The Comic Vine community has declared a winner after a week of voting and debate, but first -- if you don't mind -- I'd like to share my thoughts on the match. And if you do mind, you can always scroll past my section, yes? Anyway, this has been a battle that has been heavily demanded for quite some time now and understandably so. Sure, Taskmaster acts like a total jobber from time to time, but he also has some very impressive showings and his skillset makes him incredibly dangerous in a random encounter. That said, do I think Wayne will beatdown Taskmaster or will the Marvel mercenary defeat the Caped Crusader?
Taskmaster is a dude who has the means to beat Batman in a random encounter. He's sporting the skill of some of the deadliest and most versatile characters in his universe, has relatively generic yet effective weapons and has superb accuracy. His pain tolerance and strength may not be up there with Bruce's, but he's damn fast and has solid reflexes -- yes, that's without his double-speed, too. The guy has danced around Venom with ease and even swatted away bullets with a chain. He's had the skill to humiliate the likes Cat and has given Captain America very commendable fights. On paper, the guy has most certainly what it takes to surprise Bruce in a random encounter and take a slight edge. It's pretty much a clear cut case of a villain who would defeat Batman in the first encounter, but Batman would surely take a rematch. But then we have to take into account the fact they're in character, and Taskmaster doesn't exactly have the best history when it comes to how he acts in combat.
When you're facing a tactical genius, it's not really the smartest idea to babble about your ability and show off. This is unfortunately something Taskmaster is unaware of and has been seen doing on more than a few occasions. If he does so, it would absolutely lead to his downfall against such a skilled detective and adaptable hand-to-hand fighter with so many devices on him. Now, there's obviously no guarantee Taskmaster will act this way every time in a random encounter, but based on his history, I think it's fair to say this will be a big factor more often than not.
"Why does it matter if he brags and explains about his talents? He's still got the skill of Cap, Bullseye, Elektra and more!" Well, like I said above, Batman is one of the most tactical characters in the DC universe and absolutely among the most skilled. After all, we even saw him recognize and act accordingly when it came to utilizing all kinds of different styles during an encounter with Wrath. Simply put: he has the means to cope with a majority of whatever Taskmaster throws his way. A pure melee contest between the two would take ages and one clean connect with Taskmater's blade can turn the tide, but Batman is by no means limited to unarmed and melee weapons here, is he? Given Batman's own formidable degree of skill, brilliant mind, array of equipment and Taskmaster's own history against characters around Batman's level (i.e. Captain America, Daredevil), Wayne outsmarting Tasky just seems too likely to me. Additionally, when fighting someone with such a wide knowledge of hand-to-hand techniques, it's fair to assume Taskmaster would prolong the battle to observe his enemy and pick up as many new moves as possible. Again, this would be unwise and continue to reduce his chances of victory against Batman.
Overall, Taskmaster certainly has what it takes to bring down the Dark Knight in a random encounter, but I think his personality will lead to his downfall as the fight progresses and unfortunately for him, that's something which tends to pop up and simply cannot be overlooked. Throw in Batman's gifted mind, wide variety of styles to implement and a healthy variety of equipment and I have to give Batman the slight edge after a VERY good fight.
Gregg's Verdict: Batman 6/10
But who cares what I think? What about the Comic Vine community? Well, it turns out they agree with me. And if you're going to scream "POPULARITY CONTEST," perhaps you should instead double your efforts in the poll thread next time. Drop scans, make compelling arguments, lure in more voters, etc. There's obviously no denying that popularity will always play some kind of role in polls, but you do indeed have the power to make a difference.
