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Battle of the Week RESULTS: Robin vs. Raphael

Does Batman's son have what it takes to bring down the popular Ninja Turtle? And the winner is...

In one corner, we have Damian Wayne, the son of the Dark Knight. In the other, we have Raphael, the hotheaded hero in a half shell. Both are young and highly dangerous combatants. Robin may only be 10 years-old, but that hasn't stopped him from humiliating countless goons and his training -- both with the League of Assassins and his father -- has made him a formidable hero. Raphael may lose his temper from time to time, but the mutant's physicals are impressive and he's one tough turtle. Who wins when these two clash, though?

For this match, we placed them 100 feet apart in a city setting at night. They both had one simple objective: Defeat the other character. The community has been discussing the possibilities and voting since Wednesday. How much of a factor do their personalities play in the fight? Is one more skilled? How important are physicals and gear? The poll is now closed and, according to the voters, Raphael wins!

Raphael by Ross Campbell; Damian image taken from RED ROBIN #14.
Raphael by Ross Campbell; Damian image taken from RED ROBIN #14.

Robin gave the IDW hero a good amount of trouble and made sure it wasn't an easily earned victory. The race was close for quite some time, but in the end, Raphael earned 53% of the votes and Robin received 40%. 7% of voters thought this fight is just too close to call and they think the two characters have an equally good shot at winning the fight.

So, why did the community give Raphael the victory? While we can't say for certain whether the mutant has the edge in hand-to-hand skill (it's worth noting this version hasn't trained as long as his brothers have) and it's safe to assume he won't go all out because, you know, he's fighting a child, Raphael's durability, strength, and speed played a big role in the battle. Damian may get more hits in and his gear (and taunts) may make things tough for the Ninja Turtle, but Raph's above human attributes will allow him to take plenty of hits and then land some vicious ones of his own. He's not going to put his sai in the kid, but that won't stop him from using blunt force or finding other ways to put his signature weapons to use (e.g. using them to deflect projectiles or pin Damian's cape to the floor). Damian may be arrogant, but his gifted mind can't be overlooked and those abrasive comments could really begin to mess with Raph's head. The longer this fight goes on, the more it shifts in his favor as he realizes he'll need to rely on hit and run tactics and make proper use of his gear. However, a majority of the voters think Raph will be able to make the little dude see stars before he can start applying some game changing tactics. Now, let's see what the community had to say about this match!


It's close, but I think that this fight goes to Raphael. He trumps Robin on physical stats (though I feel as though some people may be exaggerating his capabilities) and is at least on par with his skill, if not better. Robin is better equipped and likely smarter and a better tactician, but people are discounting some of Raph's gear. He's been shown to carry shuriken and other throwing weapons, making the separation they start at less of a factor. Can Raph hit Robin? Probably not. But, he can put enough pressure on him to close the distance, where he can hit him.

Both characters are used to fighting as a team, but both also have experience at lone combat particularly given that this is IDW Raphael who was separated from his brothers for a considerable amount of time in the beginning. I feel, in general, Damian fights lower-tier foes in terms of skill, while Raph is more used to fighting higher level combatants. Where Raph is fighting the Foot, Damian's beating up simple thugs, the likes of which the Foot have been shown to be able to stomp. This doesn't diminish Damian's capabilities, but it does make Raph more used to tougher foes.

So, as I said, Raphael takes this fight, but not easily. He'd probably start off going easy on Damian until the kid did something to prove that he shouldn't and then it would devolve into something of a brawl with Damian liking trying to break contact and Raphael doggedly pursuing.

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Robin vs. Raphael. Were it any OTHER Robin, I would back my man Raph any day. Raphael is not so much as a superhero but a warrior and unlike the more namby pamby Robins such as Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, or Steph Brown; he has and is far more willing to kill. And he has the physical skills to do so as well.

Jason Todd has the killer mojo working for him, but he seems to rely more on technology like guns and explosives to do his dirty work and I feel that Raph would be able to overcome him when it got down to hand-to-hand combat.

On the other hand, Damian is far more violent and brutal than Grayson, Drake, or Brown and trumps Todd in skill and cunning. But can he overcome a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Particularly the Master of the Sais and Sarcasm? I think that he has a better than decent chance.

I do think that this is a great match-up with similar skills and ruthlessness in both characters! For myself, I have always felt that in many of these match-ups; people seem to underestimate that some characters are always a bit more vicious, a bit more willing to go the extra mile which compensates for say a lack of raw power or skill as unlike their opponent, the more ruthless individual would be more willing to go for a more lethal or aggressive blow.

Were another TMNT facing Damien like Michelangelo or Donatello; I feel that they would underestimate him too much and would be annihilated before they could recover. Leonardo is iffy, but I think his sense of honor would be his downfall as Damian would take advantage of it.

Physically, I think Raphael dominates. He's stronger and has the reach advantage. Speed, I'm not sure which would be superior but I'm betting they're close. Finally, durability is something up in the air. The Turtles seem to be at least bulletproof on their shells and Damian is doubtless wearing some sort of kevlar and body armor; but as far as impact or knife proof? I think Damian's armor probably falls short there.

Next comes to skills. Again, they come close. Both were trained from childhood in combat. I think were it come down it; Raphael would exceed Damian in certain aspects in ninjitsu where Damian would be better and more broadly trained in a wider variety of skills like parachuting, deep sea diving, etc.; Damian would also be trained in a wider variety of hand-to-hand combat skills than Raph. Damian is trained on how to negate his disadvantages of size and proportionate strength and has gone up against metahumans to boot. I think that in this case; Raphael's physical superiority and experience would ultimately prove triumphant where it come down to a case of pure skill.

