Currently reading: Batman vs Superman – Clash of the Superhero Titans
Batman vs Superman – Clash of the Superhero Titans
Posted on 20th December, 2017 - By Jonathan Brindle
The Batman vs Superman Question Answered! (sort of)
What’s the ultimate question amongst comic-book fans? No, it’s not how many times Captain America can come back from the dead. Or, how many suits of armour Tony Stark can keep dreaming up. The real question has always been… Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?
As the rest of the GFG gang will tell you, Batman wouldn’t stand-a-chance against Supes, simply because he’s Superman.
To a degree, that’s probably the correct answer. Hezzle will tell you it depends on what medium it’s presented in. Whether it’s films, TV, games, animation or anything else these icons of pop culture appear in. This is correct to a degree, however the argument can still be made.
No matter what medium the greatest gladiator battle of all time is presented in, you have to follow the rules of the source material!
First, let’s get this out of the way. The only reason this article exists, is because of a very heated debate between my esteemed colleagues and myself at ‘GoneFullGeek towers’ (a.k.a. my bedroom). The debate that lasted an entire evening was about the quality (or lack of) in 2016’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
The Endless Struggle for the Answer
How we got onto the subject I actually can’t remember – but what I can tell you, is that it ended in a three-against-one berating that was more heated than Superman’s heat-vision. This is pretty-much down to my opinion that the Dark Knight would defeat the Man Of Steel in a one-on-one punch-up.
Is this the correct answer? Possibly not. So I thought I’d analyse the battle of the behemoths, and maybe give it a decisive answer (fingers-crossed).
First, lets look at the previously mentioned film. It wasn’t very good!
In fact, it was mostly a doomed project from the beginning, mainly due to DC and Warner Bros rushing into it and setting up an entire extended movie universe in the space of one film. That was the first hurdle.
How was this thing ever going to be a success? Trying to do what it took Marvel over four years to get off the ground, and is only just shaping into its full potential.
With trying to cram so many separate ideas and introducing the entire Justice League all at once, instead of developing a compelling story; focused on its main characters and give a compelling reason for them going head-to-head! The fact it even made any money at all, is a small miracle in itself.
A Quest for Peace… of Mind
Okay, so the extended “ultimate” cut that should have been the cinematic release, was a very small improvement. However, it’s still no excuse for not fulfilling the casual fans expectations. Even the true hardcore fans still have a hell of a lot to complain about, but this isn’t the point.
The point is the caped icons had a scuffle and the chap with the pointy-ears came out on top!
Should this have been the outcome of said fight? No! The fact is they shouldn’t have even gone up against one-another. The reason behind it was completely tacked on.
Dawn Of Disappointment
In this cinematic universe, Superman is seen as a potential threat to the human race – or at least that’s the way some see him. Meanwhile, many see him as the saviour he should be.
The truth is that this approach to the character could be half of the problem. As in most of the source material, and even the previous films and TV shows, Superman is never even considered to be nothing but a symbol of ‘hope’ for mankind.
Batman has the same characterisation problem. In BvS he is far from the world’s greatest detective, in fact he is shown to be an overly aggressive paranoid killer, instead of one of the world’s smartest men.
The thought that Batman would fight first; without thinking the situation through properly is totally out of character.
I’m getting off topic slightly here. But, if we wanted to go through all the film’s mistakes; we would be here for weeks. The whole point here is the battle and who should win.
DC’s trinity of heroes have all been presented that they are unbeatable and will always find a way to win. Right there lies the problem. Superman has been presented as a “god amongst men”. He has all the abilities that would make him unstoppable, and the only way to beat him; is to exploit his major weakness…
In this case it’s Kryptonite, this is the only true weakness that the Man of Steel has. It goes without saying this is the correct way to attempt to defeat Superman, right? Well, sort of.
There are other ways to beat him, but this one is the most commonly used and translates well into any medium. So lets go with it…
I know what you’re all thinking, no way is Superman going to fall for that old trick again?!
Unfortunately you’re wrong, as he does keep falling for it. Even Metallo (one of his greatest enemies) has a heart made out of it – just so he can get the upper-hand in battles with Superman.
