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The Contender
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Could Batman ever beat Superman in a real fight?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2016 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 214 times Debate No: 93865
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I'm a huge comic fan and I get annoyed by Bat-fans that always state that batman can do anything and the reason why... Because he's batman... And with Batman v. Superman coming out earlier this year and everything else the thing that Batman can take superman is coming up again. So I want to know who honestly believes that batman could be superman in a fight? I honestly believe he can't but let's see if there any convincing arguments. (Comic Book resources only; no movie or T.V. show).


Since there is no debate structure listed I will simply use round 1 to accept the debate.

I'll also acknowledge that this is not a good idea for me since I know very little about the topic, but what the heck let's give it a whirl. At least I'll probably learn something.
Debate Round No. 1


I apologize for my lack of debate structure, I am still getting used to the format for this site.
And that is what debating is all about learning something new and spreading your opinions

I am going to use normal Superman, not Superboy Prime or Golden Age Superman just regular Superman. And it's a one on one battle between Superman and Batman. They can both have prep time and let's say morals are on for both of them, but they are fighting to win.

Like I have stated before I am a comic fan, and I understand that comics are not at all real, but inside each comic book continuity each character has certain aspects that make them themselves like unless something happens plot wise, Batman can't fly, Women Woman is a girl, Superman is from Krypton, etc.. so there are things normal for each character to be able to do or not do.

1. My first point is that looking at Superman, he in himself help spout the creation of most, if not all modern superheroes alike. So when you look at him you understand that his strength, speed, and just his powers are beyond what we can comprehend. He has super-strength, super-speed, x-ray vision, heat vision, super-breathe, freeze breathe, super-durability, flight, and superhuman-hearing just to name a few. He has fought and defeated the likes of Wonder Woman, an Amazon Warrior; Doomsday, a crazed killing creature who can't be killed the same way twice (Who Superman has beaten more than once); Darksied, ruler of Apokolips; Mongul, Ruler of BattleWorld; and Brianiac, one of the most intelligent beings in our universe; and much more enemies who are not just brutes but geniuses. While Batman is a human at peak condition in all aspects, knows all forms of martial arts, has a genius level intellect, and a lot of money to spend. Batman's top rogues are the likes of Joker, crazed psychopath; Bane, intelligent brute; Clayface, shapeshifter; The Court of Owls; crazed assassins; and Poison Ivy, who controls plants and has mind control spores. When looking in comparison to the two with powers and the stronger rouges, I can tell you Superman has the point here.

2. People's biggest argument is that "with kryptonite" but that is not true. Superman time and time again has defeated people while they were in possession of kryptonite. For instance some of his rouges like Metallo and Kryptonite man are made and have kryptonite on them but time and time again Superman beats them. Plus when fighting Superboy Prime, Superman from this earth and Earth 2 flew through a Red Sun and flew to Krypton and our Superman still had an enormous amount of power (so just a little red sun radiation and kryptonite won't bring Superman down).

3. Lastly people are always saying "if Batman has prep time", but in some instances prep time can only do you so good. And remember Superman also has prep time so you can't negate that fact either.


Well the reason I accepted the debate challenge is the key word "ever". The use of the word "ever" implies an infinite amount of time (ever being a root of "forever"). In probability mathematics this is rendered as "infinite attempts when calculating a probability function." It is also an accepted axiom that in probability calculations "an event with a non-zero probability will happen given infinite attempts". Since your premise cedes infinite attempts to Batman, I simply need to prove that Superman's powers are not infinite.

Superman certainly has exceptional powers, in fact they defy the laws of physics (his capabilities include crossing our solar system in minutes, which would violate e=mc^2.) However, even in that case, he is still crossing a set distance in a set time. As a result we can indeed calculate the velocity that he moves at as a finite number. A key piece of evidence was his races with The Flash in which he is unable to conclusively prove himself faster than the Flash. Since he can only cross the race course in a particular time when he is trying to go faster (I think it's safe to assume he was trying to win), that means that there is an upper limit to his abilities.

As a result, when we go to calculate the probability of Batman winning the fight, we are dealing with finite numbers. We can't create the actual function since we don't have reliable numbers, but the fact that the numbers exist and are not infinite means that the probability of Batman winning the fight is not zero. It may be extremely CLOSE to zero, but it's not zero, and therefore the axiom noted earlier means that given infinite tries Batman will eventually defeat Superman.

Moving on from that, there's another key word in your premise; specifically, "real". Since we're dealing with fictional characters, "real" has to be taken with a big grain of salt, but nonetheless, if this fight is going to take place in the "real world", Superman's power would be substantially diminished. Since his body has mass he cannot move at the speed of light (e=mc^2); in addition he wouldn't be able to move planets as he is depicted as doing since even if he could exert that amount of force on an object, the equal and opposite reaction would move him rather than the planet. I could go on about the powers Superman will have to give up if the laws of physics are applied. All of these would increase the probability of victory significantly in Batman's favor.

