Friday, May 21, 2010


So: who is the greatest fighter in the DC Universe? Why, it's this man (hint: not the guy in blue and red):

Panels from All-New Collectors' Edition #C-56: Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (1978), plot by Denny O'Neil, script and pencils by Neal Adams, inks by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin, colors by Cory Adams, letters by Gaspar Saladino

That's the Greatest Of All Time, the Champ, the former Cassius Clay, Mister Muhammad Ali, TKO'ing Superman in one of the greatest comics of all time,. Superman versus Muhammad Ali. (To be fair to the Supester, they were fighting under a red sun.) But any man who can knock out the Last Son of Krypton has got to be considered one of the DCU's mightiest warriors of all time. That's why this little stuffed bull was very disappointed that the deus ex machina of "Blackest Night" wasn't Muhammad Ali punching the livin' daylights out of all those Black Lanterns. Now that would be an uncontested victory, folks!

On the other hand, the Muhammad Ali of the Marvel Universe...? Eh, he ain't so tough:

Panels from Iron Man #145 (April 1981), co-plot and script by David Michelinie; breakdowns by John Romita Jr.; co-plot, finishes, and inks by Bob Layton; colors by Roger Slifer; letters by Joe Rosen

Man oh man, a Muhammad Ali that shies away from a fight with Iron Man? That's not the real Muhammad Ali. That's why I think Iron Man #145 is the first appearance in the Marvel Universe of the Skrull replacement for The Greatest, which explains why you didn't see him out there punching Skrull warships through the Baxter Building in Secret Invasion.

Y'all know I'm the biggest little Marvel fanbull around. But here's one argument that I'm gonna have to give the DC Universe the trophy belt on: they have the best Muhammad Ali in all the multiverse.



Dave said...

One of my favorite books of all time, the Supes vs. Ali.

chiasaur11 said...

Ah, Ali just knew about Tony's alcohol problem years before anyone else did. Beating him up wouldn't be sporting.

Why he left Thor and Beta Ray Bill on the fight card.

Dean said...

I still say Batman would beat Ali like a red-headed stepchild.

Unknown said...

Michelinie wrote THE BEST celebrity cameos.