Total Nerd

The Biggest Reasons Batman Hates Superman 

Jacob Shelton
Updated January 2, 2020 31.8k votes 5.4k voters 2.8M views 19 items

List Rules Vote up the reasons Bruce hates Clark.


Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? The answer is obvious: the viewer. Just kidding, it’s Superman. He’s an alien with unlimited powers, after all. But the debate about who would win can wait for another time. Today we’re bringing up the many reasons Batman totally hates Superman. From his Boy Scout naïvete Boy Scout to his unchecked superpowers, there Superman has plenty of qualities that sometimes make Batman’s skin crawl.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice settles the age old question with a definitive answer: Martha Wayne and Martha Kent. They would win in a fight between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. But the examples on this list come not from the cinematic slugfest between DC's heaviest hitters so much as the Silver and Golden ages of comics. They’re just fun to discuss - who doesn’t like talking about Batman being accused of witchcraft? Going into this list, you might expect to find hundreds of examples of Batman and Superman completely hating on each other, but there are fewer than you'd think. It’s kind of cool that despite their differences, these two superheroes get along pretty well.

Still, Batman has plenty of reasons to be annoyed by Superman. Vote up the biggest reasons why you think Batman has a beef with Superman, and if we missed an example, tell us in the comments!


Superman Is Accountable to No One
Superman Is Accountable ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest Reasons Batman Hates Superman
Photo: Jim Lee/DC Comics/via pinterest

Most world leaders, sports heroes, CEOs, and authority figures have someone telling them they can't act like megalomaniacs all the time. Superman, however, does not. Yeah, he's a really nice guy with good intentions, but it's frightening that the only person keeping Superman from declaring himself Earth Leader Supreme (a very real position) is Superman. Unless you count Mister Mxyzptlk.

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The Man of Steel's Unchecked Power
The Man of Steel's Unche... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest Reasons Batman Hates Superman
Photo: Warner Bros.

One of Batman's biggest concerns about Superman is his seemingly unlimited power. Even if Henry Cavill's Superman isn't the Silver age "anything you can do, I can do better" Superman, he's still basically a god on earth.

Superman's so powerful he could literally do almost anything. At one point, he decided to hypnotize Batman into being "Nightman," a character who was the same as Batman but slightly different. This made Batman feel inadequate about his sub-standard detecting skills and forced him to jump through a bunch of hoops to get his groove back.

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Superman's Always Losing His Mind
Superman's Always Losing... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest Reasons Batman Hates Superman
Photo: Jim Lee/DC Comics/via pinterest

Since the Man of Steel is so tough physically, his vulnerabilities are mostly mental and emotional. That means he ends up having his mind controlled like some mega-powerful puppet on a fairly regular basis. In Hush, for example, Poison Ivy seduces Supes and uses her plants to basically turn him into the world's most jealous boyfriend, determined to keep the Dark Knight away from his villainous ladyfriend.

Batman holds his own against Supes using a convenient little chunk of Kryptonite (supplied by Clark Kent in case he should ever lose control), but the hassle has to be obnoxious, especially since Bruce Wayne guards his own mind with the utmost vigilance.
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They're Ideologically at Odds
They're Ideologically at... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest Reasons Batman Hates Superman
Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License

The concept that Batman and Superman are two sides of the same coin isn't a new one, but it's probably one of the most important topics when you're discussing whether or not these two guys could work together. Their differing styles are contrasted in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, in which they're both geriatrics driven to new extremes by time and circumstance.

Despite the fact that they're both trying to fight crime, they do so in wildly different ways. Superman tends to be clearer about what he will and won't do to stop someone and to stand with the authorities. Obviously his stance on crime fighting has become more nuanced over time, but he's always going to be a farm boy from Kansas. On the other hand, Batman is a living, breathing, Jungian shadow. He's an outlaw, and it's hard to say where his limits are. Not only is this dichotomy apparent in his dual roles as billionaire playboy/world's greatest detective, but also in his ability to wade through the morally gray areas that come with battling villains like Joker, Two-Face, and Talia Al Ghul.

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