If we're going to get into the comic-specific issues, you attempted to pre-empt the kryptonite argument by pointing out that Superman has functioned under its effects before. However, in #188 and #52 he is actually killed by kryptonite, so a strong enough dose will allow Batman to win this fight. Batman is also Bruce Wayne, who has virtually unlimited resources. It is entirely reasonable to believe the insanely wealthy and well-connected head of a technology company could get access to the kryptonite and use it to weaken Superman enough to defeat him.

The kryptonite is a fun tangent, but really the debate comes down to the following key points:

1. By asking if Batman could "ever" beat Superman you stipulated infinite attempts.
2. It is an accepted axiom of probabilities that "if the probability of an event occurring is anything above zero, given infinite attempts, the event will eventually occur."
3. Superman's inability to defeat Flash in a race means his powers are finite.
4. Since the probability equation regarding the outcome of the fight involves finite numbers on both sides, the probability of a Batman win will be above zero.
5. Since the premise gives Batman infinite attempts, the event in question (a Batman victory) will eventually occur.
Debate Round No. 2


To my opponent I applaud you and honestly like the fact that you put this in a scientific realm. But with this there are flaws in your hypothesis.

1. You say the fact that in a world like ours Superman's powers would be substantially diminished, but then wouldn't Batman's also? In a normal world there is almost no possibly way for a human from the age of 8 to 25 to learn and master every single form of martial arts, go to prestigious school, and become a world renown detective, so in those instances than Batman's skills should be substantially diminished as well. As well as his skill so should his "unlimited resources". Even though many people of Gotham like the Batman because he put criminals away, he is still a vigilante who acts above the law. And remember Bruce Wayne owns a corporation Wayne Tech and with most corporation he has a board of directors who look over the business structurally and financially. Being Batman isn't a cheap thing with his multiple Batcars, Batplanes, Batsuits, Battank, Batmobile, The Batcave itself, and all of Batman equipment (Computer, elevators, etc...) and gadgets cost money, which he takes from the corporation to fund himself being Batman don't you think in a real life setting someone who works with him financially would notice that millions of dollars are going missing from the corporation?

2. Another thing is that you bring up the fact that Superman's powers couldn't work because of the laws of physic but remember a lot of times when superman broke those laws that it was during the older Ages of Superman where he immensely overpowered. Also remember Superman is an alien from a different galaxy and a different atmosphere where there is a different sun, whose to say that the laws of physics we believe in apply to them? If the actual event that there are such things as extra-terrestrials whose to say that what we think is a fundamental law of the universe is the same to them?

3. And lastly you put the fact that there have been issues where superman has died to kryptonite and I do recognize these comics, but in comics that happen later on you can see that Superman has overcome Kryptonite many times. Facing Metallo, Kryptonite Man, Lex Luther In his Kryptonite suit, etc... He has been stabbed with kryptonite, hit with it, shot by kryptonite radiation, and even went to Krypton's ashes and fought a more powerful being then himself and won. So looking later on in Superman's career krypton while it does weaken him you have to more than humanly imaginable especially when a planet full of the stuff didn't stop him. Plus if we want to say all old weakness still are prevalent than Hal Jordan couldn't be around the color Yellow, Loki couldn't be in water, Alan Scott would have no power against wood, and Wonder Woman couldn't be tied up by men.

4. Another point is that you have to remember, Batman is just a man, while Superman is an alien with godly powers (But he is not a God). Even though Superman has the kryptonite weakness, Batman has a weakness of his own that is easy to exploit, his parents and Jason Todd's death. In the Tower of Babel, Batman became so disoriented in life because someone took his parent's grave. When Jason Todd return, batman at first refused to fight him because he trained him and he believed that Jason's death was his fault. So even Batman has weaknesses

Although I do agree with you the fact that Superman's powers are finite.

5. Lastly by using the word "ever" I wasn't trying to stipulate an infinite amount of battle attempts, I was using it as a term for whenever they fight or come into conflict.

My key points to the opponent are that

1. If we wanted to say that superman powers would be diminished then we would have to say that Batman's skill, wealth, intelligence, and resources would also have to be diminished
2. Superman is an alien, so who is to say that he lives by what we believe are the fundamental laws of the universe
3. Superman has godly powers and Batman is only human
4. In later issues in comics superman has taken hits and blows from kryptonite and yes it affects him but has not killed him (even though it has in the past)
5. Batman also has a weakness that can be exploited
6. By "ever" I wasn't stipulating an infinite amount of battles.


