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The Biggest Reasons Batman Hates Superman

Updated January 2, 2020 27.8k votes 5.7k voters 2.9m views19 items

List RulesVote 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!


  • 5

    They're Ideologically at Odds

    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.

    Is this a good reason?
  • 6

    Superman Doesn't Do the Work

    Photo: Mike Kaluta/DC Comics
    In the world of DC Comics, Batman is the world's greatest detective. He's spends an unknown amount of money, time, and effort investigating and hunting criminals. Even though he's harsh with the bad guys when he finally catches up to them, Batman does the work. In contrast, Superman usually waits for a giant robot or whatever to show up and smash Metropolis before he does anything, even though he could just vaporize the giant robot plant. There's no way that sits well with Bruce. 
    Is this a good reason?
  • 7

    Batman Doesn't Respect Superman's Methods

    Photo: John Byrne/DC Comics / via amazon
    Dating back to "One Night in Gotham City," the two titans of DC haven't necessarily seen eye to eye about how one should fight crime. Superman sees Batman as a vigilante who lives outside the law and is just as crazy as his rogue's gallery (this is proven when Batman hooks himself up to a nuclear bomb that will explode if Superman comes near him). Batman views Superman as brawn over brains, little more than a Boy Scout who can't stop smashing through buildings.
    Is this a good reason?
  • 8

    Batman Has Serious Trust Issues

    Photo: Michael Turner/DC Comics

    Batman's inability to trust anyone further than he can throw them is probably something he needs to work on. The fact that Superman believes he should be able to have friends and have a personal life drives Batman insane. Or at least makes him question the Big Blue Boy Scout's commitment to the cause.

    Another example: In The Supergirl From Krypton (side note: Superman has awful story titles), when Batman discovers a crash-landed Krypronian babe in Gotham Harbor, he immediately goes into zero-tolerance mode and tries to get rid of Superman's cousin when all she really needs is some time in the Fortress of Solitude. If Batman had had his way, Supergirl would probably be in a lab somewhere instead of starring on her own show on the CW. 

    In reality, this comes down to Batman wanting Superman to be more like him, and to have the level of distrust and paranoia that he believes a superhero should have. 

    Is this a good reason?