Cover gimmicks date back to the earliest days of comics, be it stunt-artists, strange substances (cardboard, Tyvek, chromium-tungsten alloys) or the dreaded variant edition.  But legendary artist Neal Adams may have given us the best cover gimmick of all back in ’78 on the Treasury-Sized ‘Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali’, thanks to the magic of his oversized canvas: More than 150 celebrity cameos!

SVMACover(To avoid eyestrain, I recommend right-clicking and opening in a new tab.)

With guest stars ranging from the Teen Titans to the sitting President Of The United States, this cover is a tour de force of rendering madness for Adams, totally worth the effort of looking at up close.  (Adams even works in cameos of his own family and his creator-owned character Ms. Mystic, if you look close enough.)

The handsome man in the lower-left corner often misidentified as Ali watching himself fight is actually Pele, the futbol star, as we find thanks to Adams’ legend from the inside cover of the comic itself.  This cover serves as a fascinating, exhaustive (and exhausting) look at pop culture, circa the late 1970s.Legend

Who knew Liberace was a fight fan?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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1 Comment

  1. June 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    In Finnish edition one of the people was replaced by Urho Kekkonen, president at the time. I think he was number 84.

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