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Comic Theme Time Month – Best Superman/Batman Team-Up

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best Superman/Batman team-up story?”

Superman and Batman have had not one but TWO ongoing series devoted to their team-ups over the years. They’ve also made numerous appearances in each others’ titles. So what do you think were the best team-up stories that they’ve had over the years?


There are so many 1960s World’s Finest stories of which I’m very fond but I will name something more recent. Superman poisoned by kryptonite, Lois kidnapped by Parasite and missing. Clark turns to Bruce to find Lois. A personal detective hunt for Batman. Bittersweet ending. A very concise but satisfying tale.

Well, the Gibbons-Rude Wordl´s finest mini is sitil one of the best written and most beautifully drawn ones. It also transitions from the post crisis “they hate each other” intp the nineties “they are friends again” nicely.

My personal fave is “Dark Knight Over Metropolis” (1990) … perhaps the defining moment of the post-Crisis Bruce/Clark relationship is when the kryptonite ring was handed over.

I liked the way the learning of each other’s secret identities was handled in Adventures Of Superman #440 (1988). I also remember liking Action Comics Annual #1 (1987) … Supes, Bats, vampires and Art Adams.

Finally, It’d be hard not to mention their “ultimate” encounter in The Dark Knight Returns #4 (1986).

“For The Man Who Has Everything.”

I actually really liked the ‘first’ Batman/Superman teamup in Man of Steel. It (and Dark Knight) redefined the relationship in a way that’s still continuing even now. And I always liked how Byrne managed to make the two characters distinct and separate but work well together.

A close second would be the ‘first’ Batman/Superman team-up in Superman 76 where they learn their secret identities. Some of the elements are the epitome of silver age logic (would a journalist really share a berth on a steamship with a millionaire?) but I really liked how that story unfolded.

Seconding Gibbons-Rude World’s Finest. A really lovely book.

Thirded on Gibbons-Rude World’s Finest. I got that book by mistake one Christmas when I had asked for the Loeb/McGuiness one. One of the best Christmas mistakes that have ever happened to me.

Also, putting a nod in for the New Batman/Superman Adventures team-up right before Bats moved to Kids WB! I still re-watch that from time to time. How they handled the secret identities and Lois in that story was pretty awesome.

Fourthing on Gibbons-Rude. The scene where Superman gives Batman a copy of Zorro on video, not knowing its history with Bruce Wayne, was wicked cool.

I also like the episode of Superman adventures (or was it the tie-in comic) where he plays Batman because Batman has gone missing. Not sure that counts though.

Kind of cheating, but the saga of the super sons is a pretty fun comic about a superman/batman team up.

My favorite is the Batman/Superman: World’s Finest crossover between their respective animated series in the 90s. I know it’s not a comic story, but I mostly grew up with DC cartoons instead of DC comics.

It was great the Joker and Luthor teamed up, which lead to a Batman/Superman teamup.

I’d have to say either World’s Finest #88 from 1957, featuring the Joker and Luthor teaming up and creating the Mechano-Men, or the first DCAU team up.

Chris, that episode was Knight Time, part of Supes’ third season.

@Mason Moyer
I’m with you on the DCAU team-up. When I first saw it, the first thing I may have said mentally was “This is so much better than Super Friends”.

Brave and the Bold # 150.

But ignore that, because the title spoils the surprise guest star!

Action Comics Annual # 1 (released, oddly, in 1987) was also really cool. Batman and Superman vs. a vampire in a Mr. Peanut shirt!

Fourthing on Gibbons-Rude. The scene where Superman gives Batman a copy of Zorro on video, not knowing its history with Bruce Wayne, was wicked cool.

Agreed on that, Chris, That’s still one of my all-time favorite Superman-Batman scenes. Superman thinks he’s just giving Batman a cool, swashbuckling film, and it quickly becomes apparent that he’s struck a nerve but has no idea why. And then Bruce tries to reciprocate the gesture as best as he’s able to by inviting Clark to spend the holidays at Wayne Manor. Great, understated writing by Dave Gibbons and wonderful body language by Steve Rude.

I also love the DCAU first meeting of the characters in the “World’s Finest” 3-parter, especially the way they discover each other’s secret identities!

If we’re counting stories that include Wonder Woman in the mix, I’d nominate Matt Wagner’s “Trinity”, which was supposed to be about the first time the three worked together (the Kurt Busiek “Trinity” storyline was okay too, if a trifle long). Oddly, instead of involving Lex, Joker and Cheetah as the lead villains like you’d expect, Wagner involved Bizarro, Ra’s Al Ghul and Artemis. Great story with lovely Wagner artwork.

Dark Knight Over Metropolis
were all wonderful

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