Monday, April 1, 2013





I have to admit, these "Definitive Write Up" articles have been doing very well for me. The amount of interest and responses I get from them is pretty impressive. Most feedback I receive is positive and appreciative. But hey, I'm no fool. I know I can't please everybody, especially those pesky and passionate fanboys. Most of them will argue until doomsday to support their favorite characters, even if the comic books themselves contradict what they want to see and read. While I'm a big fan of comics and its history myself, I'm proud of the fact that I can write from an unbiased perspective to honor some of these famous fights and hopefully give justice to the creators and characters as well. To me, there's no other way to write this stuff. And from the amount of positive fan-mail I get, I think I'm on the right track so thank you.

While I base these write ups on popular rivalries, I usually analyze the ones that are the most requested. And since I started taking requests from the regular readers, none has been more requested or in more demand than a write up on "Hulk vs Superman!" It seems to be the ultimate match up for a "dream" slugfest. I think it's because both of these characters have an almost mythical reputation within their comic universes and are widely considered the Super-Heavyweight Champions of their respected comic book publishers -- Marvel and DC Comics and are advertised as such.

The Hulk is the reigning Super-Heavyweight Champion of the Marvel Universe! Nobody has had more "epic" battles and city-leveling slugfests than this rampaging brute. He was Marvel's very first and most dangerous team-buster and remains the absolute standard all the other characters are measured by. "HULK SMASH!!!"

Superman is easily recognized as the "top dog" of the DC Universe. With such a wide variety of super-powers at his disposal, there are not many heroes (or villains) capable of going one-on-one with him for long. He is so revered by others that he is considered the ultimate inspiration of what a superhero is. "This looks like a job for... SUPERMAN!"

A few of you may challenge that statement. But there can be no denying that these two Super-Heavyweights have the ability to bring out the absolute best in their opposition. Most importantly, they have captured the imaginations of the readers and mass-media on a level that all their contenders (and pretenders) cannot seem to match. Yes, fanboys, whether you like them or not, they deserve your respect.

Need some examples? What two names generate the most interest in comic book battles? What two names come up more than any other in fantasy match ups on message boards? What two names do we constantly compare other characters to just to see how powerful they are? And what two names are ALWAYS in the main-event, despite everything else that's going on in the story? The answers are always the same... The Incredible Hulk and Superman, The Man of Steel!

I'm sure the most militant of haters will still have their doubts, so let me give them one more example. When Marvel and DC Comics got together and had their DC Versus Marvel mega-event back in 1995, it got a lot of national exposure. It was so huge in scope that it included every famous character from both comic companies. What match up do you think was the biggest and most talked about fight of the whole affair -- "Hulk vs Superman!" Why? Simply put, this was the match up that would generate the most interest on a world-wide scale. The Hulk and Superman were the biggest of the big and the baddest of the bad of Marvel and DC and everyone knew it. Readers from both comic companies and even the mass-media couldn't help but constantly wonder what would happen if these two legendary characters slugged it out in a showdown for the ages. It's a thunder-clap that's almost bigger than the actual comic books themselves! KRACKA-BBBOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!

Superman is the preeminent icon of the comic book world. With such a vast array of extraordinary super-powers at his disposal, he can do almost anything. Although he is all-powerful, his greatest strength is his spirit and unyielding dedication to protect the people of the world. His aura of influence and self-sacrifice is so legendary that he is widely considered the greatest superhero that has ever existed in this or ANY universe.

The Hulk is a raging-mad, tireless, engine of mass-destruction that grows more powerful exponentially in geometric proportion to his virtually limitless well of anger. He is considered the most dangerous being on the planet who's physical strength has become the standard of the greatest comic book characters.

It truly is a match made in comic book heaven!!

"Hulk vs Superman" is one of the greatest fights ever between two comic book characters.

So here at your request, I present to you for the first time ever, The Definitive Write Up on Marvel's Green-Skinned Goliath... The Ever-Incredible Hulk vs DC's Icon and Champion of Truth, Justice and the American Way... Superman!!! And be ready for a few surprises along the way before this article is through because sometimes inter-company comic crossovers are a lot more interesting than just two characters slugging it out. Yes, my friends, you demanded this major slugfest write up, so I'm giving it to you with a whole lot more. Enjoy fanboys, because this one is as big as it gets!

