Marvel’s new blockbuster, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, may not have opened to the greatest reviews, but smashed box office records and still pits two of our most loved superheroes against each other.
If you've yet to see the film, or just want to erase it from your mind, here’s how I think Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne would square up in a fight.
To make things as fair as possible, I'll be taking both superheroes at their prime, and ignoring Robin. Sorry mate.
Alternate identity: Clark Joseph Kent
Birth name: Kal-El
Weight: 225 lbs
Married to: Lois Lane
Occupation: Pulitzer Prize winning investigate reporter, Metropolis
Born to a high-class scientist on the planet Krypton, Superman is actually an alien immigrant, (don’t let Nigel Farage find out), sent to earth to protect us.
On paper Superman seems unbeatable: drawing power from the sun, he enjoys super strength, hearing and vision, as well as the ability to self-heal. Handy in a fight.
Through his eyes alone he can transmit lazers able to burn through just about anything, or use X-ray vision to search out opponents and spot their weaknesses. If a cooler approach is required, he can always turn things to ice with his arctic breath.
As the good ol’ “Is it a bird, is it a plane?” reference suggests, Superman’s also able to fly, pretty fast as it turns out - 17 billion kph according to that neurotic Batman. Let’s hope that famous underwear doesn’t chafe.
And for the times when he doesn’t manage to fly away, Superman can “vibrate” through attacks and transfer this into energy, building up to an infinite mass punch. When this happens it’s pretty much curtains for the opposition. In the Justice League series World at War, Superman actually spent 15 minutes inside the sun, after which he could move planets. Casual.
An impossible task for Batman then? Well, not quite.
Superman has one major physical weakness. Exposure to Kryptonite. A rock from his home planet that poisons his body and soul. Think of it as something Walter White would produce if he started making drugs for superheroes.
Superman’s also vulnerable without the sun, as his self-healing capabilities fade in darkness. Perfect for a Batman….
Alternate identity: Bruce Wayne
Net worth: $6.9 billion
Education: 12 master’s degrees
A very human superhero, Batman’s thirst for justice burns from seeing his parents, successful entrepreneurs Thomas and Martha Wayne, killed by a thug in the street.
From that point onward, he was raised by Alfred Pennyworth, the family butler and subsequent head of Wayne enterprises. Together they joined forces to covertly fight crime, using the enterprise’s significant funds to develop the famous cutting edge Batsuit and Batmobile.
The suit offers outstanding protection, can electrocute and has a utility belt that holds a never ending number of items, including the famous grappling hooks and helpfully, a kryptonite ring!
The Batmobile meanwhile carries an impressive arsenal of weapons and can cause serious damage. But if you can travel at the speed of light like Superman, it’s probably no sweat.
Bruce is also pretty nifty in hand to hand combat, he knows 127 martial arts and can memorise muscle movement, not that this is any good up against Superman.
What really elevates Batman is his intellect. A certified genius, he is a master strategist, escape artist, ventriloquist and detective. Given time to prepare, and trust us, he’ll have done his homework on Superman, he’s more than capable of finding a way to win. Especially given Superman’s aversion to darkness and Kryptonite. In fact, during Justice League: Doom, it transpires Batman has devised plans to neutralise every Justice League member as a failsafe measure in case any hero goes rogue.
That said, Batman is a victim of human limitation, holding the wooden spoon for the number of times he’s been saved by other Justice League members. A man torn with grief, his mental state is questionable, although this can make him as strong as it does weak.
It can’t be ignored that Superman can and should win hands down, but don’t be surprised if Batman comes out on top. The two superheroes have in fact fought before in the cartoon adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, where Batman’s determination saw him to victory, before having a heart attack.
Those who say a human would have no chance against Superman forget that his human nemesis, Lex Luthor, rendered Superman useless through a Kryptonite necklace.
There’s no point being a flash Ferrari if the engine fails.
Okay, Superman has physical superiority but Batman has a human edge, fighting by any means necessary and playing dirty. A bit like Joey Barton. I know who I’d back in a fight.