(WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Season 4 of Sherlock. This article only includes the last decade worth of material for Batman.)
Sherlock Holmes intimidates people with his superior wit and observation skills, but Batman takes it to a whole other level. With PBS's #Sherlock coming to a frustrating conclusion for Season 4, it's only right to compare the two greatest detectives in all of fiction. And yes, #Batman basically wins because he's Batman and it doesn't sound nearly as cool to say "I'm Sherlock!" Though, to be fair, saying, "I'm Sherlock Holmes and I wear the damn hat," comes pretty close!
Here's why Batman is better than Sherlock Holmes!
1. The Batman Of Zur-En-Arrh
All right, Grant Morrison turned Batman into a junkie and something else entirely in his critically acclaimed run, Batman R.I.P. There was this secret organization, The Black Glove, that found the richest people in the world who just wanted to be entertained with crazy showdowns between individuals. They would place bets on who would win. This time they chose to mentally break down Batman just so he'd have to face The Joker at Wayne Manor.
As you can see, the picture up above shows that Bruce prepares for anything. He had this secret version of Batman hidden well beneath the depths in his psyche. This was Bruce's plan if someone attempted to mess with his mind. Even at his most vulnerable, Batman was victorious — and yes, The Joker helped out his beloved because they wouldn't let him bet on the games.
When Sherlock went on a Meth-high to save Jon, he received help from Eurus to solve the mystery. Without his sister's help, it would've been very doubtful that Sherlock could've actually brought down dastardly, Culverton Smith. Batman wins in this instance because he relied solely on himself.
2. Breaking Into Santa Prisca
Tom King's recent Batman arcs have been the topic of many debates in the last month. King basically wrote that being Batman is a form of suicide. When Bruce was younger he attempted to slit his wrists because he couldn't take it anymore. It was a bold choice of storytelling and let's just leave it at that.
Batman must break into Bane's Santa Prisca prison in order to kidnap Psycho Pirate to reverse the damage he did to Gotham Girl. We can look past Batman charging 50 men with guns because, well, he's Batman. During the conclusion, as Bane is whooping Batman's ass, Catwoman comes in and breaks Bane's back after confessing her loyalty to Bane days prior. This was not only great planning on Batman's part, but an awesome payback for "Knightfall."
In Sherlock's Season 4 finale they broke into Sherrinford, the place where Eurus was being held by her big brother, Mycroft. They should've called Batman, because they had no real plan to escape from Eurus's goal of being Jigsaw from Saw.
3. The Black Mirror
Scott Snyder is almost the main reason why this list exists to begin with. It started out with Detective Comics, with the superstar artist only known as Jock. In this instance, Dick Grayson has taken over the mantle of Batman, and he's pursuing one of the most twisted individuals in all Batman's mythos: Jim Gordon's son.
James Gordon kidnaps his sister Barbara and sticks two knifes in her legs right by her vital arteries, so she doesn't move. His plan is to affect all the baby formula in Gotham to make everyone as psychotic as him. Luckily, Dick Grayson stuck a tracker on him when Commissioner Gordon asked to check his son out.
While Sherlock was in midst of his kidneys failing, he decided to plant a listening device inside Jon's cane three weeks prior to actually needing it. This proved vital to the case by recording Culverton Smith's confession of his abhorrent crimes. One could argue that Sherlock was probably paranoid and extremely strung-out from Methamphetamine and he just got lucky, but this one is an extremely close call!
4. Death Of The Family
Nothing is ever simple when dealing with Moriarty and The Joker. The Joker wanted Batman to realize that the Bat-family was only holding him back. So, he decided to have a nice family dinner by tricking Batman into believing he had cut the faces off the entire Bat-family. In any case, Batman escaped and chased The Joker throughout his Bat-cave. When the two found themselves on a cusp of a great fall, The Joker fell off while Batman went to save him.
In the Sherlock Christmas special, both he and Moriarty fell silently into that good night. Batman would never give up trying to make Gotham the safest place — he simply can't. It's not in his nature to give up, and sadly, Sherlock doesn't feel the same way.
5. Batman Is Not A High-Functioning Sociopath
After watching Season 4 of Sherlock, one could argue that he's really not a sociopath whatsoever. However, at the same time, he killed Charles Augustus Magnussen in cold blood, which is something Batman would never do. One must wonder how this affects both of their detective work. Batman has a huge heart covered by an immaculate bat insignia and Sherlock hides his behind his wit and sarcasm — which one works better?
Batman never should've dropped him off that cliff with the waterfall right beside it in Death of the Family. The Joker came back with vengeance. Y'see, Moriarty's master posthumous plan was to have Eurus straight-up f*** with Sherlock. It wasn't the worst plan ever, but it pales in comparison with what the Joker made Batman do in Endgame. The Joker released his Joker Toxin on the citizens of Gotham and made them go absolutely crazy by attacking the ones they love. Batman realized he needed to go to the source of the infection to find the antidote.
In one of the greatest endings to any book, The Joker raced to the Lazarus Pit a.k.a Dionesium so he wouldn't die. Batman then grabbed The Joker and asked, "Won't you stay with me — a bit longer — friend?" (paraphrased), as they both lay, bloody and on the verge of passing over to the next life. It was a fitting endgame.
Moriarty's endgame was to have Sherlock commit suicide or risk losing everyone who is close to him. What makes this even more insane — before Sherlock can even have time to think, Moriarty kills himself. It was an intriguing plot development, but it was somewhat anticlimactic when compared to Batman and Joker's deaths in Snyder's Endgame. The fans understood that Moriarty is simply bat-s*** crazy, but why go through all that trouble and then kill yourself? It's absurd.
7. Alfred Pennyworth Is Just A Tad Better Than Mrs. Hudson
How can you bring up either Sherlock or Batman and not talk about their supporting cast. I know, Robin is just like Watson, but with the New 52's iterations that seems less like the case and more like an internship than anything else. Sherlock loves Mrs. Hudson — there's no arguing that. However, Batman wouldn't be Batman without his faithful friend, Alfred. I refuse to call Alfred a butler since he does so much and is loved by so many. Not saying you can't love your butler, but Alfred has transcended the role into something beautiful and awe-inspiring.
At the same time, when Mycroft yelled at Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock threw more shade than a Giant Sequoia from California at him for doing so. Sherlock may care a great deal about Mrs. Hudson, but her role pales in comparison to how crucial Alfred is, not only to Bruce, but the entire Bat-family.
There you have it. In recent times, Batman has not only proved he's a greater detective than PBS's Sherlock Holmes, but an all-around better person as well. Yes, Batman in recent memory has so much material to work with, but PBS's Sherlock had a plethora of books to adopt from. Lastly, I'm an American, and remember that Batman is the American version of Sherlock Holmes.
Who do you think is better: Sherlock Or Batman?