By Chris Haley
Superman and Batman.
Batman and Superman.
Any way you slice it, these two are the best.
The best of the best.
Both in their world and in ours, Superman and Batman have earned their moniker kudos as the “World’s Finest”.
These are the guys that can ultimately be counted on to take care of business, any business, when there is some kind of business in need of care.
Bank robbers? Sure thing.
Other-worldly deities bent on planetary destruction? Uh, yeah. They got this.
They can both be mostly counted on individually to be up to the task of any possible evil conundrum or diabolical scheme, but get them together? Well, then your nefariousness is well and truly boned.
Superman and Batman represent the opposite ends of the superhero spectrum and this is what makes them such great complimentary characters. Superman’s got the laundry list of powers and soars through the sky like a smiling, solar-powered Samaritan. Batman has no powers but the indomitable power of will to be the very best at everything, fueled by a child’s promise to become a scowling, hidden nighttime boogeyman for bad guys.
My point is I think Superman and Batman fighting is about as boring an idea as is possible. I mean, we all thought it was great in Dark Knight Returns, but that one specific time was plenty.
These two guys are basically each other’s only true peers (in this world at least), and as such, they have a friendship, respect, and understanding of each other’s specific “justice quests” that no one else does or can.
Depending on the situation, I think Batman sees Superman as both a younger brother (untainted by the world and all it’s cruelties and cynicisms with an optimism and hopefulness he himself lacks and thus he will do anything to protect) and an older brother (who can bail him out of any jam, help in those rare moments when he’s forced to admit he can’t do everything himself, and beat up any bully no matter how big and scary they’re Omega beams are). And the same goes for Superman, but the other way around. Batman is the younger brother who occasionally writes checks his butt can’t cash, but also the older brother that sees things in ways Superman doesn’t and knows all tricks and secrets he would never think to think of on his own.
Superman works great as a supporting character for Batman (and vice versa) because he can swoop in any time and need help with something or be the help Batman needs.
These guys are the best in the world and if the best idea you can come up with for the two best dudes ever is that they don’t like each other, then I’m afraid you just aren’t trying hard enough.
Chris Haley is a comics artist, writer, and unwavering beacon of positivity in the face of The Internet. His work includes the webcomic Let’s Be Friends Again and Comics, Everybody for Comics Alliance. Check him out on Twitter.
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