While I love writing every edition of this monthly feature, this one has me beyond thrilled. It's DC's most famous street level hero against Master Splinter's iconic students. If the younger me knew I'd one day have the opportunity to write about this, I think my head would have probably exploded.
Batman has decades upon decades of showings which support why he's such a formidable street level character. Thanks to those countless issues, we're able to speculate fairly accurately about how'd he operate in a fight. We all know the basics when it comes to the Caped Crusader: the impressive gear, the incredibly talented hand-to-hand abilities and the brilliant mindset. IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, though? They don't have the same luxury. We've seen plenty to help get a decent read on them, but when it comes to their limitations and some important specifics there's a lot left to speculation. Because of this, I reached out IDW to get some cement answers on key questions I had about the group. TMNT artist and writer Mateus Santolouco was kind enough to provide his thoughts and I can now determine a winner with total confidence.
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 takes the most victories in this scenario if it played out 10 times. Additionally, it's worth noting that this segment is treating all pre-New 52 Batman feats as canon (New Earth, of course).
Will numbers prevail or will Batman school them? Read on to find out!
There's no doubt in my mind that the Turtles are damn good. Each trains excessively with their weapon of choice -- initially under a strict routine with Splinter, and now with Leo as they move across the rooftops. Despite years of training, they are not considered "masters" with their respective weapons, and, as seen in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #21, they've still got a lot to learn. Splinter totally toyed with them and whooped them all over the city -- and I do mean whooped.
What's especially interesting is Mateus told me that he places Splinter on basically the same level of Batman, too. So, if Splinter can utterly humiliate them when his goal is to prove a point and not keep them down for the count, imagine what'll happen when a determined Batman wants to knock their lights out? As for Shredder, he has also proven to be more than enough for the Turtles. They were only able to overcome thanks to his arrogance and eventually realizing they need to work together. Against Splinter, they were too frustrated to apparently reach that conclusion -- and that's something which will be discussed in a section below.
Edge: Batman, but the Turtles deserve respect.
We all know what the Turtles are bringing to the table with this one. They each rock their weapons quite well, and while I love Mikey and Donny, it's Leo's blades and Raph's sais that'll play the biggest role if weapons connect. Additionally, the Turtles use shurikens from time to time. This is a weapon Batman is perfectly capable of deflecting or dodging, but one could potentially slip under the radar while he's outnumbered, too.
Regardless, this variety of melee weapons and ninja stars just don't compare to the technology at Batman's disposal. Basic batarangs won't accomplish anything more than a momentary diversion, but he's also sporting plenty of options that can hugely hinder the Turtles. Gas, electric, smoke, cryo, incendiary... and that's just covering the basics. Simply put: he has way more options at his disposal and, if used properly, each of them (generic batarangs aside) can serve as a big game changer.
Edge: Batman, though nothing is cooler than Donny wielding his bo staff.
Leo's been a solid leader, but they're still young and by no means tactical geniuses. Also, while they do have some shining moments of teamwork, their ability to work as a fluid team isn't consistent and they aren't bringing any big tactical advantages to the table in their methods. The latest ongoing issue proved that Raph's still a hothead and doesn't think twice about disobeying Leo and jumping head first into a fight... even if he's clearly outmatched. Donny's a genius when it comes to prep time, but in a random encounter? That big brain won't do much in this scenario. Numbers should warrant an edge, but when the group doesn't act as a team most of the time, it'll only lead to a quicker downfall. The longer this match goes on, the more potential they have to work together like they did against Shredder. However, I don't think it's likely Batman will give them that kind of time. Wayne of course won't go for the kill, but seeing as he's outnumbered, there's no reason to believe he won't aim to swiftly knock out or incapacitate his targets to even the odds and, in turn, reduce the potential of getting smacked in the back. And seeing as he's outnumbered, it's logical to believe he'll utilize some of his gear in quite a few of the encounters, too.
Edge: Definitely Batman.
This was one of the key questions I had for Mateus. We've seen the Turtles display impressive running speed (as noted by the Neutrinos) and their reflexes are solid enough to deflect arrows and lasers with their weapons. While these are totally praiseworthy, I couldn't help but wonder how the Turtles would technically be classified. Peak human? Enhanced? Superhuman? Mateus informs me that thanks to the mutation the Turtles are in fact low-level superman, therefore making them slightly above Wayne when it comes to physicals. Yes, Batman has better strength and endurance feats at the moment, but the Turtles appear to have him edged out on speed and reflexes. Plus, their shells grants additional durability. Seeing as Batman is peak human and the Turtles are being classified as low-level superhuman, I of course have to give this one to the four brothers.
Edge: TMNT finally takes an edge (although not a large one). Huzzah!
The Turtles do have a numbers advantage and could eventually turn the tide thanks to this, but Splinter (and Shredder) proved they don't hold their own very well against a character who has mastered numerous styles. And Batman? He's kind of mastered 127 different forms, so the Turtles are about to enter a world of hurt. Last time I checked, that certainly qualifies as knowing a lot. It's fun to speculate that numbers will overcome skill, but the latest issue of the ongoing series simply proves otherwise. Perhaps if this was made a year or two from now it would go down differently, seeing as the Turtles are about to undergo far more intense and varied training. But this isn't being made a year from now -- it's being made now, and the current Turtles just don't have the moves to compete with Bruce.
Winner: Batman takes 7-8/10. It's a massively entertaining fight and the Turtles give it their all, but Batman's ample skill advantage and game changing equipment should win the day.
I absolutely favor Batman in this one, but what does fellow Comic Vine staff writer Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring think about this battle?
"Yeah, the Ninja Turtles are super-cool and all, and this is a 4-on-1 battle, but there's no way they can beat Batman. Sure, the Turtles have a lot of training, but they're turtles, and turtles are cold blooded creatures. Batman already knows this, and he's already prepared to lower the temperature in order to slow their movements and beat them down with their own weapons. On top of that, Batman is well aware that turtles love eating celery and lettuce. Also, turtles look really cute eating it."
There you have it, folks. We agree that Batman clearly takes the victory (though Mat thinks Batman wins in a far more adorable method). What do you think, Viners? Speak your mind in the comments section below!
Want more Batman battles?
- vs. Daredevil
- vs. Gambit
- vs. Wolverine
- vs. Captain America
- vs. Black Panther
- Official Discussion Thread for the segment (use this thread for future match suggestions!)
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.