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Spider-Man Vs. Batman
Marvel and DC Icons Get It On
By Chad Derdowksi
October 08, 2009
Spider-man Vs. Batman
© Bob Trate
It’s nighttime in Gotham City and Batman is on patrol. He’s heard reports of a few break-ins at the S.T.A.R. Labs weapons research & development facility in Gotham and he figures he oughta check it out. Rumors vary, but it’s clearly someone with superhuman strength and security guards have made reference to being struck by multiple arms before being knocked out.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man is hot on the trail of Dr. Octopus, who is thieving a truckload of scientific equipment for his latest evil scheme. Whatever he’s looking for can only be found in Gotham so that’s where Spidey ends up. When Batman runs into a guy with a spider motif, he figures there’s a good chance this could be the multiple armed criminal he’s heard about. This being a comic book, you know the two have got to fight before they team up and take out the bad guy, right?
The Tale of the Tape
The proportionate strength and speed of a spider goes a long way in a fight, especially when you’re fighting a guy with no superpowers at all. If Spidey wanted to, he could just pick Batman up and tear him in half. Of course, he’d never do that. But he could. His webshooters would come in pretty handy too. The stuff is pretty darn durable. According to the Marvel Handbook, the tensile strength of the webbing is equivalent to 120 lb. (54 kg) per square millimeter in cross-section. We don’t actually know what that means, but we know it’s sturdy and Batman isn’t likely to bust out of it on his own.
Add to that his extraordinary Spider-Sense and enhanced reflexes and it’s going to be a tough battle for the Caped Crusader. The limited clairvoyance and ability to “know when/where your opponent is going to strike before they do it” gives Spider-Man huge edge in this fight.
Possessing no superpowers, Batman has made his career relying on his keen intellect and scientific know-how. He’s got an assortment of weaponry for any occasion including razor sharp Batarangs, grenades, a two-way radio and pretty much anything else he could possibly need for any given situation. Beyond that, Batman has a contingency plan should any member of the Justice League go rogue or have their mind taken over by a villain. The guy knows how to subdue Wonder Woman, stop the Flash in his tracks and put a yellow streak down Green Lantern’s back. Hell, he could even take out Superman.
He’s also scary as hell. His personality is bad enough, but when you couple it with a costume designed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals and do-gooders alike, he’s got a pretty big psychological edge in battle.
You think a guy with the proportionate strength of an insect is going to be a problem for him?
If Spider-Man could be said to have a weakness, it’s that he’s a pretty nice guy. While he possesses the physical strength to tear a normal person’s limbs off, he’s just not going to do that. He’ll talk your ear off and annoy the hell out of you during a scuffle, but he’s not going to kill you.
Spidey’s also got some self-esteem issues. He’s one of those guys who talks a lot and constantly cracks jokes to cover up the fact that he’s uncomfortable-- doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a fight or a gathering of heroes. If Batman can knock him off of his game and find a way to shut the wallcrawler up, he might be able to sneak in a couple cheap shots.
As far as Batman’s weaknesses go… well, he’s only human. Like Spider-Man, he’s not a killer either (which isn’t really a weakness, but doesn’t help when you’re in a fight to the death), but against a guy like Spider-Man, having normal human strength and no superpowers is a huge detriment. All Spidey has to do is catch Batman in a web and make sure he can’t get to his belt. End of story.
Both men have a rogue’s gallery that would make most heroes cower in abject terror. Here’s a few of the baddies they’ve come into conflict with in the past.
The Green Goblin was a normal businessman and scientist until he went nuts and assumed a costumed identity. He’s fought Spider-Man time and again, learned his secret identity and even killed the Web Slinger’s girlfriend. Heck, he killed Spider-Man’s clone, Ben Reilly, which is a lot like killing Spider-Man himself. Spider-Man has handed the Goblin his ass more times than we can count, but the guy keeps getting back up for more, going so far as to return from the dead and convince the American public he’s an alright guy.
Venom is a lot like Spider-Man only bigger, tougher and stronger. And he wears a symbiotic alien costume that negates Spidey’s Spider-Sense. Nevertheless, Spider-Man has made this guy look like a chump every time they’ve crossed paths.
Dr. Octopus has a scientific mind as brilliant as Spidey’s but twisted and evil. He’s also got four mechanical arms that can pin you down and give you a spanking while the good doctor enjoys a cup of tea. Four extra arms just adds up to two extra sets of handcuffs though – Spider-Man has been kicking Doc Ock’s butt since the 1960s.
If you think Spider-Man is funny, try The Joker on for size. This guy has been mocking Batman for over 60 years and proving that you can’t keep a good clown down. He may not be able to match the Dark Knight in physical prowess or technological savvy, but he’s unpredictable and has eluded death on countless occasions. No matter how many times Batman defeats him, he keeps coming back for more.
Ra’s Al Ghul is a maniacal eco-terrorist, an immortal and he knows Batman’s true identity. He’s more than a physical match for the Caped Crusader and commands a secret cabal of the world’s deadliest assassins. Despite this, he hasn’t been able to put Batman down for the count yet.
Of all of his enemies, Bane is the long shot who actually stood a pretty good chance of ending Batman’s crime fighting career. This nutjob ex-con utilized an experimental drug called Venom and actually managed to break Batman’s back. Of course, we all know what happened next… Batman got better.
The way we see it, the fight breaks down like this…
The two heroes stumble upon each other breaking into S.T.A.R. Labs in the dead of night and naturally they both assume the other one is an evildoer. Batman wants to end it as quickly as possible and tosses out some smoke bombs in order to disable the Web Slinger with a coughing fit. He’ll finish up the job as Spider-Man tries to wipe the tears out of his eyes. But that trusty Spider-Sense comes into play, enabling Spider-Man to leap out of the way of the gas.
Spidey follows a familiar pattern: nail the opponents’ hands and feet with webbing and knock him out with one punch. Only problem is, Batman is always one step ahead of the game and is always on the move. Yeah, Spider-Man snags the end of Bat’s cape with a web, but Batman simply slips out and rolls to safety. A couple more globs of webbing end up subdue the Dark Knight but one of his hands is free, and that’s all he needs.
Realizing that Spider-Man seems to be anticipating his moves before he makes them, Batman tosses out a flash bomb to blind his opponent and couples it with a device that emits a screeching noise that disorients Spidey and pretty much negates his Spider-Sense. A couple bursts from the torch that he keeps in his utility belt and Batman is free. Slipping on a set of energized brass knuckles, Batman lands a one-two punch combo that puts Spider-Man down for the count.
Bada-boom, bada-bing – out comes the Bat-string… okay, he’d never call it that, but at any rate the Dark Knight has got some sort of rope that he uses to keep Spider-Man under wraps until he comes to and Batman can question him. At which point the two inevitably team up and go after the real villain, Doctor Octopus.
The Winner: Batman. ‘Cause let’s face it, nobody can beat Batman.