Artist Mauro Perucchetti's sculpture 'Modern Heroes', which depicts Batman and Superman in a pose reminiscent of The Creation of Adam in The Sistine Chapel, is installed in the Halcyon Gallery on October 6, 2010 in London, England.
Artist Mauro Perucchetti's sculpture 'Modern Heroes', which depicts Batman and Superman in a pose reminiscent of The Creation of Adam in The Sistine Chapel, is installed in the Halcyon Gallery on October 6, 2010 in London, England. - 

This weekend two of our oldest, best-known superheroes will meet on the big screen for the first time in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice."

It's going to be a dark, loud, two-and-a-half-hour slug-fest, and Warner Bros. has a lot riding on it. "Dawn of Justice" is supposed to jump-start a string of interconnected DC Comics movies stretching into 2020. But the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel are pushing 80, they've been crossing over in comic books and cartoons for decades, and we're in a superhero movie arms race, so what took so long? How is this the first time Batman and Superman are meeting on the big screen?

Well, it's not for lack of trying. Let's look back at a brief history of these two super-frenemies, and their years of grudge matches, team-ups and missed connections: 

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Follow Tony Wagner at @tonydwagner