I'll address your key points one at a time:
1. We would absolutely not have to reduce Batman's powers if this confrontation occurred in the "real world" for the simple fact that he IS human; since he has no superpowers, nothing he does violates the laws of science. You referenced skill, wealth, intelligence, and resources. Wealth and resources are simply tangible assets, and there's no reason at all that making this confrontation occur in "our world" would reduce them since those assets do exist (wealth and resources certainly exist, they would simply be allocated to him). As for his skill and intelligence, in order to argue that they would be diminished you must show a convincing reason (such as breaking a law of science) that they couldn't. Bruce Wayne may simply be extremely genetically gifted. Prodigies have existed throughout human history (Mozart with music, Bobby Fischer with chess, and we could go on for a long time here). Bruce Wayne's abilities may be exceptional, but they're not impossible.

2. Superman may be an alien, perhaps even from a parallel universe, and it's even possible that in his universe what we know to be the laws of science don't apply. However, since Bruce Wayne has no way to access Superman's area of origin, if they're going to fight it's going to have to happen here. Superman must come to Batman because Batman simply doesn't have the resources to go to Superman. Essentially, Superman must cede "homefield advantage" to Batman. And on this field you can't move at the speed of light.

3. No argument there, however I would avoid the use of the word "godly". As I demonstrated above and you stipulated to in your answer, Superman has exceptional and superhuman abilities but they are not infinite as the word "godly" would imply.

4. Even if kryptonite doesn't kill Superman outright, you acknowledge that it does significantly affect him. Given that it's reasonable to assume that Bruce Wayne would have access to it, it's entirely possible Batman could use it to defeat Superman. I should note here that in neither your premise, your statement, or my statement have we actually defined what "beating him" in the fight would entail. There's no evidence Batman would have to kill Superman with it. If he were able to introduce it to him enough to weaken him to the point he could be subdued, even briefly, Batman would technically be "beating him in a fight".

5. No argument there. If we ever were to build a model for actually predicting this fight, a la Deadliest Warrior, the numbers we would use for Batman would probably be the world records for human athletes. As I noted in point 1, Batman is an extremely athletic and genetically gifted human being, but he's still human.

6. "Ever" is a root of the word "forever", which Merriam-Webster defines as:
1. For a limitless time
2. For all time
Therefore, in order to explore your premise, we would have to create a combat model in which we input numbers for both characters and then simulate the battle (I don't know if you've ever seen Deadliest Warrior but that's essentially what we're doing here). In order to explore the question "could Batman ever defeat Superman" you would have to run that simulation "forever"; ie a limitless amount of times per Merriam-Webster, which again gives Batman infinite attempts in the probability scenario and, since you stipulated in your previous round posting that Superman's power is finite, means Batman's victory is not a zero-probability event so if our hypothetical simulation is run forever it will eventually produce a Batman victory.
Debate Round No. 3


This being the last round I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

With this being my last stance I shall also address your points and give my conclusion

1. Yes Batman has no power, but his skill, wealth and intelligence is his power. And yes nothing he does violates the laws of science but his unlimited resources and exceptional wealth do violate the laws of the economy. And yes wealth and resources do exist but to the extent that he has and the extent that he uses to fund-raise him being Batman would be completely noticeable. Plus I understand that there are prodigies that have existed throughout human history but lets take a step and look at Batman's feats. In 17 years he did not only learn but MASTERED over 127 forms of martial arts and even more different fighting styles. Although saying he learned that many or is knowledgeable of that many is one thing but saying he is a master of them all in a 17 year period, not to mention learning forms of magic, becoming a strategist, becoming a detective, and going to school that is something that is impossible. (For the fact that some forms can take many years to learn and master)

2. And yes I understand Superman will have to fight Batman on this earth, in this universe, but what I was arguing was not that where superman is from that he doesn't have these laws, I was arguing that these "laws" might not even been laws to anyone else in our universe but we perceive them as such because that is what we are used to. Remember he is an alien with different bone and body structure than us, enhanced by our solar radiation. Whose to say that what we believe as facts and fundamental laws mean anything to him? Just because we as human believe in the laws and theories We have set on thing doesn't necessarily make them true. And same with the speed of light argument, we may believe or think that its a fact, but do we have any 100% evidence proving that something cannot move at the speed of light (Remember this is just a theory not a fact)

3. And we agree on this point and I was using the term "godly" as in powers that above belief or that are unnatural in origin not meaning infinite

4. And like I said Kryptonite does affect Superman but lately not to point where he can be easily defeated. Superman has found a stronger version of himself and won while under the influence of Kryptonite. He has flew into outer-space and back while being drown in Kryptonite radiation. He has fought a man made of Kryptonite and won. And in comics Batman (while wearing his K ring) punched Superman multiple times (while Superman just stood there and took it) and the result = Batman almost broke his arm. Think about that Superman doing nothing but taking punches hurt Batman while he was holding "K". Plus if you want to use Kryptonite, Superman has way to avoid being affected his Kryptonite radiation by either wearing his Kryptonite-proof suit or by taking in extra solar radiation. Both of these thing nullify Kryptonite's affect on Superman so to this Batman would lose that advantage.

