With the recent passing of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, popular culture has exploded with renewed interest in his life and work.
One oddball element of Ali's career that has captured the imagination of a lot of people who never realized it even existed was the prestige format comic book adventure in which he boxed (and beat the crap out of) a de-powered Superman.
Now, apparently exercising a loophole in Mattel's licensing stranglehold over DC's library of characters, NECA will release a Superman vs Muhammad Ali 2-pack of 7" action figures.
You can see the images, courtesy Nerdist, who debuted the announcement, below. The figures will be available in October, with prototypes on display at Comic Con International: San Diego next week.
The figures are designed to look not just like their subjects, but specifically like the versions of them that appeared, as drawn by Neal Adams, in the comic itself.
The 72-page, oversized comic centers on Superman teaming up Muhammad Ali to thwart an alien invasion of Earth. It was written and drawn by the award-winning Green Lantern/Green Arrow creative team of Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, with figure inks by Dick Giordano and background inks by Terry Austin.
Ironically, the comic was delayed a handful of times and by the time it was finally released, Ali had lost his championship to Leon Spinks. He would defeat Spinks later in the year and reclaim the title, but at the time of the comic's publication, Ali wasn't the heavyweight champion. It didn't change --hell, even the actual loss to Spinks, and other losses he'd had before and would have after didn't change -- the fact that he was The Greatest, and that this comic is a singular piece of pop culture history that likely could never have been made at a different time or with a different fighter.