Comic Vine News

197 Comments

Batman Doesn't Always Win and that's Okay

No matter how much you love the Dark Knight, it's okay to admit he isn't going to always beat his enemies. He won't hate you for it. We promise.

Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, is without question one of the most intelligent and skilled combatants on his planet. He may only be a human on a world that's full of super powered titans and deadly villains, but what's he's accomplished is well beyond what any ordinary human is capable of. He has a brilliant mind, has mastered over 120 fighting styles, and, of course, has the means and intelligence required to create some awesome equipment and vehicles. No matter how absurdly powerful a character may be, they should never underestimate the Dark Knight. That said, Bruce isn't infallible and he sure as hell isn't unbeatable. And you know what? That's a good thing.

No Caption Provided

Now, before you jump to conclusions about the above image, let me give you some much-needed context. The Caped Crusader and Deathstroke just had a brutal fight and, in the next issue, Slade mentions he'll be feeling the hero's hits for awhile and would hate to fight Batman without his enhanced strength. Still, the point is that no matter how skilled, driven, and clever Batman is, he won't always be in a scenario where the odds are in his favor. Does he have what it takes to put up a good effort, though? Absolutely. But being unbeatable would be a joke and who wants one of their favorite characters to be a walking punchline? Sure, that works for a lighthearted character like Squirrel Girl, but lighthearted doesn't really come to mind when you think of Batman, does it?

We all love seeing our favorite heroes overcome impossible odds, but how do you expect him to grow as a character if he's always able to shut down a villain's plans or find a way to get the edge in every single physical struggle? It's not about who's standing when the dust settles; it's about what that encounter meant for each character and the story potential it produces. Having Batman suffer a big loss and then seeing what kind of a toll it takes on him and how he'll fix what he did wrong has so much more potential for a compelling story than having him just always topple whatever is in his way. Embracing Wayne's skill, equipment and mastery of prep time is always cheerworthy, but that's because those moments aren't frequent and, when they are presented, the creative team often goes big. Being forced to legitimately question how he'll recover and adapt after a defeat is engaging and really has the potential to showoff his strengths far more than just proving yet again he knows how to disable someone with a pressure point or can take someone out with an electric attack. You know, this is assuming the whole story is written well and his defeat isn't blatantly downplaying him.

No Caption Provided

We all want to our favorite characters to win ("my favorite character can beat up your favorite character!"), but there's a blatant difference between being a Batman fan and being a Batman fanboy/fangirl. The ability to objectively look at a character's strengths and weaknesses is important. Who wants to discuss these things with someone if it's clear there's just no reasoning with them? Batman's great and it takes a whole lot to get the better of him, but defeating him is doable and has happened countless times in his history. To think otherwise is just being... well, silly. For example, Bane purposely made sure Batman was emotionally and physically defeated before stepping in to finish the job himself. Wayne's loss there isn't downplaying him and it's most definitely not embarrassing for any Bat fans. If anything, it's showing just how far he'll go in an attempt to keep the city safe. Even after all he's endured, he still jumped at this physically superior foe and gave it his all. Also, it showed just how far Bane will go in an attempt to take control of Gotham and how much he had to do just to wear down its protector. It wasn't a fair fight by any measure, but it spoke volumes about Batman's determination, produced a great comeback for him, and made us realize Bane isn't someone we should take lightly.

"But they make him unbeatable and that's so lame!" In a world that has people shooting heat vision from their eyes, having a phenomenally well-trained, intelligent and resourceful hero isn't all that far-fetched. I mean, how many times has Punisher overcome seemingly impossible odds after he suffered an insane amount of damage? A great example of embracing Batman's potential while also recognizing his restrictions took place in Robin Rises. The Dark Knight stepped into a highly advanced armor and went on an action-packed mission on Apokolips. He knew he'd eventually encounter Darkseid and, even though there's some cool panels that make it look like Batman's doing well, Peter J. Tomasi's script made it abundantly clear that, even though Batman is wearing one of his most advanced armors, he's still nothing compared to Darkseid. He knocked the titan around a bit, but when all is said and done, Darkseid wasn't even fazed by the attacks and it all relied on Batman's planning. If the hero stayed instead of escaping when he got when he needed to, there's no doubt he would have died.

