Monday, December 13, 2004

Superman vs. Mohammad Ali

I have stumbled across this comic many times over the years but I have never sat down and read it until today.
I am not sure why, I have always been curious, since I am a fan of Superman and Ali.
I also wanted to know how the heck the two of them got in the ring, and why Ali was able to LIVE after his bout with Superman.


All due respect to Ali, but this is like pitting Hulk Hogan against the Brooklyn Brawler.

Now I KNOW what happens and I will share it with you. If you don't want the story spoiled for you, click here and you can read the whole comic online.

The cover has some awesome artwork, including just about every celebrity they could think of drawn into the audience. Everyone from Lucille Ball to Batman has shown up for the fight.


The comic opens up in the ghetto of Metropolis. Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are off to meet Ali on a schoolyard basketball court. Ali tells us "In the ring I'm the greatest. In the schoolyard I am merely terrific."

Bold words, Ali. Ali may be good a Boxing, but lets see how he ranks against the GREATEST ATHLETE OF ALL TIME: AIR BUD!

ALI: Terrific, he said so himself
AIR BUD: Also terrific

ALI: Unknown.
AIR BUD: See 'World Pup'

ALI: Unknown
AIR BUD: See 'Seventh Inning Fetch'

ALI: The Greatest
AIR BUD: Alright, so Ali is a better boxer.
Anyway, back to the comic book. As Jimmy Olsen talks to Ali and an Alien named 'The Scrubb' comes down to talk to Ali. Kent steps into an alley and becomes Superman. When he arrives to 'save' Ali, the two argue about who should fight the Scrubb.

See, Ali wants to fight the aliens since HE was born on Earth and Superman was born on KRYPTON. But, Superman argues, he is a NATURALIZED citizen.

You might think this is the silliest exchange in the entire comic, but just wait a few pages.

The Scrubb insists that Ali and Superman fight each other, or else he will bomb the earth or something terrible like that. The next twenty pages or so are nothing but filler. The aliens launch a series of missiles so Superman flies into space to stop them, then they blow up an island. At some point Superman puts Ali into a plastic bubble and takes him into outer space.

Ali sees a spaceship and proclaims "Wooo-eee, thems some digs! Looks like a cross between 'Lost in Space'. 'Star Wars' and a pregnant blender."

Uh huh.

Let's play "Be Mohammad Ali" it's lots of fun.

Step 1. Look at any electronic device
Step 2. Make a loud exclamation (ex. Wooo-eee!)
Step 3. Make a reference to a TV show and a movie
Step 4. Name another, unrelated electronic device.
Step 5. Give that device a medical condition

Here are some I have tried:

The cell phone: Yippee! Looks like a cross between Knight Rider, The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes and a coffee machine with a bleeding ulcer!

The computer: Howwwdeee! Looks like a cross between A.K.A. Pablo, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and a butter churner with a hangnail

The Microwave: Sluuurp! Looks like a cross between Saved by the Bell: the College Years, Bio-Dome and a television with an infected pancreas

Yeah, it's good to be Ali.

As the comic goes forward, we learn that Superman has a special boxing ring that slows time down. For some reason he also has a collection of dinosaurs because he doesn't want to collect "bottle caps."

We then meet Herbert Mohammad who is part of Ali's ring team. He looks just like Steve Harvey.

Or as Ali would say: Hot Doggie! He looks like a cross between The Cosby Show, The Little Mermaid and a toaster with the gout.

As they gear up for the fight Ali and Superman come up with a bizarre and WAY too elaborate scenario that includes someone else wearing a Superman suit and chicken people watching a boxing match.

We also learn that Superman is wearing his suit into the ring because aliens think all humans look alike (or at least Steve Harvey and Herbert Mohammad do.)

I won't give away everything about the end (mostly because I forgot a lot of it already) but they Superman and Ali don't really have a boxing match.

We do find out that Ali knows that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person and Jimmy Carter runs calls the UN at the first sign of aliens.

Still, this ISN'T the strangest Superman crossover ever:

That honor goes to the Pat Boone crossover. Yes, Superman needs to use all of his powers to stop a Pat Boone song from being a hit.

I am on the edge of my seat.