Super-Sports Showdowns: The Comic Book/Sports Hero Clashes We Want to See
Last week, DC announced that after thirty-two years, next fall finally sees a reprint of the 1978 classic, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali!
This is good news for many reasons, chief among them being that it's one of the most fun Superman stories of all time from the creative team of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams--you know, the guys who created Ra's al-Ghul in some of the best Batman comics ever--and the fact that it spent so long in an unreprinted legal limbo means that it's one of the few "lost" Superman classics.
But even more than that, we're interested in the potential this opens up for other stories of super-heroes battling real-life sports celebrities! So today, ComicsAlliance contributor Chris Sims brings you the super-hero sports mash-ups we want to see!
Superman vs. Lennox Lewis
Considering how successful "Superman vs. Muhammad Ali" was at its initial release (and its perennial status as a sought-after collector's item on the back issue market), it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's been revisited a couple of times over the years. John Byrne even managed to kinda-sorta bring it back into continuity with the "Superman: The Earth Stealers" graphic novel, but as the part of Ali was played by a giant alien -- and as it was not very good -- it's probably best to ignore that one.
The revamp that we really want to see, however, is one that we heard from Steve Lieber, who told us that his "Underground" collaborator -- and fellow 12 Days of Comics Christmas collaborator -- Jeff Parker wanted an early 21st-Century Superman to enter the boxing ring against three-time heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis! This would, of course, be awesome, if only for the scene where Superman would wonder "Lex Luthor, Lois Lane... now Lennox Lewis! Why do the initials 'L.L.' haunt me so?"
Green Arrow vs. Tiger Woods
A contest of skill between the JLA's resident archer and the century's most popular golfer might seem a little far-fetched (even by the standards of having a de-powered Superman train to box against the Greatest), but the similarities between the two are pretty striking.
For one, when you get right down to it, these are two guys that are really good at using sports equipment to put small objects exactly where they want them to go. And considering Ollie's history of cheating on his hot blonde girlfriend (later his wife) with pretty much any woman that roamed into his sights, it's safe to assume that they'll have a lot to talk about out on the course.
Aquaman vs. Michael Phelps
Training for a return to the Olympics, 14-time gold medalist Michael Phelps heads to the one place where even an athlete hailed as the greatest swimmer of all time can hone his skills: The fabled undersea city of Atlantis! Once he's there, however, Phelps is caught engaging in "behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment" -- namely hanging out with some students at Poseidon University, the sea floor's top party school, and using a "water pipe" to sample the forbidden seaweed -- and Atlantis's king takes it as a personal affront!
Thus, in order to restore peace between the United States and Atlantis, Aquaman has to race the man that holds 37 world records for swimming! It's the story Aquaman was born to star in.
For those of you who don't follow sports news, Michael Vick is the NFL quarterback who was convicted of running a multi-state dog-fighting ring called "Bad Newz Kennels" that involved him training dogs to kill each other and then hanging or drowning the ones that underperformed, which he claims he didn't realize qualified as cruelty. He served some time and then signed on to the Philadelphia Eagles, where his teammates voted to give him an award for players who "exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage."
Wild Dog, on the other hand, is DC's hockey mask-wearing equivalent of the Punisher, a hardcore vigilante who routinely finds himself tangling with "realistic" but bizarre foes, like "Die Hard"-esque "terrorists" and right-wing censorship advocate firebombers.
Clearly, these two have got to get together.
Okay, bear with us here because we know this is going to sound completely insane, but what if a gang of aliens came down from space and threatened to enslave the planet Earth unless a team of basketball players co-captained by Michael Jordan (because he's great at basketball) and Bugs Bunny (because he's... well, we'll get back to you on that) defeated them in a game of hoops. We'll have Quad City DJs do the theme song, and maybe even get Bill Murray to--
That actually happened? Seriously? It's not just a bizarre fever dream we had while we were doped up on cheap margaritas and Robitussin?
Bane vs. Hulk Hogan
Our first thought with Bane was to have him slug it out in a home-run derby against Major League Baseball's Barry Bonds to finally settle the debate over whether Venom or steroids made a better performance enhancing drug, but with his luchador mask and lace-up boots, is there any better place for Bane than in the squared circle of the wrestling ring?
Thus, we're putting Bane against pro wrestling's Hulk Hogan. They've both benefited from chemical treatments, they both have pretty limited repertoires (though we'll admit that Bane's backbreaker makes a much more exciting visual than the Hulkster's Atomic Legdrop), and they've both had surprisingly long careers that had undeniable peaks in the early '90s.
Which means the only question left is whatcha gonna do, Batbrother, when Baneamania runs wild on you?!