I've been reading up on fanboy predictions on what will happen in [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870).
And for the most part, these predictions are completely dependent on an overall misunderstanding of both Superman's and Batman's fictional histories.
01. Is Superman Weaker Than Alternate Versions?
We don't know. When I saw the "not as strong" argument I realized I was dealing with strictly a movie and graphic novels fanboy: A casual fan who hasn't been reading DC Comics for over 30 years, if at all.
Otherwise they would be aware that pre-Crisis Superman was so over the top with power it had become a joke and by post-Crisis he had been severely depowered.
It's been argued that Batman's battle suit will be made from "special Kryptonian metal" and use "blue plasma". This seems to be based on the superficial similarities to General Zod's battle suit.
So superficial I can't see them. Excluding that they cover most of the body in a metal shell. This is like comparing a three piece suit to a jean jacket and levi's combo.
Both look the same... Superficially.
Making any type of prediction based on this wouldn't be worth much of anything.
It has also been noted that when Superman was hit with high speed heavy caliber slugs from helicopter mounted miniguns, he flinched backwards and tried to avoid them.
Whereas in Superman Returns, he did not. Thus he is simply not as strong as his previous incarnations.
In Man of Steel he was still dealing with first day jitters, and was most likely unaware of his level of invulnerability. In Superman Returns, a sequel of Superman II (from a movie series based on comics from the Silver Age), he already had at least a decade's worth of experience.
He KNEW that the bullet, even fired from close range, wouldn't hurt him.
02. Superman is Caught In a Nuclear Explosion
This one at least seems probable, if unlikely. One poster argued "in The Dark Knight Returns, the Russians fire a missile which detonates while Superman alters its course".
This is another oversimplification. The missile the Soviets fired preemptively was designed to trigger a massive Electromagnetic Pulse and shut down all electronics within the Western Hemisphere while causing minimal impact to claimable infrastructure.
That is what injured Superman. He's survived multiple nuclear explosions. Golden Age fans will even recall that the US Federal Government asked the writers of the Superman newspaper strip to change a storyline about nuclear weapons for National Security as they were in the midst of the Manhattan Project.
Whereas a hemisphere wide EMP, more than likely designed to stop, if not kill, the US' secret weapon. Far more likely.
Posters also argued that, in what will most likely be a deleted scene, Superman charges at Batman at human speed.
That Superman is so weakened from the "nuclear explosion" that he can barely run.
At no point do the other posters consider that he simply doesn't want to hurt Batman and that even with padding, running into a braced Superman would be no different than charging head first into a mountain.
03. Not quite a Death Battle
Simply put: Batman won't kill and Superman doesn't want to kill again.
True fans will recall that Batman saw killing as an uncrossable line, while Superman swore to never take another life after executing General Zod, Faora and Quex-Ul from an alternate Universe after they'd ended all life on that Earth.
There are easily a thousand ways Superman could stop Batman permanently.
But he won't. I won't get into the arguments of whether or not Zod's death was necessary. Personally, I felt Zod and his Army were used to soon.
Almost every trilogy follows the same pattern:
01 Introduce the hero.
02 The hero meets his dark counterpart and suffers loss.
03 The hero redeems or is redeemed and saves the day.
DC, in a mad rush to catch up with Marvel, has opted not to follow this pattern.
04. Green Kryptonite
I'm pleased to say that this one seemed the most likely, but I'm not sure if it'll come into play.
The same way Marvel is using the Ultimate Universe as the guide to the MCU, DC seems to be depending on the oft derided New 52 for the DCCU. And the modern Batman may play things a little looser, but still keeps an ace up his sleeve, and I have a hard time seeing this come into play.
It's been argued that how would Batman be "aware of [Superman's] X-Ray vision". Probably because it was used during his interrogation.
And since all forms of Kryptonite are radioactive isotopes, that Batman knows will affect Kryptonian physiology, why not keep it in a lead-lined pocket?
Imagine Superman gets closer and starts to feel sick; he'd back off and examine Batman with his X-Ray vision, he'd see the lead pocket and use his heat vision to disintegrate it.
This is an obvious homage to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. It looks impressive, but that suit was not that effective against even a weakened Superman.
In summation, in an out and out fight, Batman would be an ant challenging a hurricane: Brave, inspirational, and possibly very, very, very dead. Because this isn't always the answer
While I am a long time fan of DC Comics and it's parthenon of heroes and it's gallery of rogues; I can't help but feel anything short of disappointment for the upcoming movies.
These will be as predictable as the end result of throwing a spun glass sculpture off a skyscraper.