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14 Times Batman Got the Crap Kicked Out of Him

Updated May 25, 2020 4.1k votes 775 voters 54.2k views14 items

List RulesVote up the characters who managed the impossible and beat the Caped Crusader in a fight.

It's been said that, given enough time to prepare, Batman can beat just about anyone at anything. However, Batman doesn't always have that much time for planning, meaning there are plenty of times when he's lost a fight. That’s not to say Batman isn't the smartest, richest, and most careful superhero out there - sometimes he just gets outclassed. Most of the examples of him getting badly beaten usually come down to one thing: he didn’t know what he was up against. Maybe he was facing off against a new villain, or the threat was in the shadows, or he simply didn’t know enough about a threat, and the lack of information was bad enough for him to lose.

But Batman is no stranger to learning from failure. His entire life is based on the idea that he remade himself after suffering the worst loss a child possibly can. A defeat to him is nothing more than a learning experience, which he uses to come back smarter, stronger, and faster than before. A villain - or sometimes an ally - may get the best Batman once, but it rarely happens twice. Unless, of course, you’re the Joker.

Keep reading below to see 14 times when Batman found himself on the losing end of a fight. 

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  • Prometheus Beats Batman at His Own Game
    Photo: DC Comics

    So, the concept behind Prometheus is that he’s essentially a Batman gone wrong: Instead of parents killed by criminals, his were killed by police. Thus, Prometheus trains to take on all that upholds justice in the world. He also possesses similar training, intelligence, and wealth as Bruce Wayne. Using those qualities, he enters the Justice League’s Watchtower and proceeds to tear the entire place apart. He takes everyone out, including Batman. How is this possible? He’s wearing a helmet that grants him the skills of the greatest martial artists in the world, of course. 

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  • The Riddler Learns Batman's True Identity
    Photo: DC Comics

    The Hush arc was full of memorable twists, turns, and appearances from just about every villain in Batman's rogue gallery. The Joker, Clayface, Harvey Dent, Poison Ivy, and more managed to disrupt Bruce Wayne’s life in increasingly personal ways. It became clear, very quickly, that someone knew Bruce’s secret identity... the question just became who? It turns out it was the Riddler, who figures out the truth and decides to have a little fun. The Riddler wins a minor victory here, but Batman re-gains the upper hand when he observes that the Riddler can't do anything with the information if he wants the fun and games to continue. 

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  • Harley Quinn Sets the Perfect Trap for the Bat
    Photo: DC Comics

    In an episode of Batman: The Animated Series named “Mad Love,” Harley Quinn lures Batman into a false sense of security by pretending she's reformed. She offers to give the Joker up in exchange for protection, which is an offer too good for Batman to pass up. It’s a trap, of course, and Quinn manages to snare Batman in the seemingly inescapable water tank, complete with piranhas. She nearly kills him too, but the Joker shows up and frees Batman. Why? The Joker just can't deal with the idea of anyone else beating his arch nemesis. Batman adds to the fire when he tells the Joker that Quinn came closer than he ever did. 

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  • Poison Ivy Makes Batman Fight Superman
    Photo: DC Comics

    One of Batman's greatest allies (and sometimes foes) is Superman. He's fast, smart, and pretty much invincible, which makes him quite a formidable opponent. Thanks to Poison Ivy, Batman faces off against Superman in the Hush comic series. She takes control of Superman's mind and forces Superman to "kill" Batman. They duke it out and Superman gains the upper hand. Batman realizes Superman is subconsciously resisting Poison Ivy's control and manages to win the fight by using a variety of tools, including a kryptonite ring Superman entrusted him with. Before that happens, Superman nearly ionizes both Batman and Catwoman in a very close call. 

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