5) Batman Defeats SWAT Team in Style
In Batman: Year One
, Batman has just started out as a masked vigilante and his relationship with the cops isn't exactly warm. When Batman gets cornered in an old building, the Gotham City SWAT barges in and begins to shoot at anything that moves, including a helpless cat. In a move that was echoed in "Batman Begins," Batman hits a signal that brings thousands of bats swarming into the area so he can make his escape. But before he runs off, he makes time to dole out punishment to the SWAT officer who tried to shoot the cat to death. Even in the middle of a struggle to save his own life, Batman makes sure justice is served for everyone.
4) Batman Totally Freaks Out Ra's Al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul has lived several hundred years due to his use of chemical pools that seemingly resurrect the dead. Ra's, disgusted with the boom in population, had plans to wipe out the majority of the human race in order to restore balance to Earth. Batman had spent months tracking down Ra's, and when he finally confronts him, Ra's is impressed by Batman's skill. Instead of killing him immediately, Ra's al Ghul challenges Batman to a duel. In a scene that has been repeated multiple times in the comics and in Batman: The Animated Series
, the two antagonists strip to the waist and engage in a brutal sword fight. Ra's seemingly wins when a deadly scorpion stings Batman. But Ra's daughter, Talia, who is in love with Batman, secretly slips him an antidote. In a neat twist, Batman appears to rise from the dead in order to bring justice to the man called The Demon's Head. Again, Ra's has lived hundred of years, is the world's most powerful terrorist, one of its best assassins, and has seen some some -- and Batman scares him shitless. That's totally awesome.
3) Batman Defeats Shark
In "Joker's Five-Way Revenge," one of the first stories featuring the Joker's return to his murderous ways, the Joker has decided to kill all of his previous associates since one of them snitched and put him in a pre-Arkham Asylum loony bin. As Batman tries to save thier lives, the Joker actually has one of his most badass moments when he has Batman at his mercy, but merely knocks him unconscious because he defeated Bats "by mere chance," and his death wouldn't have been grand enough. The story eventually ends with the Joker hanging his final, wheelchair-bound henchmen over a pool with a shark in it, forcing Batman to surrender. Of course, as soon as the Joker takes his utility belt and handcuffs him, he drops Batman and the henchman in the pool -- and Batman has to take out the shark using only that pair of handcuffs. He does. Because he's Batman.
2) Batman Defeats Super-Martians Who Kicked the Rest of the JLA's Asses Single-Handedly
The Hyperclan, an alien super group that appeared, at first, to be heroes, had defeated the JLA. With Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash drugged up and Superman being held captive by Kryptonite, the Hyperclan paid no attention to Batman, the powerless human they assumed they killed when they destroyed the Batplane. Their mistake. As Superman tells them, Batman is the most dangerous man on the planet. Batman quickly deduces that the Hyperclan members are actually White Martians and are vulnerable to fire. Armed only with lighter fluid and matches, Batman brings down the Hyperclan by himself, and rescues the entirety of the JLA.
1) Elderly Batman Pwns Superman
In The Dark Knight Returns
, an older Batman runs afoul of the government, who sends Superman -- who's not lost any of his god-like powers over the years -- to take him out. Batman's just a man, and now an old man at that; it shouldn't be any type of fight at all. But instead, Batman uses his tech, his friends and his incredible intelligence to totally hand Superman his ass. It starts with missiles and sonic booms, continues with Batman pumping all of Gotham City's electricity into Superman, and Oliver Queen shooting a kryptonite arrow at the Man of Steel. Despite Superman's infinite powers, Batman actually defeats Superman -- until he throws the fight, stopping his own heart, faking his own death, and living to fight another day, still in the shadows. While Frank Miller might have fallen out of style in recent years, it was this scene that truly cemented the idea that given time to plan, Batman can defeat anybody
. The fact that it was that goody-goody Superman was just icing on the badass cake.