Top 9 Times Superman Beat up Batman

Poster "Batman vs. Superman" by Alex Ross with Superman punching Batman.
"Batman vs. Superman" by Alex Ross.

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I love Batman with a passion, but Superman has fed him a knuckle sandwich many times.

Batman and Superman went head-to-head the movie "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." It's set up as the battle of the century and carries on a tradition from the comics

In the comics, the two have fought each other many times. It's a classic brain vs. brawn fight. The two are often shown as adversaries, but it hasn't always been that way. Before the Crisis rebooted the DC Universe, the two were best friends.

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first debuted in "Action Comics #1" on April 18, 1938. It was an instant hit and led to the creation of another classic superhero.

Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger created Batman and he debuted in "Detective Comics #27" May 1939. He became an instant hit as well. It was only a matter of time before the two were paired up in the comics.

The first time they appeared in the same comic was the 1940 New York World's Fair anthology comic. It had them both on the cover but had them in two separate stories. They didn't appear together in the same story until Superman #76 in 1952. It was a tense meeting, but they became fast friends.

However, Bryne created a more adversarial relationship in the 1986 "Man of Steel" mini-series and that stayed for years. They punched each other a few times. Most of the time when the two fight, there's a misunderstanding or they're being manipulated.

How will it end? We're not sure, but here are at least nine times Superman beat up Batman.

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Batman #612 (2003)

Cover art from "Batman issue 612" showing Superman and Batman.

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In "Batman: Hush," Poison Ivy uses her powers to control Superman and sends him to kill Batman and Catwoman. They hide in the sewers of Metropolis and he takes down a wall.

Batman planned it out carefully, so he keeps Superman contained. Superman can’t fly, and Batman talks to distract him. He warns Superman that there’s an open gas main, so he can’t use his heat vision. Finally, he uses a Kryptonite ring. Batman looks like he has the advantage.

Most people say Batman beat him, but even Batman admits the Kryptonite ring only "slows his reflexes." Sure he got some punches in, but punching Superman threatens to “shatter every bone” in his hand. A sonic attack disturbs Superman, but he recovers and uses his cold breath to encase the ring in ice. Batman shocks Superman with enough electricity to black out the city. It only stuns him.

How did it end? Superman recovers and picks up a car to crush Batman. He easily would have killed Batman if they hadn’t threatened Lois Lane. Even Batman admits Superman was holding back and could have killed him with super speed. After everything, he didn’t even slow Superman down. Did Batman win? Nope. Superman wasn't knocked out or anything. But Batman gets sore hands from pimp-smacking Superman.

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Superman: Red Son (2003)

Superman "Red Son" cover art.

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A slightly different Batman smackdown is told in "Superman: Red Son." This is an Elseworlds story where baby Superman lands in Russia and becomes the defender of socialism. He fights the Elseworlds version of Batman, who lures Superman into a trap by tying up Wonder Woman.

Batman has the place rigged with sunlamps. But instead of giving Superman a tan, they take away his powers. Batman starts beating up a powerless Superman. Powerless, mind you.

That is until Superman whacks Batman with a 2x4. After all Batman's boasting about the power of the human mind, he forgets to take away lumber. A powerless Superman knocks Batman down. At least for a little while.

How did it end? Superman gets dragged to a shed, but Wonder Woman comes to his rescue. This is something else Batman failed to plan for. Wonder Woman breaks out of her lasso like it's made of tissue paper. In the end, Batmankoff blows himself up to avoid being turned into borscht by Superman.

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Action Comics #829 (2005)

Action Comics issue 829 cover art.

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The next Batman beat-down is in "Action Comics #829." After Darkseid brainwashes Lois and implants a bomb in her head, Superman is forced to fight in an arena. He beats the stuffing out of Darkseid

Here's the twist. It turns out the whole thing is an illusion created by Maxwell Lord. Superman’s actually attacking Batman in the Justice League space station.

Batman is hit with a sneak attack and doesn’t have time to prepare. His only defense is the security systems of the Watchtower, which don’t do much to stop him.

How did it end? Superman knocks him around and burns him with his heat vision. Batman is left broken and beaten, with burns on his chest and Superman’s fingerprints embedded in his neck. Not Batman's finest hour.

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Superman/Batman #23 (2005)

Cover art from "Batman/Superman $23."

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In "Superman/Batman #23," Batman and Superman travel to an alternate dimension. The Kryptonite Man —- basically living Kryptonite energy —- takes control of Batman. He becomes a creature made of Superman's greatest weakness.

Superman admits he's unprepared and weakened. Plus, Kryptonite Man says that Superman is holding back because he's afraid of hurting Batman's body. So Batman should beat Superman easily, right?

How did it end? Superman proves that he's not all brain. He uses pressure points on Batman to paralyze him. Then he uses super speed to encase Batman in the lead outer casing of a robot. From there, the fight is over and the Kryptonite Man is forced to leave Batman's body.

