As you might expect, we are continuing our series of comparisons, this time with two characters from different universes – one superhero and one supervillain. Today’s topic of conversation are Batman, Gotham City’s Dark Knight, and Thanos, Marvel Comics’ Mad Titan. Who would win in a battle between these two? Well, keep reading to find out.
Despite his famous preparation, Batman wouldn’t really stand much chance against Thanos in a one-on-one battle, even if Thanos didn’t have any weapons on him. Thanos doesn’t have any known weakness like some characters, so there is hardly anything Batman – a regular human – could exploit.
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.
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 Thanos?
Thanos is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and made his debut in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (1973) and has since become one of the best-known villains in the Marvel universe, but also comic books in general.
Although Starlin himself admitted he was inspired by DC Comics’ supervillain Darkseid, Thanos has gained popularity as a stand-alone character and a cornerstone of Marvel’s Multiverse.
Thanos was inspired by the Freudian concept of “Thanatos”, just like his brother, Eros, was inspired by the Freudian concept of the same name.
He is the son of two Eternals, but also a carrier of the Deviants gene, which explains his physical experience. Believing him to be a danger to the universe, his mother wanted to kill him, but his father stopped her.
As a child, he was a pacifist and would only play with his brother and their pets. Later on, he became fascinated with nihilism and the concept of death, eventually falling in love with Mistress Death, the embodiment of Death in the Marvel universe.
Soon after that, Thanos became a supervillain, initially a pirate, but soon had more grandiose plans. He was not satisfied with mere piracy; he wanted more.
He wanted ultimate power, to rule over the whole universe and to become the most powerful being alive. This is why he wanted to collect the Infinity Stones, so he could shape reality according to his own will.
A lot of his works are motivated by his love for Mistress Death, for whom he has killed on several occasions. He is a very powerful cosmic entity and has fought practically every major superhero group in the Marvel universe, including the Avengers, the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Thanos even fought an alternative version of himself, King Thanos, after the latter had killed everyone on the universe; King Thanos knew that it was only Thanos (i.e., a younger version of himself) that could kill him, which is why he used the Time Stone to bring him to the alternative future.
Thanos has appeared in a lot of derivative material, including TV shows, video games and the MCU, where he was the main villain of the first large narrative. He was played by Josh Brolin.
Could Batman defeat Thanos?
Well, this situation is similar to the one where we compared Batman to Thor. Namely, Batman is just a regular human and in a one-on-one fight against Thanos, who has no weakness like some of Batman’s opponents (think Superman and Darkseid), he wouldn’t really stand much chance. But, in order to justify our answer, we’ll first have to analyse the powers these two characters have.
Batman is just 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.
Thanos, on the other hand, is extremely powerful. He is an Eternal and has proven himself more powerful than most characters in the Marvel Universe, even without external enhancements such as the Infinity Stones. He is immortal, has superhuman strength, speed and durability, he is practically invulnerable, can teleport and regenerate, he can manipulate matter, use telepathic abilities, manipulate energy and even fly; he also has superhuman intelligence.
This comparison seems to be quite easy, doesn’t it? Even without any enhancements, Thanos is so much more powerful that Batman doesn’t seem to able to find any way of properly fighting him. Thanos has no weakness that Batman could exploit and regardless of how much preparation Batman undertakes, he wouldn’t be able to defeat the Mad Titan.
Thanos’ superhuman abilities put him several levels above Batman. When it comes to speed, strength, agility and endurance, Thanos is so much better than the Dark Knight that Batman would probably be unable to deal any significant damage; perhaps if he wore one of his power-enhancing suits, but even that gives him just a slight possibility of dealing some – ultimately irrelevant – damage.
The only element in which Batman is on par with Thanos is intelligence, since Batman is one of the most intelligent comic book characters ever. How would this be of use in a fight? Well, Batman could certainly come up with a proper battle plan against Thanos and if he had enough time, he could come up with a plan to… well, not defeat, but perhaps stop the Mad Titan and foil his plans? It would still be tough, but maybe Batman could come up with something to not lose in a fight. Maybe.
And this actually concludes our story of Thanos and Batman. Due to the fact that he is just a human, Batman doesn’t really have any chance against Thanos, especially since the Mad Titan doesn’t have any known weakness Batman could exploit.
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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