First published on 30 May 2012. Updated on 1 Jun 2012.
Batman: 1939, Detective Comics
Spider-Man: 1962, Amazing Fantasy
Batman: Bob Kane (artist), Bill Finger (writer)
Spider-man: Steve Ditko (artist), Stan Lee (writer)
Batman: Extreme wealth
Spider-man: Does whatever a spider can
Batman: Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, Bane, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul
Spider-man: Green Goblin, the Lizard, Sandman, Dr Octopus, Venom
Top-price comic at auction
Batman: Debut issue, US$1.38m
Spider-man: Debut issue, US$1.1m
Actors who've played him
Batman: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale
Spider-man: Nicholas Hammond, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield
World box office to date
Batman & Robin (1997) – a camp and gaudy spectacle to make the Mardi Gras parade look like a Soviet military display
Spider-man 3 – so crammed with villains they almost need a rollcall. Everybody gets short shrift.
The Dark Knight (2008) dramatises the politics of the War on Terror, turning Gotham City into an Iraq-like combat zone in which the Joker’s malevolent deeds are a mirror to Batman’s arrogant vigilantism. Who’s the real terrorist?
In Spider-man (2002), Spider-man’s mask represents a condom. Peter Parker’s previously childlike body develops glands that emit a potent serum that makes him feel invincible – but with great (sexual) power comes great responsibility.
The Amazing Spider-man opens Jul 5. The Dark Knight Rises opens Jul 26.
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