Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is an upcoming superhero film which will pit two of the most well-known superheroes against each other - until a greater force enters the fold and they inevitably have to join forces, that is. But before then, audiences will undoubtably get to enjoy a battle between the two as the title indicates.
The release of this film has once again sparked the never-ending comic book nerd debate on who will be the victor in a battle between the Dark Knight and the Man of Tomorrow. There have been countless squabbles, and countless near altercations between the two, as each serves as the perfect foil against the others methods, ethics, and ideologies on what it means to be an effective superhero. If you think Tony Stark and Steve Rogers will have a justifiable beef against once another in Captain America: Civil War, you’re not going to want to miss this fight, because it is going to be the grudge match of the century!
While there are legitimate reasons behind why Batman or Superman could come out on top in a scuffle between each other, this Top 10 will delve into the most likely reasons Batman will be the victor this time around as Ben Affleck and Harvey Cavill go head-to-head in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice when it hits theaters March 25, 2016.
The one thing that could prove to be more powerful than the influence of Batman is the influence of Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne is one of the richest individuals in the entire DC Universe, and it's safe to assume that same sentiment will follow through in the cinematic universe. With a vast amount of wealth and the appropriate last name like Bruce, you he'll be able to influence the right people. Much like Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne has the potential to run a smear campaign against Superman. The leveling of downtown Metropolis and lost and endangerment of countless lives during the battle against General Zod, is more than enough to fuel a movement of the people against this perceived menace to society.
This could trigger a chain reaction of the world's military forces arming themselves against The Man of Steel, combining their forces with Batman. Although it would most likely end up a fruitless endeavor, Superman wouldn't retaliate as it goes it against his nature. But it would be a measure effective enough to evoke a change.
Since the absence of the Justice League has been established, and Batman V Superman is taking place after the end result of the Man of Steel movie, Superman doesn't have a friend in the world. But again, since Batman has had a vigilante career years beforehand, whose to say Nightwing doesn't exist in this universe, already established in Bludhaven? Perhaps Red Robin has recently started a career in Gotham during the retirement of Batman? Maybe Batwoman has taken on the mantle.
The fact of the matter is that Batman has always had a team of allies in his back pocket to utilize whether they were homegrown disciples of his own or people he's met out on the field, even without the Justice League. But the film paints Superman in a corner that makes it highly unlikely of him having any allies this time around.
Superman in the majority of his fights portrayed in comic books, on television, and in film, has held his punches. A result of not holding back would result in a lot of dead bodies in the wake of his appearances. After killing General Zod in Man of Steel, he felt an immeasurable amount of guilt, especially after having to do so in front of two young girls and their family.
Despite Batman being a temporary adversary, Batman is still human. Part of what makes Superman who he is has to do with his moral standings and complete devotion on keeping people safe, despite the collateral damage he may cause. But Batman, being who he is, will see this stance as a sign of weakness and exploit it. Plus, if Superman doesn't hold back, we probably won't be seeing Batman in any more projects.
Since Batman has had a vigilante career prior to Batman V Superman, we can expect many assortments of gadgets. Due to his influence as Bruce Wayne, he also has the ability to grab hold of Kryptonite, or even create an artificial version himself. In the trailer, we see what looks to be the Batwing, a version of the Batmobile, and a mechanical Batsuit. Whether or not these vehicles can turn the tide in a battle against Superman remains to be seen, but the suit's usefulness is in an entirely different league. It is able to withstand the damage The Man of Steel is able to belt out, and it possibly has its own assortment of weaponry specific to deal with him as well. What would lead one to believe such a thing is that the suit was featured in the comic book Dark Knight Returns, which will find itself on this list later.
What could hurt Batman and his resources is the fact that the movie does in fact take place before the establishment of the Justice League. This means there is no cutting edge alien technology to build off of, no otherworldly properties to delve into, or anything else of similar ilk. This could potentially limit The Bats prowess when it comes to his genius equipment building, but whose to say Batman hasn't dealt with some of his higher tier adversaries in his past? Ra's Al Ghul has more than a baby toe dipped into the field of magical properties; maybe Bats has concocted an assortment of chemical compounds lethal enough to damaged Superman during his bouts with the likes of Poison Ivy or The Joker? Only time can tell...
