- Batman’s popularity can be attributed to his grittier and darker characterization, which resonated with audiences in the 80s and 90s, and differentiated him from other superheroes like Superman.
- Superman initially enjoyed popularity for his fun and optimistic nature, but faced a decline as audiences were unsure how to reinvent the character. Meanwhile, Batman’s rise in popularity continued.
- Both Batman and Superman will play significant roles in the new DCU, with the new versions of the characters aiming to capture the essence of their original personalities while incorporating fresh elements.
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the most popular characters in DC Comics history and are among the most popular comic book heroes worldwide. This has led to debates about who is truly more beloved: the Dark Knight or the Man of Steel.
While Superman was the first great superhero representing goodness and the American way, Batman’s arrival changed how the world viewed superheroes by introducing a darker character. Initially, Superman enjoyed widespread popularity, but Batman eventually took the spotlight, leading to numerous films, animated series, and video games centered around the character.
In recent years, Superman has experienced a resurgence in popularity. In an interview with The Comic Cube, producer Josie Campbell addressed why there have been more Batman movies than Superman. She discusses the popularity of the grittier, Frank Miller-inspired version of Batman that emerged in the 80s and 90s and how it differentiated him from other superheroes. According to Campbell, Superman was initially popular for his fun, optimistic nature, but as Batman’s popularity increased, Superman’s seemed to decline.
In the new DC universe being built by James Gunn, both Batman and Superman will have important roles. While 2013’s Man of Steel kickstarted the Snyderverse, Superman: Legacy will serve a similar purpose in this new universe. The character versions in this new DCU aim to capture the essence of their original personalities, with Superman possibly being portrayed as a mix of innocence and strong moral values. Regarding Batman, not much is known about Andy Muschietti’s portrayal, but it is expected to focus on the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son Damian in The Brave and the Bold.