Monthly Archives: July 2013

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Kryptonian Flamebird

180 Celebrities, Comics Professionals and Other Folks Making an Appearance on the Cover of 1978’s Superman vs. Muhammad Ali 

(Click to view a much larger version of the image.)

Does this comic hold the record for the most celebrities packed into one cover? I’m too lazy to research the answer, so let’s just agree the answer is yes.

Published in 1978 to capitalize on the heavyweight champion’s popularity at the time, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali delivered exactly what it promised: a bout between Ali and Superman (who was de-powered to make it a little more of a fair fight) before they teamed up to save the Earth from evil aliens.

The original cover for this special, 72-page oversize comic featured an audience of non-descript boxing fans cheering them on, but then Neal Adams was brought in to jazz things up with a few celebrity cameos. You might say he made good on that assignment.

Below is a complete list of all the faces depicted on this wraparound cover, with notes where needed.

1. Muhammad Ali
2. Superman

DC Characters
(Some superheroes appeared in costume and some did not; wherever they didn’t, I listed their civilian identities first.)
3. Barry Allen (Flash)
4. Iris Allen
5. Batman (yeah, I don’t know why Bruce Wayne showed up for the fight in costume, either)
6. Billy Batson (Captain Marvel)
7. Mary Batson (Mary Marvel)
8. Boston Brand (Deadman)
9. Arthur Curry (Aquaman)
10-13. Challengers of the Unknown (Red Ryan, Ace Morgan, Professor Haley, Rocky Davis)
14. Morgan Edge (Clark Kent’s boss at the time)
15. Carol Ferris
16. Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel, Jr.)
17. Garth (Aqualad)
18. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl)
19. Dick Grayson (Robin)
20. Carter Hall (Hawkman)
21. Shiera Hall (Hawkgirl)
22. Roy Harper (Speedy)
23. Hal Jordan (Green Lantern)
24. Dinah Lance (Black Canary)
25. Lois Lane
26. Lex Luthor
27-33. Doc Magnus and his Metal Men (Mercury, Platinum, Tin, Lead, Iron, Gold)
34. Martian Manhunter
35. Jimmy Olsen
36. Ray Palmer (Atom)
37. Alfred Pennyworth
38. Plastic Man
39. Diana Prince (Wonder Woman)
40. Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)
41. Rac Shade (Shade the Changing Man)
42. Steve Trevor
43. Donna Troy (Wonder Girl)
44. Wally West (Kid Flash)
45. Perry White

Other Fictional Characters
Ms. Mystic (a Neal Adams creation)
47. Alfred E. Neuman (the MAD mascot)

Kirk Alyn (played Superman in the 1948 Superman serial)
49. Lucille Ball (star of I Love Lucy)
50. Sonny Bono
51. Johnny Carson
52. Cher
53. William Conrad (longtime actor/narrator, best known in 1970s for his starring role in the TV series Cannon)
54. Robert Hegyes (played Epstein on Welcome Back Kotter)
55. Ron Howard (played Richie Cunningham from Happy Days)
56-60. The Jackson 5 (Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, Michael)
61. Jack Larson (played Jimmy Olsen in the 1950s Superman TV show)
62. Liberace
63. Noel Neill (played Lois Lane in the 1950s Superman TV show)
64. Tony Orlando
65. Donny Osmond
66. Marie Osmond
67. Ron Palillo (played Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter)
68. Christopher Reeve (wearing glasses)
69. Wayne Rogers (played Trapper John on M*A*S*H*)
70. Frank Sinatra
71. Raquel Welch
72. Wolfman Jack (hugely popular radio personality in 1960s and ’70s)

Political Figures
Jimmy Carter (then-current President of the United States)
74. Rosalyn Carter
75. Betty Ford
76. Gerald R. Ford (President of the United States, 1974-76)

Sports Celebrities
Jim Bouton (MLB pitcher)
78. Joe Namath (NFL quarterback)
79. Pelé (Brazilian athlete considered greatest soccer player of all time)

Literary/Arts Celebrities
Jill Krementz (author, photographer, wife of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)
81. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
82. Andy Warhol

Muhammad Ali Cornermen
83. Bundini Brown
84. Angelo Dundee
85. Don King
86. Charles Lomax
87. Herbert Muhammad

Neal Adams’ Continuity Associates
Founded in 1971 by Adams and Dick Giordano, CA (now called Continuity Studios) acts as an art packager for comic publishers, as well as providing motion picture storyboards, conceptual design and advertising art for clients.
88.Jack Abel
89. Neal Adams
90. Mark Alexander
91. Joe Barney
92. Pat Bastine
93. Cary Bates
94. Joe Brozowsky
95. Joe DiEsposito
96. John Fuller
97. Mike Nasser
98. Carl Potts
99. Marshall Rogers
100. Trevor von Eeden
101. Bob Wiacek

Other Editors/Writers/Artists
Vicente Alcazar
103. Sergio Aragonés (and oh, how I would have loved to have seen Aragones’ interpretation of this cover)
104. Terry Austin (credited as co-inker of the book)
105. Tex Blaisdell
106. Rick Bryant
107. Howard Chaykin
108. Frank Cirocco
109. Ed Davis
110. William M. Gaines (legendary MAD editor)
111. Dick Giordano (credited as co-inker of the book)
112. Archie Goodwin
113. Gil Kane
114. Paul Kirchner
115. Paul Kupperberg
116. Bob Layton
117. Bob McLeod
118. Denny O’Neil (“Script based on an original story by…”)
119. Bruce Patterson
120. Byron Preiss
121. Ralph Reese
122. Pat Rooney
123. Joe Rubenstein
124. Tom Sciacca
125-126. Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster (Superman’s creators, who in 1978 were only recently being publicly credited in all comics and films starring their most famous creation)
127. Walt Simonson
128. Flo Steinberg
129. Greg Theakston
130. Alan Weiss
131. Wally Wood
132. Berni Wrightson

DC Staffers
Jack Adler
134. Murray Boltinoff
135. Midge Bregman
136. E. Nelson Bridwell
137. Cary Burkett
138. Vince Colletta
139. Shelly Eiber
140. Carol Fein
141. Mike Gold
142. Arthur Gutowitz
143. Larry Hama
144. Jack C. Harris
145-146. Sol Harrison/Mrs. Sol Harrison (it’s not made clear in the issue why Harrison’s spouse was included on the cover and no one else’s, or why she wasn’t identified by her own first name in the legend in the book’s inside cover)
147. Jenette Kahn (DC’s publisher at the time)
148. Joe Kubert
149. Bob LeRose
150. Joe Letterese
151. Paul Levitz
152. Lillian Mandel
153. Allen Milgrom
154. Steve Mitchell
155. Bill Morse
156. Joe Orlando
157. Bob Rozakis
158. Frieda Sacco
159. Julius Schwartz (credited as editor of the book)
160. Milton Snapinn
161. Anthony Tollin
162. Morris Waldinger
163. John Workman

Warner Communications Executives
Sol Himmelman
165. Caesar Kimmel
166. Joseph P. Grant
167. Bert Wasserman
168. Frank Herrera
169. Albert Sarnoff
170. Jay Emmett
171. David Horowitz
172. Steven J. Ross (CEO of Warner Communications at the time)
173. Emanuel Gerard
174. William Sarnoff
175. Kenneth S. Rosen
176. Dan Goldstein

Neal Adams’ Family
177. Jason Adams
178. Joel Adams
179. Kristine Adams
180. Zeea Adams