Two iconic characters in capes rocketed the comic-books industry into mainstream: Superman and Batman, twin pop-culture monuments who, though born in the late 30s, still reign ageless. Now these Spandex heavyweights are going (Super-)mano a (Bat-)mano for the first time on the big screen, in director Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
So who has the edge in this epic showdown of DC Comics' most popular warriors? Sure, Superman is the stronger combatant - but don't think Batman doesn't have something in his utility belt to counter him. Let's weigh up their pros and cons.
Batman: Bruce Wayne.
Advantage: Superman, with a name so distinctive, fan Nicolas Cage even tagged his son with it.
OFFICIAL CHARACTER HEIGHT
Superman: 6ft3 (1.92m).
Batman: 6ft2 (1.89m).
Advantage: Superman, though in real life Ben Affleck is taller than Henry Cavill.
OFFICIAL CHARACTER WEIGHT
Superman: 235lb (107kg).
Batman: 210lb (95kg).
Advantage: Depends on weight of Batman's gadget-laced utility belt.
Superman: Signature S-curl.
Batman: Potential "helmet hair" from the cowl.
Superman: Chest-spanning "S".
Batman: Fear-inducing black bat.
Advantage: Batman. The "Bat-Signal" looks impressive projected into the midnight skies over Gotham.
Superman: Bumbling, stumbling newspaper reporter Clark Kent.
Batman: Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne.
Advantage: Superman - those media connections pay off in times of trouble.
ICONIC CRASH PAD
Superman: Icy "Fortress of Solitude".
Batman: Dank, subterranean "Batcave".
Advantage: Batman - better manservant.
Superman: Earnest do-gooder (aka "The Big Blue Boy Scout").
Batman: Dark, tortured vigilante.
Advantage: Superman. Batman's a real downer as a plus-one.
Superman: The infant Kal-El's parents rocketed him away in a capsule like a cosmos-Moses before they died in the explosion of home planet Krypton.
Batman: Young Bruce Wayne saw his own parents murdered before his eyes, while old enough to remember the psyche-scarring event.
Advantage: For lifelong mental torture as compelling narrative, Batman.
Superman: Super-flight, super-speed, super-hearing, super-intelligence, super-near-invulnerability, super-heat vision.
Batman: Hand-to-hand combat; a street-fighter's hard-won guile.
Superman: Kryptonite radiation, love of humanity.
Batman: No actual superpower, Catwoman's feline allure.
Superman: Usually works alone.
Batman: Most often Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Advantage: Superman. Poor, Batman has had to endure too many sidekick deaths.
Superman: Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Zod.
Batman: Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Bane, Ra's al Ghul.
Advantage: Batman - arguably the greatest rogues' gallery in comics history.
Superman: Nerdy, outsidery Canadian/Cleveland boys in the 30s (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster).
Batman: Streetwise, outsidery New York lads in the 30s (Bob Kane and Bill Finger).
Advantage: You pick.
OSCAR NOMINATIONS AMONG BIG-SCREEN ACTORS
Superman: Reeve, Routh, Cavill et al = zero.
Batman: Keaton, Clooney, Bale, Affleck = 14.
Superman: John Williams' triumphant horns in the original films.
Batman: Hans Zimmer's Dolby-splitting bass synthesizers in the Christopher Nolan films.
Advantage: Depends on the darkness of your mortal soul.
Superman: Flying a charmed Lois through the gentle evening sky.
Batman: Getting face-licked by a villainous, leather-loving Catwoman.
Advantage: You pick - this one says more about you.
Superman: Memorably slain by a monster named Doomsday (before inevitable resurrection).
Batman: Flatlined by Darkseid (before cheating death by time travel).
Advantage: Superman - he "revived" much more quickly.
Superman: "Truth, justice and the American way."
Batman: "And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals."
Advantage: Superman's for bumper sticker; Batman's for eight-decade narrative.