Batman and Daredevil both have sharp perception, but a brief encounter between the two proved the Caped Crusader to be just a bit sharper.
When it comes to dark, gritty, street-level heroes for their respective brands, Batman and Daredevil are both at the top of the heap. Both characters are brooding vigilantes tortured by the senseless murder of their parents, they operate at night in big cities, use custom melee weapons, and between the ears and horns, they even wear similar masks. Fans have even speculated that given Daredevil’s echolocation and Batman’s love of souped-up vehicles, the two should actually trade names. There are many similarities, but the most important shared quality between the two is their mutual powers of deduction.
Batman, as the “world’s greatest detective,” uses advanced science and an encyclopedic knowledge of many diverse fields to take down his villains. While Daredevil’s skill set is less diverse, he possesses a genius legal mind and heightened senses, able to detect evidence no-one else can fathom, and even discern between truth and lies by the speaker’s heartbeat. While fans have long speculated who’d win a fight between Batman and Daredevil, their battle of the minds is just as intriguing, especially since each is hiding secrets about their identity they wouldn’t want the other to learn.
In Unlimited Access, written by Karl Kesel with pencils by Pat Olliffe, DC and Marvel’s co-owned dimension-hopping hero, Axel Asher, otherwise known as Access, finds himself jumping between Marvel and DC set-pieces as characters and storylines begin to overlap. In issue #2, Access winds up in Gotham city, seconds away from being hit by the Batmobile, when he’s suddenly rescued by none other than Daredevil. Daredevil deduces Access’ heart rate and temperature, then notices Gotham’s awful stench. Batman, observing all of this, inquires further about Daredevil’s abilities, quickly deducing that he possesses superhuman senses.
When Access’ reality starts to dissolve again he emits a brilliant flash of light, which Daredevil fails to notice. As they fade away from Gotham City, Batman realizes that Daredevil is blind. In the span of a minute or so, Batman was able to figure out Daredevil’s powers and the big secret he maintains in order to cover his civilian identity. While both character’s main concern is getting Access to safety, Batman still can’t help but use his detective skills on Daredevil.
Instead of using their time together to punch villains, or each other, like many of the other encounters in the Unlimited Access series, Batman and Daredevil would rather show off how perceptive they are. Batman, being the original archetype for grim nocturnal crime fighters like Matt Murdock, appropriately one-ups Daredevil by guessing his most closely guarded secret, but is still impressed by the Man Without Fear’s skills. While there are situations where Daredevil could run rings around Batman, their meet-up in Unlimited Access shows that Bruce Wayne’s obsession with becoming the Batman sharpened him to the point where he can guess Daredevil‘s secrets within moments of meeting him.
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