Enough with the background, let's get to the combatants...


Name: Hulk

Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)

Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner

Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico

Home Base: Earth

Nicknames: Green Goliath, Green-Skinned Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Eye of Anger, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, Doc Green, The Most Powerful Being on Earth, The Strongest One There Is 

Powers: Possesses the potential for near-limitless levels of vast superhuman strength ranging beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He has an adapt gland that enables him to breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, possesses superhuman healing, enabling him to regenerate body tissue (including internal organs) within minutes to seconds. His aging is also slowed, or may have ceased altogether, due to these regenerative properties of his gamma ray irradiated cells. His powerful legs allow him to cover 3 miles in a single bound, but he has been known to leap into lower Earth orbit or even across continents when angry. Besides great strength, his durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise also increase in relation to his anger levels. He can maintain this peak output for hours on end and still continue to grow even more powerful as his adrenaline levels continue to increase with no apparent limit. Unrelated to his physical abilities, he can see astral (spirit) forms normally invisible to the naked eye and can locate his place of birth; Desert Base New Mexico no matter where he is in the world via psychic bond. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!”, “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!”, "BAH!", “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!”, "The Madder Hulk gets, the Stronger Hulk gets!", “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”

Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s classic stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers varies to a degree depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Superman” comic description listed in the sections below, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight. 

*Please note that all incarnations listed are only "real" Hulk incarnations with Bruce Banner. No alternate future or pseudo-Hulk incarnations are included.

Name: Superman 
Height: 6’3” 
Weight: 225lbs

Real Name: Kal-El, adopted as Clark Joseph Kent

Origins: Comes from the planet Krypton. Gained powers from Earth’s lighter gravity and yellow sun.

Home Base: Metropolis

Nicknames: Man of Steel, Man of Tomorrow, Man of Might, Action Ace, the Kryptonian, Big Red S, Big Blue, The Greatest Hero of Any Age, Champion of Truth, Justice and the American Way

Powers: Superman possesses extraordinary superhuman powers. His body acts as a living solar battery that absorbs yellow-sun rays, with these rays he is granted; super-strength, super-invulnerability and super-endurance; making him one of the physically strongest and most durable characters in the DC Universe. He also possesses super-speeds; allowing him to move, react, run, and fly at speeds of nearly a hundred miles per hour to speeds far greater than the speed of light. Super-breath; ability to inhale and exhale huge volumes of air with great force, capable of extinguishing large fires and moving heavy objects such as cars. This also allows Superman to hold his breath for hours in airless environments. The release (exhalation) of highly compressed air through his pursed lips causes it to drop radically in temperature. This is usually referred to as "Freeze Breath", and can cool objects to sub-zero temperatures and freeze air moisture solid. Super-senses (including hearing, smelling, tasting, touching); his sight is the most well-rounded of his senses as he has greater accuracy to detail than humanly possible. This sense also includes the ability to see EM frequencies invisible to humans, such as radio transmissions, infrared light, the bio-electric aura which surrounds all living things, even in pitch-black darkness. Offshoots of this power include Telescopic Vision; which allows him to "zoom in" on far away objects, sometimes hundreds of miles away. Microscopic Vision; which allows him to zoom in on objects that would normally be too small to see, like those on a cellular or molecular level. X-Ray Vision; the ability to see through solid objects, usually with the exception of lead. Heat Vision; ability to emit solar energy from his eyes. Usually resembles bright red or orange laser-like beams, which may be invisible at low temperatures but extremely bright at high ones. The effective range of his beams are hundreds of feet. In addition varying the beam width, height, and intensity, Superman has demonstrated a high degree of skill and accuracy in manipulating his beam. He is able to use this power with surgical precision and at microscopic levels. In some cases, these beams can also be used to produce great concussive force rather than heat and have been known to rupture steel plates and pulverize rock. He also possesses regeneration (when absorbing yellow sun rays into his body) and longevity as well as having a super-mind and memory.

Weaknesses: Kryptonite; Superman is most vulnerable to green Kryptonite, mineral debris from Krypton transformed into radioactive material by the forces that destroyed the planet. Exposure to green Kryptonite radiation nullifies Superman's powers and immobilizes him with pain and nausea; prolonged exposure will eventually kill him. The only substance on Earth that can protect him from Kryptonite is lead, which blocks the radiation. Lead is also the only known substance that Superman cannot see through with his X-Ray VisionHe is also vulnerable to most forms of magic, red-sun rays (which weaken him considerably), and just about anything from Krypton

Favorite Expressions:  Great Krypton!”, ” Great Scott!”, ” Up, Up and Away!”, “This looks like a job for Superman!”