If this is the way to beat the big blue boy scout, you better believe the Caped Crusader would use it!
This battle has been presented a few times throughout each character’s history. The outcome of which has always been down to the circumstances surrounding said battle.
To try and gain the upper-hand, Batman creates a suit-of-armour; with various strength amplifiers and gadgets – specifically designed to combat and counter Superman’s abilities.
However, the fight isn’t one-sided. Thanks to the help of that pesky green rock, the battle finally ends; as Superman admits defeat (there’s no Martha here).
The Knight is Darkest just Before the Dawn
The first recorded battle between them, was in Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel; The Dark Knight Returns released in 1986.
In this story, the Man of Steel – who is now working for the United States government – arrives in Gotham City, and tries to convince a recently out of retirement Batman, to stop his vigilante ways.
The Dark Knight declines the offer, and the two end-up in colossal battle – that Batman wins!
This battle has been something Batman has prepared for, because deep down; he has never truly trusted the Man Of Steel.
In 2003 – as part of the Batman story “HUSH” – the two end up on the opposite side once again.
This time it is Batman who has to stop Superman – who is under the mind-control of Poison Ivy.
The difference here is that Batman has had no time to prepare. There are no fancy gadgets or high tech suits of armour to help him.
This time he has to rely on his cunning and intelligence alone. Well that and a ring made out of green Kryptonite – given to him by Superman (in case of emergencies).
I suppose we should ask ourselves a question here.
Why would Superman hand over a ring made from his one true weakness? It’s hard to say really.
Was it stupidity? Doubtful, for as much of a reputation of being a mountain of muscle Superman is also highly intelligent and can almost rival Batman’s intellect.
The answer is most-likely that; if he ever did go rogue, he has entrusted his ally with one method to effectively take him down – without thinking twice about it.
Good Friends, Better Enemies
Speaking of Superman going rogue, this brings me to my final example of these two battling!
In 2013, DC and NetherRealm Studios released the game; Injustice: Gods Amongst Us.
The story behind this is one that takes place on one of the many other versions of Earth in the DC Multiverse.
Due to the success of the game, DC released a tie-in comic-book series based on the events of the game’s story-line.
Here, the plot follows Superman, who is driven to near insanity by The Joker – who has manipulated him into killing Lois Lane (whilst pregnant with their unborn son), by using one of his many hallucinogenic gases.
Enraged that he has been used like this, Superman kills The Joker by ripping his heart from his chest – in front of Batman.
Superman blames Batman for letting things escalate this far, by never being able to do what must be done – ending Joker’s life himself.
Justice League… Disassembled
This causes a massive rift between the two, as Superman doesn’t stop there. To save the world from itself Superman puts the world under Marshal Law.
Knowing this is not the answer, Batman opposes Superman’s rule over the Earth.
This leads to collision between the two in the Batcave, leaving it virtually destroyed.
During the process, Superman cripples Batman – much like Bane once did during the Knightfall storyline. Batman survives this encounter thanks to Alfred, who takes an experimental drug which Batman has been developing to mimic Superman’s powers.
Once Alfred takes the drug and battles Superman, he actually beats him unconscious and escapes with Batman to safety.
Who Wins? You Decide…
So lets attempt to sum this up as much as possible.
Could Batman defeat Superman? Yes, but he would have to use every trick in the book to do so.
Could Superman defeat Batman? Without any shadow of doubt – the man is a God!
The Dark Knight himself has even admitted, if Superman wanted to; he could easily run up to him, rip his spine out through his throat and that would be game over.
The point is, Batman has always known how Superman’s mind works. He knows that deep down, Superman is a good person who will never cross that line. Whereas Batman isn’t as good a person; and will cross almost any line to win and stand up for what he believes is right.
There you have it!
I’ve done my best to look at the comic-book clash of the superhero titans.
I have done my best to present an argument as to why the obvious choice might not be the right one.
Do you agree with my thoughts?
Have I overlooked a possible outcome?
Are there any other comic book clashes we should look at?
Please comment below.