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Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Superman Media

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Comic Books:

Golden Age

  • In the very first Superman adventure, Supes is trying to see the governor, and since he's just starting out, no one is willing to let this weird guy in tights in the house. Superman is forced to break down several doors on his way up, and finds that the last door is not only locked, but made of steel. The governor's butler dares Superman to knock that one down, which Supes does quite easily.
    Superman: (To the shocked butler) It was your idea!
  • In Superman's original, Golden Age origin, the Kents had little Kal-El placed in an orphan asylum after finding his pod. And Clark was super even as a baby, picking up furniture like toys! When the Kents came back to adopt Clark fully, the head of the orphanage was all too eager to let it happen.
    Pa Kent: We— We couldn't get that sweet child out of our mind.
    Ma Kent: We've come to adopt him if you'll permit us.
    Orphanage head: I believe it can be arranged. (—Whew! Thank goodness they're taking him away before he wrecks the asylum!)
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  • Mr. Mxyzptlk's debut story back in the Golden Age.

Silver Age

  • In Superman Volume 1 #176, Superman and Supergirl celebrate a Kryptonian holyday called the Day of Truth in where Kryptonians honor the memory of a hero by speaking nothing but the truth, no matter the cost. The thing is, both cousins may be incredibly, astonishingly, rudely blunt.
    • Superman judges a baby contest and a mother asks what he thinks of her little darlings:
      Woman: Oh, Superman! What do you think of our little darlings? Aren't they cute in the super-costumes some of them have on?
      Superman: Did you say darlings, madam? Frankly, this is the worst collection of misbehaved brats I've ever seen! And you tried to flatter me, dressing your babies like me, hoping I'd pick them as winners!
      Woman: How dare you? I hever heard such rudeness!
      Lois Lane: Superman! Did you have to be so blunt? Everyone's offended!
      Superman: Did you expect me to be a hypocrite and praise those little demons? I just had to tell the truth as I saw it!
    • Supergirl's fan club gives Kara a lunch and the girls ask how she liked the food:
      Girl 1: Supergirl! How'd you like the food? We cooked it all ourselves!
      Supergirl: Er... You meant well, kids! But frankly, the salad tasted like moldy hay, and the chicken wasn't fried... It was burned!
      Girl 2: (sobbing) How could you say such cruel things, Supergirl? We've never been so humiliated!
      Girl 1: And we called her our heroine!
      Supergirl: But, girls... You asked for the truth... and you got it!
  • The classic "Tales of the Bizarro World" stories.
  • Half of the Silver Age comic book covers have become narmy and Hilarious in Hindsight.

Bronze Age

  • In Action Comics #402 "Feud of the Titans", Superman and Supergirl are accidentally exposed to a bio-chemical weapon which makes them hate each other. This story is both hilarious (both cousins are incredibly and ridiculously petty: Kara puts up an energy barrier to keep Kal off her side of the Fortress, and he retaliates by smashing her trophies) and scary (imagine if they - two Earth-1 Kryptonians - decided to fight seriously. They would tear the planet apart).
  • Action Comics #481 features the first appearance of the Supermobile, a plane equipped with twin Rocket Punches.
  • The frequent Bronze Age crossovers with Ambush Bug, who considered Superman his best friend, much to Superman's annoyance.
  • In Issue #208 of Superman Family, the Golden Age Superman engages in completely justified Superdickery. Clark and Lois take a flight and Mr. Mxyzptlk teleports them and all passengers to the land of Zrfff. Then Mxy gets even more obnoxious, but Superman eavesdrops him telling that he gets back home for a rest and he wants nothing around to remind him of the Kryptonian during his break. Superman gets to gaslight the place and drive Mxy crazy until he gives up and lets everybody go.

Post-Crisis Era

  • At the climax of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Superman and Batman enlist the aid of a twelve-year old billionaire genius (who was using the "Toyman" name at the time) to build them a spaceship to destroy the kryptonite meteor racing toward Earth. Their expressions are priceless when they see that he has built it to look like a towering giant robot that looks like Superman on the right side and Batman on the left.
  • In Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime, Superman, Supergirl and Power Girl gang up on Superboy-Prime when he is idiot enough to harm Krypto:
    Supergirl: You better hope our dog is okay. Or we're going to hurt you.
    (Superman slugs Prime)
    Power Girl: Oh, Kara, honey. That's a given.
  • And then Prime stupidly yells that Superman is afraid of fighting him because he needs the help of girls. Naturally, Supergirl and Power Girl decide to punch him out of the planet for his sexist - and brainless - putdown. Summarized here.
  • Superman: The Man of Steel #17 has Superman break into the Underworld's hidden lair, and the creatures open fire with all sorts of firearms... only to have it all bounce off Kal harmlessly. The panel shows a close-up of Superman, looking positively bored. "You're kidding me, right?"
  • In Action Comics #864, Superman and Lightning Lad are reminiscing about old times when they hung out and played pranks on their fellow Legionnaires. Batman can't wrap his mind around the idea of Clark Kent, Mischief-Maker:
    Batman: So you two got into... trouble? You? Trouble?
    Superman: Garth taught me sometimes rules had to be broken. Sometimes just for fun.
    Batman: ...
  • The third issue of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds gives us the next exchange between Superboy-Prime and Superman:
    Superboy Prime: Everyone worships Superman! "Earth's first alien immigrant!" "The man who will unify the universe!" I'm gonna unify my fist in his face!
    Superman: (smashing him down) Let's take turns, Prime. Me first.
  • In Superman #713, Superman tells Supergirl and Superboy that he has been wondering whether there must be a Superman... and he realized the answer is "No". And then he takes off his costume. Supergirl finds the situation so stupid that she facepalms hard.

