Thursday, February 13, 2014

Because You Demanded It: Batman vs. Superman

Karen: Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! With the Superman/Batman film on the horizon, it seems like one of fandom's perennial favorite subjects is now a property of the mainstream: who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? Honestly, I'm a bit tired of the whole thing -they shouldn't be fighting at all! But here's our opportunity to get this thing out of our collective systems. Anything's fair, it's war after all. And we're not just talking in the context of a film here -just in general, if these two throw down, how does it go?




23 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Superman is a massively powerful alien who can stop a speeding bullet etc while Batman is just a man in a bat costume - Superman wouldn't just win he'd knock Batman into the middle of next week.He would also have demolished Muhammad Ali in that silly '70s bout.

david_b said...

Fricken' A, Colin.

"Innn this cornaaa, the Man O' Steel who can push planets (well, he use'ta..), spin planets the opposite direction to reverse time.. (well, ok that was in the movies..), deflect bullets, tear through thick walls of concrete. Suuuuuperman..!!"

"And in dis cornaaaa, a guy who either looks like a steriodal Hulk (thanks, Frank Miller..) or a slight pudgy midsection with Bat Shark Repellent, Baaaatman..!!"

Sounds like a story Bob Haney would only dream about...

Edo Bosnar said...

I have to say, I pretty much share the view that these two shouldn't be fighting each other in the first place - so I find conjecturing as to who would win that fight kind of pointless.
That said, I think that - barring the use of Kryptonite on Batman's part - the outcome should be pretty obvious...

Doug said...

To me, the whole issue is some sort of rebellion against good or purity. If Superman was seen as a by-the-law, forever-altruistic sort of character, then Batman is that antagonist who may still be altruistic in the end but works within a wholly different ethical system. For this modern presentation of the characters, I thought John Byrne really nailed it in Man of Steel #3, which you can find reviewed around here somewhere.

And I agree that, dopey as it looks, the Golden Age World's Finest covers with Batman, Robin, and Superman playing baseball (etc.) are a thing of the past in current continuity.

Oh, and any time he wanted to, Superman could vaporize Batman with heat vision. Short fight.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

They wouldn't fight except if they were fooling a villain by pretending to be enemies.

But if they did, the only way Batman can ever win is when a writer portrays Superman as an utter moron. Even if Batman had access to Kryptonite, (1) Superman would have to just sit there and let Batman access his weapon rather than prevent it in any of a thousand ways and (2) even then, Superman could just fly of range and use x-ray/heat vision or super-cold breath or any of another thousand ways to destroy the weapon and/or Batman.

Silly premise.

Mike said...

Batman would use his superior intellect and "wonderful toys" to bring Supes to his knees!!

(... but mainly because everyone else is picking Superman. I love rooting for the underdog!)

mr. oyola said...

Who's writing it and in what era?

I honestly would prefer if they didn't even occupy the same worlds. The same multiverse? Yes, but like Superman could be in Earth S and Batman in Earth B - and in Earth B Superman's powers don't work as well.

Heck._I_ should write it. ;)

david_b said...

Supergirl vs. Batgirl anyone...?

The inevitable Bob Haney-penned 'Super-Sons' fight would be fairly vanilla but perhaps a tasty side of wackiness thrown in for you Haney fans.

William said...

Add me to the list of those who don't think they should be fighting in the first place.

In fact, that was the part of Miller's DKR that I hated the most. I just didn't really didn't care for that whole thing.

But if I had to pick one to win in fight -- Well, if you throw out the deus ex machina that is Kryptonite, then the outcome is pretty much a forgone conclusion.

Now, why don't we speculate on who would win in a fight between The Hulk and Robin?

MattComix said...

DKR is one of the absolute worst things to ever happen to either character.

DKR no.4 It's the penultimate gratuitous over-compensation moment for Batman fans and for Superman fans it has meant having to constantly defend the character for anything and everything from his conscience to his costume.

Really sometimes it feels like the desire for hero vs. hero battle puts comic fandom on the same level as a crowd at the Roman Coliseum during its heyday.

I get enjoying some of those mighty Marvel misunderstanding brawls or having some personality clash upon two heroes first meeting but past that it's asking the canon itself to continually service a never ending game of "my dad can beat up your dad" while still attempting to claim modern books are sophisticated and adult.

