The new movie is hardly the first time that DC’s two most popular heroes have fought…
DC Entertainment has made more than one great Superman and Batman film, and in 2016 it’s breaking new ground by putting the two heroes together in the same film for the first time ever. Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the real start to DC’s own movie universe, and based on the huge number of comments on a recent trailer, folks are plenty interested in seeing how this will go down. It’s weird that so many folks are excited over the concept, because there are decades worth of comic books featuring Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne swinging fist.
Learn a thing or two about their shared history in this video…
The two premiere DC superheroes have been around since the ’30s, and defined the entire capes & cowls genre, leaving many fans to wonder just who would win in real fight. Aside from some imaginary stories here and there, the two characters mostly had goofy fun together up until the ’80s. And for the last three decades, the two have vacillated from respected teammates to wary allies to full-on enemies. And when they finally have it out, who’s the victor? Well, saying “the reader is the victor” would be pretty lame, so instead I’m just going to move on with a countdown of the best Batman and Superman fights around…
7. JLA: Tower of Babel
This one goes last on this list because it has the least action between the two heroes, but it shows the only real edge Batman has against an indestructible god: psychological. Batman not only is a better planner than Superman, but he also can be clever enough to build contingencies to defeat his friends in the Justice League should the need arise. Unfortunately, in this classic JLA story by Mark Waid and Howard Porter, the plan works when stolen and used by Ra’s al Ghul. The entire team is beaten using Mr. Wayne’s gameplan, Kal-el included.
This being Batman, all the attacks are nonlethal, but hardly painless: Green Lantern is blinded, Plastic Man frozen and shattered, Aquaman made deathly scared of water. Superman gets the worst of it, exposed to a red variation of Kryptonite that overloads his powers, disfigures him, and pushes him to the brink of insanity. This unwanted field test proved that Bruce could beat the whole team (Clark included) should he feel like betraying them, though the JLA felt deceived enough to kick him out of the league anyway. But score one for Bats here.
6. Batman #612
For better and worse Jeph Loeb is one of the biggest Superman/Batman fans to ever write comics. Most of the early ’00s saw him penning book after book about how much Bats and Supes respect each other and admire their heroism (seriously, just fuck already, guys). As indulgent as those books could be, Loeb and artist Jim Lee created one of the better modern fights between the characters, thanks to Poison Ivy’s mind control. And Bruce once again used his cunning to have the smallest advantage to beat an addled Clark.
Bats bests Superman with a mix of Kryptonite, years of planning, luck, and an assist from Catwoman, but the win comes many an asterisk. Superman is barely thinking straight, Bruce only has a Kryptonite ring because Supes gave it to him, and once Kal is thinking clearly, the fights over. But who cares, Jim Lee made it look gorgeous.
5. Batman (New 52) #36
The recent Endgame was an be-all, end-all showdown between Joker and Batman (one that’d destroy Gotham and see some of Bruce’s best buds driven insane thanks to a variation of the Joker Toxin). That includes the Justice League, who Bats takes out until finally facing Superman. Obviously Supes is a bit more pale and reckless thanks to Joker’s influence, but the big battle shows just how prepared Batman is to fight a Kryptonian (even in the rebooted New 52 universe).
Donning some familiar looking power armor, Bruce is ready for a tussle with the mad god (though he doesn’t use the also-cliched Kryptonite gauntlets). This time, Batman has a tiny red sun that negates much of Kent’s solar-enhanced energy. Also in his artillery; some force fields to deflect heat vision and super breath. Honestly, it all sounds like what an eight year-old would dream up (though Bruce Wayne can be childish underneath all the training and money). When all the tech fails, some well placed Kryptonite spit makes all the difference, ending the fight in Batman’s favor again, even if the combatants left a ton of destruction in their wake.