6 other times Batman and Superman have fought!

Batman V Superman Jeremiah Skipper

The two arguably biggest superheroes are about to square off on the big screen! But this is hardly the first time Batman and Superman butted heads. With an idealistic and uncompromising world view like Superman’s, and Batman’s more pragmatic and hardened sensibilities, it’s clear that these two heroes, even in their shared pursuit of peace and justice, won’t always get along. In fact, there have been a handful of times that Gotham’s Caped Crusader and Krypton’s Last Son have clashed in comics, animated shows, video games and other what if/alternate universe stories. Here are 6 other times Batman and Superman have fought in other media:

1) The Batman / Superman Movie: World’s Finest

World's Finest 5
Perhaps their most light-hearted quarrel in recent years.

My first memory of a Batman and Superman encounter didn’t come from the comics, but from Bruce Timm’s animated DC universe (Batman TAS, Superman TAS, Justice League). They first crossed over in “World’s Finest” where Batman’s pursuit of the Joker takes him to Metropolis. When he roughs up a few crooks for information, Metropolis’ big blue Boy Scout intervenes. Batman tosses Superman across the room but that’s pretty much all he could do during that very brief skirmish. Superman only needed to tackle him once to make it very clear that Metropolis was HIS city.

But Superman may have dominated the battle of strength, but in the battle for Lois’ affection, Bruce Wayne’s style and suave definitely gave him the upper hand!

World's Finest 4
Kevin Conroy is Batman!

2) Batman: Hush

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The Hush encounter may not be the most significant Batman Vs. Superman fight, but with art by Jim Lee, it's certainly one of the prettiest.

No man can resist Poison Ivy’s allure; not even the Man of Steel. When Ivy’s laces her neurotoxins with Kryptonite, she successfully armed herself with a mind-controlled Superman! AKA the Caped Crusader’s worst nightmare! Good thing Batman’s always prepared for the worst!

Hush 2
Batman endangers the love of the strongest man on the planet...Bruce has got some massive Bat balls!

Batman lures Superman to an underground gas line system to restrict Superman’s heat vision. And with his Kryptonite ring (a gift Superman himself gave Bruce should he ever lose control) he fends off the Ivy-smitten Kal-El long enough for Catwoman to throw Lois Lane off a building. Superman’s deep connection with Lois and his impulsively noble spirit would immediately snap him out of Ivy’s mind control to rescue the free-falling damsel.

But this is really a win for both. Bruce may have been able to remove Ivy’s hold on Superman and survive the encounter, but even Batman concedes that if Superman hadn’t been subconsciously resisting the mind-control and pulling his punches, Clark could have easily taken Bruce’s head off.

3) New 52 Justice League

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And he even had help from Green Lantern!

During DC comics’ New 52 relaunch, character histories were reinvented; including their first encounters with each other. When Batman first meets Superman in the Justice League comic, both thought the other was a hostile. And even with Batman’s preliminary research on the alien’s abilities and every gadget in his arsenal, Batman couldn’t even scratch Superman, who subsequently just knocks him around like a chump.

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One for Superman.

4) The Dark Knight Returns

Where the inspiration for the BVS movie's armor came from.

In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce Wayne is a hardened, troubled old man. When he comes back from (crime fighting) retirement he adopts a more brutal approach to stop Gotham’s equally more cruel criminal world. The US government eventually take notice of the excessive use of violence (and alleged murder of Joker) and sends Superman to thwart the Dark Knight’s operations.(Although it's implied that it's really because Batman's efficiency in "policing" Gotham is an embarrassment to the current administration.)

Pic taken from the animated adaptation of Miller's Graphic Novel.

Armed with his best tech and a hydraulic-powered armor to dampen Superman’s thunderous blows and give his own an extra oomph, Batman resists when Superman tries to take him into custody. The two trade blows until a game-changing Kryptonite arrow tips the fight in Batman’s favor. But this was a match no one would win as Superman stops trying when he hears Bruce’s heartbeat start to give out. He may have publicly beaten the snot out of Superman, but Bruce ends up dying anyway.

…Buuuuut don’t worry. It was all part of Batman’s plan. (Yeah, that’s right. Dying is part of Batman’s plan.) He faked his heart attack so he could continue his crime-fighting operation in complete secrecy and live out the rest of his life protecting the world from the worst of evils.

5) Injustice: Gods Among Us

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The battle of philosophies begins - to use one’s power to compel absolute order or to uphold the value of individual rights. 

Injustice: Gods Among Us is a DC comics, award-winning fighting game that pits various DC characters, against each other in a story that blurs the line between hero and villain.

After suffering a horrifying tragedy at the hands of the Joker, Superman resolves to END ALL CRIME AND WAR…PERMANENTLY. With the help of heroes and villains who support his cause, he creates a worldwide dictatorship where crime is almost none existent, but unfortunately, neither is freedom.

An opposing faction led by Batman rise against Superman’s totalitarian rule. But in the end (and multiple losses after), Batman enlists the help of a “good” Superman from another dimension to secure victory for the resistance. But does this count as a win for Batman? Or does it merely verify that the only person who can defeat Superman…is Superman?

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Batman's definitely going to need help after that!

6) Almost every Batman / Superman arc

One of my favorite comic titles is “Batman Superman”. It brings the two heroes and their love-hate dynamic at the forefront of its stories and seeing the two cyclically bicker but ultimately have each other’s backs is incredibly endearing.

Batman Superman Cover 2 Batman Superman Cover 3
Case in point.

In practically every arc, Batman and Superman have some sort of dispute (or one of them gets their mind altered) that more often than not results in a skirmish. But if I had to pick a favorite, it’d be Batman Superman: Cross World.

Cross World 4
Deep inside, they love each other.
Well...deep, deep inside.

An antagonistic Batman and Superman of Earth-1 meet their Earth-2 counterparts who, inversely, have been longtime friends. E1 Batman and Superman fight, then E1 Superman and E2 Batman, and then E1 Batman and E2 Batman – it mayhem! Cross World is one big pile of Batman-Superman collisions! But what’s really enticing about this book aren’t the epic showdowns but the comprehensive and entertaining ways it captures the duo’s relationship. From hostile adversaries to the brothers they were meant to be – it’s a story you definitely want to check out yourself!


There are a LOT more times the Man of Steel and The Dark Knight have come to blows across different forms of media. At some point you even start to wonder how these two function as a unit at all! But don’t worry, after the obligatory “superhero fight”, Bats and Supes always find common ground and in the end would do anything for each other. They are comic book history’s most iconic superbros and I hope this month’s BVS will be able to capture the essence of their fascinating and time-honored friendship.

They put the "man" in BROMANCE.

Batman V Superman Alex Ross

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