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Man of Steel - Trailer

A young journalist is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.

PT3M3S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2hzid 620 349

News that Batman and Superman would be united on screen sent waves of interest throughout the film world.

These are after all, two of DC Comics most popular characters and thse focus of a string of incredibly succesful films.

Put together - and with action director Zack Snyder at the helm - this could easily be the blockbuster superhero film to beat all others; by which the film experts meant Marvel's mega-succesful Avengers film.

Battle of the caped crusaders ... The Dark Knight versus Man of Steel.

Battle of the caped crusaders ... The Dark Knight versus Man of Steel.

But as much as the film crowd cheered, a part of the comics world shuddered in horror.

The first rumours to emerge from Hollywood were that the film would put Batman and Superman as colleagues, with Batman as (and here's the shudder) Superman's offsider.

The next rumour was that the pair would be at war and that Superman - obviously - would win.

Batman and Superman in Frank Miller's <i>The Dark Knight Returns</i>.

Batman and Superman in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.

After all, one is super and the other? He's just a guy with gadgets, right?

Wrong. And just who would beat whom is a question that's been sorted out for the Batfans a long time ago.

Superman might be more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but Batman.. well he's Batman and if someone spent decades training for every possible scenario, you can bet he's got a dozen in place for taking down a flying boy scout with a penchant for wearing his undies on the outside of his pants.

Bruce Wayne is, by the same DC Comics laws that make Clark Kent a wholesome (albeit alien) guy raised on a farm, a determined genius who has travelled the world to learn the most effective fighting and survival techniques there are.

While Kent was scoring touchdowns in Smallville, Wayne was in some third-world back alley learning which ribs to snap to stop an opponent cold.

While Clark learned morals from Ma and Pa, Bruce learned how to pick locks with a toenail.

When Superman learned his weakness was kryptonite, the last shards of his home planet Krypton, so did Batman.

And in 1986 when comics legend Frank Miller released his seminal work The Dark Knight Returns we saw that Batman had kept some of that kryptonite "just in case".

In that graphic novel, which lesser (and more hopeful) rumours say Snyder might be favouring, Batman is declared an enemy of the United States and Superman is sent to stop him.

What happens? Bruce Wayne breaks out the special armour he made for just this occasion, slips on a kryptonite knuckle-duster and pounds Superman into a bloody pulp.

Sure, Green Arrow helps, pinning Superman with a Kryptonite arrow to soften him up, but it's Batman who delivers the well-planned coup de grace.

"I want you to remember, Clark," he says in one pivotal scene as he kicks Superman to the ground.

"In all the years to come... in your most private moments... I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you."

Here's hoping Snyder, when he comes to telling his version of Batman and Superman, remembers that too.

Superman might be the world's biggest boy scout, but it's Batman who's always prepared.