There are certain age-old debates that polarise the population: iPhone vs Samsung, pineapple on pizza or no, which way the toilet roll goes on the holder… But nothing splits the masses quite like the DC Comics vs Marvel debate. You’ve probably debated it numerous times with friends and family, aunts and uncles, possibly even with random strangers on the street… More often than not, you end up in heated arguments, name-calling and, when it comes down to it, even the occasional fistfight.
But today, it is time to lay this age-old argument to rest and answer the ultimate question: who would win in a battle between Batman and Iron Man? Batman first appeared in DC’s #27 ‘Detective Comics’ in 1938 and Iron Man in Marvel’s ‘Tales of Suspense’ #39 in 1968. While they exist in entirely separate universes – details, details – we’ve decided to break it down and face off these characters in a head-to-head battle.
This is Batman vs Iron Man.
1. Net Worth:
Of course we can’t accurately compare these superheroes without incorporating their alter egos into the mix. After all, the abilities of these two superheroes are partially derived from their alter egos’ lives: their amassing of extreme wealth and their ability to buy the latest and greatest tech.
Using data from the Forbes list of the Top 15 Wealthiest Fictional Characters, the clear winner is Anthony ‘Tony’ Stark aka Iron Man. Stark Industries, originally founded by Tony’s grandfather and passed down from son to son, is a defence company with many contracts with the government but more noticeably with S.H.I.E.L.D., and has an estimated revenue of $20.3 billion. Interestingly enough Wayne Enterprises, Inc., chaired by Bruce Wayne, generates revenue of $31.3 billion. You might be asking yourself why the big difference in net worths… Well these figures don’t take things like share ownership into account. We could also chalk it up to Bruce’s philanthropic and non-philanthropic endeavours. Afterall, he has to maintain the appearance of a Playboy billionaire.
Winner: Tony Stark
Bonus Round: Who beats them all? T’challa aka Black Panther at $90.7 trillion makes Stark and Wayne’s billions look like chump change.
It’s a little tricky to nail down Bruce’s education, partly because there are many different storylines. Some timelines hint that Bruce likely attended college and received a bachelor’s degree in Criminology at Gotham State University. He may have scored top marks in the F.B.I. but he never pursued a career with them due to bureaucratic processes. However, one thing that all storylines do mention is that Bruce Wayne is a self-taught prodigy. Somewhere in his early to mid-twenties, he traveled the world, acquiring street smarts and learning from many disciplines – predominantly strategy, tactics and the art of fighting.
Tony, on the other hand, is an electrical engineer, having attained his masters from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the age of 17. He enrolled in the school at the tender age of 15 – a pretty impressive feat! Later on, through self-learning, Tony was able to further develop his knowledge in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum mechanics. His inventive genius rivals that of Reed Richards, Hank Pym and Bruce Banner and he is regarded as one of the most intelligent characters in the Marvel Universe.
Winner: Tony Stark
3. Fighting, Technology and Gadgets
It’s not really much of a competition between the two. While it could be said that Batman has more of a ‘cool’ factor, what with his many gadgets (utility belts, smoke bombs, tracking devices, Batmobile etc.) making him the ultimate detective, this all pales in comparison to Iron Man’s suits. The technological advances engineered by Tony’s smarts, and built with his massive wealth, allows Iron Man to undoubtedly have more powerful weapons at his disposal. It could be argued that Batman’s advanced Insider Suit could give Tony a run for his money but Iron Man’s ability to charge suits with his built-in arc reactor means that eventually Batman will be left with an uncharged hulk of metal, while Iron Man speedily spins Batman into circles.
Winner: Iron Man takes the cake
It’s not looking good for Batman… Should these two meet in a random encounter with basic equipment, then Iron Man would easily win. Batman would be lucky to escape for a regroup. If it was an unarmoured hand-to-hand battle, then Batman would easily defeat Stark.
However, what if we upped the ante and proposed a battle such that each party was aware of the impending fight? Given a considerable amount of time to prepare, it would be interesting to see the results. With Batman’s strategic and tactical advantages, we may see the tides turn in his favour. But I guess we’ll never really know. Who do you think the odds are in favour of between these two ultimate superheroes?