The comics listed in this section are each time the Hulk and Superman have squared off, had words and fought each other. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights and situations are not always so clear cut and I've tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. A "MATCH UP" is considered a round within a fight or face off confrontation. Since situations can be erratic in the story, there can be multiple outcomes between opponents in a fight. I will continually list each "MATCH UP" with a result and tally it. A "MATCH UP" will only result in a "WIN" if the losing character is rendered unconscious, teleported away against their will or immobilized in such a fashion that they are only freed by the other combatant or an ally. There may even be cases when a character gets a victory due to interference of their teammates, partners, etc. This may not be a definitive "WIN" but it will still be tallied against the losing opponent and explained so. When a character gets an "EDGE" result, they had the advantage at the end of the fight but the opponent may still be conscious or fighting on, so it will not be tallied against him. A "DRAW" result means no one was victorious during that encounter. A "NONE" result means there was no way a logical result could be given in that confrontation or situation from the two characters facing off and this can occur for a number of reasons and will be explained in the text. And finally, an "UNKNOWN" result means the ending of the fight was never shown so a definitive result cannot be given. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this legendary battle.

(back cover)

Inside an elaborate base of the Latverian monarch Doctor Doom, he begins his operation on a years-long plot of his known as "Project Omega." Doom initiates Omega by luring the "Savage" Hulk to Superman's hometown of Metropolis by way of a special micro-transmitter. Spider-Man's alter-ego of Peter Parker is assigned by The Daily Bugle to cover the Hulk's advance towards the city. Parker arrives in Metropolis just in time to witness the very first confrontation between Superman and the Hulk. While the brute is driven into a frenzy by the micro-transmitter, he attacks the Man of Steel. As Superman hurls the Hulk off of him, the brute then plays possum as Supes digs him out of the rubble to see if he is hurt. This proves to be his undoing as the Hulk lands a brutal haymaker that sends the Man of Steel rocketing into the sky and miles across the Metropolis River. RESULT: WIN HULK (While Superman was taken by surprise by the Hulk's attack, he did let his guard down and the brute took full advantage of the opportunity. It is not known how much the punch actually effected the Man of Steel as the narration states his body was "limp" when he crashed back down onto the concrete. I guess it's up to the reader to determine if Superman was knocked out, stunned or even in shock... either way, it took a while before Supes returned back to the fray.)


Peter changes into Spider-Man, but is outclassed and unable to really help out. Now the Hulk goes even more berserk from the micro-transmitter and smashes the ground shaking the entire city of Metropolis. Superman returns and is quite annoyed with the brute. He tells Spidey to step aside because this is a job for Superman! Now standing ready for the Hulk's assault, Superman absorbs the impact of his blows without budging hoping that the Hulk will eventually wear himself out. Bad idea. Over and over the Hulk pounds away with his strength and power increasing with each passing second, but still the Man of Steel holds strong and does not flinch. Just at that moment, Supes discovers the transmitter and quickly destroys it, calming the Hulk down and winning his trust. The Hulk then reverts back to Bruce Banner and the fighting ends. RESULT: DRAW


While the DC Versus Marvel event had a great way to incorporate fans into the fun with a fan-ballot resulting in the outcomes of some major superhero scuffles, it did cause quite a bit of head-scratching controversies. For instance, there was no way the most popular of heroes were going to lose--no matter who they were fighting. Ballots were sent out with the first issue of the miniseries. These had to be mailed in. Fans could also vote on an America Online page dedicated to the event. Superman, Batman, Spider-man (most people didn't even realize that this was a clone named Ben Reilly and not the real Spidey), Wolverine and Storm, all of whom were the most popular characters at the time defeated their opponents by a wide margin. 

