Batman and Superman have met for the primary time many instances. They met for the primary time in films like Batman v Superman: Daybreak of Justice and World’s Best, the place they battled one another earlier than deciding to be associates. They’ve met in alternate universes like Superman: Pink Son, and battled one another earlier than deciding to be enemies. They met for the primary time after DC rebooted its universe in 2011 (battling, then associates), and after it rebooted its universe in 1986 (battling, then associates).
However what if Batman and Superman met one another with out instantly throwing palms? That’s precisely what occurred, within the very first first time the Darkish Knight and the Man of Tomorrow bought to know one another.
How do you construct a meet cute between titans?
9 instances out of ten, once you lookup a superhero’s first something, it’s not significantly attention-grabbing. At greatest, these moments are low key in an ironic means, given how essential they turned in a while. In Wolverine’s first look, he was only a Canadian operative making an attempt to take down the Hulk. Darkseid’s first look was in a difficulty of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. The Venom symbiote was an alternate costume from a bizarre head dome in an area constructing.
Authentic Firsts like Wolverine’s debut don’t mirror their later significance as a result of no one may have recognized that they had been going to be essential within the first place. Authentic Firsts just like the Venom symbiote’s first look don’t mirror their later significance as a result of they had been meant to be mundane, and their significance was retroactively created later, by different creatives.
It’s simple to imagine that these guidelines would additionally apply to the Authentic First assembly between Batman and Superman. We’ve seen it in films, and in fashionable comics. It’s in all probability fairly pedestrian. Nothing to report besides that Superman and Batman certain did meet one another, they usually certain did foil against the law of some type.
Yeah, that’s unsuitable.
The time Batman and Superman met on a double-booked cruise
The factor about Batman and Superman is that they predate the concept of a shared superhero universe. They usually had been each large earlier than that concept started to take type. DC doubled down on their reputation by giving them a complete further ebook to share, World’s Best, and even then, each challenge was an anthology that includes one solo Batman story and one solo Superman story.
So when author Edmond Hamilton and artist Curt Swan (a duo additionally accountable for the Batman Slapping Robin meme) took it upon themselves to craft the supermeet in 1952’s Superman #76, they knew it was one thing momentous.
And but they nonetheless made a narrative the place Batman and Superman are double booked in the identical room on a cruise, which is hilarious.
Hamilton and Swan kicked the entire thing off with Batman and Superman occurring trip on the identical time. The Darkish Knight taking time without work! What a shocker! However as the primary two panels of the comedian clarify, Batman and Robin simply mopped up the final prison on Gotham’s needed listing. Batman did it! He eradicated all crime in Gotham!
So he goes on a cruise.
And it’s a crowded cruise. So crowded that delicate mannered reporter Clark Kent and well-off however not significantly well-known bachelor Bruce Wayne should share a double.
The stress of the state of affairs is reduce nearly instantly when against the law happens on the dock outdoors the ship, and the 2 superheroes … properly, let’s let Hamilton and Swan inform it:
The difficulty then turns into a traditional farce. Batman and Superman should board the ship as their superhero selves in an effort to ferret out a diamond thief — but in addition have to keep up the pretense that their civilian identities are on board — all beneath the investigative eye of Lois Lane, who shall be damned if she lets Clark stroll away with a headline whereas he’s on trip.
Issues get messy as Superman and Batman resolve that Batman ought to flirt with Lois to distract her, and Lois realizes that Batman is faux flirting along with her as a distraction — so she decides to faux an curiosity in him to harass Superman. However ultimately the crime is foiled, the moment super-bros assist one another preserve their secret identities, and Lois will get her headline and even a little bit of revenge by letting Robin take her out to dinner as an alternative of both of them.
It’s good! It’s cute! It’s form of oddly mundane, and clearly for a child viewers. However can we do higher? Can we revitalize this story for a extra fashionable viewers?
That is comics, so, after all we will. In 2006 author Joe Kelly (Deadpool, Spider-Man, Superman) and a crew of artists (Ed McGuiness, Ryan Ottley, Sean Murphy, and Carlo Barberi) bought collectively for Superman/Batman Annual #1, a bombastic retelling of Superman #76.
This time there was just one mattress
Paradoxically, Superman/Batman Annual #1 doesn’t maintain up in addition to Superman #76. It’s plagued by off-color jokes that had been drained even in 2006. However the place Kelly and Ottley clearly enhance on 1952 is within the precise scene wherein Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent uncover their superhero identities, as they each desperately attempt to get the opposite to only depart to allow them to spring into motion.
And so the strangest factor about Superman #76 shouldn’t be that it’s the exception to the Legislation of Unmemorable Comedian Guide Firsts, however that it was, by full accident, a surprisingly fashionable conceit.
Most readers of Superman/Batman in all probability didn’t put it collectively that the sequence’ first annual was lifting so straight from a 54-year-old story (to not point out that the typical fan didn’t have a easy option to observe down 54-year-old points, in an period earlier than digital again points). “There was just one lodge room” is such an established romance trope — after all it might be humorous to use it to a few scions of masculine friendship. It’s not the form of factor one would anticipate had cropped up in a mid-century story that was additionally the very first time these two huge characters had ever met.
And but it’s. Canonically, the very first very first time that Batman and Superman met, it was as a result of they had been double-booked in the identical lodge room.
Your transfer, Hollywood.