It's true that technically, he's not fighting Batman. He's fighting the Kryptonite Man in Batman's body. But, with an entire body made of Kryptonite, he should have whipped Superman easily. Plus, Superman would have the same reluctance to fight his friend Batman in any normal situation. He found a way to win the fight without throwing Batman into the sun.

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Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (2005)

"Lex Luthor: Man of Steel" cover art.

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"Lex Luthor: Man of Steel" has one of the most intriguing fights between Batman and Superman.

Lex Luthor gives Bruce Wayne a piece of Kryptonite and Batman goes off to fight Superman. That's right. Kryptonite. Superman's greatest weakness. He should win easily. Right? Wrong.

Superman just uses his super breath to blow it out of his hands. After it falls to the ground, Superman drags him through the air and drops him. Superman even throws a punch at Batman but stops short of smashing his nose just to prove a point. He could kill Batman with a solid right hook, but he doesn't.

How did it end? Batman is left battered and beaten. But if Superman had wanted it, Batman would be a smear on the ground. All this may have been some kind of alternate world or fantasy. But it proves that, even with Kryptonite, Superman can beat Batman.

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Superman/Batman #33 (2007)

"Superman/Batman #33" cover art.

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The alien known as "Blackrock" takes control of Batman's body in "Superman/Batman #33." It's an alien parasite that takes over a host body. Batman has a huge advantage in this fight. Blackrock gives him super-strength, flight, and durability.

Batman/Blackrock begins taunting Superman and starts pounding on him. Superman says the Blackrock/Batman hybrid will release him if it senses it's in danger. Blackrock is confident Superman won't kill. But there's one thing they didn't understand.

How did it end? Superman says he knows his friend well. Batman would rather die than be under the control of Blackrock. So Superman starts punching the snot out of him. Even with his enhanced abilities, Batman is hopelessly outmatched by Superman. Finally, Blackrock leaves Bruce Wayne. A bloody and battered Batman thanks Superman and they go together to defeat the true enemy.

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Justice League #2 (2011)

"Justice League #2" cover art.

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The next battle happens in the "New 52" universe in "Justice League." When Darkseid’s "Parademons" are attacking, Batman and Green Lantern go to the only known alien: Superman. Unfortunately, the Kryptonian thinks they’re responsible for the attacks and decides to conduct his own interrogation.

Technically, this fight is Batman and Green Lantern vs. Superman. But Superman takes out Green Lantern pretty easily. So, it ends up being Batman vs. Superman.

Neither one had ever met each other before, so Batman isn’t prepared. Batman empties his utility belt at Superman. The taser, gas grenade, and sonic disruptor do nothing.

How did it end? Superman starts choking Batman out. Batman is left bleeding and desperate when Green Lantern tries to stop Superman.

By Batman’s own admission, Superman is too powerful for them. “He’s strong,” Batman yells, “he’s fast.” Batman is hopelessly outmatched. In the end, the fight is broken up by the Flash. The win goes to Superman.

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Batman: The Dark Knight #5 (2012)

"Batman: The Dark Knight #5" cover art

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In "Batman: The Dark Knight #5," Batman gets a dose of Scarecrow’s fear toxin, laced with Bane’s venom. Wonder Woman calls Superman to help him. He finds Batman in a barn on the ground and tries to talk him down, but Batman hits him with a roundhouse that sends him through the wall. Superman repeatedly says he doesn’t want to hurt him, but Batman’s out of his mind and ranting about Superman being an alien. Superman reminds Batman that he’s physically superior in every way.

How does it end? Even though Batman is super-strong, he doesn’t even stop Superman. After Batman starts threatening to attack innocent people, Superman has enough. He punches Batman once and he goes flying. At that point, the fight is over before it starts.

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Injustice: Gods Among Us #35 (2013)

"Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two The Complete Collection" cover art.

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"Injustice: Gods Among Us #35" tells an imaginary tale based on the video game of the same name. Superman goes on an insane rage over the deaths of Lois Lane and Wonder Woman. He thinks it's Batman's fault and goes to the Batcave to face him.

Batman knows Superman is coming, so he plans ahead. He doesn’t really want to fight him. But, when Superman won’t stop, he has no choice. He uses a sonic weapon to confuse him and tries to take a pill to give himself Superman-like power.

How did it end? Superman is hit hard by the sonic attack but recovers long enough to keep Batman from taking the pill. Then, since he doesn’t want to kill Batman, he takes him over his knee and breaks his back. Superman easily takes Batman out.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a true Superman or Batman story and plays pretty fast-and-loose with the concept. Still, Batman ended up the same way that he did when fighting Bane.

Those are the biggest and best examples of Superman handing Batman his lunch. We'll see what happens when they next meet.