In the main-event of the entire affair was "Hulk vs Superman", but there was more going on behind the scenes than just Superman being more popular than the Hulk. The "Professor" Hulk at this time was a pale-imitation of himself as he didn't posses his anger-increasing powers. The madder this Hulk got, the weaker he got as his rage would turn him into a "Savage" Bruce Banner. Peter David, who wrote this issue and was the current Hulk-scribe was told not to include this information in the story because it would confuse the readers. The bottom line was that fans wanted to see a "full-powered" Hulk facing off against a "full-powered" Superman, even if that wasn't the case. So did that influence the ultimate outcome of this fight? I highly doubt it. Superman is possibly the most popular superhero ever created so no one was going to defeat him, especially if readers (and "fly by night" fans) had a hand in the outcome of this match up. Whether the Hulk was up to "full-power" or not, he was going down.

Superman and the "Professor" Hulk background and stats listed in the DC Versus MARVEL preview issue (1995). You will notice that the Hulk doesn't have listed his anger-increasing ability in the "Superhuman Powers" section. During this time, the Hulk couldn't get madder and stronger, writer Peter David was told not to add this information into the overall story to confuse readers and cheapen the entire "Hulk vs Superman" match up experience.

When two all-powerful cosmic entities known as the Brothers (the embodiment's of both the Marvel and DC multiverses) remembered each other's existence, they pitted combatants from their respective realities together. The winner would then destroy the loser (and its own respective multiverse). Superman and the "Professor" Hulk were the predictable main-event of the entire affair and are both teleported to the desert to match up. First, together they easily take out the villain Metallo before they lock horns. In an intense back and forth brawl, Superman takes the victory by knocking the Hulk out-cold with a thunderous punch. RESULT: WIN SUPERMAN


After all the superhero battles ended, the heroes all join forces together and battle it out with random villains from the Marvel and DC Universe. While the "Professor" Hulk is fighting the Mole Man and his subterranean underlings, Superman enters the fray. It almost looks like the fans are going to see a round 2 to the main-event when the Hulk confronts him, but the two heroes give props to the other and then team up to make short work of the Mole Man and his gang. RESULT: NONE


Bruce Banner is in his secret bunker when a nightmare triggers his change into the "Gravage" Hulk. Unable to stop the enraged brute, Rick Jones stands helpless as Jade Jaws bounds off to a nearby barbecue where he seizes the food, terrifying the crowd. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is interviewing a scientist who has invented a new type of seismograph when the device suddenly registers a series of small tremors. Clark dashes off to investigate… as Superman. Big Blue heads to the barbecue where he confronts the brute. The Hulk quickly lashes out on the Man of Steel and sends him crashing through a convenience store. Impressed with the strength of the brute, Supes begins to "lay down the law" as he tackles the Hulk and tries to hold him. But the Hulk rages and breaks free from Superman's grip sending him into deep space! When Superman finally returns back to Earth, the Hulk is long gone. RESULT: EDGE HULK (The Hulk didn't get the "win" in this fight because while he did overpower Superman and send him into deep space, Supes was uninjured and quickly returned back to Earth.)


At Gamma Base, Lex Luthor is touring the labs, flirting with Betty Ross and gathering information on the Hulk so that he can use Jade Jaws as a weapon against Superman. The next day, Lois Lane gives Betty a lift in her car while warning her about Luthor’s shady reputation; suddenly the Hulk appears in the road, wrecks the car and carries off Betty. Clark Kent is interviewing Bruce Banner when word comes in about the Hulk. Clark races off to change into Superman while a stunned Bruce has Rick Jones drive him to the scene. The stress of worry causes Bruce to change into the Hulk and the brute leaps off to find his robot double, created by Luthor to lure him into a trap. The Hulk smashes the enemy robot to pieces so that when Superman arrives, he sees only the real Hulk standing over Betty. Supes rams into the Hulk at full-speed sending the brute crashing through a bunch of mesa-rock in the distance before Betty is able to tell him about the robot. When Supes sees the error of his ways, he goes to try and make peace with the brute. No such luck. The Green Goliath starts attacking Big Blue and a tremendous back and forth punch up ensues, while the Army fires on both of them. Eventually, Superman unleashes a huge haymaker that sends the Hulk crashing into the mountainside. Never unleashing his full-strength on an opponent like this before, Supes goes to see if the Hulk is hurt. But the brute brakes free from the rock and attacks again with ever-increasing strength! Just then Luthor advises General Ross to use the gamma gun against the two super-powered antagonists, trapping them in its deadly rays. When the Hulk tells Superman that the gamma weapon is dangerous, the two form an uneasy truce to shut it down. Supes is able to hurl the Hulk out of the radioactive aura and he bursts into the base and smashes the weapon to bits. As the personnel flee the building, Superman seizes Luthor. Just then the entire lab goes up in a blinding holocaust, and the Hulk is nowhere to be seen. Rick later finds Bruce safe and sound, while Supes reveals to Lois the truth about the robot. Luthor denies all knowledge, and Betty tells her father it was the Hulk who saved her. RESULT: DRAW


