They're equally well known
Well, I was unable to find sales figures for BATMAN for the 50s, so let's go to the nearest thing, 1960.
In 1960, the eponymous titles sold:
BATMAN ... 502,000 (avg circulation)
SUPERMAN 810,000 (avg circulation)
So, I guess you were correct in that Batman was just not as popular as Supes.
To bolster the effect the Batman TV show had on sales, look at 1965 (pre-TV show):
BATMAN ... 453,745
But in 1966 (after the first season):
BATMAN ... 898,470
Regarding the Metropolis Rogues Gallery, by and large, live action adaptations of the Kryptonian have given them short shrift. The George Reeves show used none of them.
They're both equally well known at this point. More popular? Batman. More iconic? Probably Supes.
A bat! That's it! It's an omen.. I shall become a bat!
Interesting to note that in the 1950's, the Superman titles included:
's Pal Jimmy Olsen
In the early 1960's, Lois Lane received her own title.
Now, the Gotham franchise only had, as I recall, two titles of its own during the 1950's, with Star-Spangled from 1950 to 1952.
Last edited by Enda8011; 11-22-2011 at 06:22 PM. Reason: more info
Under age 40 is dominated by Batman, the last 10 years his comics are always the top sellers on Amazon, bookstored.
have sold 3 times as many books as the top 3 superman books, which other than Earth One, have never been in the top ten graphic novel sold
"Calm down, call Batman." - Greg Capullo
i gotta say in this day and age batman is more famous and well known due to the fact that superman's pretty much left the spotlight batman's had several cartoons movies comics and games while superman has only had 1 cartoon 1 tv series that was way too high school drama for anyone's tastes a game that's so terrible that everyone knows it by name(Superman 64) and as far as movies go the man of steel has seen less action than the caped crusader
it's been a long time since supes was a big deal in hollywood
and it's been a long time since superman was the top dog of dc comics
DC: 3 Marvel: 3 Boom: 1(Adventure Time) IDW: 2(Ghostbusters And My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic)