created a training plan for Batman. Considered the best matrial artist in the world. Shiva is one of only three people to master the "Leopard Blow"       
 
White Canary_Trained by Si Fu Haung, said to be as good as Shiva, killed the brothers Twelve.
 
O-Sensei; Trained Batman, Wonder Woman, Bruce Lee, Richard Dragon, Ben Turner (Bronze Tiger) 
 
Connor hawke_Trained by Master Jansen. He has been documented as one of the greatest fighters in the world. He can see a fighting style and mimic it and can even fight blind. He has gone up against both Lady Shiva and Richard Dragon and held his own. Considered the second best martial artist in the world. Equal in skill to R. Dragon.
 
Bruce Wayne_Trained by O-Sensei, Richard Dragon, Lady Shiva (sorta), Ra's Al Ghul; Trained Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Barbara gordon, Huntress. Batman has been said to know every martial art known to man, 127 that are deadly. Batman has also mastered all weapons known to man, and even guns. Bruce is one of only three people to master the "Leopard Blow"  
 
Ra's Al Ghul 

Richard dragon
_Trained by O-Sensei; Trained Batman, Dick Grayson, Huntress, Oracle, Lady Shiva, Kitty Kumbata, Wam  Wam, Hwa Rang, Tengu
 
Black Canary_ Trained by the same master as Shiva and is considered one of the seven best fighters in the DC Universe
   
Cassandra cain_Trained by David Cain, Bronze Tiger, Merlyn the archer, Alpha the Kung fu expert, Batman, Oracle among others.      

Bronze tiger_Trained by O-Sensei
 
Dick Grayson_Trained By Batman, Richard Dragon, Deathstroke, among others; Trained Ravager, Damien. Dick is a master martial artist mastering dozens of fighting styles. Dick was trained for years by Batman and then had further training from Richard Dragon. Dick is considered one of the best hand to hand fighters on earth. He has made his own style of fighting to play to his strengths.
 
Jason Todd_Trained by Batman, Lady Shiva, among others. he is shown to have studied half-a dozen fighting styles and has proved to be a master of  Aikido, Capoeira, Judo, Savate, Kickboxing, and Tae Kwan Doe. With these skills he maintains his place as one of DC's top martial artists 
 
Tim Drake_Trained by Batman, Nightwing, Rahul Lama, Lady Shiva defeating the likes of Lady Shiva, King Snake, Ravager, Electrocutioner, Batgirl, his future self [Batman] twice, and countless street thugs/henchmen.  He is not in the same league as his adopted brother, Nightwing, but has proven to be a skilled acrobat. Tim is one of only three people to master the "Leopard Blow" the other people are Tim's fighting masters Batman and Lady Shiva. 
       
Damian Wayne_Trained by Batman, Dick Grayson, League of assassin's 
 
 
 
And Vandel Savage shout fit in there some where i would guess too

#27 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio

 

 


 
#28 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
"



"
Don't leave me hanging! Why did he switch to the left?
#29 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCrowbar:
Wouldnt that ruin  the suspense for everyonme else?  The answer basically is though that although Karate Kid was winning the battle against Bruce, he was losing the war.  Karate Kid could probably beat Batman in a straight up fight, as long as Batman didnt trick him into walking in front of a moving garbage truck (or in this case turning his back on Black Lightning)
#30 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

On a side note: HAS EVERYONE BEEN TO THE BATCAVE WTF

#31 Edited by mrtrickster (2297 posts) - - Show Bio

why people think batman one million is a better martial artist than karate kid? what makes batman 1 mil so ubber is his tech, he has never been in a pure h2h fight . while KK has demonstrated for us great martial art skills in battles and writer's implication

#32 Posted by teen justice (2 posts) - - Show Bio
@entropy_aegis:
i agree
#33 Posted by Supreme Marvel (11268 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
"



"
KK was infected by a virus that eventually killed him.
#34 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio
@Supreme Marvel:
No way Batman is as low as 13.  Also Black Canary shouldnt be as high as she is super powered.  In terms of pure martial arts ability Wonder Woman would belong on the list, buts its not fair to put her there.  and while #1 and #2 might be correct, I meant in the present not from the future.  If Canary was depowered she would be top 20 for sure, but never ahead of Bruce. 
#35 Posted by Supreme Marvel (11268 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
" @Supreme Marvel: No way Batman is as low as 13.  Also Black Canary shouldnt be as high as she is super powered.  In terms of pure martial arts ability Wonder Woman would belong on the list, buts its not fair to put her there.  and while #1 and #2 might be correct, I meant in the present not from the future.  If Canary was depowered she would be top 20 for sure, but never ahead of Bruce.  "
I don't know WW's fighting ability, since I don't read much of her comics. I believe Canary is better in martial arts than Bruce. If you direct me to a comic of WW displaying martial arts abilities. I'd gladly read it.
 
And the list I showed is from my list on my profile. I just inserted it.
#36 Edited by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@Supreme Marvel said:

" @RazzaTazz said:

" @Supreme Marvel: No way Batman is as low as 13.  Also Black Canary shouldnt be as high as she is super powered.  In terms of pure martial arts ability Wonder Woman would belong on the list, buts its not fair to put her there.  and while #1 and #2 might be correct, I meant in the present not from the future.  If Canary was depowered she would be top 20 for sure, but never ahead of Bruce.  "
I don't know WW's fighting ability, since I don't read much of her comics. I believe Canary is better in martial arts than Bruce. If you direct me to a comic of WW displaying martial arts abilities. I'd gladly read it.  And the list I showed is from my list on my profile. I just inserted it. "
Black Canary isn't a better martial artist than Bruce,he knows more styles and he has far better showings.The same applies to Conner Hawke..everyone puts him above Batman for holding his own with Shiva but Batman has far better showings against Shiva than Conner does and better showings overall.Conner's best feats are from fights he lost or stalemated...
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#37 Posted by Stronger (4948 posts) - - Show Bio

Karate Kid

Sensei

Bronze Tiger

Batman

Cassandra Cain

Dick Grayson

Deathstroke

Lady Shiva

Red Robin

Ras Al Ghul

#38 Edited by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

... You guys do realize that there is an arc where there is a huge fight with a whole bunch of martial artists right? And just about every time Shiva shows up she drops clues of who is where or who was where because she keeps a list of the to 10 fighters on earth and checks and corrects it.

If i remember off the top of my head...

Shiva

Black Canary

Connor Hawke

and King Snake is on that list

Cassandra having beat Shiva is obviously on the list as well.

White Canary posing problems for Black Canary and being said to be equal to Shiva must also be

Karate Kid and any future person is not on the list either and I don't consider them counting personally...

None of the rest of the Bat Family is on that list... The list is straight up fighters, not assassins or anything like that. Tim has defeated Shiva and King Snake but it was through other ways.

Some of you may wonder if Batman isn't on the list how can he stand up to the top people? That's simple. Think about any olympic sport out there. Records are set in the millionths of a second We're talking hairline difference in fighting prowess. Also it should be noted that Bruce, Tim, and Dick don't fight to "win" they fight to survive. That is a hugely different thing. A novice can tie a master. It's not an amazing feat and you see it all the time.

#39 Edited by fodigg (6136 posts) - - Show Bio

This is probably best to be done in "tiers" instead of ranking individually. And when performing this exercise, it should be noted that at this level of skill (counting all tiers together) anyone could beat anyone depending on how the fight goes (or what the plot requires):

Tier 0 (hypothetical perfection):

Tier 1 (effectively superpowered):

Tier 2 (competitive at the highest levels):

#40 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@fodigg said:

This is probably best to be done in "tiers" instead of ranking individually. And when performing this exercise, it should be noted that at this level anyone could beat anyone depending on how the fight goes (or what the plot requires):

Tier 0 (hypothetical perfection):

Tier 1 (effectively superpowered):

Tier 2 (competitive at the highest levels):

Fairly well done tier list.I think Batman should be on the same level as Cassandra Cain,Shiva,Conner and especially King Snake.
Moderator
#41 Edited by fodigg (6136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Vance Astro:

I could see that. I don't think having him on a lower tier means he wouldn't necessarily kick the hell out of any of those people though. He's has so much more rounded of a skill set.

Edit: also, I totally forgot about Wildcat. I'd put him in tier 2 although i wouldn't bother with a (superpowers) note even though he technically has them.

#42 Posted by Vance Astro (91403 posts) - - Show Bio
@fodigg said:

@Vance Astro:

I could see that. I don't think having him on a lower tier means he wouldn't necessarily kick the hell out of any of those people though. He's has so much more rounded of a skill set.

Edit: also, I totally forgot about Wildcat. I'd put him in tier 2 although i wouldn't bother with a (superpowers) note even though he technically has them.

I don't know what his powers are besides the 9 lives thing. I thought he was just a guy in a Cat costume that could fight well.
Moderator
#43 Posted by fodigg (6136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Vance Astro: Yeah, that's what I meant. It's technically a superpower but it has no affect on his fighting ability at all.

#44 Edited by entropy_aegis (15434 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay my new and improved list for HAND TO HAND

Not including characters like Prometheus,Karate Kid and Batman one million.

Characters based on feats and consistency.

1)Saar the Ageless one

2)Sensei

3)Cassandra Cain

4)Lady Shiva

5)Batman

6)Connor Hawke

7)Silver Monkey

8)Bronze Tiger

9) Wrath(both)

10)Bane

11)Kobra

12)Black Canary

13)King Snake

14)Deathstroke

15)Dick Grayson

16)Jean Paul Valley

17)Constantine Drakon

18)Kg Beast

19)Jason Todd

20)Ra's al Ghul

Characters based on hyperbole,limited or inconsistent feats(in the range between Batman and Bronze Tiger)

1)David Cain

2)White Canary

3)Azrael(Micheal Lane)

4)Tommy Jagger

5) Archer Braun

Unsure of where to place Katana,Judomasters',I-Ching,O-Sensei and Richard Dragon.

