1978: Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

Neal Adams - Superman vs Muhammad Ali (1978) [detail]

Who would win in a fight—Superman or Muhammad Ali?

The two duked it out in a 1978 comic. An evil space alien named Rat’Lar brings an armada to earth and claims that Earthlings’ warlike ways pose a threat to his race, the Scrubb; he demands that Earth’s greatest fighter battle the Scrubb champion Hun’Ya.

But a question arises: who is Earth’s greatest champion? Both Superman and Muhammad Ali step forward to volunteer, with Ali arguing that since Superman is actually himself an alien from the planet Krypton, Ali should wear the mantle.

Rat’Lar’s solution is to have Superman and Ali fight one another on the Scrubb home planet, which, orbiting a red star, will temporarily vitiate Superman’s powers. The event is broadcast on intergalactic television to thousands of planets, with Jimmy Olsen calling the fight.

Ali dominates in the bout, and, just as he pauses to call for a technical victory, Superman falls flat on his face, knocked outAli wins!

Neal Adams - Superman vs Muhammad Ali (1978) C

Ali also goes on to beat the Scrubb champion, with, perhaps surprisingly, the goddess Athena making an appearance to serve as referee.

The cover of the comic featured a host of 70’s celebrities in attendance at the fight, including Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller, The Jackson 5, Jerry Garcia, Liberace, and Andy Warholas well as a number of staff and characters from DC comics and Mad magazine. Wikipedia has the full list.

Neal Adams - Superman vs Muhammad Ali (1978)

DC also printed promotional tickets for the event:

Superman vs Muhammad Ali Promotional Ticket (1978)

Penciller: Neal Adams
Inkers: Dick Giordano, Terry Austin
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Colorist: Cory Adams

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