TV Madness: Westen vs. Batman – Givens vs. White

Sorry for the absence of TV Madness on Friday. I came down with a vicious bout of strep throat and didn’t have an ounce of energy to do anything, let alone write. If I would’ve written, I’m sure it would have been even more nonsensical than my writing usually is. So, on that note, let’s continue on with the tournament and hope that I don’t contract any more bacterial infections.

Our last match-up pitted two of TV’s most brilliant minds against each other: Lex Luthor and Sherlock Holmes. It seems that the fact that we were dealing with the Lex Luthor from ‘Smallville’ made it a little easier for people to pick Sherlock as the winner. The other match-up was extremely close, but Echo eked out a win over Dean Winchester by a total of two votes.

The two new match-ups we have today are going to be tough to figure out which character would actually win. In the LED bracket, we have super-spy (and ultra-cool dude) Michael Westen facing off against Adam West’s Batman. In the LCD bracket, we have a match-up that somehow flew under the radar when I was pointing out my favorite first-round contests. A first-round heavyweight battle doesn’t get any crazier than a Raylan Givens versus Walter White showdown. Who the hell knows how that would end up?

This is a very interesting match-up indeed. On one hand, you have a trained spy who seemingly knows how to do everything. On the other, you have an indelible TV character who has lodged into our brains as one of the greatest heroes of all-time. I wonder what will come into play here. Will nostalgia take over and cause most of us to vote for Batman? Or will newcomer Michael Westen be able to best this early version of the Dark Knight? Will they both cancel each other out because they both only use their powers for good?

Michael Westen – There isn’t anything he can’t do. He’s a one-stop shop for everything espionage-related. Personally, I think he has a leg up on Adam West’s Batman, because let’s face it, West was corny. Yes, it’s fun to think back on that show, but if we put both of these guys in a steel cage and say “Fight!,” I’m sure that Westen will come out the victor.



Strengths: Like I said, he can do anything. His skills range from hand-to-hand combat to all sorts of weapons expertise. He’s not only good at kicking ass, he’s also great at stealth and disguise. If he doesn’t want you to know he’s there, you won’t.

Weaknesses: Michael routinely has his judgment clouded whenever one of his loved ones is in trouble. It’s really the only way to get to him. I doubt that Batman would take one of Westen’s friends hostage.

Batman (Adam West) – Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching the old ‘Batman’ episodes when I was a young lad, but I just don’t think that this version of Batman has the wherewithal to go up against TV’s ultimate spy.




Strengths: The nostalgia factor comes into play here big time. A lot of people may say, “Well, he’s Batman! Surely I can’t vote against Batman!” Oh, and he has the power to conjure up visible exclamations like “POW!” and “OOF!” whenever he fights.

Weaknesses: He just doesn’t have the combat ability that a character like Michael Westen has. I feel like he’s just outmatched here, but we’ll see what you voters think.

Michael Westen vs. Batman (Adam West)

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Here’s a great match-up if there ever was one. Both of these characters have very strong fan bases, and both of their shows seem to be at the peak of their respective popularity. They’re two of the most memorable TV characters on active shows. They’ve both seen their fair share of violence, and they both have their own ways to deal with it.

Raylan Givens – I can’t think of a character on TV right now that I like more than Raylan Givens. It’s like the show transplanted a Wild West sheriff and stuck him in modern times. He’s cool and collected, but he still knows exactly what’s going on every second.



Strengths: Raylan has two really amazing capabilities. First is that he’s a quick draw with a gun and can put just about any man down. Secondly, and even more importantly, is that he doesn’t have to use the first ability as much as you think he would. That’s because Raylan is a very logical thinker and can reason with people by just talking to them. It really comes in handy when you can keep your enemy talking instead of trying to kill you.

Weaknesses: Like Michael Westen, Raylan’s weakness has to do with his family and loved ones. He doesn’t think all that clearly when their lives are threatened.