In Tower of Babel, a comic book storyline written by Mark Waid, it is revealed that Batman has a contingency plan for the entire JLA in case they ever turned evil or are mentally compromised by a villain with telepathic abilities to take them down efficiently, and we see each plan in action. In Superman's case, he's exposed to red Kryptonite - an artificial version of green Kryptonite created by Batman - which turns Superman's skin transparent, overloading his solar absorption. This causes him to feel severe pain due to his senses being overwhelmed. Does Batman already have such a plan in the film?
This story line was loosely adapted in an animated film called Justice League: Doom, released in 2012. However, instead of artificial Kryptonite, Superman is shot with a Kryptonite bullet when attempting to save a man (who turned out to be villain Metallo in disguise) from committing suicide.
What makes Batman such a threat despite not having any superpowers of his own is his amazing foresight. In Batman V Superman, we already have an established Batman whose had a long enough career that he was able to retire for a fair amount of years. Superman on the other hand is very new to his tenure as a hero. It could be easily deduced that because of this, Batman's experience will play a drastic role in combating The Man of Steel.
Up until The Man of Steel film, Superman has had no adversaries to fight against, whereas Batman has already had a long and strenuous relationship with his greatest adversary, The Joker. Batman already has a mind for tackling tasks that involve the necessary means to be a hero, as opposed to playing "smashy-smashy" with a bad guy and leveling the entire downtown district of a city. Psychology also plays a defining factor in battle. Know thy enemy.
While it's easy to say Batman has just as many emotional downfalls to play off of as Superman, in the film it seems that paradigm has been shifted. Batman V Superman takes place pre-Justice League, but post Batman's retirement. This means the audience will be presented with a Batman that has lost his parents, lost a Robin, and lost an entire building's worth of employees that Bruce Wayne is responsible for. He is in a much more visceral stage of his mindset once out of retirement. Pair that off with his amazing foresight and the caliber of his adversary, Batman will play off of every advantage he can.
We're also dealing with a Superman whose new to the fray, who is dealing with a divided society: one half is fearful of his existence, and the other half worships him as a god. On top of that, we have his love interest Lois Lane in the picture, as well as his adoptive mother Martha Kent who can easily be used as bargaining chips. We're dealing with a Superman reeling back from the realization of his Kryptonian origins, and having to kill what we presume to be the last of his kind. Lastly, we have arguably Superman's greatest foe, Lex Luthor making his grand appearance, who according to rumors, is in the process of creating a clone of the hero. The cards are masterfully stacked against Superman in this upcoming film, and it's all to give The Caped Crusader a slight edge.
In Batman: Hush, writer Jeph Loeb presents a bout between Supes and Bats with the ladder coming out on top. In short, Superman's under the mind control of Poison Ivy's power and sends him to attack The Bat. It is during the scuffle that Batman realizes Superman is subconsciously holding back in their fight. With an awry of assorted weapons and a Kryptonite ring entrusted to Batman, the Caped Crusader stalls long enough to create a plan which includes Catwoman drop Lois Lane from a building to have Supes shake the mind control and save his beloved.
It is another example of using Lois as a bargaining chip, using Superman's nature to hold back in battle against him, and Batman having the arsenal to deal with Superman at any given chance, even without a specifically designed Batsuit.
The Dark Knight Returns is a comic book storyline written by Frank Miller which Batman V Superman is loosely based from. In this story you find Batman coming out of retirement, putting on a Batsuit, and riding off in a Batmobile to face Superman, all of which can be seen in the latest Batman V Superman trailer. Without spoiling too much, Batman wins against Superman and delivers one of the most memorable comic book monologues printed to commemorate his victory. While the reasoning of the battle and social standing of Superman far differ than what we will be seeing in the film, Batman has already gone toe-to-toe with the Big Blue in very similar circumstances to the movie and has come out on top.
This story-line was loosely adapted in a two-part animated film called Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
From countless polls and debates that stem back decades from today, Batman is more popular than Superman. His standing on the silver screen has been more popular, his underdog position will always resonate with people in a battle against a man who can do anything, and his brooding dark nature is a result of the type of entertainment we enjoy. As a result, three more Batman movies have been ordered after a screening of Batman V Superman with Warner Bros., pushing back what was supposed to be Superman leading the advancement of the DC cinematic universe to a position on the sideline. Perhaps this is evidence of the Superman curse? Or perhaps, it's because, as always, the people will always prefer Batman over Superman.