- 1 Synopsis for "Training"
- 2 Appearing in "Training"
- 3 Synopsis for "Preliminary"
- 4 Appearing in "Preliminary"
- 5 Synopsis for "Main Event"
- 6 Appearing in "Main Event"
- 7 Synopsis for "The Verdict"
- 8 Appearing in "The Verdict"
- 9 Notes
- 10 Trivia
- 11 See Also
- 12 Recommended Reading
- 13 Links and References
Synopsis for "Training"
While Clark Kent, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane interview Muhammad Ali in Metropolis, an alien suddenly materializes and pushes Lois aside before hitting Ali. After Ali punches the alien, Clark runs away and flies off to space as Superman, finding that he was correct in thinking that the alien might not have come alone.
The alien explains that he belongs to a race named Scrubb which rules over a vast empire and Ali being one of the best of human must fight their champion, otherwise they will destroy Earth. After Superman threatens him to explain, he states that they have seen the warlike nature of humans, perceiving that they will become a threat in future they want to prove themselves superior. He warns they will destroy Earth if Ali doesn't agree to the match.
Superman rushes off to stop the Scrubb spaceships as they try to demonstrate their destructive capacity but is unable to reach them in time. As one of them fires its missiles, he is unable to stop them as they are pure plasma. Superman saves St. Louis from being destroyed by redirecting them through a vortex he creates with his super-speed. He also prevents Bermuda from being drowned by a tidal wave from the resulting explosion.
The Scrubbs however succeed in destroying an island in the Pacific Ocean as Superman arrives too late. Ali agrees to the match after this demonstration, but Superman states he should fight as he's superhuman. Ali states he's the better fighter and as he's human, he has the right to represent Earth. The Scrubb alien decides to have the two fight for the right to face his race's champion within 24 hours, but Superman will fight without his powers.
Clark then takes Ali to his Fortress of Solitude where he uses a Kryptonian continuum disruptor to slow down time and give them two months for him to train him in boxing. Ali then trains him under a red sun fragment which depowers him. Meanwhile, the President of the United States Jimmy Carter orders a nuclear strike on the Scrubb armada stationed outside Earth.
The American attack however fails to do anything. The Scrubb who challenged Superman and Ali to a fight reveals himself as their emperor Rat'Lar and warns humans not to attack again, otherwise their armada will devastate the planet. He then sends his robots to fetch both the Earth fighters who have been training for two weeks, realizing they had slowed down time to bypass their timeline.
Superman and Ali are told by a Scrubb that he had ignored their deadline already by trying to slow down time and they will be taken to the Scrubb planet Bodace which revolves around a red star. They are also introduced to their champion Hun'ya. As they are escorted to their quarters, Superman states that he has uncovered a conspiracy and they must take down the Scrubbs.
Many intelligent beings from across the universe as well as humans are taken by the Scrubbs to Bodace to witness the fights, among them Lois and Jimmy who has been made the official commentator. If Hun'ya wins, Earth will belong to the Scrubbs.
Appearing in "Training"
- Adam Strange
- Alanna Strange
- George Foreman (Flashback only)
- Jabir Herbert Muhammad
- Jimmy Carter
- Metropolis Police Department
- United States Army
- YR2 (Destroyed)
- YR3 (Destroyed)
- Archie Moore (Mentioned only)
- Ezzard Charles (Mentioned only)
- Gene Tunney (Mentioned only)
- Jack Dempsey (Mentioned only)
- Joe Louis (Mentioned only)
- Morgan Edge (Mentioned only)
- Rocky Marciano (Mentioned only)
- Sugar Ray Robinson (Mentioned only)
- United Nations (Mentioned only)
- Bodace (First appearance)
- Bodace Stadium (First appearance)
- Outer Space
- Krypton (Mentioned only)
- Kryptonian continuum disruptor
- Red sun fragment
- Scrubb command ship
- Scrubb warships
Synopsis for "Preliminary"
During the preliminary fight to decide who will face Hun'ya, Superman is revealed to have chosen the boxer O.J. White who represented the United States at the Olympics as well as Perry White as his last-minute trainers. In the first round, the two are evenly matched as Superman imitates Ali's style.