Walter White – Bryan Cranston’s performance as Walter White is just as unsettling as John Lithgow’s performance as the Trinity Killer on ‘Dexter’. Cranston used to make me laugh. Now, he’s unrecognizable. Walter White is easily one of the most unstable characters in this whole tournament – a high school chemistry teacher turned drug dealing badass who isn’t afraid to kill people. He strangled Krazy 8 with a bike lock! Dude be crazy.


Strengths: He’s nuts. I guess teaching high school kids for that long will knock a few screws loose. Whatever it is, Walter will stop at nothing to get his way. If anyone gets in his way, he eliminates them. There’s something so intimidating about that bald-headed goatee staring back at you.

Weaknesses: He has lung cancer, so that could really slow him down in a fight.

Raylan Givens vs. Walter White

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  1. 1960s Batman can easily dispense with Michael Westen by reaching into his utility belt and whipping out a handy can of Bat-Spy Repellant, which he of course always comes stocked with.

  2. HuskerGuy

    Westen is the modern day Batman. The guy can prep for anything. That, and if I recall correctly, this is a fight to the death. I don’t believe Batman kills people.

    • EM

      I doubt Westen is prepared for the kooky awesomeness that is Adam West’s Batman. Why, Westen’s just a normal guy—Batman fights people in costumes, and so you know Batman’s on a whole higher level. And no, Bats is no killer, but those foolish enough to oppose his crusade against crime court deadly defeat by their own malicious machinations. Offhand I can’t think of any examples from the Batman series; but in the same-continuity 1966 movie, five dehydrated death-dealing pirates rehydrated with heavy water opposed Batman and Robin only to disappear into antimatter, never to come back, at least in this universe—if that’s not death, I’m sure it’s close enough for the purposes of this contest.

  3. Alex

    Honestly, I can’t stand “Burn Notice”. I’ve tried and tried to get into it, but it’s just not my cup of tea. That being said, Batman ultimately retired to become the bat-crap crazy mayor of Quahog, RI. I think Westen can take him down.

  4. CK

    On a side note, I understand that it would be difficult to write a description of the characters without spoilers, but it would be nice if they could be avoided, at least for shows that are still active. Particularly for recent seasons, considering that some of us follow shows on DVD and aren’t up to date until they are released.

    • Aaron Peck

      Sorry. It’s really impossible to keep up with everyone when it comes to spoilers. TV moves so fast nowadays, and some of the descriptions would be pretty bland if they didn’t contain events that had happened in past seasons of that show.

      • CK

        Actually, Aaron, I have no issue with your descriptions, they’ve been fairly spoiler free; mostly just the essential information that I would expect to get in the first episode or a series synopsis. My comment was generally about the comments section, and specifically, about those like Shayne’s above, which sounds a bit too specific to be something he came up with himself, and not anything I remember from the first three seasons; it may reveal nothing, but it sounds spoilery to me. You gave a spoiler for Breaking Bad, but I’d say that’s reasonable enough, because that season has been available on TV, DVD, Netflix, etc for awhile. I’d consider anything that hasn’t been, at least, released on DVD for a couple months to be in spoiler territory.

  5. T.J. Kats

    Isn’t it a battle to the death? Batman doesn’t kill people so he loses. Walter White is great but Raylen takes him down.

    • I think we have to suspend disbelief enough to say that these characters would set aside certain personal morals and rules of behavior in order to participate in the tournament.

      I think of it as being like a battle to the death in the videogame sense. They’re not really murdering another person. They “kill” them like you’d kill your videogame opponent. Since it’s not for real, you can get your hands dirty.


    I went for Walter White because he isn’t above poisoning someone (anyone!) and Raylan isn’t above accepting hospitality in the form of possibly poisoned libations (such as the end of Season 2).

  7. If Raylan doesn’t kill White, then his cancer will so either way, he’s dead (I like both characters BTW).

    As for Weston Vs. Batman: SERIOUSLY? Adam West is in pretty good shape as it is at about age 83 plus Weston is fighting people just as cartoonish as the Batman ones. Only difference is that Batman has a Batmobile. Weston’s not used to being made roadkill …