Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, Deluxe Edition (英語) ハードカバー – 2010/11/16
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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 Features previously unpublished developmental artwork and other bonus features, at DC's Deluxe Edition trim size.
Dennis O'Neil began his career as a comic book writer in 1965 at Charlton, where then-editor Dick Giordano assigned him to several features. When Giordano moved to DC, O'Neil soon followed. At DC, O'Neil scripted several series for Giordano and Julius Schwartz, quickly becoming one of the most respected writers in comics. O'Neil earned a reputation for being able to "revamp" such characters as Superman, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel, and Batman, whom O'Neil brought back to his roots as a dark, mysterious, gothic avenger. Besides being the most important Batman writer of the 1970s, O'Neil served as an editor at both Marvel and DC. After a long tenure as Group Editor of the Batman line of titles, he retired to write full-time.
Neal Adams was born June 6, 1941 in New York City. He attended Manhattan's High School of Industrial Art and, while still a student, found work ghosting the Bat Masterson syndicated newspaper strip and drawing gag cartoons for Archie Comics. Neal received his own comic strip based on the popular TV series Ben Casey in 1962. The strip ran until 1965 at which time Neal made the move to comics for Warren Publishing and DC Comics. Neal's realistic style on Deadman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow, at odds with the more cartoony comics of the day, made him an immediate star. He became DC's premier cover artist, contributing radical and dynamic illustrations to virtually the company's entire line. Neal's work has also appeared in Marvel's X-Men, The Avengers, and Thor, on paperback book covers, and on stage, as the art director for the Broadway science fiction play, Warp. In the 1970s, Neal and partner (and frequent inker) Dick Giordano started the art agency Continuity Associates out of which came, in the 1980s, Continuity Comics. Neal is the winner of several Alley, Shazam, and Inkpot Awards, and was inducted into the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.
You sometimes forget what an icon Muhammad Ali was to our culture; he like Superman looked for truth, justice, and the American Dream. The story itself is timeless, it could have taken place today. Superman and Ali must fight each other to save the earth. The writer deftly handles the plot convention of making sure each man is seen as heroic. There is a nice little twist at the ending where Ali shows he is not just about fighting but has brains to match. the team-up itself feels natural and not forced.
The key to the cover that is laced with celebrities in attendance from the late 1970's is really cool to go through (I did not know Rac Shade and the Challengers of the Unknown were at ringside.
One note; if you want something closer to the size of the original edition by the facsimile edition from Amazon which is of bigger dimensions.
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. Co-writers Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil inject several nice touches that elevate the story. First, of course, is that Ali's presence makes this a fascinating curio piece. The writing pays homage to Ali and Superman's core personas, to what makes them such lasting iconic figures. I thought the Greatest was portrayed terrifically, his dialogue sounding true to form. He even predicts the round he'll knock out his opponent. Neal Adams draws the thing, and maybe the highest compliment I can pay him is that Ali looks like Ali. Adams is such an awesome, dynamic artist. To segue some, Dick Giordano and Terry Austin, two of the best inkers in the biz, do great embellishing Adams' pencils.
Superman has abilities far beyond those of mortal man. Doesn't mean he knows squat about the Sweet Science. In the interest of fair play, to prep for their big fight, Ali teaches Superman the basics of boxing. And maybe my favorite part in this story is how their fight unfolds, and the outcome. Many alien races descend on our solar system to attend this mega-event, and Neal Adams really does justice to the scope of the story. Jimmy Olsen as the ringside boxing commentator, I can take or leave (mostly leave). The story isn't limited to the squared circle, of course. There's a sneaking suspicion that the Scrubb leader is headed for a seriously heel turn, and sure enough we get treated to duplicity and an undercover mission, to an epic space battle which pits Superman against an alien armada and Ali again proving that he's a baaaaad man. To cap it all off, the epilogue features Ali demonstrating a phenomenal bit of deduction. It certainly leaves Superman flustered.
Bonus material for this hardcover Deluxe Edition consists of a brief foreword from Neal Adams; an afterword by Jenette Kahn (who at the time was DC's publisher); a reprinting of the famous wraparound cover - which featured a galaxy of celebrities who were relevant back in the '70s and a host of those then on the DC Comics staff - and a key which identifies all the people on the cover; and eleven pages of Neal Adams' pencil sketches.