JLA/AVENGERS #1 (2003)
As the JLA scout out Marvel Earth, Superman sees the "Savage" Hulk eating after causing a path of unimaginable destruction and contemplates if he should try and stop the brute. Batman tells Supes not to get involved and just continue on his observation of the planet. RESULT: NONE



The Hulk and Superman have been shown at odds a few times throughout the years. Listed here are all the comics that show them facing off or fighting, whether it be in a flashback, cover, parody, etc.

NOT BRAND ECHH #7 (1968)
A parody story on the Origin of Stupor-Man! The last splash page of the story shows Stupor-Man crying because he has realized that he is the "Marble" Age of Comics! The Bulk and other heroes are laughing while telling him this.

Cover of this master-artist, shows an image of the very first time the Marvel heroes and the DC heroes face off in a "dream" battle against each other. Mr. Adams drew for both comic companies and was such a big star that he could get away with stuff like this.

THE COMIC READER #163 (1978)
Cover of this early fan-magazine shows the image of a "Hulk vs Superman" scrap in official printed form (as well as the other famous DC and Marvel character match ups such as; Captain America vs Batman, Green Lantern vs Iron Man, Thor vs Wonder Woman, and Flash vs Quicksilver).

Preview issue of the big DC Versus Marvel crossover that was starting to shake up the comic industry. This issue compares all the heroes that will be fighting against each other with stats and biographies so fans can compare and vote for their favorite hero to decide who will win the match up.

Cover of this comic magazine showcases "Hulk vs Superman" as well as the other upcoming match ups in the DC Versus Marvel crossover.

Cover shows of all the DC and Marvel heroes matching up and getting ready for the battle of the century. While all the fights are intriguing, it's "Hulk vs Superman" as the main-event and its showcased at the top of the issue.

Cover shows all the DC and Marvel heroes at odds with their opponents. "Hulk vs Superman" is the main fight of the series and showcased directly in the center of the issue.


This issue shows a flashback of the Hulk and Superman brawl that occurred in the previous series of DC Versus Marvel.


Now it's time to take a little trip away from this "Hulk vs Superman" write up for a brief history lesson. But don't worry fanboys, we will be getting back to the "dream" slugfest in a couple of paragraphs. While Hulk and Superman come from the two biggest and most prolific comic book companies in the world -- DC and Marvel comics, a match up like that will always generate the reader's interest. Comic fans can't help but get interested in seeing these two different comic company characters crossover and engage each other because it's the stuff they constantly fantasize about.

The first collaboration between DC and Marvel was on The Wizard of OZ Treasury back in 1975. But the first time two of their actual heroes crossed paths was in their second collaborative effort, The Superman vs Spider-man Treasury in 1976. While DC and Marvel characters have continued to crossover in the comics a bunch of times after this, they have never really been seen on the same products like toys, games, puzzles, etc. together (other than on bootlegs, non-official items, counterfeit items, company catalogs, ads, etc.). But there have been a few exceptions during the years and especially during the later part of the 1970s. Sometimes you would get an "officially" released item that would have characters from both DC and Marvel on it that was released to the mass-media. It was a rare occurrence, but it was always special to see. Here are a few examples of the Hulk and Superman as well as other DC and Marvel characters on an item together throughout the years.

SUPERGRAPHICS SUPERHERO CALENDAR (1970) When Supergraphics opened its doors, one of its initial products was a comic character calendar with each month's image drawn by a top artist. The cover was illustrated with different comic company characters in full-color by Jim Steranko. 

THE STERANKO HISTORY OF COMICS vol. 1 (1970) One of the first books ever to legitimately showcase all the characters from the history of comics together on a cover.

THE STERANKO HISTORY OF COMICS vol. 2 (1972) Jim Steranko followed up his first volume with this masterpiece that once again, showcased comic characters from various companies all together in an "official" release.

