Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, DC Comics, $19.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-4012-2841-5
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 in this 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.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Comics
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