Batman and Spider-Man may be towering superheroes in comic books and movies. But these two champions of good looked less than heroic this week during an impromptu confrontation on a Toronto subway train.

Two performers dressed as the comic-book titans boarded a TTC train on Monday, and then engaged one another in an epic combat before passengers.

The showdown was orchestrated by Toronto filmmaker Sean Ward, in support of his new video, “Batman vs. Spider-Man in Toronto,” which will be released online Friday, July 6. However, this subway clash seemed more worthy of The Three Stooges than two of the most beloved masked avengers in pop culture history.

Taunting one another like kids in a sandbox, the superheroes hurled jabs and pokes to display their supremacy.  

“These people love me. I have a PhD in whooping ass,” Batman boasted in a gruff voice.

“I can stop a subway train with my bare hands,” Spider-Man countered.

“Yeah, I can also,” Batman snarled.

Spidey and the Caped Crusader then treated onlookers to a test of their abdominal strength, using the arm handles suspended from the train’s ceiling to do leg lifts. The winner, in this instance, was Spider-Man, who lifted his limbs up over his head as an out-of-breath Batman struggled to keep up.

These goofball feats are not what fans have come to expect from these avengers, particularly in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” film series or Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” movie franchise. In both instance gravitas and gravity-defying stunts have been the calling card of these movies.

That tradition continued this week with the release of Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which earned a record-breaking US$35 million on July 3 -- its opening day.

In fact, that success has only whetted fans’ appetites for Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” the next big superhero event of the season.

Nolan’s film will land in theatres on July 20, so it’s too soon to tell who will win this showdown at the box office. But the characters’ rivalry in Toronto is good-natured, according to the actor who portrayed Spider-Man.  

“We’ve a bit of a rivalry,” said the masked performer on Thursday on CTV News Channel.

“We both have new movies coming out. It will be curious to see whose film will do better,” he said from under his Spidey mask.

The release of Ward’s next web-based video on Friday continues his long love affair with comic-book characters.

“I’ve been a big fan of these characters. I think people are enjoying the characterizations of these guys in my work,” Ward said on Thursday on CTV News Channel.

In April of 2012, Ward posted another web superhero video called “Batman’s Night Out – The Inside Story.” That video went viral, racking up 125,000 views in less than 24 hours of its release.

The filmmaker did not reveal any future plans to pair up Batman and Spider-Man in another video or in a rematch on the streets of Toronto. But according to Spider-Man, the world should not expect him to step up his game and right any major wrongs, such as the world’s economic troubles, in any new instalments.

“That’s a little beyond me,” he said.