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Presumably because Zack Snyder is still upset about the time his dog pooped on his Super Friends action figures, the current DC cinematic universe is as bleak and self-serious as a high school kid who carries a briefcase instead of a lunchbox. Case in point: The upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice gives us a Batman who's now a glum crankypants and a Superman whose cape has gone from bright red to "dead dog's blood lit by a flickering street lamp" red.

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And they both have the expression and posture of someone who's in a male impotence ad.

But the filmmakers are trying to put one over on us -- no matter how grim and somber they may want the movie to seem, its comic book origins are totally ridiculous. Think of the following comics as the embarrassing parents to Batman V Superman's angry goth kid:

5
Bruce Wayne Meets Clark Kent For The First Time ... On A Cruise Ship

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In the trailer for Batman V Superman, we see Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne meet for the very first time at a swanky party. It's a tense conversation in which they insult each other's alter-egos while simultaneously trying to out-handsome each other.

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It takes all of Superman's strength not to get sucked into the black hole in Bruce Wayne's chin.

The Comic Book Origin:

In the first Batman-Superman team-up, back in 1952, things went down slightly differently. The historic first meeting between the world's greatest superheroes starts with Batman getting undressed with Robin. Not in the Batcave, mind you, but in a bedroom in a mansion that's just filled with other bedrooms one of them could have used.

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The real question is: Can Batman withstand being away from Dick for so long?

Bruce announces he's going on a cruise vacation while Robin visits his relatives upstate ... which is weird, because if he has nearby relatives, why the hell is Robin living with some wealthy stranger?

Coincidentally, Clark Kent is also taking a vacation, and bafflingly elects to take the same cruise ship as Bruce, despite possessing the ability to fly absolutely anywhere in the world instantly and for free. And guess what: The ship's so crowded, he's forced to share a cabin with Bruce.

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"Look, it's either Wayne or the cast of Family Circus. Your choice."

All this feels less like an epic superhero team-up and more like the premise of a Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau comedy. Clark has X-ray vision, and Bruce is the world's greatest detective, so how do they unravel the mystery of each other's secret identities? By getting changed in the same room together, of course. You're welcome, slash fiction authors.

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"And as they leave, they run into the Joker and Luthor ..."
"Great!"
"... and they all get changed in the same room together."
"Ed, you have a problem."

However, their brilliant dual charade is thwarted by a window, and when light shines through the porthole, the two superheroes are revealed to each other.

DC Comics
Their pelvises are obscured to hide the plot twist that they accidentally put on each other's shorts.

Batman and Superman sagely agree to talk about the bizarre coincidence later. Also awkward: Once they've dealt with the present danger, Batman does acrobatics at the ship's dance for the enjoyment of the passengers, like an especially nimble cruise director.

DC Comics
Meanwhile, Gotham City has burned to the ground 37 consecutive times.

The rest of the comic is mostly about the mighty heroes pulling wacky schemes to hide their secret identities from Lois Lane -- which, as it turns out, is what most of Superman's adventures are about.

4
Superman Meets Wonder Woman, Has Wet Dreams About Her

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Fulfilling the subtitular promise of the "Dawn Of Justice," future Justice Leaguer Wonder Woman eventually shows up to help Batman and Superman put aside their petty differences and work together to fight Doomsday, who looks so computer-generated, his origin story may be that he escaped from Andy's toy chest.

Warner Brothers Pictures
She's also the only one dressed for this weather.

The Comic Book Origin:

We've talked before about Wonder Woman's unfortunate origin as the Justice Society's secretary -- but when the DC universe rebooted in the '80s, the character was given a fresh, less horribly sexist, intro. In a scene similar to the one in Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman makes a dramatic entrance, triumphantly saving the day.

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By tickling a robo-dog.

Superman greets Wonder Woman by ... just sorta ogling her for a while. As it turns out, he's taking mental pictures for "later use," because a few months later in Superman's comic, this happens:

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"Dammit, and I just washed the ceiling."

Like every single teenager who so much as glanced at Lynda Carter in the '70s, Superman has a dirty dream about Wonder Woman. This is a real scene that was drawn, printed, and distributed to children all over the world.

Things become even more awkward when Superman finally gets Wonder Woman to meet up with him -- then grabs her and forcibly kisses her, to Wonder Woman's evident horror. We have to stress that neither of them is being mind-controlled or anything. Superman did this, completely of his own volition, because he thought it was both appropriate and cool.

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"Yeah, she's so into me."

When Superman realizes that Wonder Woman is absolutely not digging his creepy misdemeanor advances, he backs away, stammering like a goddamn Hugh Grant character.

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"Er, this is how I say hi to all our fellow superheroes ... Hey, Barry! Wait up!"

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3
Superman Goes On Trial For Killing An Innocent Person (Named Clark Kent)

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In the new movie, it seems as though the government is holding some kind of trial or hearing on Superman. While the exact reason hasn't been revealed, it might have something to do with the fact that Superman destroyed half of Metropolis during a fight, killing more people than 40 9/11s. Spoilers!

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"I regret each of those 129,392 deaths."
"It's 129,391."
"Some guy in the hall made fun of my boots on the way in here."

The Comic Book Origin:

Well, this wouldn't be the first time Superman's been taken to court for the death of innocent people. In an issue from 1963, for instance, Superman is put on trial for murder. The victim? Why, none other than that obsessive fanboy who keeps writing articles about him -- Clark Kent.

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"Uh, can I go to the bathroom, and can I take those glasses and suit for unspecified reasons?"

The whole ridiculous legal snafu comes about when Lois almost catches Clark changing into Superman. Rather than do something that makes any sense at all, Superman pretends to pick a fight with Clark for kissing Lois, like a terrible Off-Broadway one-man show.

