Superman (aka Kal-El) is so badass that even three evil Kryptonians -- all with the same powers as he -- could not best him in 'Superman II.' Neither could 'Superman IV's' Fabio the Metrosexul Sun God -- and he shares the same DNA as Superman (he was cloned from a lock of Supes' hair). But if Christopher Reeve's Man of Steel from 'Superman' took on Brandon Routh's from 'Superman Returns' -- now that is one rumble in the urban jungle I'd love to see. And the best part is that no matter who won the fight, Superman would lose -- something that has never happened in the history of Earth or Krypton. Here's how Reeve and Routh stack up in four 'Super' areas.
MAN-TASTIC SUIT: There have been some complaints about Routh's utility belt bearing the signature gold Superman "S" while his cape does not. But considering Supes' cape is hewn from the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby, I like the idea that it hasn't been defiled by a glaring yellow "S." Another bonus for Routh's suit: He's got some black crap-kicker boots instead of the flimsy red boots Reeve dons -- which kind of call to mind the booties on a pair of kids' onesy pajamas (or something a $10 prostitute might wear). Advantage: Routh
MISSION STATEMENT: In response to Lois Lane's (Kate Bosworth) Pulitzer-winning editorial "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman," Routh tells Lois, "You wrote the world doesn't need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one." Not one to be bashful or skirt the issue, Reeve's just comes out and says it: "I'm here to fight for truth, justice and the American way." Bonus points to Reeve for not saying "... and the French way." Advantage: Reeve
MILD-MANNERED ALTER EGO: Superman is only one-half of Kal-El's identity. He spends half his life (and his time on screen) as Clark Kent, a clutzy reporter for the Daily Planet. So it's pretty important that we like Clark, too. Reeve set the Clark bar high, imbuing his alter ego with such a flair for the comedic that he makes getting hit by a car funny. And Routh learned well from his predecessor: One goofy look is enough to crack the audience up and completely abate other characters' suspicions that Clark and Superman might be the same person. That said, while Routh's Clark is hardly a blip on Lois Lane's radar, there's some definite chemistry between Lois (Margot Kidder) and Reeve's Clark. Who would have thunk it: Clark Kent, lady killer? Advantage: Reeve
SUPERMANLY DEEDS: Routh rescues Lois and a plummeting plane at the same time, takes a bullet to the eye at point-blank range and doesn't blink, and faces off against Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) on a huge landmass made partly of Kryptonite. As for Reeve, he rescues Lois and a falling helicopter at the same time, tries to stop two simultaneously launched nuclear warheads from detonating (he doesn't quite succeed) and flies around Earth so fast he's able to turn back time. Bonus points for using his X-ray vision too see what color panties Lois is wearing. Advantage: Draw
AND THE WINNER IS ... Christopher Reeve -- although with a little time and training, Routh could turn the tables.