Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Sixty-Four Cent Question

So I'm sitting at my desk this afternoon, writing the introduction for the first Un-Men trade paperback, due out from DC/Vertigo this April and featuring those wonderfully bizarre creatures created by Bernie Wrightson and myself way back in the second issue of Swamp Thing, when the phone rings. On the other end is my dear old friend, longtime Superman scribe and current Democratic candidate for Congress in California's 24th District, Elliot S! Maggin (and, yes, the exclamation point is intentional).

"Can you do me a favor?" asks Elliot. "If it's possible," I reply. "What's up?"

"I need you to settle an argument I've been having with one of my co-workers for almost two years now," says Elliot, "Just answer me this one simple question."

"I'll try," I say, "I'm no political pundit by any means, but I'll do the best I can. What's the question?"

Elliot pauses for a moment, then in all sincerity asks, "In a fight between Superman and Batman, who would win?"

This, Gentle Readers, what what my life has been reduced to. Apparently, I am now the final arbiter of the ultimate fan geek argument. >sigh< And I used to have such potential.

By the way, for those of you desperate to know the answer, and Elliot completely agrees with me on this, the winner would always be the Batman.


Anonymous said...

As long as you're resolving these great issues, who's the strongest, Thing, Hulk, Thor, Captain Marvel (Shazam version), or Superman?

And if Superman just goes nuts and decides to attack Batman with no warning at all, but with reasonable smarts, Batman's a super-speeded into a blotch on a wall mess who didn't even see it coming.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, Nomi and I went to hear Denny O'Neil speak on some topic in comics at MIT. And he began by saying that he wouldn't be discussing typical fan stuff, like who would win a fight, Superman or the Hulk.

And then he paused and said. "And anyway, it would be Superman. I mean, he's got all those powers. The Hulk? He's just big and green."

Kurt Busiek said...

The simple rule for whether Superman would beat Batman or vice versa is to ask, "Is it the middle of the story or the end of the story?"

If it's the middle of the story, Superman will win because of course he would win, he's got such a phenomenal power and speed advantage and there's nothing Batman can do that he can't counter unless we writers make him stupid.

If it's the end of the story, Batman wins, because "of course he would win" isn't a story.