Hello and welcome to another round of “Who Would Win”, one of the most popular categories on Fiction Horizon. Today, we’re comparing two superheroes, but from different universes – Marvel’s Captain America and DC Comics’ Batman. How would the First Avenger fare against the Dark Knight? Well, keep reading to find out!
Objectively speaking, Captain America and Batman are pretty evenly matched, but if we consider the canon comic book stories, Batman is the stronger hero among the two, as the only officially completed fight between them ended with the Dark Knight as the victor.
Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing company founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics. Timely Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics in 1961. Along with its chief rival, DC Comics, Marvel Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States. Marvel has, along with DC Comics, contributed to the development of American comics, specializing in the superhero genre. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby are just some of the pivotal writers who’ve helped shape the style and universes of Marvel Comics.
Throughout the years, Marvel has created several pivotal superhero characters and has launched successful franchises such as the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows and video games. Some of the most famous Marvel Comics heroes are Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey; but, the franchise also includes famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom and others.
DC Comics, for those of you that are not familiar with the story behind the comics, is a major American comic book publisher founded back in 1934. Along with Marcel Comics, it is the most popular comic book publisher in the United States. DC Comics is a major player in the comic book business and is the “home” of many famous comic book characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and many others.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
Batman and his powers
Batman is probably one of the most famous (if not the most famous) comic book character in history. The stories about Gotham City’s Dark Knight have been popular for decades now and have created a multimedia franchise consisting of movies, TV shows, video games and a lot of other merchandise. But, who is Batman?
Batman is the secret superhero alter ego of Bruce Wayne, a billionaire playboy based in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is the owner of Wayne Enterprises, a successful company based in Gotham City and is the heir of the Wayne estate. He lives alone in Wayne Manor, on the outskirts of Gotham, with his butler and trusted friend, Alfred Pennyworth.
Wayne’s life has been defined by a tragedy he had witnessed as a child. Namely, one night Bruce went to the movies with his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. His father decided to take a shortcut through an alley after exiting the theatre, but he did not know that an unknown mugger was standing there, waiting for his prey. The mugger attacked and ultimately killed both Thomas and Martha Wayne, but spared the life of young Bruce, who was left to the care of Alfred Pennyworth. The mystery of his parents’ murder played an important role in Bruce Wayne’s life and was a key fact in his decision to become the vigilante Batman.
Believing that criminals are “a cowardly and superstitious lot“, Bruce Wayne decided to put on Batman’s cowl, taking inspiration for the name and the design from a childhood experience with bats.
Frank Miller’s important Batman: Year One comic book depicts Batman’s beginnings as a vigilante in Gotham and since that moment, he has become a symbol of Gotham City and a name used with fear among the city’s criminals. While fighting regular villains and members of his Rogue’s Gallery, Batman has also tried to solve the murder of his parents, ultimately finding out that they were killed by a street criminal named Joe Chill.
The Batman mythos has grown with time and with it also Batman, who has evolved from a solitary vigilante to the leader of the Batman family (or Batfamily), which includes several other superheroes like Batgirl, Batwoman, former Robins Nightwing, Red Robin, Spoiler and others. Currently, Batman is aided by his son Damian Wayne (his mother is Talia al-Ghul, Ra’s al-Ghul’s daughter), who is also the fifth and incumbent Robin.
Batman has been present in other media, as well as in comic books. The first major adaptation was the 1960s camp TV show starring Adam West, after which there have been several animated adaptations. An important event was Tim Burton’s 1989 movie starring Michael Keaton, that launched a film series during the 1990s. In the same period, Paul Dini created Batman: The Animated Series where Batman was voiced by Kevin Conroy; the show gained a cult following and is generally praised as one of the best adaptations of Batman ever. Christopher Nolan revitalized the movies with his Dark Knight trilogy. Batman is currently a part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), DC’s response to the lucrative Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain America and his powers
Steve Grant Rogers is a fictional character from the Marvel Universe, better known as the first and most famous character to don the costume of Captain America.
He was born in New York to poor Irish immigrants. Before World War II, Rogers was a skinny fine arts student who wanted to become a comic book artist. When the war broke out, he wanted to join the Army, but couldn’t due to his fragile physique.
Still, he was selected for a top-secret military program, through which he was injected with the Super-Soldier serum. The serum is a success and transforms Steve Rogers into a nearly perfect human being with peak strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence.
Steve Rogers thus became Captain America, the First Avenger. Soon after his transformation, he took his friend, James “Bucky” Barnes, as a sidekick and the two of them fought together until they were hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Both are presumed dead, though it is later revealed that neither had died.