5. Again this argument is agreed upon

6. And yes while ever is the root word in forever I did not use that term. Ever has it's own definition which is
"Ever" - at any time. While this is similar to the word forever and shares the root word they are not the exact same which means can't be used interchangeably in this argument.

Meaning that this simulation would not have to run "forever" or a limitless amounts of time just into it could no longer be ran (i.e. if one of them gave up or died) [Because I used the word ever and not forever]. So that takes out the fact and saying of your last statement

And Just so you know when I capitalized everything it was not to yell or anything it was to emphasize the key point.

I agree with you that Superman's powers have limits but his limits way exceed Batman's in every way. Superman being an alien and the fact that all or laws and theories about the universe are many just theories that outside of the human-realm we don't have much proof to show that these are fundamental everywhere in the universe and to everyone. And if you do wish to diminish Superman because of "real world" standards then you would have to do the same to Batman, because all though his "powers" do not break any scientific law they do break economic laws and are unreasonable and impossible to say the least. Superman being the immensely powerful creature he is being able to fight being both smarter or as smart (Brainiac and Lex Luther) and stronger (Darkseid and Doomsday) than Batman while Batman foes closest to the likes of Superman are Bane and Killer Croc. With that it shows Superman has the advantage in regard he fights people smarter and stronger than Batman regularly and win while Batman's strongest foes are nowhere close to Superman's strength, speed, durability, etc...

This is why I believe that Superman would and could easily beat Batman time and time again.


Final round so let me also thank you for the debate, this has indeed been fun. I'm going to keep the final round relatively brief since I think we've both pretty well made our arguments at this point.

1. You've laid out an exceptional case that Batman's abilities are extremely unlikely. However, I would submit that his prodigious martial arts abilities and extreme intelligence are no more unlikely than an alien in blue spandex taking time from a ho-hum day job to zip around our atmosphere moving far faster than any human vehicle can, throwing buildings around, shooting plasma beams from his eyes, etc. As I mentioned in Round 2, if we're going to discuss this fight in a "real" context, anything that's not actually contrary to the laws of science has to be allowed, regardless of how unlikely it is. The simple fact that Superman exists at all in this hypothetical situation is proof of that.

2. Let's say hypothetically Superman isn't bound by the rules of the physical world we occupy. The universe itself still is. If Superman were to meet the speed of light, his mass would become infinite and he wouldn't be able to move anyway as the energy required to move infinite mass would by definition also be infinite and you've already stipulated his energy isn't infinite. Here's an interesting read on the topic that specifically references Superman:

3/5: These points aren't in contention so I won't address them.

4. Kryptonite may not affect Superman to the point that he can be easily defeated, but it does have an effect on him; ergo, the effect, in the right circumstances, could weaken him to the point he could be defeated. Batman is shown as being extremely intelligent, even to the point that he can outsmart Superman, so it's not unreasonable to assume that he could engineer a situation where he subjects Superman to sufficient kryptonite to weaken him to the point he could be defeated. In all likelihood it would have to be an ambush so that Superman doesn't have his kryptonite-proof suit and in a place where he can't get solar rays, but that kind of strategic thinking is one of Batman's greatest strengths. In the Tower of Babel storyline it was revealed that Batman has a strategy for defeating every member of the Justice League, including Superman, so it's reasonable to assume he's already created a strategy to get Superman into such a vulnerable place and simply needs to implement it.

6. There's nothing left to hash out here, we've both made out arguments. I remain steadfast in that the premise "Could Batman ever defeat Superman in a real fight" cedes to Batman infinite time to make this happen. All we can do now is leave it to the voters to decide the semantics.


Superman is extremely powerful, however he does have limits (this has been stipulated to). While the odds in a hypothetic fight would likely be heavily slanted towards Superman, Batman's potential victory is not a zero-probability event, therefore the question "Could Batman ever defeat Superman in a real fight" has to be answered "Yes, it could happen". Would it happen or not is an issue for a different debate, but it given the totality of the circumstances I've laid out above, yes it could happen.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by malalo75 3 months ago
One could argue that everyone can beat Superman. Provided they have enough kryptonite.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by One_Winged_Rook 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: By taking the debate literal, using analytics, Pro destroyed Con