Neal Adams’ oversized 1978 comic book “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali” pitted the Man of Steel against the world’s greatest fighter. To the shock of young DC fans, the brawl left the Last Son of Krypton bruised and bloody.
Adams talks about his knockout comic in the newest episode of “Hero Complex: The Show” in the second segment of a two-part interview conducted on the floor of Comic-Con International in San Diego this summer.
In a nutshell, some nasty aliens called the Scrubb arrive on Earth and threaten to invade unless the planet’s greatest champion will fight their massive, snarling gladiator, Hun’Ya. Superman steps forward as the obvious choice, but then Ali cries foul; Superman is an alien himself and if Earth needs a champion, shouldn’t it be a human?
Superman and Ali then fight for the right to go, and since the Man of Steel is stripped of his powers during the bout, Ali wins. But the two heroes of Earth have a plan of their own that involves working in the same corner, not just trading blows.
“This is the reintroduction of Superman,” Adams said. “I got to reintroduce Superman to anybody who hadn’t read the ‘Superman’ comic books. You read this, and you go, ‘Oh, that’s Superman. I get it. Battling in space with aliens. Fighting for the earth. Just like Ali is fighting in the ring.'”
Adams said he wants to be remembered as “the father of comic books.”
“I truly believe that this is the greatest medium that artists have ever had,” he said. “It is going to be, in my opinion, the greatest form of graphic arts and storytelling that has ever existed on Earth. And if I can be considered to be right there at the initiation of it, that’s great for me.”
Watch the rest of the interview in the video above.
— Noelene Clark and Geoff Boucher
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