Years later, the Avengers found his frozen body and revived him, discovering that he had been frozen since 1945. He then becomes a member of the superhero organization and soon becomes its leader.
Captain America has appeared in several derivative materials related to the Marvel Universe, with the most notable being the MCU, where he is played by Chris Evans.
Have Batman and Captain America fought in the comics?
This is a very important question when considering crossover comparisons, since it is the best way so actually see how a fight between characters from two different universes would end. And while Marvel and DC Comics have had their fair share of crossovers, not all characters have had the opportunity to face off against each other. Luckily for us, Batman and Captain America have.
In 1996, DC Comics and Marvel had a big crossover event called DC versus Marvel, where they pitted some of their heroes one against each other. The winners were decided by voting and in epic #3, Batman fought Captain America in the sewers of Manhattan. The fight was very brief, but the two superheroes exchanged several punches before deciding to use their weapons.
Just as they were about to throw their respective weapons at each other, the “battlefield” began flooding with water. Captain America threw his shield at Batman but missed, while the Dark Knight’s Batarang hit its target and Cap was sent plummeting into the water.
But, being the hero he is, Batman jumped after him and ultimately saved him, which lead to Captain America ultimately admitting defeat and the two of them became allies.
A similar thing happened in a later crossover, in the comic book JLA/Avengers #2 (2003), where Captain America fought Batman. The two of them exchanged some quick blows, but soon decided to stop fighting and work together in solving the mystery of their complex crossover.
Batman vs Captain America: Who would win?
Now we’ve come to the part where we need to answer the question from the title of this article. But first – let’s analyze the powers and abilities of our two protagonists.
Batman is a regular human, but with exceptional physical abilities; as far as a regular human’s powers and abilities go, Batman’s are certainly at their peak. He has some very enhanced attributes (strength, stamina, agility), he is extremely intelligent, but his enhancements are the result of diligent training, not any chemical enhancements or superpowers. He is heavily reliant on technology and is a great engineer, inventing and designing a lot of different weapons and gadgets he uses in fights. This pretty much covers Batman’s basic powers and skills.
As for Captain America, he is a Super Soldier and is just slightly above peak human abilities. Being given the Super-Soldier serum, Steve Rogers became stronger than even the strongest of humans and that significantly increased his powers and abilities, despite him never being a superhero. He also relies heavily on hand-to-hand combat and quite often uses his famous shield for both offense and defense.
Now that we’ve covered their basic abilities, let us see how we can compare them in specific fields.
First, we’ll see how they can be compared when physical abilities are concerned.
When it comes to sheer strength and endurance, Captain America is the winner, but only slightly. Namely, Batman’s strength and endurance are, as we’ve said, at a peak human level, while Captain America’s are just slightly above that. This is a consequence of Captain America gaining his powers in an artificial manner, and the main intention of that whole operation was to create soldiers that are stronger than regular humans.
On the other hand, when it comes to speed and agility, both of them are very, very similar, with Batman gaining the upper hand because he is a better acrobat and gymnast than Captain America. The latter is a soldier, a fighter, while the former had to learn how to be unseen, which also increased his stealth abilities.
Both Batman and Captain America are great martial artists and there is no clear winner here, despite Batman knowing more arts than Captain America. Batman would surely find something in his hand-to-hand fighting arsenal to defeat Cap, but objectively – there is no real difference.
As for their gadgets and weapons, Captain America had his shield while Batman has a variety of different fighting tools.
Captain America’s Shield is one of the strongest and most important objects in the Marvel Universe. Cap uses it both as a defensive tool – because it’s one of the best shields you can find – and as a weapon – throwing it at his enemies. And that’s about it. Sure, the Shield is strong enough to endure most things the Avengers are dealing with, but Batman is more diverse and we’re certain that he could find a way to counter the shield. Batman’s utility belt contains a lot of different stuff and in this case, the heterogeneous nature of his gadgets is certainly a good thing.
When intelligence is concerned, Batman is a clear winner, with Rogers not even coming close.
So what can we deduce from this? First of all, we can see that when it comes to power – Captain America prevails, but in all other aspects, they’re either tied or Batman wins. It might be hard for some to believe it, but Batman would certainly find a way to beat a human, despite his strength and enhancements.
All in all, we’re prone to declaring this one a tie – and objectively it is, but due to there being a storyline (albeit an alternative) where Captain America fights Batman and ultimately admits defeat, we also have to stress out that detail and say that Batman could defeat Captain American with relative ease.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!
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