Athlete, statesman, icon, one of the greatest people of the 20th century….and star of one of the most indelible comics team-ups ever.
Muhammad Ali passed away last night at age 74 and the tributes to one of the most transformative individuals of his times are pouring in. But in 1978 Ali was already so well known that the only character who could challenge him on the page was Superman. And a legendary comic was born.
With a story by Denny O’Neill and script and art by Neal Adams (With inking by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin) this is, in some ways, the defining work of Adams career, as well as a definitive artifact of 70s comics. Originally printed in an oversized treasury edition, it was recently reprinted as a hardcover and in an oversized facsimile edition.
Get the facsimile. Seriously. The back cover alone, with its time capsule caricatures of everyone who was anyone at the time, deserves no less.
Ali was The Greatest and this comic does nothing to make you question that.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.