Back in 1978 DC Comics published an oversized 72-page comic book by Neal Adams and Denny O’Neill titled “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali”, a book which became an instant classic. Now, in 2016, DC Comics has teamed Neal Adams with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti to parody that classic story in the December 25 issue of “Harley’s Little Black Book #5”.
Newsarama.com caught up with the three comic book creators to discuss the how and why of the Harley Quinn vs. Superman boxing match. Here’s part of the interview…
Adams: It’s not done as a cartoon. It’s done realistically, but with that kind of MAD Magazine, sarcastic, funny attitude.
And there are a ton of gags, all the way through. It was so much fun. And I think if you were going to kind of play with Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, then Neal Adams is the one to do it.
Palmiotti: And if Denny O’Neill gets pissed, he can come after you.
Adams: But he won’t. Denny will laugh like a jackass. Believe me.
Q: Whose idea was it to do this? Jimmy and Amanda, did you come up with the idea to put Harley in the place of Muhammad Ali and kind of play around with that beloved issue?
Conner: We were struggling a little bit with what to do with Harley and Superman. We were trying to figure out what a good storyline for those two characters would be.
And then Jimmy…
Palmiotti: Actually, [DC Co-Publisher] Dan DiDio was telling me that Neal was available for some work. And I started laughing. And I said, “Well, maybe we can write a different version of the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali book, taking out Muhammed Ali and putting in Harley.”And Dan’s laughing, and I’m like, “No, no, no, I’m serious. Even though it’s about half the pages, we can still get kind of the story through there.”
And we just thought, “OK, now we need to see if Neal would be up to doing a parody of his own work.”
Adams: And of course, I was aghast and shocked. I was horrified something that approaches a sacrilegious endeavor would be thrown at me and I’d have to respond like a civilized person instead of tearing the wallpaper off.
Of course, I said yes.
Read the complete interview at the Newsarama website. Purchase “Harley’s Little Black Book #5” from TFAW.com, or buy it for the Kindle or iBooks.