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SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI, who remembers this one? Not long after the seminal DC/Marvel crossover in which Superman teamed up with Spider-Man in 1976, boxing promoter Don King stepped into DC Comics' sanctum sanctorum and proposed a bout between the Man of Steel and the Louisville Lip. In 1978, the monumental 73-paged one-shot issue came out.
We know of Ali's impact as a cultural icon and his stand against the Vietnam War. His exploits in the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manila are legendary. But did you know that Ali also helped save the Earth from an alien menace? See, what had happened was: The extraterrestrial people, the Scrubbs (yeah, they shoulda picked a better name), have deemed humans to be too warlike and a threat to the other alien races in the galaxy. This sets up a mega-boxing match between the Scrubbs' champion and Earth's champion, with the Scrubbs armada hovering over Earth ready to destroy it should our warrior loses. With the stakes so high, Superman steps up to the plate.
Except that the planet's reigning heavyweight champ, Muhammad Ali, takes exception. Superman tells Ali: "You may be the best human scrapper, but I'm super human!" To which, Ali retorts: "Right. But that's exactly why you shouldn't! They're talkin' about an Earthman... an' you were born on Krypton!" With both men unwilling to back down, there was only one way to settle things: duke it out in the ring to see who would represent Earth.
The story's highlight, of course, is the donnybrook between Ali and Superman (and that was a hell of a fight). In the confines of the story, theirs would only be the undercard, the main event still that match for all the marbles against the Scrubbs' formidable pugilist.Read more ›
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I bought this out of nostalgia. I remember when it originally came out in the larger format. I remember being captivated by the premise, dazzled by Neal Adams' artwork (with an able assist by both Dick Giordano and Terry Austin!), and swept away by the package as a whole. Although there is a current release that duplicates the larger page size of the original, I opted for this "Deluxe" format for the extra material that it promised.
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. This is not so much the fault of the book as it was my expectations. I long ago sold my copy of the original, and like an old friend I'd lost touch with I was eager to become reacquainted with this book. But like some old friends, the years haven't been kind.
Neal Adams is still Neal Adams, and no one can hold a candle to his figure work, his composition and design sense, and his page layouts. Many have been inspired by his work, some have clearly been influenced by it, a few have even aped it. But he has few peers. And Denny O'Neil is one of my all-time favorite writers for a reason. Both are best when they are free to collaborate and create without limits. This work, being the product of a more corporate culture than usual, with a larger committee and more voices with more influences, leaves a lot to be desired.
The biggest weakness I spotted when reading this for the first time in nearly 30 years was how hokey the story is and how hackneyed the dialogue comes off. I learned something that my 20 year old self didn't know, Denny O'Neil did not finish writing the script, and Neal Adams contributed a great deal to the story. I've learned from his recent Batman: Odyssey that Mr.Read more ›
When I was a lot younger, I bought C-56 of the DC Giant books. It was a story of Superman. It also showcase Muhammad Ali the fighter and the man
When I saw this reprint in the book store, I bought it. The super special has vanished from my young adulthood. In a way, buying this was a recapturing my youth.
I remember the Neal Adams art made this book extra special. Adams gave this book a special feel as he brought to the Batman and Green Latern/Green Arrow of the 1970's. Did I love this book, GAWD YES!
Now as an adult, this coffee table volume has a special place in my heart. There are a few fault in Superman mythos which changed slightly in the 1980s when John Bryne (Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 2 took the Man of Steel in a different direction. That should not keep you from your enjoyment of this SUPER tale. The bond of the page is slick and glossy, like a coffeetable book..NOT like the news print that the original book had in the 1970's.
The Adams art is still more quality that comics do have today nor do not really have anymore. With his art, it as it did before, it is part of the extraordinary storytelling process that will intrigie and enjoy any reader.
With Ali getting older, this collector's item is a rare event for both someone into Boxing and Superman fans. Some may call this a kid's book, Believe me it isnt!
It is well worth having in anyone collection
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
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I remember having the original Treasury Edition of SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI as a kid and re-reading it so many times that eventually it just apart, so this re-release has me really excited. By the late '70s Ali had become larger than life, and the closest we had to a real-life Superman, so it was only natural for the two biggest superheroes in the world to square off in a titanic battle for the ages. Written and drawn by Denny O'Neil and Neil Adams, Superman vs Muhammad Ali involves an alien race threatening to destroy the world unless Earth's champion can defeat the aliens' mightiest warrior. Superman of course steps up to the challenge, but before he can he enlists the help of Ali to train him. What follows is an exciting, action-packed story of epic proportions. The original comic was 80 pages long, printed as a large treasury edition, the story so big that it couldn't be contained in a regular comic book. Its wraparound cover was one of the most iconic ever created with Superman and Ali squaring of in the ring, with a panoramic shot of an audience made up of various DC comic book characters and the biggest real-world celebrities of the day; Sonny and Cher, Andy Warhol, and current President Jimmy Cater were just a few of them. If I have one (minor) complaint about the reissue its DC's decision to release it in two different formats.The deluxe hardcover edition is presented at the same size as the original, while the other is printed (with additional material)in the same smaller format of DC's other hardcover releases. Why not just do one big release in hardcover, followed by a paperback edition of the book later down the line? Despite these gripes I have to give each edition an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali truly is one of the best Superman stories of all time!