Whether they are the world's finest example of humanity and friendship or bitter rivals, Superman and Batman have thrown down quite a few times over the years. With Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice right around the corner, Ranker Comics has collected all of the toughest, bloodiest, and craziest fights between the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader.
As the first two superheroes in the world, it hasn't been easy for these two to share the spotlight. One is a farm boy from another planet with every power in the world. The other is a rich playboy with no powers but all the gadgetry and know-how available. Superman and Batman could not be more opposite sites of the same coin. And even though both of these heroes fight for what's right, they have different ways of going about it.What happens when it's good vs. good? Choose your side and place your bets! Ranker Comics has listed the best tussles between these two powerhouses of superhero comics on this ranking of times Superman and Batman have gone toe to toe, mano y mano, and blow for blow.
The Dark Knight Returns
The Dark Knight Returns was an instant classic when it was released in 1986. Comic fans immediately took to the darker, older Batman and loved his more extreme nature as compared to the then current interpretation of the character. Writer/artist Frank Miller's take on the Caped Crusader came to blows with President Reagan's new lap dog: Superman.
A thinly veiled political commentary gave way to one of the most popular Superman vs. Batman fights of all time. Superman is able to all but kill Batman, but is caught off guard by a kryptonite arrow fired by Green Arrow. Batman then fakes a heart attack and his death. While at Wayne's funeral, Clark Kent hears Batman's heartbeat and knowingly winks at Robin.The tone set in DKR influenced the grittier, modern turn comics would adopt in the late 1980s and through the 1990s which pitted the newer, darker characters against the colorful figures of established franchises.
Although Batman: Hush has been criticized for being a greatest hits of Batman stories, it's still an important installment in the character's history. So, obviously, if Batman is going to come to blows with his entire rogues gallery, he needs to make an extra stop in Metropolis to see Superman.In Hush, Bruce Wayne travels to Metropolis to track down Poison Ivy for a case he is on. Ivy infects Superman with some manner of hypnotic plant (notice the green ivy accents!) and causes the Man of Steel to try to stop the Dark Knight from pursuing Ivy. To fight back, Batman equips the kryptonite ring that Superman gave him for just such an occasion, and batters the superhero with several blows, letting the kryptonite do its work on Superman. Batman knows that part of Clark Kent is still in control because he can feel the superhero holding back from really destroying his pointy ears!
Injustice: Gods Among Us
After a series of horrible events that lead to Superman becoming a totalitarian leader of Earth, it's up to Batman and his band of rebels to fight against the tyrannical Man of Steel. Injustice offers players a chance to wage war between good and corrupted versions of several DCU characters including Batman and Superman.Although this story has been done a few times, Injustice: Gods Among Us uses it as the perfect device for a fighting game. Pitting an alternate reality version of the heroes against each other and then incorporating the "standard" reality heroes against them offers several story options that allow for infinite replay ability.
Taking place in 1997's Superman: The Animated Series, Superman and Batman only tussle briefly, but the real charm comes from how at odds Bruce and Clark are in their off hours.After the two heroes first encounter one another and learn of each other's secret identities, it's Clark Kent's jealousy of the flirtatious Bruce Wayne and Lois at a meeting the next morning that causes the real tension. As these sort of things go, they eventually come to an understanding and work together to stop the Joker and Luthor. However, it's a great reminded of not only how different Batman and Superman are, but how different their alter egos are as well.