No Caption Provided

Batman gearing up and taking down insanely difficult challenges is always fun and reminds us why he's such a formidable hero. There are very few things he isn't good at, but to have him always be a step ahead of his enemies or overcome obstacles with no real trouble makes those big moments less exciting. Watching Batman -- one of the most skilled and clever heroes around -- suffer a defeat and find a way to rise above has so much more potential than seeing him always win, because it focuses on his determination and tactical mind. That's why it's great he has so many villains who can thoroughly test his mind and his body. Batman can beat a whole lot of opponents, but he doesn't always win and that's okay. Being defeated doesn't make him less cool or less impressive. Instead, it reminds us that he's just a human in a crazy world yet he has what it takes to push himself even harder so he can eventually save the day. I'd say that's far more badass than him simply always winning. Thomas Wayne said it best in Batman Begins. "And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

197 Comments

Avatar image for captainmarvel4ever
CaptainMarvel4Ever

9890

Forum Posts

1337

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

lol, I love the title of this article :)

Avatar image for longbowhunter
longbowhunter

9425

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 1

Gregg...you've opened the floodgates.

Avatar image for nigravirum1
nigravirum1

154

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Batman doesn't always win THE BATTLE, but he always wins that WAR!

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Jonny_Anonymous

45774

Forum Posts

11109

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 32

Truth

Avatar image for gracetrack
Gracetrack

4909

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Nice article, K4. Was there something in particular that prompted it?

Avatar image for deactivated-5b2e798651249
deactivated-5b2e798651249

7245

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 1

You wouldn't think so, according to the batfans.

Avatar image for madeinbangladesh
MadeinBangladesh

12493

Forum Posts

53

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 59

User Lists: 172

Edited By MadeinBangladesh

K4tzman is the best

~MiB

Avatar image for Elbarto17
PunyParker

15726

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 45

User Lists: 15

Edited By PunyParker

Filthy lies!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for bat_girl_cc
Bat_Girl_CC

6162

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

True story.

Avatar image for darling_luna
Darling_Luna

12918

Forum Posts

994

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 8

Who's Batman ?

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Jonny_Anonymous

45774

Forum Posts

11109

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 32

Avatar image for ultimatesmfan
UltimateSMfan

2377

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Don't know why but i feel like i've read this article before, maybe it was just a prophetic dream.

At the same time didn't see this coming on account of it being Aquaman month.

Avatar image for abdullahzubair
AbdullahZubair

1039

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

You really had to write that didn't you?

C,mon Batfans #AntiComicVine!!!

Just kidding don't use that!!!

Avatar image for rogueshadow
rogueshadow

29741

Forum Posts

237

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By rogueshadow  Moderator
No Caption Provided

Avatar image for owie
Owie

7382

Forum Posts

251423

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 15

User Lists: 0

There are a lot of battle threads where linking to this article will save a lot of typing :)

Someone should make a list of every time he's lost a fight. I'm not hating here, I think it would be interesting data. I did a short survey of the times Daredevil dodged versus the times he was hit over something like 30 issues, I thought it was interesting to see.

Avatar image for k4tzm4n
k4tzm4n

41820

Forum Posts

9084

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 1

Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

@abdullahzubair said:

You really had to write that didn't you?

C,mon Batfans #AntiComicVine!!!

Just kidding don't use that!!!

But it's not saying anything bad about Batman! :P

@captainmarvel4ever said:

lol, I love the title of this article :)

Thanks!

@longbowhunter said:

Gregg...you've opened the floodgates.

Have faith in your fellow Viners!

@omnicrono said:

Nice article, K4. Was there something in particular that prompted it?

Thank you. My love for Batman + my love for discussing comic book fights + the often ugly and heated conversations that I see whenever Wayne is used in a battle.

@madeinbangladesh said:

K4tzman is the best

~MiB

THANKS!

@punyparker said:

Filthy lies!!!!!!!!!

