How can one ever answer the eternal question: Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? It’s been taken on in different forms of media, but doesn’t quite beat the native media of comic books. For as much as I’d like to say that I have read them all and that I own an amazing collection, I don’t. I barely started collecting comics not that long ago, so for me the New 52 is the universe that I started with. Here’s a quick list of essentials I believe anyone should read to get pumped up for Batman v Superman. Just keep in mind this is mostly New 52 so don’t kill me if I don’t mention one of your guys’ favorites.
The first is “Batman Superman” issues 1 thru 4. This is one of the most interesting sights that I have ever seen in comic books. I will try to give as much detail as I can before it becomes monotonous. The story arc starts with Clark Kent travelling to Gotham to “cover” a story on the ‘Bat of Gotham.’ (Hmmm that sounds familiar) But Clark had a secret agenda; to put an end to the Bat. After that, it cuts to Batman plying his own brand of justice and trying to end a crime being perpetrated by Catwoman. Superman comes in and tries to end the fight quickly using all of his force to put Batman down. In a panicked state, Batman tries to defend himself by using batarangs, smoke, bombs, grappling hooks and anything you could think of that is in his daily arsenal, but to no avail. Batman just hasn’t seen anything like this. Once again Batman tried his best to figure out exactly what’s going on, and in a quick instant everything gets flipped upside down. It cuts to what I call the most interesting part about this comic book, Superman and Batman are transported to Earth 2, and come to blows with Earth 2’s version of the heroes. Trust me, I can give away the big spoilers of what is to come, but I just wouldn’t want to ruin it for someone who hasn’t experienced the storyline. It is a fantastic “what if” story and gives an interesting take on the question of who would win in a fight, because you have two inexperienced heroes that become the world’s finest team, travel to a world they don’t quite understand yet. It is the dynamic of the two coming across a different version of themselves that have already experienced great battles and fights. What makes it more intense is that the storyline is set up to make you question what would have happened if Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent became best friends as children like they are in Earth 2.
Before I move on I have to explain something. Flashpoint, also known as Flashpoint Paradox, started a new universe by mixing and matching certain canon and making a brand new universe named the New 52. The first story arc of said universe is Justice League, which ran thru issues 1 thru 6. It was a retelling of why the Justice League came to be, the first issue had Green Lantern meeting Batman for the first time and the two coming to terms with each other’s differ
ences to try to figure exactly what was going on with alien hostiles that have invaded Earth. The second issue is where the money is at. Batman and Green Lantern come across Superman, a very different version of what people have come to know. This Superman is hostile, cocky and quick to punch his way out of any situation he has to face. Confusing Batman and Green Lantern as enemies, he quickly takes on the two in a handicap match which was pretty one-sided. Green Lantern realizes they’ll need backup and calls in a certain Speedster everyo
ne has come to love known as the Flash. What makes this interesting is that it changes the status quo where Superman was this big boy-scout that always held back to not hurt someone, to this almost uncaring hero that hasn’t quite developed his sense of morals, but yet we have a veteran Batman who has seen it all and does not flinch to things like aliens or other superheroes. Just a quick tibbitt of information, “Justice League” was published before “Batman Superman” issue number one so they retconned the first meeting of the two in the universe. I’d like to tell you how but that would just ruin the surprise at the end of “Batman Superman”’s first arc.
Lastly I have what I consider one of the coolest showdowns in recent comic books. This time instead of just having Batman fight Superman, we have Batman fight most of the founding members of the Justice League in the New 52. Back when I first started collecting, issue 35 of Batman New 52 was just released, and on the cover we have Batman’s in the literal grips of the Green Lantern while holding off the other members of the Justice League. It was a tad bit disappointing because he really didn’t fight all of the Justice League, but none the less, it is pretty impressive to see what kind of contingency plans Batman has set up in case he would have to fight what I like to call gods. The way Batman did this was by creating a suit called Fenrir, and it is very interesting that Scott Snyder decided to call Batman’s back up plan this, because the name Fenrir
is from Norse mythology and is the one to kill Odin during Ragnarok. Almost a parallel to how Batman would have to soon fight gods. Every single member of the League tried to take on Batman one at a time till it was the fight everyone loves to see – Batman vs Superman. Or at least we’re led to believe it’s Batman versus Superman, but instead we find out Superman and the other members of the Justice League are under the influence of a new poison Joker created. This makes the situation almost ten times more extreme because Batman created the suit to fight Superman, but Superman is not himself. This time around he is raw power, he is Superman with no bounds. It becomes a battle of brawn vs wits in which neither out does the other. The crazy part is the fact this is just the opening act to the end game storyline which ran through issues 35 to 40. Call me a Scott Syder fanboi (yes I spell it that way) but I think his run is beyond exceptional and everyone should read it.
By the way I do know that I am missing one of the most important fights Batman and Superman have had, but let’s face it, how many times have we heard of how great
Frank Miller’s work on the dark Knight returns was and still is? I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I tried to stay away from it because even though all the other fights that I mentioned have ended in a standstill or a tie this is the only time that we ever get the definitive answer who would win in a fight. The only sad thing about it is technically speaking it never h
appened. The Dark Knight Returns takes place in a separate universe that is nowhere near being canon. We have some of the biggest differences in that universe such as Batman being old and retired, Superman being a government official and pretty much a weapon to do the government’s bidding. It still gave us an answer, but let us not dwell on it because it would go against everything I’ve talked about.
We might not ever have an answer to who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman. I’m okay with that, to me it’s a question that does not need to be answered. Whatever the reason you give them to fight, be it powers or, as Batman “fanbois” love to say, prep time, both are equally as incredible as the other and it’s the reason that they are called world’s finest, and to have one beat the other would lose that. Why would Batman want to team up with someone he can beat and vice versa? There would be no reason for them to team up and it’s that mystique that I enjoyed, knowing one might out do the other but never really knowing who is better.
Written by: Chris
Edited by: Sean/Dan