When Lois finally breaks through the door, Superman uses his little-known superpower of being able to shape piles of clothes with his mind and throws his suit out the window, making it look like he murdered Clark -- because somehow telling the woman he loves that he's Superman is worse than leading the world to believe that Superman casually murders civilians who piss him off.

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This is also the basis for that scene from Fight Club.

The authorities show up and promptly throw Superman in jail. Like, regular jail.

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"That should hold him indefinitely!" -no one with even passing prior knowledge of Superman.

When put on the witness stand to explain his actions, Superman's only defense is to petulantly refuse to say anything, while seemingly using his X-ray vision to mentally undress the female jurors.

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"I must also remind you that you could fly out of here literally anytime, you fucking moron."

Luckily, Superman comes up with a brilliant solution that will get him off the hook and preserve his secret identity:

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"Impossible! You have glasses and he doesn't!"

Yep, his solution is to say that he was Clark Kent pretending to be Superman the whole time! So, to recap, he protected his identity from Lois by giving everyone concrete, documented evidence that Clark Kent looks exactly like Superman. And, because the collective IQ of the city of Metropolis is 37, this plan totally works and everything goes back to normal.

2
Kryptonite Is First Used By A C-List Villain

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Batman V Superman introduces kryptonite, which are chunks of Superman's home world that drain him of his otherworldly power, as chunks of your homeland do. In the trailer we see the kryptonite in the hands of Lex Luthor, presumably because it's part of his evil scheme and not just there to provide green mood lighting.

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Jesse Eisenberg's kryptonite is when he's compared to Michael Cera.

The Comic Book Origin:

On its first appearance, kryptonite wasn't in the possession of Luthor but of another classic Superman enemy: Swami Riva. Who the shit is Swami Riva, you ask? Some hacky fake psychic, kind of like if John Edwards was a comic book villain. To everyone's surprise (including his own), Swami Riva discovers that his bullshit magic spell actually works on Superman.

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"I should be punching a hole directly through the center of his head by now! What's happening to me?!"

Suddenly Superman starts staggering around like he just drank his weight in paint thinner and gets the hell beaten out of him by a two-bit hood dressed like the Zoltar machine from Big.

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Now we know who Jeremy Irons is really playing in the movie.

Superman can't figure out why Swami Riva is so powerful, so he decides to do some sleuthing. Eventually he looks into the jewel in Riva's turban, and we cut to the exciting action of Superman interrogating a jewelry store clerk.

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Kids in the '40s felt cheated if they didn't get at least 10 pages of Superman
interrogating jewelry store clerks.

Of course, the "cheap shiny stone" turns out to be kryptonite, which was purchased totally by accident and used by a villain in a fight against Superman by pure coincidence. This inspires Superman to travel back in time by flying super fast, where he learns the truth about both kryptonite and his alien origin -- which apparently Superman had never considered before, despite being a man who can travel back in time by flying super fast.

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"This also explains why I have five penises!"

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1
Most Of Batman And Superman's Fights Are Silly As Hell

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It's no surprise that Zack Snyder, whose movies are filled with more shots of glistening muscles than an "8-Minute Abs" infomercial, would want Batman and Superman's fight to be a testosterone-filled showdown. Judging from the trailers, it looks like the epic battle between the iconic heroes has more fire, rain, and intense scowling than every '80s hair metal music video combined.

Warner Brothers Pictures
The winner is decided by who can glow their eyes the brightest.

The Comic Book Origin:

Believe it or not, Batman and Superman's fights in the comics are more ridiculous than anything Snyder could come up with. For starters, there's the time Superman is hypnotized and challenges Batman to a pistol duel. When only one of you is bulletproof, this puts the other at a hilarious disadvantage.

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"Is it shaped like a bat? It has to be shaped like a bat or I can't use it."

Then there was the time Superman almost had Batman executed for witchcraft. Seriously.

It all started when Superman takes Batman back in time to the Revolutionary War days, which is apparently something they do whenever they aren't taking cruises together. Once in the past, Batman saves a woman from being drowned for being a witch, then quickly takes off his mask and starts making out with her, because it's what his dead parents would have wanted.

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Here we witness Superman's origins as a men's rights activist.

Seething with jealous rage over having been denied his "goodies," Superman decides to frame Batman for being a "servant of Satan" by using his "super ventriloquism," a power usually reserved for open mic night at the Metropolis Laugh Factory.

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"A talking cat, in this 18th-century tavern my time-traveling alien pal brought me to?!
Get the fuck outta here."

After Superman sentences Batman to death, Benjamin Franklin shows up, because comic books are fucking stupid. Ol' Ben tries to free Bats in the only way Benjamin Franklin apparently knows how to do anything: by using lightning and a kite to pick a lock. Not surprisingly, it doesn't work, so if there's any takeaway from this comic, it's that Ben Franklin was a goddamn moron.

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"You tied a key to the tittyshitting kite, Ben Franklin!"

It turns out that Superman is being mind-controlled by a demon, hence his even-more-dickish-than-usual behavior. Batman exorcises the evil spirit by gallantly forcing a child to slingshot a piece of kryptonite at Superman's forehead.

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"I've become sterile from the radiation, but it was all worth it."

The only thing sillier would be if there was a comic where Batman and Superman have a pillow fight.

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Well, shit.

J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @rewatchability.

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Now that we're talking about dumb Batman and Superman stories, be sure to check out The 7 Stupidest Attempts To Reinvent Batman and 5 Classic Superman Comics That Prove He Used To Be a Dick.

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