May 6th 2016 sees Marvel Comics and DC Comics going head to head in the Summer blockbuster market. Marvel Comic’s patriotic superhero Captain America is hitting the big screen with ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. Then, on the same day, DC Comics see two of their biggest superheroes duke it out in ‘Batman vs Superman’.
It’s got comic book fans asking: who would win the ultimate fight between Batman, Captain America and Superman? All have advantages over the other, so it’s a difficult question to answer. I tried to work it out, but developed a headache when I started trying to calculate ‘vulnerability to Kryptonite’. What I can answer, though, is: which superhero’s most popular on the web?
I headed to Google AdWords to investigate who was delivering the killer blow in the keyword market. All Captain America could do was cower behind his indestructible shield with just 550,000 average monthly searches. He left the real fighting to Batman and Superman who received 1.8m and 1.2m average monthly searches respectively. Due to this awesome display of popularity, round 1 goes to Batman!
Trending is hard evidence of a topic being hot property, so I decided to investigate the superheroes popularity on Google Trends. All three superheroes experience their highest level of trending around the time that their new films are released. Aside from the release of Superman Returns in 2006, Batman has convincingly crushed Superman and Captain America for the last seven years; this is illustrated in an average trending score which is double his nearest rival. More recently, Batman keeps trending ahead of his rivals – even if Superman released a new film last year – so round 2 goes to Batman!
The final arena I chose for the superheroes to go toe to toe in was SimilarWeb PRO. I wanted to see how keywords for the superheroes related to their parent websites traffic. The keyword “Captain America”, predictably, was more popular than “Superman” and “Batman” in driving traffic towards Marvel’s website. Superman was able to make a small dent in Captain America’s shield with 7 keywords, but Batman was missing in action with 0.
In their own backyard, at DC Comics website, Batman and Superman took the home advantage. Captain America managed to conjure up 2 keywords leading to DC’s website, but it was miniscule compared to Superman and Batman who were attributed to 327 and 798 keywords respectively. The number of website visits originating from “Batman” and “Superman” keywords dwarfed anything that Captain America could muster over at Marvel’s website. Round 3, once again, goes to the caped crusader, Batman!
My research has proved that Batman is the most popular superhero online out of our three. His popularity has been bolstered over the last 20 years by numerous films, whilst you could count the Superman and Captain America films in the same period on one hand. Although Batman proved to be the more popular DC Comics superhero, it will be interesting to see how the Batman vs Superman movie pans out. Will the marketing team behind the film want the fan favorite to win? Or will they try to boost Superman’s profile by letting the underdog win? We’ll have to wait until 2016 to find out!