2016 is perhaps the greatest year for comic book fans and fans of the superhero medium. This year marks the first time Batman and Superman will appear on screen together. It is a historic event for fanboys and movie buffs.
Batman v. Superman isn’t the only superhero movie this year that will feature a superhero battle of epic proportions. Captain America: Civil War might be even bigger. It’s not just Cap versus Iron Man – it’s Team Cap vs Team Iron Man. Which side are you on? Cap, the Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Hawkeye will face off against Iron man, Vision, Black Widow, Black Panther, War Machine and Spider-Man. Friendships will end and new enemies will be formed.
Over on Netflix there is another superhero battle brewing. Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, will duke it out against antihero the Punisher. Will Daredevil be able to stop this murdering vigilante, or will Punisher convince Daredevil to cross a line that he vowed not to cross? All these cinematic battles are inspired by showdowns that have happened on the printed page. With over 70 years of superhero comics, there have been some memorable battles over the years. Here’s a look at the 16 most epic superhero battles of all time.
16 Thor vs Silver Surfer
Loki is a trickster, and the Thor villain once duped Silver Surfer big time. The Herald of Galactus was fooled into thinking that Thor was an evil god, and the battle between Silver Surfer and Thor was epic on a cosmic level.
15 Batman vs the Red Hood
After the Joker and his crowbar beat the second Robin, Jason Todd, to death, the one time half of the Dynamic Duo was resurrected in the Lazarus pit and returned to Gotham City as the antihero known as the Red Hood.
14 Wonder Woman vs Aquaman
In the DC Comics miniseries Flashpoint, Professor Zoom has altered the timeline. Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman; his father Thomas Wayne is now Batman because Bruce was the one who was killed in Crime Alley.
13 Batman vs Green Lantern
This battle makes the list not because it was an ultimate showdown. Instead, it’s here because of how easily Batman defeated Guy Gardner. Guy Gardner is one of many members of the Green Lantern Corps who have defended earth, but in the comics he is known as somewhat of a jerk.
12 Superman vs the Flash
The fight was not a battle of brawn and fighting ability. Instead, it was a race around the world to see if the Flash truly was the fastest man alive. In Superman #199, the United Nations had the idea to create a charity race where Superman and the Flash would race around the world.
11 Iron Man vs Hulk
It’s a battle between brains and brawn. Measly Tony Stark couldn’t take down the Hulk without a suit of armor, and even then he had to design a special Iron Man suit capable of withstanding a melee of punches from the ever lovin’ Hulk.
10 Avengers vs X-men
The two greatest superhero teams in the Marvel Universe have faced off against each other numerous times. It’s unlikely this showdown will ever happen on the big screen because Fox owns the film rights to the X-Men. However, the mutants and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can still have epic showdowns on the printed page. In 2012, the teams had an all out war in a Marvel Comics special event. Avengers vs X-men focused on the return of the Phoenix force to Earth.
9 Superman vs Hulk
Superman and the Hulk are arguably the two strongest superheroes in comic book history, but because the Hulk is a Marvel property and Superman is a DC property, the characters almost never faced off against each other. However, Superman and the Hulk did fight in the Marvel vs. DC comic book miniseries from the 90s.
8 Iron Man vs Captain America
The big Marvel movie this year is Captain America: Civil War. The cast of heroes in this showdown is so large it seems more like an Avengers movie than a Captain America movie. Team Cap consists of Captain America, his partner Bucky aka the Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Captain America’s other sidekick Falcon, and Ant-Man.
7 Daredevil vs Punisher
Have you watched Netflix’s Daredevil season two yet? Daredevil vs Punisher is a very interesting comic book battle because both characters are so similar to one another. They both want the same thing – for New York to be a safer place by eliminating the mob. However, they have very different methods for accomplishing this goal.
6 Batman vs Superman
5 Hulk vs Thing
Two of Marvel’s heaviest and strongest bruisers are the Incredible Hulk and The Thing. When they face off against each other there is plenty of destruction. The Hulk may be stronger, but that doesn’t mean that Ben Grimm is a slouch. The Hulk has beaten The Thing many times, but The Thing did prevail a couple of times.
4 Hulk vs Wolverine
Wolverine’s first full appearance in the comics was in Incredible Hulk 181. Wolverine looked much different than he does now. He really didn’t look intimidating at all due to a mask with whiskers that made him look like a kitty cat.
3 Superman vs Shazam!
There was a time when Superman and Shazam!, who was once called Captain Marvel, were part of rival comic book companies, but DC comics purchased Fawcett Comics and all of its characters, which meant Shazam! became part of the DC universe. Both characters are eerily similar. They both wear red suits and fly, they are both goody goodies and both almost invulnerable.
2 Superman vs Spider-Man
Marvel’s most popular hero faced off against the Man of Steel in the 1970s. Superman vs The Amazing Spider-Man was one of the first times superheroes from two competing comic book companies appeared in the same book. No explanation was given for why the pair is suddenly in the same universe, and the comic is not cannon.
1 Batman vs The Justice League
How can Batman be the most powerful hero in comic book history when he is simply a mere mortal with no superpowers whatsoever? The answer is simple: because he’s Batman. No hero is as street smart as Batman. He has a plan for everything, and hundreds of back up plans in case his original plan doesn’t work.
Batman can even take down The Justice League. In the graphic novel Tower of Babel, it was revealed that Batman had failsafe measures to stop the other members of The Justice League if they went rogue or got too high on power. After all, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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