Comic Vine's Verdict: Batman wins with a decent edge. Here's the poll results:
- Batman: 52%
- Taskmaster: 40%
- Too close to call: 7%
Viner Argument in favor of Batman is by god_spawn
"I honestly think Batman wins. Why? Well, a few simple factors, but I'll start with why Taskmaster could potentially beat him. The primary reason is skill. Taskmaster is easily a top tier competitor with plenty of tricks in his bag. When you get away from the stupid things like not beating Deadpool since, well those fights were terrible, and being afraid of Moon Knight (I just find these stupid but we can argue that mess later), he's done his fair share of feats. He's stalemated Captain America twice, has fought Daredevil a few times (I'll get to why he lost later), he's beaten up Black Widow and Headsman with his hands chained, and he's held his own against both Captain Americas in the form of Steve and Bucky at once by himself. He's hit the likes of Spider-Man using a ricochet cane using Bullseye's aiming ability. He's knocked down giant Skrull Pym, Stature, and Antman like characters using a single shield throw and ricochet ability and then proceeded to knock them out via nerve cluster shots to the neck, demonstrating a knowledge of some pressure points. They were not looking, however, it was still an impressive feat, IMO. You add into this his equipment, it's sort of versatile, not Batman versatile, but it's simple yet effective. Between his sword, shield, bow, and baton. Add in a few trick arrows as well and he can fight on a few ranges. Add in Taskmaster's ability to pick up on fighting styles and even predict some, he is going to give Bats one helluva fight.
We all know Bruce's skill and stats. Punching through bazooka proof glass. Blocking bullets with his gauntlets. Dodging machine gunfire. Knowing 127 different martial arts. He knows 400+ ways to incapacitate someone without spilling blood. He's proven to be one of DC's top tiers. Add in his extremely versatile bag of tricks from different batarangs, sonics, cryopellets, flashbangs, different types of gases, etc.
So I see Bruce walking away from this because of one major factor: Taskmaster's ego is huuuuuge. He's lost to Daredevil twice because of it. He should have bested Moon Knight, but he got cocky, I would however, disregard the part about him being scared of Moon Knight. That part just doesn't sit right with me, but he still has ran away from some fights before, regardless. You see, Taskmaster goes into a lot of fights thinking he has them in the bag. Just because he can predict styles and has all of this skill he walks around like he is the best, but all of this has never made him untouchable when it comes to other top tier martial artists. And Bruce does have his own style to him so Tasky might enjoy taking some of his moves and that could hinder him like it has before. Bruce is the exact opposite. Bruce is proficient and precise. So while I honestly might give Taskmaster the edge in skill, I do see Bruce's skill being perfectly capable of facing Taskmaster and with the terrain being a city (perfect for the Dark Knight) and his mindset and versatility in his equipment will end up carrying him to a slim majority of 6/10. If this were a serious Taskmaster though, I'd probably say the inverse, but for now I say the Bats takes it."
Also, we have a special guest chiming in!
Fred Van Lente, writer of TASKMASTER
"Depending on how you wanted your story to play out, I could see either scenario working plausibly. Since Batman's superpower seems to be that he's got the foresight and planning ability of a 1990s movie serial killer, one way he could win would be that he's always had a fighting style he's kept hidden from the news cameras, so he's able to spring something totally unexpected on Taskmaster when he least expects it.
On the other hand, Taskmaster is one of the rare villains intelligent and practical enough to avoid taking on Batman unless he had no other choice. Even then, I'd hope he would avoid confronting Batman directly. He'd use one of his many weapons from a distance or send his henchmen students to wear Bruce down until Tasky thought it was safe to enter the fray.
Not that he'd be the only villain to ever try that and fail, of course "
Want more Batman battles?
- vs. Kraven (W: Kraven)
- vs. Deadpool (W: Batman)
- vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (W: Batman)
- vs. Daredevil (W: Batman)
- vs. Gambit (W: Batman)
- vs. Wolverine (W: Wolverine)
- vs. Captain America (W: Too close to call)
- vs. Black Panther (W: Black Panther)
- Official Discussion Thread for the segment (use this thread for future match suggestions!)
Psst! Here's a little something for the people who really wanted Taskmaster to win.