It's one of the great - and most oft-repeated - questions of our time: Who would win in a fight between Superhero A and Superhero B? Whether the conflict could ever actually take place in an in-canon story (Superman v The Hulk, say), or whether there's every going to be anything close to a consensus about the correct answer (Batman v Superman, come on down), doesn't really seem to matter, though. Instead, it's the journey - the debate that such a question sparks between friends, co-workers, or internet acquaintances - that matters most.
What's more, the answers that pop up from unexpected places can sometimes show us the heroes we love in a whole new light. A perfect example of that?
Max Landis Just Talked Us All Through How Batman Could Beat The Avengers (All at Once)
That's right: Landis - son of movie-legend John, and a bonafide Hollywood success story in his own right - has offered up a distinctly plausible way in which the Dark Knight could single-handedly take down the entire (cinematic) Avengers roster.
The big question, though?
How Could Batman Manage it?
After all, there's not only a whole lot of firepower in that Avengers line-up, but a whole lot of tactical nous, too. Landis' suggestion, posted to Twitter a few days ago?
Let Batman be Batman...
Specifically, as he put it:
My opinion on this stems not from my love of preference of individual characters, but rather for how the characters work best. The Avengers work best when vulnerable; Batman works best when he's written as a domineering and intense force of nature.
I think they'd stand a better chance in Round 2, but Round 1 goes like this. Okay, so let's say The Avengers appear in a city with batman and they fight.
Or, in other words, Batman would need both the element of surprise, and some kind of background knowledge of the environment - two things he almost always makes sure to have.
With that, then:
How Would He Deal With Each Member of the Team?
After all, a giant fiery explosion of death isn't really Bats' style.
"Banner gets knock-out darted before he turns into Hulk"
Which, in fairness, kind of pre-supposes that he hasn't pre-emptively Hulked up, but there's probably an anti-rage spray in Batman's utility belt, anyhow.
"Iron Man's suit gets hacked real quick"
Suggesting that Oracle or a similar supporting Bat-pal is helping out - or at least helped to write the code - but even so...
"Vision gets EMP'd reeeeal quick"
Which is probably a possibility the Avengers should look into before Captain America: Civil War, when you think about it...
"Thor gets Batwing'd into a building and then glued down with polymer"
Which you can imagine he would not be thrilled about.
"B Wids and H-Eye get knocked the f out"
Because, y'know, no superpowers.
"Cap's a fight but Batman wins"
Presumably because of that eternal truism, 'Batman always wins'.
The most intriguing part of Landis' argument, though?
Landis Reckons the Avengers Would Stand a Better Chance Fighting One on One
As he puts it:
Honestly if they fought him one on one it would be a fairer fight because he wouldn't be able to use the city against them as effectively; that ninja training is gonna be a b*tch for the rough and tumble MCU Avengers.
What's more, Landis actually prefers some of the Avengers to Batman:
Honestly I like Cap as a character more than I like Batman, I like Iron Man more too.
And even took the time to note that a certain Man of Steel would change everything...
Superman fighting the Avengers is just...not a fight. There's no tactical element to it. He just punches all of them once.
Leaving one final, and vitally important question:
What do you reckon?
Could Batman beat The Avengers single-handed?