Spider-Man and Batman are very different, both in their background, type of fighting, approach to life and overall character. And, of course, there’s also the fact that Spider-Man has actual superpowers, unlike Batman, whose skills come from hard physical training and clever inventions and gadgets.
These two popular superheroes have already met in the comics before, courtesy of the Marvel/DC crossover, but how would Spider-Man do if he found himself in Gotham and had to fight Batman’s villains on his own? There are some Gotham villains Spider-Man would be able to defeat, but he would also lose to others.
10 Beat: Clayface
Clayface could make Spider-Man’s life seriously unpleasant, at least at first, until the wall-crawler would realize that the villain has an ability to change shape. If Clayface took on the appearance of aunt May or any other character Spider-Man is familiar with, he could throw Peter off his guard and attack. That said, Spider-Man is clever enough that he wouldn’t let the same trick fool him twice. And as for the more violent part of Clayface’s skills, well, Spider-Man had already dealt with a villain of his own who can change shape – Sandman – and came victorious from the fight, so he could use a similar approach.
9 Lose: Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy is capable of manipulating people very well, especially men, as she demonstrated in the comics multiple times and also in the least popular Batman film of all times, Batman and Robin, where she was played by Uma Thurman. Her skills are different than what Spider-Man usually deals with, and Ivy’s ability to control the plants and make them do what she wants could bring more than one unpleasant moment to Spider-Man. Plus, no-one shouldn’t forget Peter’s great weakness, which is an affinity for beautiful women, especially redheads, and Poison Ivy could use her charms to easily throw him off her trail.
8 Beat: Penguin
One of the things that are so great about Spider-Man and make him different from most of the other heroes is his ability to crack jokes and make fun of the villains he’s facing – even in the middle of a fight, or especially in the middle of a fight, to be precise. Penguin doesn’t like it when people make fun of him, he’s prone to combust and make mistakes in judgment when it happens and Spider-Man could use this weakness against him. It’s true that Penguin usually has a bunch of goons at his disposal but Spider-Man proved over and over again that he’s able to take on even a larger number of enemies.
7 Lose: Scarecrow
At first glance, Scarecrow doesn’t look like much and it’s easy to imagine that Spider-Man would underestimate him during their first encounter, as he sometimes tends to do, only for him to learn a bitter lesson later on. Scarecrow doesn’t present a challenge from the physical point of view, he’s not super strong or fast, but his biggest power doesn’t lie in his body, but his mind.
Scarecrow’s fear toxin is potent enough to make even the strongest superheroes confused and terrified for their lives, and, unfortunately for Spider-Man, he has enough nightmares in his past the toxin can use against him if Scarecrow doses him with it.
6 Beat: The Riddler
Similarly to Scarecrow, the Riddler isn’t the first person you probably imagine when someone says: a dangerous villain. After all, he has no superpowers, and his greatest skill is fooling his enemies and making them fall into the trap he sets for them. Spider-Man could initially end up fooled by the Riddler, but he’d learn his lesson soon enough and would be much more careful from now on. While not so many people give him the credit he deserves in this area, Peter is actually very smart and a great student (when he goes to school in the first place), so he’d be able to crack any riddle and chase the Riddler down to his hideout.
5 Lose: Bane
Spider-Man is physically stronger than your average human, and he’s also able to endure more intense beating and injuries than other people, but even he has his limits, especially in the comic book storylines in which Peter is just a kid. Sending a teenager against Bane would be even more brutal than when Batman faced him, and he’s an adult. Bane is brutal, merciless, and he’s not afraid to maim or even kill his enemies. Add to it his enormous physical strength and Bane could break Spider-Man even more easily than he ended up breaking Batman. Spider-Man won’t stoop to Bane’s level, so the fight would end up quickly, and in Peter’s favor.
4 Beat: Two-Face
Another non-powered supervillain on this list is Two-Face (unless you count his madness as a special power). Similarly to the Riddler, Two-Face enjoys a good pun and an occasional riddler, so he would give Spider-Man the opportunity to use his intelligence and figure out what Two-Face is up to next.
Two-Face usually has several goons with him, and these usually have weapons at their disposal, but Spider-Man faced men with guns before and still won. Once Spider-Man figures out where Two-Face is hiding, he should be able to deal with him and still be home at the time for dinner.
3 Lose: Joker
Gotham breeds madness in its many villains, or so it would seem, and none of the villains represents the darker side of the city as well as the Clown Prince of Gotham does. There’s a reason why Joker is Batman’s number one enemy. His insanity and absolute disregard for human life make him deadly, dangerous, wild, and unpredictable. Spider-Man is used to dealing with villains whose actions often don’t make much sense, but Joker would prove too much even for him. Their confrontation might go well only in case Spider-Man would catch Joker by surprise, but that’s almost impossible to happen.
2 Beat: Harley Quinn
Spider-Man might have lost the fight against Joker, at least the first round, but he doesn’t have to be that sad because he still would have managed to defeat Harley Quinn, Joker’s partner in crime, and his right hand. These two actually have a lot in common – they’re both highly intelligent, educated, and very athletic and agile. That would make the fight between them interesting to watch, and Harley Quinn would probably get in a good punch or two, but in the end, Spider-Man would stop her by using his webs, right after he would yank the guns out of her hands.
1 Lose: Catwoman
If you want to make a fool of a superhero, have him face a woman. This recipe still works in the comics, and if Spider-Man went toe to toe with Catwoman, he would lose the first round – a big time. Going back to his own storyline for a moment, Spider-Man has an unfortunate soft spot for female burglars dressed as cats who are unpredictable and seductive – sounds familiar? Black Cat and Catwoman could very well be sisters, and if Spider-Man goes against Selina, she’ll probably manage to trick him or beat him down long enough to run away and leave Peter behind. After all, she does know Gotham better than Spider-Man, which also plays to her advantage.
Batman is known for his wide collection of villains, and fans can only wonder how the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man would deal with them.