Post-Flashpoint Era

  • In the New 52, when Superman is first captured and studied by the military, they think he's a shapeshifter whose true form looks like a 5-legged goat creature. A flashback in a later issue reveals that the "alien" corpse they obtained was a malformed stillborn goat the Kents had passed off as an alien corpse after discovering baby Kal-El, bribing the soldiers investigating the crash with the body so they could leave the area undisturbed with the normal-looking humanoid infant that was readily accepted as their son.
  • The Pax Galactica, an ancient group of space warriors, declare Superman their leader after he defeats their mortal foe, the Lexus. Superman's first order of business (which the Pax Galactica accepts):
    Go home. Find another quest.
  • Superman/Wonder Woman: Superman vs Apollo. A Curb-Stomp Battle that will be remembered through the ages.
  • Action Comics v2 #40:
    • N52 Superman's first visit to Bizarroworld. Stand-outs are the Injustice League's "clean-up" after Metallo, and "Injustice League! Hug the bunnies!".
    • A bunch of cutesy fairy tale creatures think Superman's beard isn't cute. So what do they do? They rip the beard off his face. Clean shave, indeed.
  • A darkly funny moment from Batman/Superman #21, part of the Superman: Truth storyline: Clark's found himself reduced down to around his Golden Age power level, and his secret identity's been revealed to the world. While investigating a case, he finds a lead to Gotham, and decides to check in on Bruce. What he doesn't know, however, is that Bruce has disappeared, replaced by a new Batman in Powered Armor...
    Clark: [narrating] But if the threat's really coming from Gotham, I can talk to Bruce. I should have gone to him earlier, anyway. He'll help me figure this out...
    [cut to Clark getting the stuffing pounded out of him by the new Batman]
    Clark: [narrating] Unless, of course, he's been replaced by a giant robot.
  • In Issue #3 of Superman: American Alien Deathstroke tries to assassinate Bruce Wayne. He ends up mistaking Clark Kent for Bruce Wayne. The results are HILARIOUS, with Deathstroke giving Clark a neurotoxin that would kill a normal person that just makes Clark act like a goofy drunk, bending his sword into a mess trying to slice Clark in half, and Clark breaking the sword in half while proclaiming "Ta-dah! Sard borken" before flicking Deathstroke and sending him flying off of the cruise liner he was on.
  • In Issue #5 of Superman: American Alien, in the early days of his career the hero-that-will-be-called-Superman attempts to give a scary Batman-like threat to a bunch of criminals he's just apprehended about how the underworld should watch out for him from now on. He's not very good at it:
    Clark: Okay guys... Don't do crimes. Don't do crimes... or... I'll fly down from the sky and getcha. Next time — Wham! Pow! Um... Tell your friends I said that. [Flies off]


  • In "Our Town", Superman has promised Lois and Jon that he will not do any superheroics during their family night. Of course, he has to go back on this promise to deal with some robbers. Then the two attendants at the roller coaster's ticket booth discuss the story over the microphone. The simplistic looks on Clark and Lois's faces make it even better.
  • In Superman: Revenge, Cyborg Superman gets stuck in the Phantom Zone as a result of the battle between the Superman Family and the Superman Revenge Squad. Both Kryptonian cousins agree he can stay in there.
  • Neutron has contracted terminal cancer thanks to a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Amazo. Lex Luthor says there's nothing to do. Superman angrily tells him off, saying he's bragged he could cure cancer if he weren't trying to deal with Superman, and this shows he was just full of himself. Luthor, not one to be shown up, dares Superman to stand back and watch. Captain Cold has this winning line:
    Captain Cold: Superman just challenged Lex Luthor to cure cancer and I get to watch? I got the best seat in the world.
  • In Superman 2018 #16:
    Damian Wayne: If it is, we don't have any hidden away in the batcave in case of emergency with the other color-coded Kryptonites.
  • "Micro Hopes": Perry White suffers a comically severe Heroic BSoD on learning that his youngest reporter is the Daily Planet's new publisher (due to some bizarre events involving shared ancestry with the Luthors). He sits staring into space long enough that the others wonder if they ought to call an ambulance or something and Superman uses his powers to confirm that Perry's vital signs are normal. Finally, he says something:
    Perry White: How? How is Jimmy Olsen the boss of me?


  • In the first episode of Lois & Clark, the montage of Clark trying on different costumes before settling on the iconic one.
  • An episode of the old George Reeves The Adventures of Superman is spent trying to prevent crooks from misusing a scientist's new supercomputer (an "electronic brain" in those days) to deduce Superman's secret identity. After they've been stopped, the scientist (played by Sterling Holloway) is alone with the machine and realizes he wants to know the answer himself, so he asks it. Its answer is a strip of ticker tape that says, "Wouldn't you like to know!"
  • Superman guest-starring on I Love Lucy. 'Nuff said.
    • There's a bit of overlap with Awesome there; the writers managed to pull off the story so that there was no illusion broken for the younger viewers. It wasn't George Reeves guest starring, SUPERMAN was hanging out with Lucy and Ricky.