Rodrigo, co-host of the Major Spoilers Podcast (and dance machine to all the ladies) is a pretty perceptive feller, and something he said the other day and/or a couple of years ago has stuck with me throughout the last years of comics:  Superheroes don’t fight villains anymore as much as they fight one another.  Sometimes they shake things up, like in ‘Siege,’ where the other superheroes were actually villains in disguise, but the heroes of the Four Justice Avengers Of The Galaxy Legion often end up in conflict with themselves as much as with any ne’er-do-wells or nefarious nudniks.  The problem with having two protagonists clash, however, is in having one of them lose (ala Captain America after the superhero Civil War), a process which can be problematic for the fans and the characters.  This train of though led me to wonder who might be the most believable person to take down Captain America WITHOUT the power of editorial fiat, and since our E-I-C has repeatedly stated that ‘Everything Is Better With Batman,’ the whole shmageggi begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) isn’t trying to do this out of spite, but instead a sense of curiosity, asking: What non-super-powered character from any universe or time-period would you choose to defeat Batman in combat?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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27 Comments

  1. Kirby
    September 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm — Reply

    Karate Kid, the one problem I have with the Mutants & Masterminds game is it gives Batman a higher fight stat. Karate Kid is on team where Superboy ranks below Mon-El, Ultra Boy, Supergirl, and arguably Wildfire, and he well holds his own. So when you’re stacked up against that, you can take down a man dressed like a flying rat.

  2. September 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    My first thought was ooohh, Usagi Yojimbo, but then I couldn’t remember if there was magic and stuff that he used (and he’s a rabbit). Then the second thought was Chuck, but the Intersect could be construed as a super power. So I finally settled on Judge Dredd. (I’ve only seen the Stallone movie so that version). Batman would be all like “Look at me I’m dark and mysterious and doing back alley vigilante justice.” And Dredd would shoot/beat him down all the while saying “I am the law.”

    • Rob
      September 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm — Reply

      They did in fact do exactly this in the Judge Dredd vs Batman crossovers, check them out it’s hilarious.

      • Hirimno
        September 16, 2013 at 12:11 am — Reply

        now I’m going to have to find this.

    • September 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm — Reply

      Personally, I wouldn’t consider Miyamoto Usagi’s skills to be a power any more than I would consider Batman’s deductive reasoning to be a power. Sure, there is a bit of mysticism in his skills much like there is in many fictional renditions of a samurai, but I think for all intents and purposes he’s pretty much just a skilled samurai who happens to be an anthro rabbit with no real “super powers”.

      But that is just my interpretation.

  3. SnowWolfNW
    September 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm — Reply

    Shang-Chi. The problem with Val Armorr/Karate Kid is that he HAS a super power… though it’s specificity is muddled by reboots and authors who can’t be bothered to follow backstory. Shang is a human with phenomenal martial arts skills and yet has taken down super-humans. Batman is top-notch, but I think Shang is the better fighter and one-on-one tactician.

  4. Mark
    September 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm — Reply

    Sherlock Holmes would be the only real pick
    Hell it’s elementary
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17CLlZuiBkQ

  5. September 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    Former Kogi Kaishakunin of the Tokugawa Shogunite, Ogami Itto master of the suio-ryu.

    • Gary
      September 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm — Reply

      heck yeah

  6. September 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm — Reply

    Chi blockers from the Korra era. Fight ninja with ninja?

  7. September 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm — Reply

    Worf, Son of Mogh.

  8. Dragonqueen
    September 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm — Reply

    Jim Gordon or Alfred Pennyworth

    Because the story would be about the people involved, not the fighty-fighty

  9. Arbor Day
    September 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm — Reply

    Altaïr from Assassin’s Creed.

  10. Daniel Langsdale
    September 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm — Reply

    Groo, but entirely not on purpose.

  11. B.V.K.
    September 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm — Reply

    Brock Lesnar, he could totally do the Bane back breaker move.

  12. comicfan1974
    September 15, 2013 at 12:04 am — Reply

    The Third Doctor

  13. September 15, 2013 at 1:14 am — Reply

    Mal Reynolds. I’m not saying he’d win, but god, the sheer entertainment value.

  14. Gehrigan
    September 15, 2013 at 6:01 am — Reply

    Kane from Kung Fu – only in mistaken defense of an “innocent” from that pyschotic bat person in the shadows.

    • September 16, 2013 at 10:47 am — Reply

      Which version of Kwai Chang Caine? Old West Caine from the original series, “modern day” Caine from the made-for-TV movies or “modern day” Caine from “Kung-Fu: The Legend Continues” (that made the made-for-tv movies non-canon)? I know technically it is the same guy via reincarnation, but still…

      I could see it being any of them. They did have the episode of The Legend Continues where old west and modern day Caine swapped places, and time and reality travel seems to be commonplace in the DCU.

  15. Ricco
    September 15, 2013 at 10:46 am — Reply

    Let’s see, in the DC U only:

    – Karate kid
    – Lady Shiva
    – Casandra Cain
    – Bronze Tiger
    – Richard Dragon
    – White Canary
    – Connor Hawke
    – Wildcat (Ted Grant)

    Anyone one of those could beat him in a fight, fair or otherwise.

  16. bob
    September 15, 2013 at 11:21 am — Reply

    I got to go with the Karate Kid Val Armorr!

  17. September 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    Arthur, from The Tick.

    Because it would be the most epically embarrassing smackdown of Batman I can think of, and he really needs it, because I’m sick and tired of the endless fanboy “Oh, Batman could beat anyone, even Superman, because he’s sooooo smart and prepared” BS.

    • September 16, 2013 at 10:52 am — Reply

      That would be the greatest crossover in the history of ever.

  18. The Kindly One
    September 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm — Reply

    Hrmmm I’d say one of these
    DC: Jonah Hex
    Marvel: Flash Thompson
    TMNT: Casey Jones
    Americana: John Henry

  19. Oldcomicfan
    September 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    Jim Gordon. One of the most chilling episodes of Batman the animated series was the one where Batgirl was killed by falling onto Jim Gordon’s car, and Gordon takes down the whole bat-clan in revenge, revealing that he knew who Bats was all along. Sure, it turned out to be a dream sequence in the end, but that episode literally gave me chills!

  20. SnowWolfNW
    September 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    … or… Thomas Blake: Catman is an Olympic-level athlete and skilled hand-to-hand combatant, able to hold his own against some of the most proficient beings and fighters in the DC universe, including Bronze Tiger, Batman, and an actual lion. Catman has claimed several times, both in his early appearances and modern ones, that his cape is mystical and able to restore mortal wounds.

  21. Dave
    October 14, 2013 at 3:51 am — Reply

    I would say Ozymandias from Watchmen. The guy is basically a walking plot mechanic, and is on par with or better than Batman in all the skills that make him a great superhero. Super-intelligent, genius-level tactician, expert martial artist and always thinks several levels before everyone else, not to mention he outwitted and defeated (at least temporarily) a person who is basically omnipotent and omniscient.

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