J.A. Morris said...

Superman would win. He's overcome kryponite long enough to beat villains who use it, he could do the same in a fight with Batman.

But they shouldn't be fighting. I'm sure the movie will have them fight while one is under hypnosis. Or a "Marvel Team-Up" scenario where they fight until the "real villain" shows up & they realize they're on the same side.

KevinFermoyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Celis said...

"superior intellect"? Superman can make androids indistinguishable from himself, among various other prodigious feats of intellect over the years. Batman can soup up a car. Superman outwits Luthor and Brainiac on a regular basis. Batman outsmarts crackpots who leave clues deliberately.

KevinFermoyle said...

As a one time Else Worlds/Imaginary story, DKR is relatively entertaining. Unfortunately it has influenced how the characters and their relationship have been treated ever since.

What is wrong with your top two characters teaming up to do some crime busting together? Give me the old World's Finest approach any day.

Rip Jagger said...

At first glance it seems an utter mismatch with Superman the clear overdog. But then there's the fact that Batman is the ultimate tactician, and I imagine he has a plan and equipment to put the Man of Steel down if the need ever arose. It seems there were some issues of JLA in which that was the crux of the conflict, that Batman had contingencies worked out for all the members, Superman included.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Superman.

The Prowler.

Matt Celis said...

That only works if you portray Superman as an utterly inept dunderhead. It's the Cult of Batman so prevalent these days. Nearly anyone on the JLA could take him down with no problem except when writers use the "Batman = Shakespeare + Einstein + Sherlock Holmes, everyone else = moron" formula.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Karen and Matt Celis - this is a silly argument; they shouldn't even be fighting. This type of question sounds like it came from one of those innumerable fanboy blog posts, e.g. who'd win between Thor and Hulk.

As I've mentioned before, I think Stan Lee had the best response to this type of question - he stated that it's all in the hands of the writers. I think he also said that conceivably Micky Mouse could beat Godzilla if the writer chose to do so.

Hope the Batman/Superman movie does well. DC movies so far have a lot of catching up to the merry Marvel movie juggernauts.


- Mike 'holy kryptonite Batman!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Fred W. Hill said...

I remember the issue of Ghost Rider in which he wound up in conflict with the Hulk. In the letters pages a transcript of a conversation between two Marvel writers in which one asked the writer of G.R. how he got away from the Hulk and the scribe responed, "oh, he didn't escape, he beat the Hulk!" "No way," sayeth the other. Ultimately someone drew a cartoon of how the fight "should" have ended -- with ol' Jade Jaws holding Ghost Rider's deflamed and detached skull in his hand amidst scattered bones and motorcycle parts.
As for Supes & Bats, well, Batman may use trickery to take down Superman, but otherwise the fights over in nanoseconds -- Supes not only knocks Bats into next week but then flies past him into the future to catch him before he falls, but only after completing the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle and catching a baseball game. A month later Bruce comes to and asks what freight train hit him.

mr. oyola said...

Did anyone really "demand" this? ;)

Edo Bosnar said...

Hmmm, good question, Osvaldo. I was wondering about that myself...

Humanbelly said...

Heh-- I do remember that Stan had a running gag that poked fun at that very sort of over-the-top hype that he himself was so prone to using. Usually something like:

"Because it was Demanded by Millions!

(That is, Fred Millions down at the coffee shop was pretty darned insistent. . . !")

HB

Murray said...

Count me in on the philosophy that they should never fight. My favourite moment to that end is when we see that Bronze Age moment when Dick Grayson first chooses to be Nightwing. His inner thoughts reflect honouring Bruce/Batman, obviously, but that Superman was like a second father figure to him.

BUT, comic geeks having been pitting imaginary contests between their favourite heroes for all the decades I've read the medium. The old World's Finest constantly featured tales where a) something gave one of the heroes a Bad Attitude and, usually, b) gave Batman powers. Off they'd clash.

Any situation where Batman is the instigator, he has a chance with setting the game all in his favour, ultimately taking advantage of Superman's decency and innate caution at turning any human into a grease smear. (like in DKR)

If, as we've never seen, Superman is the instigator, well, there are a dozen ways that Batman literally would not know what hit him.

In the end, the twisted caricatures that the mainstream movies call "Batman" and "Superman" might do any horrific and insane action.

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