This review has taken me weeks to post, I got this set at the May MCM convention, that’s over a month ago. Why has it taken so long? Well the last picture in this review came out blurry (all of them I took, around 15) so I had to retake it – yes this took me a month to do. I lost the figures, I couldn’t get to the loft, I had a birthday, I had various small bouts of depression, I’m a lazy fuck, all kinds of shit. Now I have the pictures and with very little other content to post because I’m super busy with other stuff (including replacing all the pictures in over half of the posts on here) so I’m finally posting this bloody thing. SO… I went to MCM’s May convention, in was quite frankly better than it’s been in years, two rooms of dealers, a much bigger list of guests (doubly impressive as another convention was happening the same weekend) and just overall a better experience. Sadly my cosplay fell apart before I got in the damn place but that meant I got to walk around the whole thing in ratty clothes and socks, treating the place like it was happening in my living room, it was very satisfying. I came home with two sacks of stuff, some for my birthday (paid for by others), some for myself to enjoy at the time, such as this: Neca’s Superman vs Muhammad Ali two-pack.
It dawns on me that if you don’t know about this then you’re likely confused as to why anyone would make a two pack of figures featuring a boxer and a superhero. Well once upon a time, roughly 1976, DC Editor Julie Swartz came up with the idea of having the most famous person in the world team up with Superman. Celebrities have crossed over with superheroes more than you might think, even by this point, sometimes because they had their own books (like Bob Hope and Jerry Lee Lewis), sometimes because the celebrity wants it and is big enough to get it (like Eminem) and sometimes just because DC/Marvel thought it would sell or be cool (like this), Kiss and the Saturday Night Live crew have appeared in comics so Muhammad Ali shouldn’t be too ridiculous to comprehend. It took a lot of negotiations and behind the screens fiddling (rumour has it that Ali wrote his own dialogue) but the book finally came out as a huge coffee table sized $2 comic in 1978: All New Collector’s Edition C-56, complete with a tag-line to get some sales off the back of Star Wars (I kid you not: the ridiculously clunky phrase ‘Star Warriors’ is nearly as big as the two leads’ logos). The cover has become somewhat iconic in comic book circles and the book is one of my favourite Superman tales of all time; produced by one of comics’ best duos – Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams – it delivers on its concept and the hype that surrounded it, helped by the fact that Ali is one of the few real-world people who I believe could and would have done something like, oh, say, boxed an alien and won if given the chance. Usually the celebrities in these things feel out of place, or worse the book feels like double-sized issue long blowjob for them (read the Punisher/Eminem special for such things) but Ali was so big and so good and known for being so good that his involvement as Earth’s Champion in an alien pissing contest feels as normal as Superman’s, in 1977 they’re easily the first two people the world would have chosen, with Luke Skywalker being number 3.