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Batman vs. Superman: Who wins? Fans of the comic book icons weigh in

Together again. Together forever?

EUGENE, Ore. - Two titans of pop-culture are finally together on the big screen: "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" opened Thursday, putting the two heroes together.

"Superman came first in 1938, as one of the first superhero characters in Action Comics #1," says Emerald City Comics manager Stuart Bracken. "Batman showed up about a year later in 1939 in Detective Comics #27."

The two titles were big hits, and eventually were paired up in a title called "World's Finest."

Now almost 80 years (and over a dozen movies) later, the two are finally sharing the big screen.

But this isn't Batman and Superman, it's Batman versus Superman.

So who would win?

It's a question that's polarized comic fans for a long time.

Bracken says he's on Superman's side, and that the character still resonates today. "He speaks to the primal hero legend, the sort of thing that Joseph Campbell used to talk about. And he represents a wish-fulfillment fantasy, starting off with World War II when he would battle the Germans and the Japanese and stuff. And he would face enemy weapons with impunity because they couldn't affect him."

But another fan admits he's biased toward Batman. "Personal nostalgia," says Jimmy Leavens. "I've kind of grown up with Batman more than Superman, I've read more of the comics."

Bracken says that, even with comic book movies as huge as they are now, that doesn't necessarily translate to huge comic book sales. "A few more people will discover comic books based on the movies," he says. "But comic books have always been the low end of the totem pole. DC and Marvel make more money licensing underwear and vitamins and cereal than they do out of comic books."

The two mediums are on very different scales. Bracken says the first issue of a revamped Justice League sold 250,000 copies, which was considered a pretty big success. "But at four bucks a pop, that's one million dollars, which doesn't buy the advertising for the Superman/Batman movie." Boxofficemojo.com expects "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" to take in $157-185 million this weekend.

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