In the 1990s, Marvel vs. DC pitted most of the greatest superheroes from the major two companies against each other for the first time, but not every great fight ended decisively – such as Batman and Captain America’s duel being interrupted by a wave of sewage. But in Ron Marz and Butch Guice’s follow-up series DC/Marvel: All-Access, Batman single-handedly took on an entire group of Marvel heroes to unexpected results.
During the events of All Access, Batman got the chance to go up against an entire team of X-Men. And although he was able to maneuver and defeat many of them, one surprising member of the team seemed to be able to keep up with and even bring down the Dark Knight.
Following the events of DC vs. Marvel, Access is forced to contend with the actions of Doctor Strangefate, the Amalgam Universe sorcerer who wanted to restore his reality and destroy the Marvel and DC Universes in the process. Working with heroes from the DC Universe, Access investigates across the Marvel Universe. When he and Batman go to look into a possible connection between Doctor Strange and the events that could recreate the Amalgam Universe, Jubilee arrives with many other members of the X-Men – Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Cannonball, Iceman, and Bishop. But Jean’s investigation into Doctor Strange’s mind finds no evidence of Doctor Strangefate, and the X-Men try to order Access and Batman to back away from their ally.
But when Bishop tries to force Batman to leave, Batman responds by knocking him to the ground with a single hit. A fight quickly breaks out between Batman and the assembled X-Men. Batman’s speed and skills make him difficult to actually hit, with Storm and Iceman both failing to bring Batman down. He even quickly adjusts to the X-Men and their powers, figuring out how to use Cannonball’s momentum against him to send him crashing into Storm and incapacitating her. But ultimately, Iceman is able to freeze up the ground and cost Batman his footing, which allos Bishop to get a gun on him and pin him.
The arrival of the Justice League only escalates the conflict, as the mutant heroes go head to head with the DC powerhouses. But even in this chaos, the X-Men’s leader, Cyclops, proves surprisingly capable against Batman. In the initial fight, Cyclops is the only member of the X-Men to land a solid hit against Batman. He even tags him again once the full battle breaks out. Cyclops ends up dueling with Batman one-on-one and even appears to get the better of the Caped Crusader, leaving him injured on the ground and requiring the Martian Manhunter to intervene and attack Cyclops.
It’s an interesting way to gauge Batman’s effectiveness as a fighter. The old edict is that with enough preparation, Batman can defeat anyone. But pitting him against a team of absurdly powerful figures among the X-Men shows just how far all those skills can take him. Although he can outpace almost all of them on his own, the overwhelming numbers and abilities of the X-Men make it impossible for Batman to handle the team on his own. And when going up against Cyclops, the mutant’s sheer power and tactical acumen — which is second only to Captain America in the Marvel Universe — meant that he was able to keep up with Batman and land more than enough hits to bring Batman to the ground.
Following the non-conclusion of DC vs. Marvel‘s battle between Captain America and Batman, seeing the Dark Knight take on a number of Marvel heroes delivers on the promise that’s implicit in any spin-off of DC vs. Marvel. It’s also an impressive showing for Cyclops, who proves why he’s the leader of the X-Men by keeping up with one of DC’s most dangerous fighters.
When the Marvel and DC Universes collided, Batman was almost able to hold off the entire X-Men, but one fan-favorite mutant took down the Dark Knight.