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by DENNY O'NEIL • NEAL ADAMS • DICK GIORDANO • TERRY AUSTIN
OVER THE YEARS, SUPERMAN HAS HAD LOTS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE RING, BOTH WINNING AND LOSING!

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SUPERMAN #155 JIMMY OLSEN #55 ACTION #372


BUT FORMER WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION MUHAMMAD ALI WAS NOT EXACTLY AN AMATEUR EITHER!

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IT'S 1978 -- TIME TO GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY... AND YOU'VE GOT TICKETS! COURTESY OF WRITER DENNY O'NEIL AND PENCILLER NEAL ADAMS. (INKING IS CREDITED TO TERRY AUSTIN AND DICK GIORDANO -- MANY OTHERS INKED PARTS OF THIS BOOK, BUT THEY ARE UNCREDITED!)

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ORIGINAL "NO CELEBRITIES IN THE AUDIENCE" COVER FOR THE BOOK, DONE BY JOE KUBERT!

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NEAL ADAMS' FINAL VERSION OF THE FRONT COVER -- ALMOST. MICK JAGGER, LOWER LEFT CORNER, WAS REPLACED!

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THE FINAL, STAR-STUDDED VERSION OF NEAL ADAMS' 1978 MASTERPIECE, HIS PERSONAL FAVORITE COMIC!

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COVER STORY

There never had been before, and probably never will be again, such a celebrity-packed cover as the "Superman vs. Ali" wrap-around by Neal Adams. Talk about A-listers! Most prominent on the FRONT cover are, from right to left, then-President Jimmy Carter and wife Roslyn, Sonny Bono, Batman, Lex Luthor and boxing promoter Don King (way back before his hair became electrified). In the background, among others, are Johnny Carson, Christopher Reeve (in glasses), and Lucille Ball, and dozens of DC staffers. Studying the BACK cover is like entering a time tunnel to the Seventies. Immediately noticeable is Frank Sinatra seated next to DC publisher Jeanette Kahn, near President and Mrs. Gerald Ford, Cher, Donnie and Marie Osmond, singer Tony Orlando, DJ Wolfman Jack, and writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

There are also loads of DC superheroes in their secret identities, including Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Barry Allen (Flash), and Ray Palmer (Atom). Also present are tons of DC writers and artists, such as Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Seigel, a self-portrait of Neal Adams, plus Julie Schwartz, Cary Bates, Gil Kane, Bob Wiacek and many more. Former movie Supermen Kirk Alyn and Christopher Reeve are there, so are TV supporting cast members Noel Neill and Jack Larson. Strangely, so are the "real" Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. There are hundreds more -- even including (at the bottom center) Mad magazine poster boy Alfred E. Neuman.

YEARS LATER, ADAMS RECREATED HIS "SUPERMAN VS. ALI" COVER FOR A SPECIAL EDITION OF ESPN MAGAZINE!

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THE GREATEST BY THE GREATEST: MUHAMMAD ALI, PENCILED BY NEAL ADAMS!

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ADAMS' LAYOUT, SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE FINISHED, INKED AND COLORED PANEL!

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LOOK WHO ZETA-BEAMED IN FOR THE BIG FIGHT -- ADAM STRANGE AND ALANNA! IS SARDATH IN THE BACK SEAT?

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THE FIGHT IS ON! THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME VS. THE WORLD'S GREATEST SUPERHERO! SUPES HAS NO POWERS!

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SUPERMAN, FIGHTING WITH NO SUPER POWERS, LOSES! THE FIGHT ENDS, AND THEN...

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A MEMBER OF ALI'S TEAM TAKES OUT ONE OF THE ALIEN BAD-GUYS! ADAMS' PENCIL LAYOUT, AND FINISHED PANEL!

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"THE ONE AND ONLY SUPERMAN," AS RENDERED BY THE ONE AND ONLY NEAL ADAMS.
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THIS SPREAD IS ADAMS' PERSONAL FAVORITE OF ALL HIS COMIC BOOK WORK, AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING!

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ADAMS THUMBNAIL LAYOUT OF THE ART USED TO CONCLUDE THIS EPIC STORY -- BUT JUST THE TOP HALF!
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POST SCRIPT: IRONICALLY, BY THE TIME THIS OFT-DELAYED BOOK WAS FINALLY PUBLISHED, MUHAMMAD ALI WAS NO LONGER WORLD CHAMPION -- LEON SPINKS WAS! THIS EMBARRASSING SITUATION PROMPTED MARVEL TO HAVE A LAUGH AT DC'S EXPENSE IN AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #186...
Dialogue by Marv Wolfman • Art by Keith Pollard and Mike Esposito
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THE END!
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