Who has the best films? – Batman V Superman interactive timeline

Batman V Superman

The highly anticipated Batman v Superman film is almost here and we are about to see the world two most famous superheroes appear on the big screen at the same time.

That’s not to say both characters don’t have a rich on screen history to explore!

We’ve put together a colour coded timeline showing the different Batman films and Superman films through history. We haven’t included any documentaries, re-releases or non-theatrically released films.

Below is an embedded version of the timeline, click the  External link icon icon to open the timeline full screen.


The Early Years (Pre-Richard Donner Superman)

What is on the timeline (although you’ll have to scroll back from the starting position to find them) are the early Superman and Batman serials from the 40’s and 50’s as these were released in cinemas.

The first feature length film on the timeline is the 1966 Batman film based on the Adam West television series.

Christopher Reeves era Superman

The 1978 Superman The Movie was a huge success and is considered the first really successful superhero film, however after a strong start and a great sequel the franchise went downhill with Superman III and was destroyed by Superman IV, effectively killing the genre until the end of the 80’s

Michael Keaton as Batman

Just over 10 years after we saw the first good portrayal of Superman on the big screen it was finally Batman’s turn. The 1989 Batman was a huge success and spawned a great sequel with Batman Returns. As with Superman the series didn’t have more than 2 good films to offer, with the very poor Batman Forever and the absolutely terrible Batman and Robin, It would take 8 years for the character to recover.

The Nolan Trilogy

Considered by many to be the best Batman films of all time, with The Dark Knight often topping the lists of best superhero films, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale gave us two incredible films with a solid third instalment to the trilogy.

Superman Returns

Almost 20 years after the last superman film Brandon Routh took the mantle of Superman in the 2006 Superman Returns. The film was pretty disappointing and was unable to spawn a sequel, we would need to wait another 7 years for another Superman film.

Man Of Steel

Henry Cavill starred in the 2013 reboot of Superman with Man of Steel. Although the film received a mixed reception from fans and critics it was a commercial success and has now become the seed for Warner Brothers new DC universe.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Henry Cavill returns as Superman with Ben Affleck taking on the role of Batman in the new DC universe. The film has been highly anticipated and is very important to Warner Brothers plans to build a cinematic universe to rival the hugely successfully Marvel Cinematic Universe. Early reviews don’t look great for Batman v Superman, but it’s early days and we will have to wait and see what happens after the weekend to really judge how successful the film will be.



Both characters have had their successes and both have had absolutely terrible films. Superman had the first good film in 1978 and it probably on par with the the 1989 Batman film. Both films are followed by good sequels followed by successively worse films that eventually killed the series of films.

Good starts heading rapidly down hill for both early series, Round 1 is a draw 

After that we have the Nolan trilogy vs anything else Superman has to offer, Superman returns was disappointing and Man of Steel was pretty good, maybe on par with the Dark Knight Rises (the worst film in the Nolan trilogy)

With Batman Begins and The Dark Knight being so good Round two and the title of best films goes to Batman


What do you think? do you agree? let us know in the comments or on social media

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Sean McBirnie

Co-Founder at Histropedia

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