Place your bets because it's time for the hero from Hell's Kitchen to throwdown with Gotham City's protector. We all know Bruce Wayne's resources and brilliant mind makes him a more than formidable character when throwing down against a character he knows, but what if he bumps into someone he has no knowledge of and what if he isn't in Gotham to utilize his resources? That's exactly the point of this monthly segment -- to analyze how The Dark Knight would fare in a random encounter against a character from a different universe. This month, we're having Batman bump into the Man Without Fear: Daredevil.
To make sure the segment is neutral, the matches will always be a random encounter (this means neither has knowledge on the other or prep time) and in a generic, unpopulated city setting at night (NOT Gotham). They'll start roughly 50 feet apart, have their standard gear and they will be in character. Naturally, they have the objective to defeat the other character. Just like over in the Battles Forums, the winner will be declared based on who I think will take the most victories in this scenario if it played out 10 times with these settings. Additionally, it's worth noting that this segment is treating all Pre-New 52 Batman feats as canon (New Earth, of course).
Will Daredevil's agility and reflexes lead him to victory... or will Batman take the win? Read on to find out what I think!
Both of these characters have the skill to humiliate a staggering amount of humans in real life. That said, one clearly has more knowledge than the other. Daredevil underwent intense training and has a unique style which draws from boxing, ninjitsu, judo and much more. It's an incredibly effective method, allowing him to hang with (to some degree) talented characters such as Iron Fist, Punisher, Captain America and Taskmaster. Additionally, he has an advanced knowledge on pressure points. This precise set of attacks has reduced Hammerhead to tears, and allowed him to take down powerhouses like Absorbing Man and Mr. Hyde. He might not be a master of every style, but decades of comics with his encounters have proven that his mesh of various styles absolutely works.
While Daredevil has gone toe-to-toe with some of the best Marvel has to offer, I personally do not believe he has what it takes to win a firm majority over some of the more fordmiable characters listed above. In this case, Daredevil is now going against one of the best from the DC universe. Now, Batman clearly isn't the best in hand-to-hand in his world, but the man is a master of 127 different forms and, just like Daredevil, has decades of encounters proving why he's one of the best. It's fair to say Batman knows pretty much everything Murdock does and then some. Batman has more knowledge in this regard, and while both have hugely impressive feats (Matt giving Danny a good fight, Bruce hanging with Lady Shiva), I'm giving Wayne the edge in this regard due to a wealthier amount of knowledge and moves at his disposal. That said, it's by no means a landslide in this regard -- not at all, in fact. I firmly believe Matt absolutely has what it takes to give Bruce an excellent hand-to-hand encounter, just not take the victory most of the time.
This boils down to Batman's gear versus Daredevil's radar. As always discussed in this segment, Batman's gear is a ginormous factor. While smoke pellets and batarangs would prove ineffective here, just about everything else can be a game changer if it connects. Electric attacks, cyro pellets, gas... all of these can hinder Murdock and leave him open for a solid strike to the noggin. Although, what could spell particularly big trouble for Marvel's hero is if Batman decides to utilize a sonic device. As you likely know, that's a key weakness for Murdock and using that could drop Matt's defense and then it's game over, man! Game over!
Yes, Batman's cowl and belt is packing tons of tech, but Daredevil's radar is a key factor as well. Not only will it allow him to see through smoke or dance around batarangs with ease, it'll let him keep track of the Dark Knight -- and that's huge if Wayne tries to focus on stealth. As for why Murdock can evade batarangs with ease, it's because his radar has enhanced his senses and the guy has become a regular bullet timer. Not only can he dance around gunfire, he's also swatted away bullets on numerous occasions. His superb agility and reflexes compliment his fighting style very well, making him a tough combatant for almost any street leveler. However, the variety at Batman's disposal is something that cannot be overlooked, especially when one option can almost immediately shutdown the match.
Look, I think we can be blunt with this one. Matt's certainly an intelligent dude and he's definitely done some out of the box tactics with his enemies (distracting Bullseye with a decoy in DD #181, for example), but he's simply not Bruce's equal when it comes to being a tactician or raw intellect. Batman's often considered the world's greatest detective for a reason, folks.
While I don't acknowledge most crossovers as canon (unless otherwise stated, of course), it is worth noting that after some observation, Batman was able to detect that Daredevil's other senses are heightened base on subtle head movements and his flaring nostrils. Now, I'm not saying that'll happen every time or even most of the time, but in the event the Detective can find that out, it's safe to say he'll test the theory out with a sonic to end their little bout. Both are absolutely smart fighters, but I can say without any reservation that Batman takes it here.
People tend to underrate The Man Without Fear's physicals because he's outclassed by Captain America in this regard (who is enhanced human, as stated by Brubaker). However, the agile hero is no slouch in this regard. He's swung around a 400 lbs barbell like a bo-staff and even tipped over an occupied limo.
While Batman has superior strength feats (like temporarily holding up a 1,000 lbs wall) and even endurance feats (see 'Knightfall'), it is Daredevil's reflexes which make me inclined to give him the nod in this regard. As stated above in Equipment/Powers, Daredevil's radar means his reflexes are fast enough to block and even deflect bullets. He's done this on plenty of occasions and often at the very last second. This, in combination with his topnotch agility, means I'm cool with giving him a small nod here. Yes, Batman does indeed have him bested in raw strength and endurance (not to mention he has peak human agility/reflexes, too), but it is DD's reflexes that greatly benefit his combat capabilities, after all.
If you've been reading along in the feature, then my answer should be pretty obvious by now. While Daredevil is undoubtedly skilled and could maybe take advantage with a solid ricochet billy club toss or two, I can say with complete confidence that Batman should take a majority in this scenario. It'll be a hand-to-hand brawl worth paying to see, but at the end of the day, Batman is more indeed skilled and has more weaponry at his disposal to turn the tide. In the end, I think Batman wins via knockout 8/10. The Dark Knight takes a heavy majority, but Daredevil definitely goes down swinging and makes it quite entertaining.
Want more Batman battles?
- vs. Gambit
- vs. Wolverine
- vs. Captain America
- vs. Black Panther
- Official Discussion Thread for the segment
Daredevil was selected due to overwhelming demand to see the character used in this segment. Next month, though, I'm going to be selfish and use a character (or characters) I've wanted to include for quite some time. In the meantime, what do you think of this one? Do you agree or disagree with the outcome? Speak your mind below!
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Google+ and Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.