Batman and Iron Man: Hero Swap


The following post contains spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Iron Man 3.

The first of our Hero Swap series starts with Batman and Iron Man. Everything has rules, so why should a Hero Swap be any different?

  1. Only one character can be swapped out per movie.
  2. The main character from each movie can’t be swapped with supporting characters.
  3. The only aspects of the characters being swapped that are under consideration are those of the specific versions being swapped.

The idea behind Hero Swaps is simple. Take the main character of one movie, television show or comic book, and swap he or she out with the main character from another of the same medium.

Then, I consider which movie, television show or comic book is changed more, which character fares better in their new world and which movie, television show or comic book is better after the swap.

If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to assume that you already know who Batman and Iron Man are. So it’s likely equally safe to skip over the summary section I’d normally include. I mean these are two of the most popular super heroes of all time we’re discussing after all.

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Which versions are being swapped?

As established above, both Batman and Iron Man are iconic characters, and both have also been featured in a wide variety of different adaptations. This makes it especially important to distinguish exactly which versions of these characters are being swapped.

Because of their similarities, I have decided to swap Batman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) with Iron Man from Iron Man 3 (2013).

This swap will also entail Batman/Bruce Wayne keeping his Bat Mobile and other gadgets, the Bat Cave, his wealth and Alfred. Iron Man/Tony Stark will keep his suits, his litany of gadgets, his wealth and Jarvis.

Image Courtesy of Marvel Studios for Iron Man 3


Before we can really dig into which movie would be changed more, it is necessary to give a brief summary of what’s happening in each movie, and what the mental state of each character is.

Batman v Superman depicts an older, more grizzled Caped Crusader than we are used to. He’s grown bitter from personal loss, and years of donning the cowl to little effect in Gotham.

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He’s also become incredibly worried about the threat that Superman, and other super powered beings like him could pose to Earth. He dreads a world where Superman decides to rule, because nobody would be able to stop him. This fear, along with Superman’s own misgiving about Batman, ultimately lead to a violent confrontation between the two, before they team up (along with Wonder Woman) to defeat Doomsday.

Iron Man 3 presents us with a more fragile Tony Stark than we are used to. His actions as Iron Man, and specifically the events of The Avengers have had a severe impact on his mental health.

Stark has grown obsessed with building the perfect Iron Man suit, and has created a robotic army prepared to face down any threat the Earth should face.

In addition to his mental battles, Stark must battle the terrorist known as the Mandarin, as well as Aldrich Killian who is armed with the dangerous Extremis technology.

Which movie is changed more?

Batman v Superman would be changed more after the Hero Swap.

It would be much easier for Iron Man to kill Superman than it was for Batman, and the killing of Superman early on in the film would change it significantly. In Batman v Superman, the plot of the film is driven by the mistrust Batman and Superman have of one another. It’s immediately fixable (by fighting one another) so they act on it.

Iron Man 3, to me, has always felt like it was intended to address criticisms of Tony Stark’s ability outside of the suit. Iron Man often draws comparisons to Batman and people will often claim that Bruce Wayne would decimate Tony Stark outside of their respective suits.

In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark is forced to function without his suit, or even Jarvis, for large portions of the film. This leads me to believe that Batman, who is much more talented without his suit, would be able to accomplish everything that Iron Man does.

Would his methodology be different? Absolutely, but at the same time these differences wouldn’t result in a wildly different film, like they would in Batman v Superman. 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is changed more.

Who fares better after the swap?

So, as established above, both characters have similar motivations for their actions throughout their respective films. They each are driven by fear of what they don’t understand, and a fear of what could come next.

With this in mind, it is fair to say that Iron Man would fare better in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice than Batman would in Iron Man 3. 

In Batman v Superman, Batman’s main goal for much of the film is simply killing Superman. Assuming that this would also be Iron Man’s goal, he would have a much easier time accomplishing it than Batman did.

Both are tech geniuses, but Iron Man is still a notch above Batman in that department and Jarvis likely would obtain the location of Luthor’s Kryptonite. After that, Tony Stark the former weapons design genius, would be able to create a missile or even a laser based weapon for his suit in no time.

I’m no military expert, but I don’t really have to be to know that it’d be easier to use a Kryptonite based missile/laser to kill Superman, instead of a spear, like Batman planned.

Killing Superman isn’t a super great idea, especially since he actually isn’t evil, but it is still the main goal of our hero, and Iron Man does a better job of it than Batman would. Additionally, the Kryptonite weapons Stark developed to fight Superman would have worked just as well against Doomsday, so the only really big issues stemming from Superman’s death would likely be legal.

Batman’s identity is a secret while Iron Man’s isn’t, so while Batman killing Superman likely would have forced the Caped Crusader into retirement, Tony Stark would have likely been looking at jail time at least, which is less than ideal for him.

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Now, after reading all this you could be thinking “this dude’s totally underrating Batman, he’s an idiot and I hate him”. That’s fine, I get it, but hear me out.

Simply put, we don’t know that much about the DC Extended Universe’s version of Batman. We know he’s angry, we know he’s experienced a great deal of loss, and we know he’s still got the fighting, detective and technological skills to be a powerful hero.

However, his goal of defending the Earth from alien invasion isn’t as achievable for him. He could build a bunch of Bat Mobiles, but I’m not sure if they’d be as useful as the Iron Legion. I do believe that he’d be able to defeat Aldrich Killian and save the President’s life just as Iron Man is able to, but that wasn’t Iron Man’s goal throughout the film, that was just what he had to do.

So, final answer, Iron Man fares better after the swap.

Which movie is better after the swap?

This one’s super easy. Iron Man 3 starring Batman is way better than Batman v Superman starring Iron Man. While it would be insanely cool to watch Iron Man and Superman fight, I think it’d be over pretty quickly in favor of Iron Man. The rest of the movie would then be Tony Stark standing trial for his crimes, likely only to be released to help defeat Doomsday. That’s a pretty cool movie.

But, watching Batman attempt to solve a string of terrorist attacks, track the men responsible for them, and ultimately bring him to justice, all while dealing with fire breathing hitmen with super-strength? Now THAT is a cool movie

Next: Next: Iron Man's 25 greatest MCU moments

So what did you think about that Hero Swap? What heroes should be swapped next?