THE ART OF NEAL ADAMS vol. 2 (1977) While this second volume of Neal Adam's art doesn't have the Hulk and Superman directly facing off against each other (as seen in the "OTHER ENCOUNTERS" section above and could be included here as well) on the cover. Comic fans got to see the five most popular super heroes in the world at the time together.

THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMICS QUIZ (1978) Jerry Robinson's quiz book on superhero trivia showcases a cover that has DC and Marvel heroes as well as other comic characters.

DC AND MARVEL TREASURY #28 ad (1981) This ad showcases characters from both companies starring in the story for this big upcoming event.

MARVEL VS DC TRADING CARD SET from SKYBOX (1995). 100 card set that showcased all the DC and Marvel heroes fighting it out or teaming up in celebration of the DC Versus Marvel event that was going on in the comics. 

DC and MARVEL complementary posters (1995) These two posters by artist John Bryne went on sale in comic shops during the DC Versus Marvel event.
MEGO 8" SUPER-HEROES: WORLD'S GREATEST TOYS! (2007) This book was made to honor the Mego 8" super-hero line that was all the craze during the late 70s. Even though both comic companies had their characters in this toy line, the DC figures were on the front cover as the Marvel figures were on the back cover separated from each other.

WIZARD MAGAZINE (1991-2011) During the publication of this magazine, it always had DC and Marvel comic characters crossing over on the covers.

Here is some more interesting information about your favorite superhero companies "trying" to work together to get the kids attention and their parents' money! Back in the day, manufactures went to the DC and Marvel offices to get the rights to use their characters on their products. The first toy ever to utilize both Marvel and DC characters (and other companies) on one product was Ideal's Captain Action "dress up" action-figure back in 1966. Ideal would advertise all the heroes involved with this action figure in comic book ads, magazine ads, store displays, etc. This was a truly historical event that DC and Marvel would expand on within the next 10 years. Here are a few examples of this extraordinary item.

The first and second issue Captain Action figures were released in 1966 and had the same packaging. This was the first time Marvel and DC heroes (among others) were featured on a product together.

The third issue Captain Action figure was released in 1967 with a parachute. To make space for the parachute ad on the box, Captain America and Steve Canyon were removed. By 1968, when the fourth and final issue Captain Action figure was released, no heroes appeared on the box.
With the release of Action Boy in 1967,  the newer heroes that came to this series were presented on the back of the box with the more popular older ones.

The first ever comic book or toy ad to utilize both DC and Marvel characters (as well as others) all together for one product was released in 1966 and shown in DC comic books.

The Captain Action store display for retailers made in 1966 is the ultimate Captain Action collectible. It also holds such historical significance because it remains the first piece of advertisement that featured both DC and Marvel characters together (as well as others) to the mass-media. 

In 1967, Dr. Evil's Sanctuary was released as a J.C. Penny exclusive. It featured Spider-man, Superman, Batman, Aquaman and Captain America converging upon this craggy mountain retreat. It also had their costumes displayed on the inside.

In 1971, Mego Corporation picked up where Ideal and Captain Action had left off and started producing their 8" World Greatest Super-Heroes action figures and acquiring the rights to both Marvel and DC characters. For a short time, Mego had both comic companies characters on their packaging together. That lasted until mid 1974 when both companies demanded that their individual heroes be displayed on separate packaging.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 1st issue Kresge card from MEGO (1974) This was the last of the Mego packaging that had Marvel and DC characters together on it. As this figure was released in February of 1974, by the middle of the year only Marvel characters could appear on Marvel packaging and DC characters only appeared on DC packaging.

By mid 1973, both Marvel and DC started giving their character licenses to more manufacturing companies than ever. Never before was there so many different products with the likenesses of their characters in stores all over the world. For the next few years, toy, sticker, game, clothing, etc. companies were able to manufacture their products using characters from either DC or Marvel just as long as they weren't together on the same package. Here are a few examples of this:

THE COMIC ACTION HEROES from MEGO (1975) While this company put out both Marvel and DC characters of the same product, they had to be on different packages.

THE ENERGIZED SUPERHEROES from REMCO (1979) Despite the different comic companies and packaging, these figures were part of the same toy line and could be played with together and become interchangeable.

