Most popular in the public eye? Batman, though he's just as unrealistic as Superman.
Seriously? A multi-billionaire, with unlimited resources, who comes off as a total player in his "public" life, has women throwing themselves at him left and right, in and out of costume; is a genius lvl 1,000 ninja, scientist, engineer, mechanic, et cetera without super speed, or being 80+ years-old for all that study. As opposed to an alien who is a genius with super speed, with which he can have projects in his Fortress of Solitude, thus having a better excuse as to why he's a scientist/engineer/etc.; but, was raised on a simple farm; works at a newspaper; is in love with, and stays faithful to, one, head-strong, mortal woman, though there may be other, super, women who want him; he's a nice, decent guy; doesn't want to take over the world, just wants to live a regular life, but has a sense of duty to use his powers for good.
Batman is who they relate to... no, that's wrong. Batman isn't the one they relate to, he's a guy's wet dream. Women throwing themselves all over him, in and out of the mask; tons of money with which he can do whatever he wants; power; glamorous danger as an ass-kicker; a genius in uncountable areas of expertise even though he's only, at oldest, usually, in his thirties? Next to all that, who would want to be the "boring" Superman, who is an alien who dreams of nothing more than a simple, happy, life with his willful, adoring wife who doesn't let him get away with any shenanigans?
My favorite? Superman. Batman's alright, but I find the capacity for a healthy relationship and fidelity sexier.
Though the new Superman movie is coming out and I'm actually really looking forward to it \o/ but right now Batman is rolling in its popularity with its current movie that came out and the new rumored video game \o/
If you mean to the general public, then Bats, no question. He's just had a crazy popular trio of movies by a crazy popular director.
If you mean to the comic book audience... still Bats, just go count how many Bat-books are currently being pushed out by DC.
The money talks and it says "Batman".
However I have tentative hopes that Man of Steel will give Supes a much needed shot in the arm and return him to the public eye with the same awesomeness that the Dark Knight trilogy did for the Bat (and Superman Returns failed utterly to do).
I really want to see people get excited about Superman again... it's been a long time.
Personally I have a massive amount of Superman/Batman crossover books, I like them a lot as a double team and couldn't pick a fave. When Supes is well written (like in All Star) he is awesome and likewise when Bats is poorly written (like in his All Star, funnily enough)) he sucks like a Dyson.
a lot of people will say batman not because "he's the one superhero you can become" or "he's the most realistic hero" it's because he is every comic geek's wet dream: a guy who said f*** the police and gets away with everything, has cars, women, and his superpower is money!
But Superman represents ideals that people don't want to believe in anymore (you know which ones I'm talking about). When it's going down I'd rather superman have my back.
Now for me this takes many schools of thought. If Superman has a good writer, he is a friendly paragon of virtue. If he has a bad, he is a whiny little boy-scout who is way too preachy. If Batman has a good writer, he is a dark brooding warrior of the knight! If bad, he is a whiny little hypocrite who is way too preachy. Superman and Batman share the curse of having both the best writers...and the worst. They are two of the most media exposed super-heroes in history and sometimes we get writers who just don't get the characters.
One point against Batman though I FUCKING HATE IT when he says "I work alone." He has more side-kicks and supporting characters than ANY other super-hero!
And with Superman there is how predictable the plots can be. A lot of times its either some schmuck has made a super duper science ray to science everyone to death, or some big strong strong-person who is Superman's physical match!
So at the end of the day I choose- BOTH! They are both great heroes, and great characters, and when they are written right they are awesome.
Superman is way overpowered. He makes things so much more harder for himself. Friggin laser beam eyes. No one can top that. Any fight with Superman should be over in a matter of seconds. Batman, he's just amazing. Nothing special, just goes out and kicks arse with what he has, does it quickly and efficiently. That and I generally don't like Superman.
Ooh, a common one-sided Superman complaint: him being overpowering. Now let's go see the many villains he typically face: - Parasite: Some meta human how drains the life out of any being and takes their abilities. -Metallo: A cyborg who is powered by kryptonite. -General Zod and the prisoners of the Phantom: rogue Kryptonians (Nuff said). -Imperiax: an intergalactic conquerer who wage war on the planet earth, creating WW 3. - Braniac: an android who is known for collecting species from different planets (including the Kryptonian city Kandor) and destroying many planets (may have some responsibilities in Krpton's demise). -Luthor: A human who made many attempts at destroying Superman (and nearly succeeded). -Darkseid: Do you know Thanos? This is the guy he is based on. Think about it?
Superman did defeat these guys, but how he defeated them makes it all interesting. Like with Batman and his enemies.
Because Vic's a better raw investigator than Batman (as in no Batcomputer/massive resources/fortune backing him), and an awesome martial artist in his own right, along with being a reporter during his day job. It would be unfair to have someone who is, in ways, a combination of the two.
He and Superman shared the same morals (both of them wont take a life) their commitment to Justice even though both of them have different way of fighting crime and evil. I'm a big fan of the World's Finest comics been reading it since I was a kid loved it, and now I'm just glad they teamed them again in Superman/ Batman those 2 brings out the best in each other.
Personally I'm going to go with Barman; while Superman is amazing, it's hard to relate to him sometimes because of how many powers he has, how he's literally been in almost every type of plot line there is, and his 100% boys out attitude. Batman, while a mess, is constantly haunted by his own humanity, and people find it easy to relate to him: the cool car helps too.