The 10 Greatest Batman v Superman Fights in DC Comics History
Now that we know the official synopsis for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, hype for the movie has reached an all-time high, with everyone seemingly desperate to see these two titans go at it. But this won't be the first time Batman and Superman have come to blows, not by a long shot. The two have actually battled each other multiple times throughout DC Comics history, and contrary to popular belief, Batman does not always win. Here are 10 of the comic book titans' greatest comic book showdowns.
The Dark Knight Returns
Unquestionably the best known fight between the two, and the one that the movie seems to be most influenced by, The Dark Knight Returns was Frank Miller's gritty 1986 miniseries depicting a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement to once again protect Gotham. Superman is then brought in by the U.S. Government to stop Batman's career revival and the fight ensues. Shortly before the fight, Superman is severely weakened after surviving a nuclear blast. He's then plugged with a Kryptonite arrow at the fight's onset. Despite this, Batman still needs a powered suit of armor to take down the Man of Steel before faking his own death by heart attack.
The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Either Frank Miller loves Batman, or he really has it in for Superman. The writer/artist's 2001 follow up to The Dark Knight Returns isn't nearly as well regarded as its predecessor, and the one-sided nature of the fight between Batman and Superman may have something to do with it. After Superman shows up at the Batcave to once again confront Batman, he's ambushed by a number of superheroes who are in league with the Dark Knight, before Batman proceeds to beat him to a pulp aided by nothing but Kryptonite gauntlets. Cheap move Mr.Wayne.
This 2002 story by Jeph Loeb features Batman trying to wrestle Superman out of the control Poison Ivy. Unlike many of their other dust-ups, the two are not enemies in this particular battle. Batman uses a Kryptonite ring to weaken Superman, while Supes focuses more of his energy toward resisting Ivy's mind control than he does fighting Batman. The fight ends when Catwoman puts Lois Lane in danger, finally allowing Superman to break free of his trance.
Superman: Red Son
Mark Millar's 2003 alternate reality storyline shows what would happen if Superman had landed in the Soviet Union as a baby and become America's greatest foe. Well, just like the real Superman, he'd get the crap kicked out of him by Batman. In what's probably the most plausible victory for Batman given their abilities, the Dark Knight sets up lights to simulate the red sun (get the pun?) of Krypton, thus robbing Superman of his powers and enabling him to defeat him with relative ease. The fight is ended when Wonder Woman intervenes on Superman's behalf, and Batman commits suicide to avoid capture. Despite his grisly demise, we'll chalk this up as a tactical win for Batman.
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
In a plot that wouldn't be out of place in the upcoming film, Brian Azzarello's 2005 series sees Lex Luthor give Batman some Kryptonite and convince him that Superman is dangerous and should be stopped by any means necessary. Superman catches wind of this and visits Gotham, where he blows the Kryptonite out of Batman's hands, flies him into the sky, drops him, and then throws a potentially skull-crushing punch before stopping an inch from Batman's face, just to remind him where he ranks when it comes to DC heroes.
The most recent clash between the two happened just last year in Scott Snyder's six-part story. The Joker uses a gas to turn the rest of the Justice League against Batman, while the latter unveils a robotic suit called Fenrir designed for just such an occasion. Batman and Fenrir put down every member except Superman, since he had only accounted for what Superman would do under normal circumstances (i.e. he usually holds back), and not the limitless power the Joker-influenced Supes exhibits. Superman tears apart Fenrir and flies Batman into the sky, where the Caped Crusader subdues Superman with a piece of gum. Well, technically, it's a rubber pellet coated with Kryptonite powder that he chews and then spits into Superman's face, but he refers to it as Kryptonite gum. So that's what we're calling it.
Winner: Batman (even though he himself says neither of them won)
Justice League (New 52)
Geoff Johns' 2011 reboot shows Superman and Batman meeting for the first time and, well, things don't go so well for Batman. Even with the intervention of Green Lantern, who's no slouch, Superman mops the floor with both of them. Batman hasn't met Superman yet, so he's uncharacteristically underprepared as none of his gadgets have much of an effect on the Man of Steel. Luckily for Batman, cooler heads prevail, and the fight stops before anyone gets killed.
Batman/Superman: Cross World
Greg Pak's 2013 New 52 story once again retcons a first meeting between the two heroes. Here, the young versions of Batman and Superman are transported to the alternate world of Earth 2, where Superman and Batman are older, and more established superheroes. Young Superman ends up mixing it up with old Batman, and despite the Caped Crusader having some neat Kryptonite toys, Superman wrecks him until he hears his dead father's voice telling him to stop. Another win for Superman, and a crushing blow to anybody feeling insecure about their age.
Batman: The Dark Knight
Paul Jenkins and David Finch's 2012 story shows once again that New 52 Superman can't be beaten by New 52 Batman. This time, Batman is under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin, and even has enhanced strength from a venom toxin, but Superman still handily beats him while holding back considerably. You'd think New 52 Batman would learn some tricks by now.
World's Finest: The Infinite Evolutions of Batman and Superman
In what is unquestionably the weirdest fight the pair have ever participated in, this 1965 story has Batman zapped by an evolutionary ray, evolving him to be as smart as someone 800,000 years in the future. Future Batman (who comes complete with a weird enlarged cranium) then offers to use the ray on Superman, but not wanting another superhero equal to his powers, takes Superman all the way back to the stone age, turning him into a caveman. The two clash, with the "caveman of steel" coming out on top by tossing Batman back into the ray, devolving him back to normal. Fingers crossed the movie follows this plot to a T.
Winner: Caveman Superman