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Of all the “who would win in a fight?” arguments, Batman against Superman endures as the most hotly debated. It’s gone on for decades, and it’s a narrative set to be settled on the big screen next year.
Once the question was asked, I didn’t have long to wait. “Oh, Superman,” answered Lee without hesitation.
How could this be? What happened? Everyone knows that Batman and Superman are DC Comics characters so it’s not like Lee had a horse in this race. In fact he immediately mentions being friends with Batman creator Bob Kane. So how could Lee be so wrong?
Regardless of what happens in the upcoming movie, Batman would and should win.
Why? I’m glad you asked.
Of the people I’ve talked to, nearly all—comic book readers and casual fans alike—picked Superman. Lee is hardly alone. In fact much like Lee my contacts didn’t hesitate, and many of them used phrases like “it’s obvious,” “without a doubt,” and “it’s weird you care so much about this.”
The thing is Superman beating Batman is obvious in the same way that the sun orbiting the Earth is obvious. Seemingly obvious, but entirely incorrect.
As comic book fans know, Batman is more than just Chuck Norris, with gadgets. Batman is the world’s greatest detective and a scientist. In short Batman is a genius. A super genius. A tormented, driven, super genius. This is often mentioned in the comics. Superman himself has said that Batman is one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, and all he’s ever devoted that brilliant mind to is finding a way to defeat his enemies.
Let’s look at a real-world example. Who would win in a fight: a human or a polar bear? Again the answer seems obvious. Polar bears, and their cousins the Kodiak bears, are the largest land carnivores on Earth.
Whereas humans are probably, pound for pound, either the weakest, or one of the weakest animals to have ever existed. Yet human populations continue to explode while polar bear numbers continue to decline due to, you guessed it, humans.
OK that got a little sad for an article about comic books. Sorry. Here is a puppy licking a kitten:
Look even Lex Luthor, who is nowhere as smart or strong as Batman, has come close to defeating Supes on multiple occassions. So how exactly would Batman defeat Superman? Maybe kryptonite nunchucks? Maybe he tricks Superman into punching himself? I have no idea. But you know who does know? Batman.
Screengrab via FinalFeature/YouTube
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.