Iconic superheroes Batman and Superman have done battle in the pages of DC Comics before, most notably in Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns. Next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the first time these heroes have squared off on the big screen, and ever since the project was announced in 2013, fans have been wondering if there is any way The Dark Knight stands a chance against the incredible powers of the Man of Steel. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has added some insight into this debate, revealing to Tech Insider that there is a way Batman can defeat Superman, but it's not quite what you think.
"If Batman is ever to defeat Superman, it is not in a cage, it is some other way. It is the court of public opinion, perhaps. Forces that are not how big are your muscles or how fast you can run or how high you can fly, but who do you want working for you. That's a different issue. That's a more subtle issue. It will be an interesting story line, to see how it plays out, of who wins the battle of public sentiment, not the battle of the cage match, between Batman and Superman."
While we're not exactly sure why Neil DeGrasse Tyson is so hung up on Batman and Superman fighting in a "cage match," he does bring up an interesting point, and judging by the footage we've already seen, The Dark Knight may already have the upper hand. The Batman v Superman trailer that debuted at Comic Con in July opened with Holly Hunter's character, Senator Finch, calling out Superman (Henry Cavill) to answer for the destruction he caused in Metropolis, at the end of 2013's Man of Steel. As Superman arrives at a government hearing, we see hordes of fans protesting Superman's very presence on Earth.
Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), on the other hand, is portrayed as a more sympathetic figure in the trailers, since he lost loved ones after Wayne Tower collapsed. We learned at Comic Con that Metropolis and Gotham are separated by a bay, much like San Francisco and Oakland, and Wayne Tower's destruction was a direct result of Superman's climactic Metropolis fight with General Zod (Michael Shannon) at the end of Man of Steel. On top of all that, the second trailer shows him gazing upon Robin's suit, who was presumably killed by The Joker some time in the past. With all of this being said, the public would be much more likely to favor Batman over Superman, at least at the start of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Regardless of who wins or loses this iconic battle, it's clear that they will eventually team up to help form the Justice League at the end, leading into 2017's Justice League Part 1 and 2019's Justice League Part 2. While we have seen snippets of this Batman v Superman battle in the trailer, we'll have to wait and see who will truly prevail, and how that may change the shape of the DC Comics universe from here on out. While we wait to see how this battle pans out, check out Neil DeGrasse Tyson's video below, where he speculates that a more even match may be between Batman and Marvel's Iron Man.