Though they've each had their share of humiliating moments on their own, Batman and Superman have come to blows a number of times. When they do resort to slugging it out, it usually comes down to that classic battle between brain versus brawn. Does the invincible sun god instantly destroy his opponent along with any chance of an open-casket funeral? Or did the hyper-intelligent trillionaire plan for this all along and detonate the kryptonite microbomb he planted in his foe's brain a decade beforehand? Either way, the point is pretty much moot when they both end up teaming up to beat up the bad guy. Their myriad brawls are the stuff of legend, but since they tumble so often, a few embarrassing tiffs were inevitable. We've collected a list of their most shameful spats below. Just for fun, for each entry we're going to award arbitrary, non-binding points to the victor of each round. Because hard numbers make imaginary fights more real.
Batman's a racist. He's never fully trusted Superman, but it's not because he thinks no one should have that much power, as he claims. Deep down, Batman is really just mad that a god-damned alien came from out of nowhere and took his job. The only reason the rest of the country doesn't feel the same way is because Kal-El can pass for human. Imagine how they'd feel if he looked like a swamp gremlin with devil hor-- wait, you already imagined that? Oh, we put the picture up there. We really need to work on formatting for these things.
Backing up a bit, this goofy 1960s story begins like so many comics: with Superman coiling himself up into a giant string cocoon. Aware that Superman pulls random powers out of his ass on a regular basis, Batman decides to wait to see what happens (presumably with a flamethrower handy in case the shit gets raw). To his surprise, out of the cocoon emerges good ol' Superman! Sort of! Clad with green skin and a new rubbery face, this new entity doesn't seem to have any memory of Batman or their nights spent together playing Mall Madness and watching Clueless. Soon Un-Superman attacks Batman with -- surprise! -- some new bullshit powers. Bats is having none of it and subdues his forgetful friend to calm him down. It takes a while, but The World's Greatest Detective deduces that Marvin the Martian is obviously some asshole in a Superman suit and a rubber mask. Together they take a trip to a secluded cave so Batman can land a sucker punch on the fraud.
As it turns out, that asshole in a Superman suit with a rubber mask was that asshole who wears Superman's suit every day. Through his irrepressible shit-eating grin, the Man of Steel Superman-splains that the guy who initially stepped out of the cocoon really was a dickhead criminal in disguise, but at some point Superman caught him. From that point on, instead of going after the real crooks or maybe stopping a flaming baby carriage from rolling into the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Superman decided to dick around with Batman just because. Point clearly goes to Superman, the master of unprovoked jackassery.
It seems like Superman and Batman have known one another's true identity forever, but at some point in time you know they stared longingly at the tabloids and caressed the photo of that mysterious yet familiar stranger. Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne learned the truth after an overbooked cruise ship forced them into the same room. After arguing over whether they should watch 3rd Rock From the Sun or Walker, Texas Ranger on the suite TV, the two impossibly buff men attempted to sleep next to each other in a twin-size bed.
Nobody is punching anyone else, but look closely and you'll realize that even Jack Bauer never saw the kind of intense action in these two panels. Neither says a word, but their expressions and body language say more than speech bubbles ever could. On the right, Bruce is calculating a dozen different ways to cripple a man with a pillowcase and a phone charger. On the left, Clark clenches his jaw, too stubborn to remove his glasses in bed because he doesn't want to admit to himself that they're both more or less identical. Point goes to Batman, the obvious winner of the raging blanket war.