THE SUPERHERO MERCHANDISE CATALOG, THE SUPERHERO CATALOG TO GAMES, TOYS AND PUZZLES, THE SUPERHERO BOOK OF GOODIES CATALOG, THE SUPERHERO CATALOGUE, and THE HEROES WORLD CATALOG (1975-1979) This was an awesome superhero toy catalog series for all the late 70s items that were in stores. There were so many of the same DC and Marvel products in these issues that you would think that both comic companies were one big happy family... well, actually... they were, but for only a short time.

During the late 70s Marvel and DC both co-owned the trademark to the name "Super Heroes" (without the hyphen). That's right, both companies realized the amount of money that the mark "superhero" was worth. Therefore, they decided to trademark the word. However, both companies understood that they wouldn't have a chance by themselves, as both companies were using the term. A battle between the two would likely result in neither of them being granted a trademark. So, they decided to instead work together against any other company out there trying to use the term, and file for a trademark together. 

Seeing the "Super Heroes" logo on both Marvel and DC individual products was very common, especially during the late 70s until the mid 80s. Surprisingly, every now and then all the characters from both comic companies would appear on the same product with the "Super Heroes" logo in the forefront of the item (and sometimes not). This happened on a few rare occasions and I'm sure it didn't go over well with either comic company. But you better believe that the kids absolutely loved it (I know I did back in the day)!!! Here are a few examples of those items:

The SUPER HEROES "original" logo that both DC and Marvel co-owned the trademark to and used from the late 70s until the mid 80s. While each comic company would put this logo on its individual products, there were rare occasions when both Marvel and DC characters appeared on the same item together and this logo was usually the forefront  of the packaging.







A bunch of Marvel and DC items from OUR WAY STUDIOS (1980) showcased together from their catalog and in store displays. Notice at the top of the display that the heads of Batman and Spider-man are both saying "Super Heroes" to complement all the characters without actually referring to their individual names.



What a lot of you may not realize is that Marvel and DC still both own the rights to the word "Super Hero" and continue to use it on their products to this very day. But one thing that has definitely changed since the mid 80s, is that you will most likely never see a Marvel or DC character on the same packaging again (other than on a non-official item). You better believe there is no love lost between DC owners at Warner Brothers and Marvel owners at Disney. Those mega-corporations want to rule the world... and to be truthful, between the both of them, they almost do! Here are a few examples of the use of the "Super Hero" trademark on a product today by both comic companies:



Okay, enough with the inter-company crossover lecture, let's get back to the "dream" slugfest between the Hulk and Superman!


While "Hulk vs Superman" will be debated on and argued about until the end of time, I was asked by many of you readers to try and find an unbiased answer to this match up. While this is no easy task and will most likely upset many of you lovable fanboys, I will give it my best shot. Now before I go into the actual issues and break down their fights and then wrap it all up, I wanted to add some creators with authority in the industry to showcase their views on this match up.

When the DC Versus Marvel event was over, Wizard magazine #66 (1997) did an article on each fight that took place. They asked the current writer's of each character who they thought should have won the fight. In the case of "Hulk vs Superman", Dan Jurgens (who was writing just about every Superman title at the time) and Peter David (who was writing the Hulk) had their say on it.

Superman writer Dan Jurgens and Hulk writer Peter David have their say about this legendary slugfest back in 1997. While both concede that the Hulk is physically the stronger, ultimately Superman would win due to his wide variety of super-powers.

Next up is none other than the comic book maestro himself, Stan "THE MAN" Lee! He answered this question back in 2006 for Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. While some may claim he's biased because he co-created the Hulk and the Marvel Universe, he is still the absolute grand-master of comic books. His opinions on anything comic-related is valid whether we agree with him or not and they hold more credibility than anyone else on the planet. So kneel down, zip your lip and listen up to greatness...

"If I wrote the story, I guarantee the Hulk would win. The way I established the Hulk, the more he fought, the stronger he got. And Superman has a certain amount of strength and that's it. I assume  at some point he'll get worn out, but never the Hulk."

Finally, writer Peter David gives us another perspective on this fight in 2012. He get's another shout out from me because he has a lot of authority and knowledge on this subject that must be taken into consideration. He has written thousands of comic characters for both DC and Marvel including the Hulk (a 13 year stint) and Superman. He also co-wrote the DC Versus Marvel series and more importantly, issue #3 where the Hulk and Superman fought. Check it out by clicking the link below:

Writer extraordinaire Peter David explains what would really happen in a fight between the Hulk and Superman in 2012.

