Superman vs. Muhammad Ali Deluxe share button
Dennis O'Neil
Format Hardcover
Dimensions 7.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)
Pages 96
Publisher DC Comics
Publication Date November 2010
ISBN 9781401228415
Book ISBN 10 1401228410
About Book
Two legendary figures meet for the first time in this spectacular adventure, as an alien race called the Scrubb demand that Earth's greatest champion battle their world's own greatest fighter. Both Superman and Muhammad Ali step forward -- and to determine who is truly Earth's greatest fighter, Superman temporarily loses his powers and faces Ali in the ring. Ultimately, the duo must work together to defeat the Scrubb, with Ali taking on their champion while Superman battles their space-armada. Features previously unpublished developmental artwork and other bonus features, at DC's Deluxe Edition trim size.

Publishers Weekly

Afraid that the violence-prone Earthlings pose a danger to the galaxy,the alien Scrubb (more intimidating than their name suggests) have blockaded Earth. They have agreed to leave if Earth's champion defeats theirs in single combat. But who should defend the planet in this ultimate prizefight: superhuman alien Superman, or world-champion boxer Muhammad Ali? The answer lies inthis reissue of the original 1978 teamup. Authorized by Ali at the height of his fame, DC handed the reins to the creative team that rejuvenated Green Lantern/Green Arrow with gritty social relevance.. Writer O'Neill handles the challenge of an absurd premise expertly, engineering a plot that allows Superman and Ali to work together, while still giving fans several scenes of the two going at it in the ring. His characterization is sharp, particularly catching Ali's unique combination of swagger and social conscience. Adams's pencils (finished by the late Dick Giordano and then rookie Terry Austin) are simply gorgeous. He handles street scenes and spaceship battles with equal aplomb. And the centerpiece prizefight is expertly staged and rendered with the dynamism that made Adams a superstar artist. Adams handles quieter moments equally well, conveying subtle emotions in just a few pencil lines. Long unseen due to licensing issues, this holds up as a solid story despite the hokey premise. (Nov.)

Library Journal

Another pairing of a little real with a lot of unreal, this collector's item first appeared in 1978, during a period when Superman chummied up with quite a few then-celebrities. Such stories raise serious challenges for character development and plot, since both can be constrained by the reaction of the celebrity unless the purpose is pure satire, such as Antarctic Press' Sarah Palin: Rogue Warrior comic. Another challenge for O'Neil and Adams was setting up a situation where two obvious good guys must fight each other. So it's the psychopathic Rat'lar, emperor of the alien Scrubb race, who demands a Superman-Ali match so that the winner can fight the Scrubb champion. The prize: survival of Earth. The buildup offers pretty standard superhero fare, but the denouement gets quite inventive when Superman and Ali hatch a plot involving switched identities and feigned skills interspersed with the expected heroics. VERDICT This enjoyable read allows us to watch Ali trash-talk at the aliens, who don't know what to make of him, and teach Superman how to box. Really! Extras include sketches and commentary. A classic recommended for teens and up.—M.C.