#45 Posted by Saren (25056 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis: Where's Midnighter? :P

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#46 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

@CitizenBane said:

@entropy_aegis: Where's Midnighter? :P

Did you check the 19 cent bin?

#47 Posted by Saren (25056 posts) - - Show Bio

@MrMiracle77 said:

@CitizenBane said:

@entropy_aegis: Where's Midnighter? :P

Did you check the 19 cent bin?

....what?

Moderator
#48 Posted by Dernman (15635 posts) - - Show Bio
@MrMiracle77 said:

@CitizenBane said:

@entropy_aegis: Where's Midnighter? :P

Did you check the 19 cent bin?

lol
#49 Posted by cbishop (7411 posts) - - Show Bio

I will be repeating some stuff, and I apologize to anyone past page one, as I only read the first page. However... I don't count Karate Kid, because he's in the 31st century, but way back pre-COIE, he had a series set in the 20th century. In that publishing time, it was stated that the only person who could give him a good fight was Superboy, and that was only because he was invulnerable and could move at super speed. He knows martial arts from other worlds, and to me, that just makes him too powerful to consider. In Brotherhood of the Fist, Conner Hawke fought Shiva to a standstill, and Batman told him lots would be after him, now that he had taken the #2 slot of martial artists. Within a year or so, Cassandra Cain beat Shiva outright, which made Shiva #2 and Conner #3. Problems with that: Richard Dragon can go toe-to-toe with Shiva. There was a guy in one of the first Birds of Prey titles that could block Shiva's moves, because he could read her mind and block the coming move. Huntress beat that guy by clearing her mind, but that makes her a good strategist, not necessarily a better fighter. The guy died in a fire by the end of the storyline. Last problem with that: Shiva desperately wants to fight Batman, but Batman won't fight her, because she wants to fight to the death. He can hold her off in a non-lethal fight, so I confidently say that if he went lethal, Batman could beat Shiva. And let's face it: he's Batman - he's *going* to be #1, when it comes down to it. Black Canary's skill has improved significantly, as she was being groomed to be the next Shiva, as was Sin. Another child was taken to be groomed as the next Shiva, so she's out there somewhere. I don't count Deathstroke, because his skills are enhanced by the DC equivalent of the super soldier serum. BUT, Green Arrow did the training that allowed him to go toe-to-toe with Deathstroke, and...well, he didn't beat him, he trapped him. Again, this is strategy, not out-and-out fighting prowess. Bane is utterly rejected as a contender for top fighter. He was never a good fighter, even in Knightfall - strategy was always his strong point, although that seems to have gone away over the years. He didn't break Bruce's back by fighting prowess. He wore Bruce down by siccing every loonie in the asylum on him, and then beat a weakened, tired Bruce. Jean-Paul, standing in as Batman, beat Bane almost too easily. I *would* count Jean-Paul, as his skills are still skills, even if they're ingrained hypnotically. Writers seem to focus on his schizo nature more than his fighting prowess though, and he's since been replaced by a less wishy washy character (or did they go back to Jean-Paul?). Either way, I think Azrael should have stayed a villain. Nightwing has significant skill, but at best, I'd count him #7 or 8. The Montoya Question was trained by the Sage Question (as was the Huntress, in an earlier story) and Sage was trained by Richard Dragon, so where does that put them, exactly? The Bronze Tiger was supposed to be a tough mo-fo at one point, but the 80's Suicide Squad seems to have squashed that with some moral conflict in his character - I've never really been clear on it. In any case, he doesn't seem to really rank anymore. Bottom line, in pure, earth-based martial arts skill, I think Bruce Wayne is always going to be the ambiguous #1. Shiva will always be the #1 martial arts villain (although Sensei operates from the shadows, and is written infinitely more dangerous, when he appears). The slots are always going to rotate according to the story and the needs of the writers. It's fun to rank them and try to figure it out, but you will drive yourself crazy if you ever expect there to be a firm ranking. There will always be challengers to the crown, and there will always be new, bigger, badder threats introduced to keep readers interested. The fact that Batman is always #1, so utterly unbeatable, almost makes him boring. He is desperately in need of his Moriarity - both a mental and physical challenge to his own skills - and that stopped being the Joker years and years ago. Sun Tzu was introduced in a video game as foil to Batman, and I keep waiting for him to appear in the comics, as I think he could be a fresh vibe for Bats. We'll see.

#50 Posted by cbishop (7411 posts) - - Show Bio

I apologize for the super long paragraph. The older browser I'm using has caused CV to give me a simple text box to type in, that squashes all my paragraphs into one long block of writing. Sorry.

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