Well, I guess it's my turn to shed some light on this subject. The overall tally between these two elite Super-Heavyweights in 7 match ups ended in a solid 1 to 1 tie. However, both of those victories are not without controversies. The Hulk's victory that came in Superman and Spider-man: Marvel Treasury #28 can be argued if Superman was even knocked out at all, or was he merely stunned, or was he just in shock due to the surprise attack? I'm sure a debate can be made for each of these examples, but whatever your opinions may be, it had to be tallied against the Man of Steel because he was removed from the fight for a time. Superman's definitive knockout victory over the Hulk in Marvel Versus DC #3 was a fan-voted "WIN" and not a company or creator decision. This stems arguments that regardless of what you think would really happen in this fight, the more popular character was going to win no matter what (unfortunately, that's just what happened in the other fights...Wolverine beats up Lobo using only his "bone" claws... sheeeesh). So the question remains, is this victory even legitimate? I'll let the fanboys argue among themselves over that. As for all the other "Hulk vs Superman" brawls that occurred, most of them were pretty intense and even.

In truth, the answer on who has the overall edge in these fights may never be truly answered no matter what is printed on the comic pages. But I'm going to lay out all the facts here and try to put an end to this debate once and for all to see who has the right to be called the one-true Super-Heavyweight Champion of Comics; Superman or the Hulk!

While they are both very comparable on some aspects of their powers, in others they are not. When it comes to physical power, they are both at the top of the food-chain for their respected comic companies. Truth be told, no conventional hero or villain is going to be stronger than Superman in the DC Universe and the same can be said for the Hulk in the Marvel Universe... they are the standard, plain and simple. But when you compare them to each other, things change. While Supes has the higher base-level strength, endurance and durability at the beginning of the fight, once the Hulk get's going, it's the same old Hulk-formula; The madder the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. While Superman can rarely ever be matched or exceeded in this department, he is ultimately going to be against someone like the Hulk because Supes has a "cap" on his levels (although they are immeasurable). The Hulk doesn't have any limits because that's how his powers work. He will continually grow stronger, more durable, more relentless and constantly regenerate as the fight progresses and Superman will eventually begin to slow down. In their epic fights from Superman and Spider-man: Marvel Treasury #28 and The Incredible Hulk vs Superman, this can be clearly seen as the Hulk is shown to be getting stronger and stronger with each passing second and begins closing the gap between them. So without any doubt in my mind, the edge goes to ol' Jade Jaws here. 

When it comes to potential physical power output, even Superman ranks behind The Incredible Hulk.

That is where the comparisons end. While the Hulk has the edge in the physical attributes potentially, Superman makes up for it with everything else... and I do mean everything else! And here lies The Man of Steel's great advantage over the Green-Skinned Goliath (and just about everyone else). The powers of flight, super-speed, heat vision, ice-breath, etc., etc., etc. is what makes The Man of Steel stand on a level of overall power that is so extreme it borders on the ridiculous. He can do just about anything he wants... he brings the meaning of "super" to a whole new level. All this insane versatility can be more problems than even the Ever-Incredible Hulk is able to handle. WOW! How many characters can make that claim? Sure, the Hulk can still win this fight, his tenacity and utter-savagery while growing more powerful put him in a class by himself and make him such a ferocious and dangerous opponent. This extreme approach against Supes passive and gentle nature can cause the Hulk to overwhelm him, so the Man of Steel has to be prepared to fight it out on a level he is not used too right out of the gate. If he does that, no matter how crazy or how strong the Hulk gets, Superman is going to win this fight the majority of the time. Yup, although it will be his toughest test ever, Kal-El has the mind, the skill, the experience and the overall versatile power-set to make the difference and just barely walk away as the one-true victor.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Super-Heavyweight Champion of the Comic Book World... SUPERMAN!!! 

And the crowd goes wild... 

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!

Check out other "DEFINITIVE WRITE UPS" here:

Jack Kirby vs Alex Toth

Superman vs Captain Marvel
Thor vs Ulik
Hulk vs Thor
Hulk vs Hercules
Hulk vs Sub-Mariner

John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETRO FAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.