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Which Version Of The Batman Would Win In An All-Out Fight?

List Rules
Vote up the Dark Knight who would stand tall.

The old saying goes that “Batman + prep time beats anyone,” and that maxim has been proven on countless occasions over the years. But what if the “anyone” in question is another Dark Knight? Debates about who has given the best Batman performance of all time are purely subjective and impossible to nail down, but an inquiry into the strongest version of Batman relies mainly on facts and (literally) hard-hitting evidence. There is an answer out there as to which Bruce Wayne would win in an all-out fight; it’s just going to take a lot of hypothetical brawling to figure it out.

A handful of fictional individuals have worn Batman’s iconic cape and cowl, getting their own Dark Knight outfit and a new set of gadgets. But it’s those who continue to portray Batman in the real world who really define the character for each generation. Everyone’s got their favorite Batman - but only one can walk away as the winner.

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  • 1
    250 VOTES

    Batman: The Animated Character

    Strengths: Through the magic of animation, the most beloved Batman of the '90s quite literally blends into the shadows of Gotham City. Sometimes, he is the shadows. No Dark Knight is better at appearing suddenly out of nowhere, popping out of the darkness and into existence on a whim to dispense two-fisted justice. This Batman lives in a world that is quite literally built around him, and he takes full advantage of that fact to truly live up to his terrifying reputation.

    Weaknesses: Sometimes, being the star of a television show can work against you. By the very nature of episodic TV, this Batman basically has to encounter some form of difficult conflict on a weekly basis, and he can never be seen having too easy of a time with his challenges, either. Each week, the Animated Batman nearly faces defeat, and then overcomes it - but that’s a dangerous game to keep playing in the long run.

    X-Factor: In a word, breadth. Most Batmen have a wide and square set of shoulders, but this Batman has the sort of frame that can really only be achieved through an artist's imagination. If those muscles were somehow translated into the real world, they’d be mighty powerful, not to mention intimidating. 

    250 votes
  • 2
    211 VOTES

    ‘Arkham Asylum’ Batman

    Strengths: As a video game character, Arkham Asylum’s Batman has countless natural advantages. He never tires, whether he’s running around Gotham City or delivering endless combos to cookie-cutter thugs. This Batman can punch, kick, and grapple all night long, and when he gets bored of that, he’s got an arsenal of gadgets that always work exactly the way they’re supposed to, because they exist in a video game. The sheer scope and stakes of the threat that this Dark Knight faces are significantly jacked up from those of his cinematic counterparts, yet he always proves equal to the task.

    Weaknesses: The great thing about video games is the ability to instantly restart after any given failure - but how does that look from the perspective of the in-game character themselves? No Batman has perished as many times as the Arkham Asylum Batman, who generally bites it more than a hundred times before the average player completes his adventure. Never has a Dark Knight had his losses so outnumber his victories.

    X-Factor: This Batman holds a secret knowledge that only really exists in a video game world: that there’s always a way to win. In real life, there are no guarantees, but no matter how difficult a boss battle might seem, there must be some way to overcome it - otherwise, the game would be broken. That should give this Batman unlimited confidence, along with a penchant for outside-the-box thinking. 

    211 votes
  • 3
    272 VOTES

    Christian Bale’s Batman

    Strengths: No Batman performs more impressive physical feats than the one portrayed by Christian Bale. If he’s not bursting through skyscraper windows after gliding through the city on his cape or fighting off dozens of goons, he’s carrying a criminal with one hand and grappling a flying jet with the other. The sheer demonstrations of strength performed by this Batman - take bicep-curling Ra's al Ghul’s limp body as it dangled over a cliff - prove that no Dark Knight has more muscle, even if he doesn’t quite look it.

    Weaknesses: Oddly enough, for all that strength, this Batman doesn’t win a lot of his scraps. Oh sure, he beats up henchmen and ninjas just fine, but he also loses one-on-one battles to Ra's, the Joker, and - most notably - Bane, who straight-up embarrasses the Dark Knight. Coming back from a broken spine is impressive, but not getting that spine broken in the first place is better. Winning rematches is all well and good, but only if one is lucky enough to get a rematch.

