No superhero's resume would be complete without a time they fought a fellow hero due to some convoluted plot device. These stories serve the purpose of ending (or sometimes perpetuating) fan debate about who would win in a fight, revealing the characters' strengths and weaknesses while exploring which is more important to hero work: brains, or brawn. Such is the case of the battles between Wonder Woman and #Batman.
These skirmishes are not a test of brute strength. While Superman and Wonder Woman are evenly matched when they come to blows, Bruce Wayne is still a mortal man, no matter how many gadgets he piles on top of his vulnerable form. Naturally, most of his conflicts with Wonder Woman end in her favor — and yet, #DC's greatest detective has proved more than once that, given enough time to plan, he knows exactly how to take this demi-goddess down.
Join us as we count out all the times that Wonder Woman beat Batman — and one time Batman won.
Bats Is Stabbed To Death In 'Absolute Power'
Under the influence of the evil Legion of Super-Villains, in this out-of-canon arc Wonder Woman stabs Batman to death crying "die, oppressor!" It's not the most meaningful of kills, seeing as she caught Batman by surprise and the fight is too short to showcase either of their skills, but it's memorable none the less.
Wonder Woman Keeps Her Oath In 'The Hiketeia'
In this volume by longtime #WonderWoman writer Greg Rucka, Diana pledges an ancient oath to protect a fugitive woman (Daniella) — putting her at odds with Batman, who wants to arrest Daniella for murder. This is an excellent story which highlights Diana's flaws as much as her virtues: Her willingness to protect a vulnerable woman is noble, but she probably should have asked a few questions first.
As it turns out, Daniella was seeking vengeance for the torture and death of her sister at the hands of the four men she eventually killed. For readers this is an interesting turn of events, as we are invited to sympathize with both Wonder Woman and Batman, and the tale is as much about their methods of heroism as it is their strength in battle.
Ultimately, in their ensuing fight Wonder Woman does beat Batman to the ground, and in an iconic scene she steps on his head, warning him to stay down. Yet, the situation is resolved when Batman pleads for Diana to protect him under the terms of Hiketeia — though she had beaten him, Wonder Woman agrees and the two find a compromise.
Even Batman Knows Diana Has No Kryptonite
In Justice League 20, Batman and Wonder Woman don't actually fight but Bats proves that Diana is the most powerful member in the League. Bruce shows Superman his contingency plans: Boxes which contain each member of the League's personal Kryptonite. And yet, Wonder Woman's box is empty.
"Wonder Woman doesn't have a Kryptonite, Clark."
Bruce goes on to reveal that, in the case of Diana going bad, Superman is the only person who could stop her — and even then it's a bit of a toss up as to who would win. Wonder Woman's sword is one of the few things on Earth that can make Supes bleed, and after all, Superman has a Kryptonite. (It's Kryptonite.)
Diana Pummels The JLA In 'A League Of One'
In one of the best examples of Wonder Woman's power, JLA: A League Of One recounts the time when Diana beat up the entire #JusticeLeague. Don't worry, she didn't turn into a maniacal despot (you can read Injustice for that). Presented with a prophecy in which the League are the only people who can save the world from an immensely powerful dragon, but will all die in the process, Diana comes up with a logical solution: If she takes the other members of the Justice League out of commission, she will be "a League of one" and only she will die.
Thus ensues one of DC Comics' best convoluted superhero fights, as Wonder Woman swiftly takes out the entire League, stealing Green Lantern's ring, drop kicking the Flash, sending Superman on a wild goose chase, punching Aquaman right into the mouth of a sea monster — and viciously beating up Batman, proving once again that when it comes to a physical fight, Bats has nothing on Wondy.
Ultimately, Diana fulfills the prophecy and nearly dies, though Superman swoops in at the last minute to administer some much needed super-CPR.
Batman Finally Wins One — Hypothetically
Justice League 20 isn't the first time that DC have explored Bruce's contingency plans. Several years previously, the five-issue series JLA: Tower Of Babel revealed just how Batman planned to disarm or kill the League, should they turn evil. This caused a huge rift, with the majority of Leaguers voting Batman out — not necessarily because he had a contingency plan, but because he meticulously researched their weaknesses without telling them, putting himself in a disturbing position of advantage over all of them. Even Diana votes Bruce out, explaining that his mere presence on the team weakens them all.
Again, this is a fascinating story which highlights Bruce's intellectual strength as much as his flaws of arrogance and isolation. And interestingly, this is one of the few times where Batman triumphs over Wonder Woman — via Ra's Al Ghul, who has invaded Watchtower and uses Batman's contingency plans to incapacitate the League.
Bruce's plan to defeat Diana is ingenious, as he uses her own strength and competitiveness against her. He would inject a nanite into her ear, causing her to become trapped in a hallucination where she is fighting her perfect opponent. Unable to defeat this antagonist and refusing to give up, Diana would eventually die from a heart attack. Chilling.
Brains Over Brawn
The battles between Wonder Woman and Batman prove that they balance each other very well. In a physical fight, Diana wins against Bruce hands down, and their skirmishes in the comics have reflected her strength and skill in battle. However, if given enough time to plan, and with the element of surprise, Batman could easily best any member of the #JusticeLeague, using his intellect against them. This is a nice example of brains over brawn. Ultimately though, whether Bruce or Diana win against each other is determined entirely by the situation.