However, I think that Raphael has a number of disadvantages that Damian does not. First off, Raphael's weapons of choice; the sai are rather range limited unless he throws them. Then he's unarmed, so it's a last-ditch sort of tactic.

Damian has a utility belt and is armed with a number of throwing projectiles and weapons so he has a distance advantage. Next off, due to the fact that Raph tends to stay mostly underground in the sewers and stuff; I'm assuming that he is not as well equipped or knowledgeable about the environment above ground. Damian strikes me as the sort who is quite willing to hotwire a car and run his opponent down if he could do so; likewise he might turn a car into a firebomb.

Finally and most damning of all is Raphael's temper. He is the sort to lose his cool in the middle of battle particularly if egged on by Damian who will exploit this to the fullest. Against perhaps the most cunning and most vicious Robin of them all along with his skills? I'm afraid that Raphael is Turtle Soup.


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I feel pretty comfortable saying Raphael will win an H2H fight. I see his stats as being somewhat superhuman. Someone earlier described them as being about (classic) Deathstroke level, and I think that's about right. Maybe a 1 tonner, with agility that is very impressive but isn't necessarily anything that hasn't been matched by very agile humans like Daredevil or Captain America. I think his durability is where he really has an advantage. I don't buy that he can't be hurt by human strikes, but he can certainly tank hits that are superhuman, so Damian would really have to work to hurt him. Damian's only real shot is his tech. And this is where the battle gets difficult to decide.

They're 100 feet apart. They could go stealth-mode right away, and both of them would be pretty good at it. But would they actually do that? They both see an odd opponent. A turtle and a kid. I'm not sure, given their mutual impatience, that they wouldn't just rush in anyway. Damian could throw some bombs/gas/etc at him, but he's kind of arrogant, he may just try to take him on in H2H right off the bat. In which case he'll find he's at a disadvantage.

So Damian may break off at that point and try to get some distance and go for his tech then. He is a pretty strategic guy when necessary, and definitely smarter than Raphael. But by then it may be too late. Raph has fought a lot of opponents with tech before, so he has the chance to dodge it and or just deal with the hits. Damian could certainly eke out some wins at this point but I think Raph will probably take a reasonable majority.

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I think this would be a really cool fight to see but I give the edge to Damian. Raph has a temper (Damian does too but usually doesn't let that effect his combat skills) and Damian has superior tech. With the starting distance being as large as it is for this fight, I imagine that Damian would frustrate Raph into sloppiness and without Leo to rein him in, he would get overtaken by Damian's superior combat strategy and tech. This would be really close but I'd give it to my favorite Robin 6 out of 10 times.

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The main reason this is a good fight, is Raphael is NOT going to go full bore on a kid. He'll slowly ramp up, but he'll never go all out. That is something that could cost him. The only thing that makes Raph unique against the various metas and mutants that Damian has fought is the combination of his physicals with his skill. Now while Raph isn't as skilled a fighter as Leo, he is as good a fighter because he makes up for it with a focused rage coupled with greater physicality.

Now neither's tactics are unique to the other. Damian and Raph are both ninjas, and a majority of Damian's gear from batarangs to smoke bombs are nothing special to Raph and nothing he hasn't encountered from skilled superhuman ninjas. Now before someone says the whole "Damian fodderizes ninjas" thing, Raph does too...but none of the named characters in the TMNT-verse are jobbers. There are no Killer Crocs or Man-Bats. All are legit threats, and capable fighters from Karai to Alopex to Shredder. While Damian is stealthier than Raph, Raph's own stealth is commendable.

Gear obviously is an advantage to Damian, and if he quickly goes to something like sleeping gas an argument could be made from him ending the fight quickly. As stated above though, I don't see most of Damian's gear being too much more than a fleeting distraction.

Physicals obviously go to Raph, but Damian does have commendable and even comparable speed to the superhuman turtle.

Mindset is important here because both have flaws. Damian is prone to ego and taunting, which can cost him the fight, and Raph can be prone to fits of rage making him sloppy (although he's gotten better at focusing that rage, it stills happens occasionally). But then there's the factor of Damian being a kid, which buys him time during the fight to take Raph out before he really turns up the volume against Damian some and actually goes for a win and not just avoiding hurting the kid.

It's closer than it would seem, but I'd give Raph 6-7/10 in an interesting mix of ninja tactics and furious fisticuffs.

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Please guys, Raphael is NOT on Spiderman's level, that's ridiculous. And as for this being a mismatch, I'm actually very tempted to vote too close to call for the first time.

There's little to no speed difference, Raph obviously has the strength and durability edge (but the durability advantage is not as much as some people think) and I would say Damian should have a slight skill advantage. Throw in Damian's tech and definite tactical superiority and you've got a very close fight on your hands.

I don't think stealth will come in to play much considering how hot-headed and insulting they both are in a fight so the gaps going to be closed pretty quickly with Damian realizing during the fight that he's going to need to use some tech to make up for the strength advantage.

Without Leo or Donny to give direction, Raph is gonna be constantly trying to bring the fight in close and probably just dodging gear that gets thrown without trying to counter it tactically. This works fine for batarangs, and smoke grenades won't really affect him, but a flashbang or knock out grenade at the right time could be enough to give Damian a winning opening. Obviously he won't get caught out often by these projectiles, it's nothing he hasn't deal with before and for the 1 or 2 wins this might bring Damian, Raphael's strength and size would make up for it.

So I can't think what would separate the two enough for one of them to claim a majority. Too close to call. Great match.

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That's it for the latest Battle of the Week. Who would you like to see Robin fight? Share your ideas for opponents below or via Twitter. Don't forget to check the homepage Monday to see who Damian will fight next! Spoiler alert: it'll be a good one.