Batman Vs Superman: Who Wore It Best?
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Photograph © & ™ DC Comics and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.
We find out which of the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel has the mightiest style superpowers.
Votes have been cast. CGI rendered. Many, many protein shakes ingested. Yes, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice landed this March, and finally we get to see two of DC Comics’ greatest heroes duke it out in fully exploitative cinematic glory. But we at MR PORTER want to settle another score. Which has the style to match his superpowers? Whose secret identity was less “drooping wallflower” and more “understated elegance”? Scroll down to participate in this highly scientific investigation.
Mr Adam West vs Mr George Reeves
Left: Mr Adam West in Batman. Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Right: Mr George Reeves in Adventures Of Superman. Photograph by ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images
Though Mr Adam West undeniably spent much of his screen time in the 1960s Batman TV series sporting silly white eyebrows and shiny Y-fronts, he actually mixed patterns rather well as millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. On the other hand, Mr George Reeves, star of 1950s show Adventures Of Superman, was probably the most stylish Clark Kent of all time. The picture above reminds us that journalism used to be a tough, manly profession, where you didn’t have to write lists of things. For that, we have to hand this round to him.
Mr Michael Keaton vs Mr Christopher Reeve
Left: Ms Michelle Pfeiffer and Mr Michael Keaton in Batman Returns. Photograph © Warner Bros Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis. Right: Ms Mariel Hemingway and Mr Christopher Reeve in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. Photograph by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images
What do superheroes do on their time off? Go to balls, inevitably. With balls come tuxedos, and in terms of tuxedos, the battle is between Mr Christopher Reeve (who spent the late 1970s/early 1980s defining Clark Kent’s waistcoated, tweedy take on tailoring) and Mr Michael Keaton (the first sort-of stylish Batman, who also did a good turn in a black rollneck). Here, we prefer Mr Keaton’s tux – the peaked collar is appropriately bat-like.
Mr George Clooney vs Mr Dean Cain
Left: Mr George Clooney in Batman & Robin. Photograph by Alamy. Right: Mr Dean Kane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Photograph by Alamy
In the 1990s, the Batman movie franchise plummeted into lurid nonsense (by no fault of Mr George Clooney, but also, not mitigated by his costume department). Meanwhile Superman reappeared on TV via Mr Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman. The chambray shirt that he wore in the pilot sent a clear message – this was a more full-blooded, relatable, boy-next-door Man of Steel. Plus: Ms Teri Hatcher.
Mr Christian Bale vs Mr Brandon Routh
Left: Mr Christian Bale in Batman Begins. Photograph by Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Right: Mr Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. Photograph by Alamy
No contest here. In addition to a troubled past and weird growly voice, Batman returned, via Mr Christian Bale, with a much better wardrobe in 2005’s Batman Begins. Meanwhile Mr Brandon Routh’s somewhat forgettable spin in Superman Returns failed to update Clark Kent’s look – appealingly dorky in the 1970s, but just dorky dorky (and a little unrealistic) in 2006.
Mr Ben Affleck vs Mr Henry Cavill
Mr Ben Affleck and Mr Henry Cavill in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Photographs © & ™ DC Comics and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
Has culture changed, or has Superman changed? Either way, it seems, Mr Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent wouldn’t look entirely out of place in Williamsburg (or whichever gentrified suburb of Metropolis is now the fictional Williamsburg equivalent), with his nerd glasses (now a common fashion accessory) and plaid shirt. He’s also seemingly got a much better tie collection – thank goodness. Meanwhile, although by all accounts Mr Ben Affleck has done a decent job of shouldering the Bat-mantle, his rather ragged take on the role hasn’t translated into the most aspirational look. We miss Mr Keaton’s black turtleneck – a much better batcave uniform, in our humble opinion.
AND THE WINNER IS
Mr Henry Cavill in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Photograph © & ™ DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc
There you have it. Superman is more stylish. We’re not sure how this happened. It feels, intuitively, like the wrong answer, but you can’t argue with the numbers. Let the hate mail ensue…