The Superman vs Batman: Dawn of Justice movie is on its way and it promises further the time honored tradition of having Superman and Batman beat the snot out of each other and then team up. Batman and Superman have had a lot of encounters over the 75-plus years they’ve been in comics and some of them have been downright bizarre. They’ve fought over the weirdest things- from Lois Lane’s hand in marriage to the fate of Soviet Russia- and they’ve also been in bizarrely intimate situations. Whether as friends or as foes, Superman and Batman get up to some ridiculous shenanigans together.
It would be impossible to list them all, but here’s a collection of some of the weirdest encounters between Superman and Batman throughout comics history. If you have any favorite weird stories that didn’t make the list, be sure to mention it in the comments section!
Superman and Batman first officially first met in 1952’s Superman #76. Granted, they’d appeared in comics together before then, mainly in 1940’s, but this was the first story that showed them, y’know, meeting. It featured a weird cover where they both compete over who will save Lois from a fiery death. As Lois herself would say, probably not the best time to whip ‘em out and measure ‘em, guys.
The story itself is as kitschy and weird as the cover suggests. Bruce and Clark just happen to be assigned the same cabin on a cruise ship and naturally, a robbery happens that requires them to suit up. They discover each other’s secret identities when they accidentally see each other changing clothes. You know, a lot of slash fic has started the same way.
Batman and Superman are even worse at hiding their secret identities together than apart, so Lois, who is also on the ship, begins to suspect their true identities. Superman’s clever plan to both distract her and catch the theif is to pretend he and Batman are jealously competing over Lois’s affections, which Lois is thoroughly unimpressed by. At the end of the story, Lois decides to ditch them both and “date” Robin instead. Uh…not seriously go on a date with him, she was just trying to make a point. We hope.
Batman and Superman eventually got a title exclusively devoted to their teamups, called “World’s Finest”. Issue 71 featured Lois once again figuring out Bruce and Clark’s secret identities (these guys are really bad at this). Bruce and Clark came up with the perfect solution to this: switch costumes and make Lois think Bruce is Superman! It’s foolproof.
Since Bruce and Clark look exactly alike, this totally works. Lois is slowly tricked into believing Bruce is Superman, meanwhile Clark gets knocked out by Kryptonite while playing Batman. Lois discovers him and assumes he was either impersonating Batman to get a story or has a weird costume-based fetish. Then she walks in on Superman and Bruce Wayne in the same room, throws her hands up in the air and gives up on these assholes.
You know, guys, it would be a lot easier to just tell her she’s right, ask her to keep it a secret and actually devote your time to solving crimes rather than these overly complicated schemes.
In World’s Finest #142, Bats and Supes had to fight a combined version of themselves. Like, he was literally half Supes, half Bats, split straight down the middle. The dude had green skin and was actually just a humble janitor from the future who got struck by lightning and gained the powers of The Legion of Superheroes, a group of heroes from the 31st century. It….doesn’t really make much sense.