Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 3, 2016

You Will See A Lot Of These Pages In The Days Ahead


Superman Vs Muhammad Ali is the entry point into the late, great boxer's larger-than-life existence for a lot of comics fans, and in many cases represents the entirety of those fans' engagement with him outside the public recognition he demanded of everyone.

It is still remarkable that this story exists, that Ali at this moment in his career, its late afternoon, had a public persona so grand and certain it didn't seem ludicrous to anyone involved that he beat the living shit out of Superman in the boxing ring or that he would play a key role in an overall drama of galactic proportions, that he would win over the space crowd. This is a clever comic in that they do all of this without having to inflate Ali the way a new band might get inflated on a teen-oriented drama to Beatles-level inciters of craziness. He's just Muhammad Ali. But that's enough. The comic wouldn't have been possible, would never be remembered, without the penetration into pop culture that Ali made all on his own, against colossal odds. The vision of Ali beating on the staid icon has its own, significant power, too, one that's good for any number of people to experience.

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