In continuities where both are present, does Batman learn of Superman's existence first, or vice versa? (I don't necessarily mean meeting personally, nor knowing the secret identity - just being aware that a superhero exists).

  • In the original continuity, they both found out each other's identity at the same time; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/122730/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 8:25
  • @Valorum - that was identity. I'm talking about existence in the world as a superhero (without necessarily knowing the secret identity) Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 10:39
  • Which is why I removed my vtc as duplicate.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 10:58

2 Answers 2


World's Finest #094 (June 1958) would suggest that Superman and Batman learned of each other at much the same time, through reading about each other in the press.

While this doesn't specifically answer the question of which one read about the other first, it does at least address the question of how they learned about each other.

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Interestingly, this edition retcons their first meeting prior to their first meeting in Superman #76 from 1952.

  • Man of Steel (2013, Film) - Unclear. There is one direct allusion to Batman in the form of a poster ("Keep Calm...") indicating that Batman exists as a concept in the public consciousness. It is unclear that Clark is aware of that concept though. So we can't tell who's awareness came first.
  • Batman v. Superman (2016, Film) - Likely Superman. Here, we learn that Batman has been operating for 20 years, grabs headlines, operates with the city's tacit consent, and no one doubts or questions his existence. Although never explicitly stated or proven, it makes it more likely than not that Clark had heard of and been aware of the Batman at least once in the intervening 18 years before he made his public debut as Superman. Not in a way that it would strongly influence or affect him, but a piece of trivia that just crosses your consciousness at some point. Remember that until Clark could fly and had the suit he wasn't a crime-fighter, a superhero, a journalist, or someone who would have cross-over interest in a violent urban vigilante.
  • Smallville (2001-2011, TV) - Batman is aware first. Although there are many allusions to his mythology, Batman doesn't appear or enter the story until the comic-book-only Season 11, after Superman is a public superhero known around the world.
  • Adventures of Superman (1945, Radio) - Likely Batman. The first time they appear together they are introduced as old acquaintances without regard for the origins of that acquaintance. However, as Superman is the on-going public hero of the story, it's implicit that Batman came later, after being aware of Superman.
  • Golden Age - (1941, Comics) - Likely Batman. I don't recall a "first awareness" moment, but the Golden Age of comics were implicitly contemporary and real-time. A story released in 1940 was meant to take place in 1940. Therefore, Superman was the first public hero and Batman would be aware first and follow, in accord with their publication order.
  • Pre-Crisis (After Golden to Mid-80s, Comics) - Superman with an asterisk. The Silver Age was crazy and wacky and wildly inconsistent. This may be more semantics than anything else. However, Clark had a whole series of time-traveling adventures as Superboy, wherein he basically knows landmarks of his future, including his eventual friendship with Batman.
  • Post-Crisis (1988 on, Comics) - Likely Batman. Taking Superboy time traveling mind-wipe retcons off the table, the standard story is that Superman was the first public hero of the Modern Era and therefore Batman would know of him first.
  • DCAU - Likely Superman. It's never explicit one way or the other, but like the Golden Age, it's roughly implied that Batman's adventures and universe came before Superman's in accord with their air dates. So Superman would have been aware of Batman before his debut as Superman.
  • Batman & Robin - Unclear. Batman makes a reference to Superman.
  • Superman Returns - Unclear. A reference to Batman is made... if Returns continues the Donner-verse, however, it seems implicit that Superman was a public figure before Batman was.

Superboy was aware of Batman first.

Adventure Comics 275

Superboy even calls him Batman before revealing any of this to Bruce.


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