When Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was first announced, it was a highly anticipated event like no other. The Caped Crusader and The Last Son of Krypton have always been a dream crossover and matchup in live-action. The thought of it finally happening felt like a dream come true, impossible just a few years before the golden age of superhero movies.
It is a different story in the world of animation. In this medium, the two icons of the superhero world always clash. If they meet for the first time (and they always do), there will be a battle. Even when the story is that they have known each other for years, they will somehow end up at each other's throats. There is always someone mind-controlling Clark. There is always a war of ideologies. It's a Monday in the DC Universe, and no one wants it any other way. This leaves the question: of all the Batman vs. Superman fights in animation, which one is the best?
The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world, God vs. Man, Day vs. Night, Son of Krypton vs. Bat of Gotham! Place your bets.
11. Superman: Red Son
In this animated adaptation of Superman: Red Son, Superman is an authoritarian dictator in Stalin-era Russia whose idea of rehabilitation is lobotomizing criminals into good behavior. Batman experienced life during his reign and has grown up into a rebel, opposing The Comrade of Steel. Since the two superheroes are darker versions of their traditional selves, their battle together is more brutal and tragic than usual.
This Caped Crusader had no problem kidnapping Wonder Woman by tying her up in her own lasso to lure the monstrous Supes out. When our favorite dictator took the bait, it turned out the entire place was lit up with red sun energy that neutralized Kryptonian powers. The Dark Knight pummelled his prey to a bloody pulp.
The appeal of this universe was that it took these iconic characters to grey areas. Only in this universe can Bruce threaten Clark with being trapped in a cold basement forever under a red light. Only here can Batman blow himself up with a bomb lodged inside of him to escape the Kryptonian's lobotomy.
If the characterization in this movie was stronger, it could have been one of the better matches. At least in its form now, it is unique in its gritty implications.