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Batman vs Superman: Who Is the Greatest Superhero of All Time?

Updated on February 18, 2015

There has always been a fierce rivalry between the DC Comics and Marvel camps in the world of superheroes. However, some people may argue that the biggest battle of them all has been fought out internally within DC Comics. The big debate of course surrounds the question of who is the greatest superhero of all time? This argument most commonly sways evenly between the choices of Batman and Superman. Both of these superheroes were introduced in comics in the late 1930s and each has enjoyed a successful adaptation on the big screen. Here we will explore the background of each of these iconic characters.

10 Batman and Superman Similarities Shared. Each...

~ Belongs in the DC Comics Universe
~ Fights crime with a passion
~ Has a love interest
~ Has enjoyed mainstream success in the both the comics and movies
~ Hides their true identity
~ Movie adaptation involved an awesome person by the name of Christopher
~ Spawned female equivalents in Batgirl and Supergirl
~ Was introduced in the late 1930s
~ Wears a Cape
~ Will face-off in the movie Dawn of Justice in (2016)


Superman was first introduced in 1938. The creation came from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Originally born on the planet Krypton, this character was sent to Earth at an early age by his father Jor-El. He was brought up by a farmer as Clark Kent who would later go on to develop his superpowers to fight crime.

Batman was first introduced a year later in 1939. This superhero was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. The story follows the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne who moonlights as the Caped Crusader, fighting crime across Gotham City.


Superman again made the early move when the first major superhero movie made its grand entrance back in 1978. Richard Donner brought the vision to the big screen and the main star (Christopher Reeve) was a major contributor to the mainstream success that followed. Later sequels were churned out throughout the 80s where the magic was lost. The franchise was later ignited by Man of Steel and a future movie (Dawn of Justice) will match him against his fellow DC partner below.

Tim Burton's Batman arrived in the year 1989 and it was an instant hit. The standout performance this time actually came from a villain in Jack Nicholson's Joker. It was again a case of poorly executed sequels here that didn't do the legacy any favours. Then came along Christopher Nolan in 2005 to provide comic book fans with the start of what would become an almost perfect superhero movie trilogy. The Dark Knight was the peak that was nominated for 8 Academy Awards. An Award win was taken for the late Heath Ledger who managed to take Jack Nicholson's Joker to new dizzy heights of brilliance and insanity. Next up is Dawn of Justice that bears no connection to Nolan's trilogy.

Other Great Superheroes?:

No fellow DC superheroes have tended to take away the limelight from Batman/Superman. Perhaps their most well known candidate would be Wonder Woman. Other creations include the likes of the Green Lantern gang and The Flash.

There is much more competition on the Marvel side with the biggest challenge coming from Spiderman. This popular character was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and was first brought to the comics in 1962. Then there is the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Hulk, Mister Fantastic and Wolverine are further popular superheroes that shows that Marvel really does have a great back-catalogue.

Superhero Costumes:

The brilliance of these superheroes is evident across many areas, but perhaps non are quite as notable as their striking appearances and caped costumes. Across all of the movies the styles may have been updated slightly, but in general each theme has stayed loyal that is how they are known the world over. The designs for each have enjoyed massive popularity across the fancy dress sector over the years. You can buy budget, or go deluxe, with the designs coming in many forms, even catering pets. As expected, there are some excellent designs for Batman and Superman, especially the Grand Heritage costumes.


Batman famously has no superpowers. Bruce Wayne's empire was passed down from his father, but this wealth would enable him to essentially mimic superpowers through the development of various armour and gadgets.

Superman's home planet gifted superhuman abilities although they would not show up until Clark Kent had aged. In time he would develop superhuman strength, X-ray vision and of course flight amongst other things.

The Villains:

Batman villains are by far the most well known with comic book fans. Whilst The Joker is considered as the definitive enemy of the Caped Crusader there was many other impressive supervillains such as Bane, The Penguin, The Riddler and Two-Face. Others well known includes Harley Quinn, Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy and The Scarecrow.

Superman villains are less acclaimed. Lex Luthor is his arch nemesis and then Brainiac, Doomsday and General Zod are also popular with the fans.

Top 100 Superheroes List (IGN):

IGN (Imagine Games Network) is an entertainment website that was created in 1996. The owner is J2 Global Inc who are also well known for their AskMen brand. The IGN website currently has a global Alexa rank of 320 that shows how popular they have been over the years. They are well known for their compiled lists and it is their Top 100 Superheroes list of interest to us here. Their Top 10 ranking positions were as follows:

10) Daredevil
9) Hulk
8) Wally West
7) Hal Jordan
6) Captain America
5) Wonder Woman
4) Wolverine
3) Spiderman
2) Batman
1) Superman

It was no great surprise to see the featured DC favourites take the first few places and Spiderman as expected was close behind them. It was interesting to see that Superman took the #1 ranking here, but did they pick the right winner?

Just Who Is the Greatest Superhero of All Time?

Is It Batman or Superman?
Or Does Someone Else Deserve That Accolade?

Vote Here...

See results


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