By David Harth
Batman is one of the most intelligent people in the DC Universe, but that doesn't mean there aren't those who have been able to outsmart him.
Batman is one of the most formidable characters in comics. He's often put into situations where he has no business winning but can power through, using his skills, tech, and, most importantly, his brains to get him out of even the stickiest of situations. This is especially impressive when one considers the caliber of Batman's foes, unpredictable and dangerous enemies who need more than punching to defeat.
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Batman is one of the most intelligent people in the DC Universe, but that doesn't mean there aren't those who have been able to outsmart him. Many others are actually smarter than the Caped Crusader.
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10 Dr. Manhattan
Dr. Manhattan was the only person with superpowers on his Earth, and those powers basically made him into a god. He spent most of his free time learning about the universe around him, trying to unravel its mysteries. His powers allowed him to witness things and conduct experiments that would be impossible for someone without his skills to do.
Batman is pretty smart, but there's no way he can match Dr. Manhattan's just about unparalleled knowledge of physics, astronomy, and molecular science. On top of that, Manhattan's unique way of viewing time gives him knowledge of the future, which Batman has no access to.
9 Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul and Batman have tangled for years, with Batman always getting the better of the dangerous immortal. However, while Batman wins the fights, one place he probably wouldn't beat al Ghul is in a trivia contest of just about any sort. Ra's al Ghul has been alive for a very long time and has learned more than most people can imagine.
He's been a prime mover of history, working behind the scenes, and has first-hand knowledge of many of the world's most important events. The amount of knowledge he's accumulated over the centuries of his lifetime is vaster than Batman could hope to match.
8 Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage has been alive since the dawn of the human race. Given immortality, enhanced physical attributes, and superintelligence, Savage has spent millennia accruing resources and power in his bid to become the alpha predator of the planet Earth. While Batman has been able to beat him on many occasions, there's no doubt that Savage knows way more about a lot of things than Batman.
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Savage has spent countless millennia on the planet Earth, learning and adapting to the changes in humanity. He's easily forgotten more than Batman has ever learned, which probably explains why he loves so much. Still, it's hard to compete with someone with the wide knowledge base that he has.
7 Professor Ivo
Professor Ivo is a long-time foe of the Justice League and creator of Amazo, one of the most dangerous androids in all of comics. Amazo is an awe-inspiring creationーit can copy the powers of any being it comes into contact with. While its AI often leaves something to be desired, its ability to gain any superpowers it comes into contact with is awe-inspiring.
The amount of work it must have taken to create a system that could adapt and change in the way Amazo does is awe-inspiring and proves that Ivo's much smarter than Batman. Batman can do many things, but he's never proven very good at robotics on the level of Amazo.
6 T.O. Morrow
T.O. Morrow is another foe of the Justice League who created an android with the express purpose of beating the team who failed, but his failure was extraordinary. Morrow created Red Tornado, a machine that overcame its programming and decided that he didn't want to destroy the Justice League, instead of joining the team. As the team affectionately called him, Reddy then decided that he wanted to become as human as possible.
T.O. Morrow created an AI so advanced that it could grow beyond its programming, endeavoring to become more than it was. This is a huge accomplishment, and as intelligent as Batman is, not something he could ever match.
5 Will Magnus
Will Magnus is the creator of the Metal Men. The amount of scientific disciplines it took to create the team is honestly pretty staggering. First off, he had to create AI so advanced as to be indistinguishable from living beings. Second, he had to understand the periodic table of elements well enough to know the properties of different metals and create systems that would act like those properties. Finally, he had to integrate all of that.
The Metal Men are one of the most impressive creations in the DC Universe, each with its own idiosyncratic personality and unique abilities. Magnus's creation of them proves he's smarter than Batmanーwell, except for the smoking.
4 Brainiac 5
Brainiac 5 is a twelfth level intelligence and one of the most intelligent beings in the 31st century. While he's not known for his sparkling personality, he's the person to go to when one needs, say, an impenetrable force field or rings that allow people to fly or all manner of amazing far-future technology. While it seems like a cheat to say he's smarter than Batman since he's from a thousand years in the future, he'd still be smarter than the Caped Crusader even without that advantage.
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Brainiac 5's IQ surpasses Batman's by many magnitudes, and he could easily master any discipline that Batman has in a much shorter time frame.
3 Mr. Terrific
Mr. Terrific has a pretty impressive resume. He was able to absorb and understand the greatest works of theoretical physics at a very young age and would go on to earn fourteen Ph. Ds, start his own tech company and become a gold medal Olympic decathlete. There are few people, hero or villain, who are as smart as Mr. Terrific.
Batman and Mr. Terrific have a bit of a friendly rivalry, but deep down, Batman knows that Mr. Terrific is smarter than him, and it's not even close. Terrific has mastered way more disciplines than Batman has, but the two men have nothing but respect for each other.
2 Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is one of Superman's greatest foes and probably the smartest person on the planet Earth. He's also one of the richest men on the planet, one who uses all of his vast knowledge and resources for his own self-aggrandizement. Luthor's intelligence has allowed him to become one of the most dangerous villains around, even without superpowers.
Batman has been facing off against Luthor both as a superhero and as a businessman and knows just how intelligent Luthor is. Luthor's knowledge base is so much wider than Batman's, and while Batman's craftiness and tactical know-how have always allowed him an upper hand over the bald villain, Luthor would cream him at Trivial Pursuit.
One of the New Gods, Metron has traveled the DC Multiverse for ages to learn everything he can. All of the knowledge he and his fellow New Gods have accumulated is stored in the Mobius Chair, giving him access to the vastest repository of knowledge in creation. Basically, Metron knows everything.
Batman knows he's nowhere near as smart as Metron because few beings actually are. The Mobius Chair gives Metron access to what is basically the greatest bank of knowledge ever assembled and understands all of it. He's the ultimate librarianーhe's not only read every book in existence, but he understands them better than the people who wrote them.
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