*looks at your name and your avatar*

How about this: Do you think Batman would beat Spider-Man in a random encounter? ;)

@ultimatesmfan said:

Don't know why but i feel like i've read this article before, maybe it was just a prophetic dream.

At the same time didn't see this coming on account of it being Aquaman month.

Maaaaaaaaaaybe you're thinking about the time I analyzed Superman vs. Batman? I remember it has a message along the lines of, "I don't think Batman should beat Superman, but the fact we're even discussing this shows just how impressive he is."

Avatar image for deactivated-5d3f071d30d9f
deactivated-5d3f071d30d9f

5172

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 1

I enjoy see him sufforing.

Avatar image for smart_dork_dude
Smart_Dork_Dude

3366

Forum Posts

95

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 8

I hate people who CLAIM that as long as he planned for something to happen then it's fine that he wins, no matter HOW implausible or downright IMPOSSIBLE it should be! People say SUPERMAN is boring because of his powers? Yeah how about a character who can DO ANYTHING THE PLOT DEMANDS as long as they say he "planned" it. Here's a question then.... WHY THE FRAK DOES ANYTHING IN GOTHAM HAPPEN AT ALL IF HE PLANS FOR EVERYTHING?!?!

Don't gimme excuses like Joker, I mean his OTHER villains! Riddler, Poison Ivy, Two Face, etc! How does he let THEM get so far into their plans

I don't hate Batman, I LOVE BATMAN, but I hate the Batgod misconception people have of him.

Loading Video...

Avatar image for deactivated-5c901e667a76c
deactivated-5c901e667a76c

36557

Forum Posts

10681

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Good article, but at the same time I'm not sure if it's a good thing that it needed to be made.

Avatar image for unbreakable_fs4
unBREAKable_Fs4

4348

Forum Posts

1500

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By unBREAKable_Fs4

Keep telling it like it is Gregg. We reasonable fans will shield you from the backlash :)

Avatar image for chaos911
chaos911

4166

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@k4tzm4n: didn't you use to have a series called "Does Batman Always Win?" and pitted him against different characters?

Avatar image for mak13131313
mak13131313

1601

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

Excellent article! I'm as big of a Batman fan there is and I agree with everything you said here. It's always far more interesting to see Batman pick himself up and rise above the challenge than it is to see him win easily.

Avatar image for lxlgiftedlxl
lxlGiftedlxl

2443

Forum Posts

938

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Great Article.

Avatar image for tensor
tensor

8767

Forum Posts

179

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Deathstroke was my favourite love that comic.

Avatar image for fuzzylittlerodent
FuzzyLittleRodent

2087

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

No Caption Provided

Avatar image for Elbarto17
PunyParker

15726

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 45

User Lists: 15

@k4tzm4n said:

@punyparker said:

Filthy lies!!!!!!!!!

*looks at your name and your avatar*

How about this: Do you think Batman would beat Spider-Man in a random encounter? ;)

Of course he can!
Peter will see it's Batman ,he'll geek out and surrender. :P

Avatar image for blueecho
BlueEcho

1153

Forum Posts

18017

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 92

User Lists: 13

I think that the most important thing to consider is that Batman is a fictional character, and can do whatever his writers want him to do. The "I can beat the Justice League" armour from the most recent story arc is proof of this - the character is one based on something more akin to reality but he is walking around with miniature red suns in his gloves. If people want to enjoy that kind of Batman, then let them. If they would rather have the kind that gets shot by random thugs and almost dies, then that is fine too. People get too wrapped up in continuity like anything that happened in any other comic book should have precedence over telling a good story.

The level of scrutiny put into comics is kind of absurd anyway.

Avatar image for saintwildcard
SaintWildcard

22273

Forum Posts

184

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 12

Edited By SaintWildcard

I bet Saren wishes he could lock this

Avatar image for divine_disorder
Divine_Disorder

200

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Flawed underdog Batman is the best and most compelling Batman, IMO. You have to wonder what sort of fans these fanboys/girls claim to be if they can't accept their favorite character's limitations. Is that really the only way they can love him? By elevating him to near godhood, exaggerating his abilities and having him win at everything all of the time? If that's the case, it doesn't sound like they truly love him all that much.

