In comic book mythology there is one main question EVERY reader has thought to themself at one point or another: "I wonder who would win in a fight... (insert your hero's name here) vs (another hero's name here)?" One of the main mythical battles fans have argued over for decades is who would win in a fight between Big Blue and the Caped Crusader? I've seen multiple Internet fights over the subject. I've even heard real life arguments on the subject, so I did a little digging and found multiple facts on the subjects, here's what I've found.
Being the giant Batman nerd that I am, I took the time and looked through countless comics, some cannon, some non-cannon, and determined who I believe would be the winner in an all out, hand-to-hand fight between Batman and Superman. We'll save the results (which may surprise you) for the very end, but here are the heroes' attributes.
We'll start with Batman because he's my favorite. Batman is quick, agile, strong, in peak physical condition for a human being, and his IQ is said to rival that of Albert Einstein. Batman is the master of over 100 different styles of martial arts, taught by the best of the best in weapons combat training, and has proven himself the first, and one of the only, human beings to ever be respected among "Gods." He creates his own tech (in some instances it is Lucius Fox, but most of the time it is Bruce himself), his gadgets, his vehicles, and as every Bat-fan knows, he even has possession of a green Kryptonite ring given to him by Superman in case he ever needed to stop him from raging out of control. Batman is a tough fellow, and has gone head-to-head with some of the most badass beings in the DC universe, but he can also fall back on his fortune if absolutely need be. Batman has one of the best superpowers ever... He has the power of currency.
Now, on to the Big Blue Boy Scout. Superman is an alien from the planet Krypton, now, this may not sound "all that great", but hear me out. Kryptonians, when exposed to "yellow sunlight" (which if you've ever stepped foot outside you've seen we have here on earth) gain super speed, super strength, super agility, and the ability to fly, not to mention heat vision, enhanced senses (hearing, eyesight, etc.), and almost impenetrable steel-like skin. I've read countless comics, short stories, and even full novels on Superman, and there really is no specific weight that he can lift, there is no cut off point. So I'm going to stick with the "Superman can lift and move planets" theory that was established in 1959 because, in everything I've ever read, no one has contradicted that.
We have the heroes' attributes, powers, and tech, but we haven't gone over weaknesses. Batman is a human, so he has the obvious weaknesses: poisons, sickness, things of that nature, but there is one main weakness that Batman has that I haven't seen brought up at all in this discussion. His family. Batman's family means the world to him, that is his one true weakness. Sure it has been exploited in the comics with recent stories like Death of The Family, or the arc where Damian Wayne dies, or even older stories like the death of Jason Todd. In those instances we see the Dark Knight fall to pieces and lose his mind, his sanity, and almost break his rule... Multiple times.
Everyone on the face of the planet knows Superman's main weakness, that's right, lets all say it together... Kryptonite. Kryptonite is originally the radioactive rock that made up Kal-El's home planet, Krypton. There are multiple different forms of kryptonite, but the one we see the most in comics, movies, and other media is the tiny green rock. This space rock can bring the man of steel to his knees if he is exposed to it in long enough doses.
Okay, so we know now the details of the two heroes, so lets jump into the actual battle. Now, in EVERY argument I've ever heard about the duo brawling it out, there have been two main points made in favor of Batman winning. #1, the very last fight at the end of Frank Miller's epic The Dark Knight Returns, which pits the two heroes against one another, Battling it out in the streets of Gotham. #2, the scene in Jeph Loeb's Hush, where Poison Ivy takes control of Superman and makes him fight Batman in Metropolis, which actually brings light to the fact that Batman has that kryptonite ring. Let me use facts and logic to explain why in these two instances this theory of "Batman would beat Superman" is 100% dead wrong.
In the case of Miller's story, Batman had this elaborate plan to take out Superman. He had to use a tricked out robotic suit that gave him super-human strength and a hard outer shell so Superman's blows wouldn't kill him upon impact. This plan also involved Oliver Queen (aka The Green Arrow) and a trick arrow laced in a strong mixture of green kryptonite that Ollie would shoot at Clark at the right point during the fight. Listen up all you batman fan-boys, THIS is the most important part. After Clark was shot by that arrow, Bruce gave his famous "remember the mortal man who beat you" speech, and then FAKED A HEART ATTACK. Superman was recovering from the effects of the kryptonite, preparing himself for round 2 as Bruce supposedly suffered from the heart problems. So in all honesty, I DO NOT consider this a win for Batman. Yes, he kept up with Superman in the fight, and yes, he created an amazing plan to stop Superman, but he did not win this fight. He faked a heart attack. He was buried. Everyone thought he was dead. Superman heard his heartbeat at his funeral and let him go about his business. If Superman wanted Batman to die that day, there would have been no heartbeat to hear at the funeral.
Now, in the case of the storyline Hush, in that internet famous panel where Batman slugs Superman in the jaw with the kryptonite ring it may be looking positive for Batman, but what Batman fanboys (like me) forget to mention is Batman's internal dialogue on the next page. The dialogue reads, "If I hit him again I'll shatter every bone in my hand. The Kevlar only protects so much." He knows that Superman's body is slowed down by the kryptonite ring, but he can't win this fight. Not to mention that Batman himself realizes Clark is fighting the mind control of Ivy, not putting 100% effort into every blow, so he needs to figure a way to get Superman to snap out of the trance. Again, I do not consider this a win for Batman by any stretch of the imagination because even Batman realizes it's not anywhere close to a victory.
My verdict? As much as it pains me to say it... Superman would win this fight. Batman fanboys, let's be honest with ourselves here, Batman would 100% lose to Superman in a hand-to-hand fight. Even if we gave Batman prep-time, he would still lose, as was the case in The Dark Knight Returns. Clark is lightning fast, has incredible strength, can fly and leap tall buildings "in a single bound." Lets face it, he would wipe the floor with Batman if he had a corrupt bone in his Kryptonian body. But he doesn't, so he lets Bruce get away with being a jerk, he lets him get away with punching him, he lets him get away with the snide remarks. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Batman, he's amazing in every way, but he is an asshole to Superman... A lot.If you disagree with me in any way, let us know in the comments. I want to know what your thoughts are, and if i missed any details, or interpreted something in the wrong way, let me know. I love fan feedback, and I'm excited to hear your opinions.