In the second round, Ali begins to pummel Superman who refuses to quit. As the match progresses, it becomes clear that Superman has no chance of winning and Lois cries out for the fight to be called off. Eventually, Ali refuses to continue fighting him as the match can only end with a knockout. Superman however soon falls unconscious from the beating and Ali is declared the winner.
When Scrubbs arrive to take away the heavily injured Superman, Ali warns them to not touch him. Clark then is taken away by him and placed in an oxygen tent. Ali later tells everyone that Superman is in critical condition and needs to be quickly sent back to Earth to survive by regaining his powers, to which Rat'Lar agrees. The Scrubbs however had come to admire the Earth hero for not quitting and see him off.
Appearing in "Preliminary"
- Howard Cosell
- O.J. White
Synopsis for "Main Event"
Before Ali can fight Hun'ya, the goddess Athena appears. It is revealed the Scrubb respect her too and Rat'Lar agrees when she states that the fighters' minds will be infused with rules of fair play. She also allows Ali to use psychological warfare despite Rat'Lar's objections. Rat'Lar dares him to predict when he'll knock out Hun'ya and warns Earth will be destroyed if he's wrong. Enraged, Ali responds he'll do it in fourth round.
During the fight, Superman disguised as Drew Bundini Brown carries out his plan by hijacking Scrubb communications and pretending to be Rat'Lar, ordering the armada back to Bodace. Meanwhile Ali who was being pummeled by Hun'ya, is offered an alternative by Rat'Lar: the governments of Earth must agree to let the Scrubbs enslave all humans and in return Earth will be spared.
Angered, Ali starts fighting back and pummeling Hun'ya. Realizing his champion will lose, Rat'Lar orders his fleet to desolate Earth. While Superman struggles to stop the armada, Ali knocks out Hun'ya. Rat'Lar however states Earth will be destroyed anyway, but Superman destroys the whole fleet in time though he is grievously injured.
Rat'lar orders the rest of Scrubb fleet to attack Earth, but Hun'ya attacks him for being dishonorable while the Scrubbs disavow their loyalty to the emperor. Later Hun'ya has Superman rescued and explains that Rat'Lar had misled them by telling them that humans were dishonorable and eager to war, but now the Scrubbs have overthrown him. The humans and Superman are then returned home.
Appearing in "Main Event"
- Camouflage disruptor
- Scrubb warships
Synopsis for "The Verdict"
Days later, Superman meets Ali who asks how he knew they needed a plan to take down the Scrubb fleet. He explains that he had overheard Rat'Lar commanding his men earlier to destroy Earth regardless of who won, which is why he decided to formulate a plan. When it became clear to him that Ali will beat him, he memorized the layout of the Scrubb headquarters on Bodace before losing his powers.
Ali then reveals to Clark's surprise that he had caught on to his secret identity, since as Superman he knew Jimmy's camera had no film during their interview. As he was aware that only Lois and Clark knew about Jimmy's camera having no film, and Superman will never use his X-Ray vision on it as it spoils the film, he realized who he was. The two then shake hands as Ali says they are the greatest.
Appearing in "The Verdict"
- Drew Bundini Brown (Mentioned only)
- Jimmy Olsen (Mentioned only)
- Lois Lane (Mentioned only)
- Rat'Lar (Mentioned only)
- Scrubbs (Mentioned only)
- The wraparound cover guest-stars many heroes and characters of the DC Universe. In addition, it also features many celebrities, the then American President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Rosalynn Carter as well as employees of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and DC Comics. DC also published an infographic in the comic detailing the positions and names of all the people on the cover.
- The comic was reprinted in 2010, and is available in a facsimile as well as a deluxe edition
- One of Rat-Lar's poses in this issue was later used by Emperor Zaas in the opening of the Superman arcade game.
- Harley's Little Black Book #5 is a tribute to Muhammad Ali as well as this issue.
- Cover gallery for the All-New Collectors' Edition series
- Images from All-New Collectors' Edition Vol 1 C-56
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: Son of Kal-El (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)