Avatar image for black_arrow
Black_Arrow

10310

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I find it funny that this had to be made.

Avatar image for 2cool4fun
2cool4fun

2418

Forum Posts

433

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 10

Edited By 2cool4fun
Loading Video...

The article made me think of this. Idk why.

But anyway nice read Gregg, hopefully I can send this to anyone who starts talking as if batman is a god in an argument.

Avatar image for jonny1995
jonny1995

355

Forum Posts

1260

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 5

*Starts clapping*

I love this article. I also agree that it is interesting to see Bruce Wayne get back up after an insane fight whether it's being defeated by Bane or some other villain.

Avatar image for divine_disorder
Divine_Disorder

200

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@owie said:

There are a lot of battle threads where linking to this article will save a lot of typing :)

Someone should make a list of every time he's lost a fight. I'm not hating here, I think it would be interesting data. I did a short survey of the times Daredevil dodged versus the times he was hit over something like 30 issues, I thought it was interesting to see.

Assuming the fanboys can get past the first four words in the title without completely losing their sh*t. ;D

Avatar image for jonez_
Jonez_

11500

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This entire thread is blasphemous!

As a bishop, I hereby excommunicate Katzman from the pristine Church of Chew the true based God!!!

Avatar image for sovereign91001
Sovereign91001

7483

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

*Waits for teeth gnashing replies*

Avatar image for fallschirmjager
Fallschirmjager

23432

Forum Posts

1162

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 32

User Lists: 16

lies

Avatar image for rainja
Rainja

646

Forum Posts

46

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

Katzman just committed Blasphemy against The Bat God. LOL. To question Bat God is a sin.

Avatar image for fuzzylittlerodent
FuzzyLittleRodent

2087

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

@jonez120 said:

This entire thread is blasphemous!

As a bishop, I hereby excommunicate Katzman from the pristine Church of Chew the true based God!!!

We prep all day, we prep all night

Just give me a week, and I'll win this fight

For those who doubt lord Batgod's might

Beware the power, Wenjun Chew's light!

Avatar image for micah007123
micah007123

10836

Forum Posts

237

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By micah007123

@logy5000 said:

You wouldn't think so, according to the batfans.

Avatar image for johnny_blaze
johnny_blaze

1357

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 15

Edited By johnny_blaze

Thank you Katzman, but unfortunately Batfans are too hard headed.

Avatar image for MadFacedKid
MadFacedKid

6597

Forum Posts

143

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

He kinda ran away in the fight against Darkseid which was obviously the best scenario but he also made him feel his attacks so there is that.

Avatar image for lurkero
Lurkero

507

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I think it is safe to say that Batman retreats a lot.

It still feels like he gets some unearned victories, but that's part of what makes his character cool.

Avatar image for truemarvel
TrueMarvel

578

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Spiderman can beat Batman.....

Avatar image for battle_forum_junkie
Battle_Forum_Junkie

10331

Forum Posts

8401

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 2

@darling_luna said:

Who's Batman ?

One of DC's Skyfather level characters.

Avatar image for jayc1324
jayc1324

26437

Forum Posts

815

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Nice article. But that Slade fight was decades ago, and of course he lost to Darkseid. He doesn't straight up lose that often unless it is someone like superman or flash, and even then he has beaten them. Batman and Deathstroke are fighting (according to solicits) in Deathstroke #4, so I'm very interested to see how it goes down this time.

Avatar image for john-ph
John-PH

362

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By John-PH

@truemarvel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8K1m6SCRz4

Avatar image for slade_wilson
slade_wilson

776

Forum Posts

207

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

Just want to point out that the Punisher is actually protected by the Angel of Death to carry on his war so long as he keeps killing.

I know it's from one Ennis story, but I think it's a great explanation.

Avatar image for superguy1591
Superguy1591

7539

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

You hate Batman.

Avatar image for abdullahzubair
AbdullahZubair

1039

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@k4tzm4n: I was talking about the title.It was just a lame joke so let it die.

I'll call you when I come up with a new one(Sigh, another lame joke)