Just as Geoff Johns did in his very successful Doomsday Clock storyline, we are going to give you a comparison of two characters from different segments of the DC Universe. Doomsday Clock merged DC’s Prime-Earth and Alan Moore’s Watchmen universe, while we are going to give you a more detailed comparison of Prime-Earth’s Batman and Watchmen’s Ozymandias. So, if you ever wondered which of these two characters is stronger, keep reading our article to find out.
Although we believe this to be a very close call, we think that Ozymandias would be able to defeat Batman. Despite all of Batman’s intelligence and his skills, Ozymandias is still smarter and better at manipulating things and people around him, which is why we think that he would be able to defeat the Dark Knight.
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.
Who is Batman?
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 “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 the 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 revitalised 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.
Who is Ozymandias?
Ozymandias is the superhero alter ego of one Adrian Alexander Veidt, a fictional character that first appeared in Alan Moore’s Watchmen, a story set within the DC Comics Universe. Along with Moore, Dave Gibbons is credited as Ozymandias’ co-creator.
Adrian Veidt was born in 1939 as the son of wealthy German-American immigrants. He excelled in school, receiving high grades from the very start and being noted for his brilliant mind. After his parents’ deaths, Veidt have all of his inheritance to charity and wanted to make something out of himself. He initially idolised Alexander the Great, but after a psychedelic experience concluded that Alexander was just a pale copy of Ramesses II. He then decided to become a superhero, taking the name Ozymandias, which is the Greek name for Ramesses II.
Veidt began training himself to achieve peak physical condition, becoming a world-class gymnast in the process. Ready to fight crime, he initially became a vigilante, but was soon invited to become a full-fledged superhero.
Veidt soon gave up superheroism and became a wealthy humanitarian. Still, in the shadows, he worked on a secret scheme of creating a catastrophic event to deceive the world into uniting against a common enemy and thus avert nuclear war. Upon completion of his project, Veidt planned to murder all of his (unwitting) accomplices and arrange the psychological deterioration and self-exile of the presumably invincible Doctor Manhattan. When the Comedian discovered this, Ozymandias personally killed him, setting off the events of Watchmen.
Ironically, Veidt’s plan worked and the world – despite Veidt’s scheming – became peaceful. Veidt also unsuccessfully tried to kill Dr. Manhattan, who realised that killing and exposing Veidt would destroy the newborn peace Veidt achieved. Dr. Manhattan then decided to spare Veidt and let him return to Earth. Veidt once again activated himself during the Doomsday Clock storyline, eventually revealing that he planned the clash between Superman and Dr. Manhattan, knowing that the former was the only one who could change Dr. Manhattan’s mind. He was ultimately prosecuted for his crimes after being sent back to his original, Watchmen universe.
Ozymandias was played by Matthew Goode in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen movie. An older version of the character was played by Jeremy Irons in the Watchmen TV series.
Batman or Ozymandias – Who would win?
Before we give an answer to the question from the title, we are – as we traditionally do – going to give a brief comparison of the two characters’ powers to see whether an answer can be deduced from observing just that.
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.
Ozymandias is, likewise, a regular human being who has reached a peak level of physical abilities. He is exceptionally strong and is likewise a master of all known martial arts. He doesn’t rely on technology, despite being extremely wealthy, which is a big difference when compared to Batman. Still, despite being so strong and fast that he can dodge or even stop a bullet, Ozymandias’ strongest weapon is his mind. He is an absolute genius and quite possibly the smartest human comic book character ever. He also has an unique understanding of human psychology, which allows him to predict his opponents’ movements and manipulate people to achieve his goals. Although he is usually described as an anti-villain, Ozymandias always keeps the greater good in mind, but is ready to make the necessary sacrifices along the way to achieve it.
So, no, the comparison of their powers doesn’t really give us an answer. Batman and Ozymandias are very similar characters when it comes to their powers and abilities, with the sole exception that Batman heavily relies on his technology and gadgets, while Ozymandias relies on his mind. They are both skilled combatants and geniuses in their own right, so this basic comparison doesn’t really do us much good. So, how are we going to determine the stronger character?
Well, while thinking on the topic, we have decided to compare their fighting abilities and their intellects. When it comes to physical strength, Batman seems to be the stronger among the two, but Ozymandias is definitely faster and knows more martial arts; Batman has mastered around 200 martial arts, while Ozymandias has mastered all of them. Ozymandias would probably outmatch Batman, but the Dark Knight has the advantage of his gadgets, something Ozymandias doesn’t use, and this is why we think that Batman would defeat Ozymandias in a direct one-on-one fight, were it not for Veidt’s mind.
Namely, despite Batman being a genius in his own right and the world’s greatest detective, Adrian Veidt is just smarter. His intellect in the Watchmen universe is outmatched only by that of the omniscient Dr. Manhattan and he is always so many steps ahead of everyone that Dr. Manhattan is practically the only one who could ruin his plans. Even with all the preparation in the world, we don’t think Batman would be able to outwit Ozymandias and there is absolutely no doubt that Ozymandias would use this advantage to annul Batman’s fighting superiority, meaning that Ozymandias would be able to defeat the Dark Knight.
There is also one other thing which gives Ozymandias the upper hand in this situation. Namely, in order to achieve the greater good (ironically, Ozymandias does want what is best for humanity), Ozymandias is ready to do just about anything (including summoning a giant man-eating squid-monster), and we all know that Batman is not. The Dark Knight has so many limitations that Ozymandias would be able to exploit at least a couple of them with relative ease, ultimately gaining the upper hand in this conflict.
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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