Muhammad Ali in Comic Books

Muhammad Ali in Comic Books

I’m not really a huge fan of comic books but I do realize the importance of preserving history and documenting pop culture. Most museums have archives that are centrally based on art, social and political history and current events. The Museum of UnCut Funk collects material that is relevent to the history of The Greatest Decade Ever…the 1970’s, in which the lives of Black folks was more defined and forever altered.

The Museum Of UnCut Funk has discussed and exhibited the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali comic book and a group of lithographs that Ali created during the 1970’s in our Funky Stuff blog. Because of our love for Muhammad Ali, we have done a little research and see just how many comics he appeared in.

Superman vs Muhammad Ali 1978

DC Comics released the renowned comic book at its original size in hardcover facsimile and deluxe editions circa 2010. Although the story is equally important in this comic book it’s the cover of the book that’ most exciting. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali’s wraparound cover shows a host of late 1970s celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Tony Orlando, Johnny Carson, Ron Palillo, Welcome Back, Kotter, The Jackson 5, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, and other DC superheroes; as well as Warner Brothers and DC employees.

Joe Kubert was originally asked to draw the cover, and his version (a black-and-white sketch of which still survives) didn’t feature any celebrities, but just a “normal” raucous crowd of boxing fans. DC didn’t approve of Kubert’s likeness of Ali, however, nor the overall grim feeling of the piece, and asked Adams to draw the book instead. Adams’ original cover illustration (modeled very closely on Kubert’s layout), included Mick Jagger in the front cover’s lower left corner; he was replaced in the final version by fight promoter Don King.

Muhammad Ali vs Superman cover art in black and white by Neal Adams courtesy of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art circa 2011

Below are a list of comic books that Muhammad Ali appeared in and comics that the Museum Of UnCut Funk will be acquiring for it’s archives. So for all you freaks, geeks, funkateers and collectors of all things funky, kool and hip we hope you can dig it.

MAD #90 October 1, 1964

MAD #111 June 1, 1967

MAD #185 November 1, 1976

MAD #195 December 1, 1977

MAD #225  September 1981

MAD # 387 November 1. 1989

Mad Magazine that has been a staple of american society since the first issue in 1952. Mad is published by EC comics and started out as a comic satiring other comics but when the comics code was created MAD was changed to a magazine because the limits were looser. Mad Magazine has been see in TV Shows like The Simpsons and Mad the cartoon series. Mad Magazine was also seen in the 1966 movie  Fahrenheit 451. In 1995 there was a TV show called Mad TV it lasted for 14 years until 2009, when it ended.  In 2010 they started an animated series called Mad. It makes fun of everything: old stuff and new stuff from tv shows, movies, comic books and everything from Mad Magazine.

Cracked #35 April 1, 1964

Cracked #136 October 1, 1976

Cracked #139  January 1, 1977

Cracked #142 July 1, 1977

Cracked #178 July 1, 1981

Cracked #2 June 1, 1988

Herbie #14 1964

Magicman, Nemesis, and Herbie and an appearance by Muhammad Ali

Crazy #57 1973

Not Brand Echh #10 October 1, 1968


Iron Man #145 1981

Louis vs Ali 1993

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