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
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.