?Batman has been around for 71 years and has appeared in thousands of comic books. Even now, in any given month, you can pick up Batman and Robin, Batman, Batman: Streets of Gotham, Detective Comics, and Batman Confidential, all of which star Batman in some form or another, and that’s not even including the multitude of series that feature other prominent Batman characters and the metric ton of books that Batman guest stars in every month. Not too shabby for an angry orphan with no super powers.
It’s no surprise that Batman is overflowing with awesome moments, and that’s before you take into account the movies, TV shows, videogames and novels featuring the Dark Knight. So we’re not going to try. We’re going to limit ourselves to the comics (but not just in-continuity ones). And we’re not pretending that this is his 10 most badass moments ever, because, like we said, 71 years — and lord knows how many moments you’d tell us we missed. So here are 10 absolutely badass Batman moments… but not necessarily the most badass. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.
Daily list suggested by Zortt1.
10) Batman Pwns Green Lantern
?The Justice League is furious at Batman’s methods of fighting crime and for using a young boy as a sidekick. Batman, of course, has no super powers, even in Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s alternate All-Star comics. So, when Green Lantern tells Batman he needs to talk with him, the audience was expecting a knockdown, drag-out fight. Instead, they were treated to an eerily calm Batman, painted in all yellow, sitting in all yellow room, and drinking a glass of refreshing yellow lemonade. The whole scenario pissed off Green Lantern, maybe because he felt like Batman wasn’t taking him seriously. Or more likely, because his power ring has no effect on yellow objects. Which just goes to show, if you’re fighting the Goddamn Batman, never let him take you to a second location.
9) Batman Ends the KGBeast
?The KGBeast is the Ivan Drago of Batman villains. He can do everything that Batman can do, only better and more Russian. Throughout the series, the Beast is constantly one step ahead of Batman in his plan to murder 10 prominent Americans. And even if Batman catches the Beast, the Dark Knight is informed that it is unlikely the Beast will ever be punished, due to diplomatic immunity laws. When Batman finally confronts the KGBeast in the sewers of Gotham, the brawl is nasty. Batman is gashed open several times and the Beast loses an eye. But Batman gains the upper hand with his immense knowledge of Gotham by tricking the KGBeast into a room with no outlet. When the KGBeast challenges Batman to enter the room and end the fight, Batman instead locks the Beast into the room, presumably allowing the mass-murdered to starve to death. It is the most cold-blooded Batman has ever been and it would have ranked higher except the Beast was retconned into having a much longer and dumber life of villainhood.
8) Batman Punches a New God
?Forager, from the New Gods, never got any respect, especially from Orion. The New Gods treated his race as second class and Orion dismissively nicknamed him “Bug.” But when Batman was broken and defeated by a living aspect of the Anti-Life Equation, Forager sacrificed his life to save both Batman and ultimately the Earth. When Orion treats Forager’s death in a cavalier manner, the badly wounded Batman risks his own life by punching The Dog of War in the face. “His name was Forager,” Batman remarked over the humbled New God. Batman had never seemed so honorable.
7) Batman Pwns Evil Batman
?Prometheus is almost the villain equivalent of Batman. After watching his criminal parents get shot down by the police, he trained his body and mind to be in peak shape. But Prometheus had one giant advantage over Batman. His helmet is attached to his nervous system, allowing him to download whatever information or skills he needs directly into his body. In their first meeting, Prometheus was able to overpower Batman by downloading the skills of several top martial artists (including the Batman himself). The fight was so decisive that most of Batman’s incredible beat down happened off panel. On their second meeting, Batman revealed that he had tinkered with Prometheus’s helmet, forcing the villain to accidentally overwrite his advanced abilities with the motor skills of Stephen Hawking. You can call Batman’s move cheap and you can call it cheating, but you can’t call it ineffective.
6) Batman Decks Guy Gardner
?The Bwah-ha-ha era of the Justice League had officially started and, ironically, the first order of business was to shore up Batman’s awesomeness credentials. Back in the days when Guy Gardner was even more insufferable than he is now, he had a serious problem with Batman leading Justice League International. For five issues, Guy bitched and moaned about how he should be in charge. Finally, Batman goaded Guy into a fight to settle things between the two. The result is a comic book classic.
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.