    X-Factor: In addition to that physical prowess, this Batman also arguably has the greatest arsenal of technology. He’s got the coolest Batmobile, which conveniently transforms into a Batcycle whenever needed. Then there’s the Batjet, of course, capable of towing a nuclear device out to sea for safe disposal. There’s even an infrequently used bat-summoning device, which probably convinced a lot of witnesses that Batman was a supernatural being - which is certainly a positive for his reputation. 

    272 votes
  • 4
    205 VOTES

    Michael Keaton’s Batman

    Strengths: All Batmen are driven by vengeance - but this one especially so. Having the Joker directly slay Bruce Wayne’s parents gave a whole new spin to the character and helped prepare him to face some of the nastiest villains to ever grace Gotham City. That very direct core motivation gave this Dark Knight a lot of staying power, leading to feature appearances more than three decades apart. 

    Weaknesses: The Batman typically attempts to eschew personal relationships as much as possible, seeing them as a weakness and a distraction from his crusade - but not this Batman. This Batman falls hard first for Vicki Vale and then for Selina Kyle, and he allows those romances - and his very personal vendettas against the Joker and Max Shreck - to cloud his decisions. This is a Dark Knight who rarely has his head in the game.

    X-Factor: Even in the modern era, no Batman has ever been so heavily armored as the Michael Keaton version. In fact, his Batsuit was so thick and rigid that it proved basically impossible for him to turn his neck, but maybe that’s also an advantage, as it forces him to keep his entire body on a swivel during battle. 

    205 votes
  • 5
    190 VOTES

    'Battinson'

    Strengths: Robert Pattinson’s Batman is the only one to really live up to his reputation as the World’s Greatest Detective on the silver screen. While other Dark Knights spend most of their time duking it out or performing dangerous stunts, this Batman is more likely to be found solving riddles, looking for clues, and piecing together the big picture. If there’s any secret to defeating the other Batmen, expect Battinson to figure it out before any of the rest - and to ruthlessly exploit it.

    Weaknesses: For all his youthful vigor, Pattinson’s Batman is still relatively inexperienced, especially when it comes to fighting. He’s A-okay at beating down frightened teens in facepaint, but he’s very nearly beaten to death by the Riddler’s gang of incels. If not for Catwoman, the Battinson wouldn’t have made it out of his debut film alive, and that’s without ever having to face a real supervillain.

    X-Factor: There’s a lot to be said about durability. This Batman goes through an awful lot on-screen, including a crash-to-pass-style car chase and a massive electrocution that should have proven fatal. Whether it’s something in the lining of his Batsuit or just some inherent imperishability, this is a Batman that is exceptionally tough to make stay down. 

    190 votes
  • 6
    257 VOTES

    'Batfleck'

    Strengths: Intimidation is a big part of any modern Batman’s game, and Ben Affleck’s “Batfleck” is easily the most intimidating of all. Consider his hulking frame, his colorless palette, and his habit of hiding in the darkest corner of any given room. Consider the sheer brutality and viciousness with which he fights, impaling goons with his grappling hook and hurling baddies through cement walls. This is a Batman who put a very real scare into Superman - and very nearly did away with the Man of Steel before deciding otherwise. Even interdimensional demons fear the Batfleck. 

    Weaknesses: All Bruce Waynes experience great tragedy in life, but Affleck’s Wayne is a truly sad, sad man. The losses of his parents, at least one Robin, and several other allies left him a broken shell of a human being, and that only served to distract him from his purpose. This is a Batman who frequently gets lost in his own head, and that could cost him in a fight.

    X-Factor: This is the only Batman of note who is willing to use lethal force. Most Batmen don’t kill, and most don’t wield guns, but Batfleck is perfectly happy to kill people with guns. When it comes down to it, this Batman would absolutely take the life of another Batman if he thought it was necessary, and even that possibility gives him a serious edge over the non-lethal Batmen. 

    257 votes