Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight website has gained it’s reputation by weighing the odds and predicting election results, but it often statistically analyzes the sports and entetainment worlds as well. For the opening of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the website analyzed how often Superman and Batman appeared together in comic books, and at least according to Walt Hickey’s methodology, the findings were interesting indeed.
Turns out Superman has appeared along Batman more than any other individual DC character, including Dick Grayson and Alfred Pennyworth, and Batman has appeared alongside Superman just a handful less times than his long-time paramour Lois Lane, and more than any other character.
So just how did they come to these conclusions? FiveThirtyEight tabulated the various appearances of Bruce Wayne and Kal-El in the primary continuities from DC's inception (Earth-Two, Earth-One, New Earth and Prime Earth) and whom they appeared with.
According to those statistics, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight have appeared together on 1901 occassions, with only a rough fifth of those linked to Justice League/Society team activities. For that, it makes Superman Batman's most-frequent associate, but for Kal-El it puts Bruce 29 appearances shy of Lois Lane's 1930 occurences.
And while Dick Grayson came in second in Batman's list of known associates with 1846, if you combine him with the other Robins on the list (Tim Drake, Jason Todd), they amount to 2,997 -- making Robin, in name only, the Dark Knight's most constant ally. James Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth came in at distant thirds and fourths, respectively.
On the table for Superman's associates, Wonder Woman ranks a distant but respectble third with 1331 joint appearances. Jimmy Olsen and Perry White come in fourth and fifth, followed by Supergirl and fellow JLAers Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern.