Thursday, March 17, 2016

Batman v Superman III: Post-Infinite Crisis Fights

Batman and Superman have fought at least thirty-three times. In the last post, I tallied the post-Crisis battles. Here, I continue my look at the history of Superman versus Batman fights.

Post-Infinite Crisis fights

25) Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (2005): Lex Luthor gives Bruce Wayne kryptonite, hoping that the leading powers of Gotham can use it more effectively against Superman than he himself can. In a scene told without full context, we see Superman happen upon the kryptonite-armed Batman and brutally defeat him. First, Superman blows the kryptonite out of Batman's hand from long range, and the rest of the fight is one-sided in Superman's favor. Result: Superman wins.

26) Infinite Crisis #3 (2006): The Superman from Earth Two, Kal-L, tries to talk with the paranoid Batman, who can't agree to disagree. Pulling the kryptonite ring on Kal-L, Batman finds that it's the wrong kind of kryptonite and watches as Superman burns it off his hand. Result: Superman beats Batman's best tactic, but has no reason to stay and fight further.

27) Justice (2006): After Captain Marvel rescues Superman from an ambush that nearly killed him, he takes him to the Batcave to recover. Superman immediately notices that nanobots are controlling Batman's mind, making him follow the will of Brainiac and Luthor. As Batman is about to surprise Superman with the kryptonite ring, Superman takes down the mind-controlled Batman with one preemptive punch. Result: Superman wins.

28) Action #836 This Was Your Life (2006): In an alternate version of the meeting from Man of Steel #3, a more strong-willed Superman possessing the mind of Earth Two's Kal-L responds to the hidden bomb threat more effectively, immediately finding it on Batman's person and allowing it to detonate safely in his hands. However, instead of apprehending Batman, he proposes an alliance. Result: Superman gets a tactical win, but the conflict ends in a handshake.

29) Superman vol2 #219 / Action #829 / Adventures of Superman #642 Sacrifice (2006): Usually, mind control stories make the victim a servant of some master. In "Sacrifice" Superman retains control of his actions, but Max Lord psychically controls his senses. Superman, believing that he's battling a superpowered enemy, lays into Batman, immediately incapacitating him with force that would have been lethal if Wonder Woman hadn't arrived in time. Only later does Superman realize that he nearly killed his friend. Result: Superman wins, to his own dismay.

30) Booster Gold vol2 #9 (2008): In an alternate timeline, Max Lord uses his control over Superman to dominate the Earth, defeating most other superheroes. When Booster Gold leads a reconstituted JLI on a raid, they find that Batman has gone undercover, infiltrating Lord's organization, and believes that he would eventually overthrow Lord's regime. The JLI kill Lord, returning Superman to his normal self. Batman's plan, which didn't involve confronting Superman directly, never gets to play out. Result: Interesting manuvering, but no fight.

Post-Flashpoint fights

31) Justice League #2 (2011): In the post-Flashpoint first meeting of Superman and Batman, the Man of Steel encounters the pair of Batman and Green Lantern, who had only just met, and battle breaks out. Superman knocks Green Lantern aside before exhausting every possible attack that Batman can throw his way. After Batman can do no more, Green Lantern and the Flash are getting beaten when Batman talks the foursome into a truce. Result: Superman wins the combat with Batman in the middle of a larger fight. Batman negotiates a truce.

32) Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013-): More of a series of wars than a battle, this comic series is released as a companion to a video game of the same name. Many elements are cobbled together from other stories on this list. "Sacrifice": Superman is deceived into using lethal force against his own loved one. "Armageddon 2001":  The death of Lois Lane drives Superman to become a tyrant. "Unholy Three": Batman gives himself superpowers to fight an evil Superman. Result: Ongoing. In the first physical fight, Superman overpowers Batman and breaks his back. The war, with many fighters on both sides, goes on and on.

33) Batman vol2 #36 (2015): In one of the Caped Crusader's toughest challenges, Batman is attacked by an entire Jokerized Justice League, beginning with Wonder Woman and ending with Superman, and he manages to survive. Wearing an armored battle suit due to his initial clash with Wonder Woman, Batman withstands an assault from Superman that might otherwise have killed him, fighting back with some original weapons: red-sun-knuckled batgloves, plasma shields, and finally some kryptonite gum. Batman's mental narration of the fight analyzes the matchup in contradictory ways, noting that Superman has lines that he would never cross, but if he did cross them, he would be unstoppable. As Batman and Superman fall from the sky into the water, he notes that in a fight between them, neither of them win. Result: Batman incapacitates the Jokerized Superman.

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