While Spider-Man has pulled off some pretty creative and innovative things, he may have one of the greatest boxers to thank for one particular feat. A match between Peter Parker and Queen Goblin apparently took inspiration from heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali.
In Gold Goblin #5 by Christopher Cantwell and Lan Medina, Norman Osborne in his Golden Goblin persona, along with Spider-Man, confront Ashley Kafka, aka the Queen Goblin. After triggering her transformation in public, the two begin to fight with the villain, with Peter doing his best to stoke aggravation in his foe. Queen Goblin strikes, but can’t seem to hit Spider-Man.
In response to a discussion about the scene on Twitter, writer Christopher Cantwell mentions how much fun he had crafting the page with artist Lan Medina. Cantwell also reveals that Queen Goblin’s inability to land a punch on Peter was actually inspired by a moment in boxing history. Cantwell includes a link to a YouTube video of Muhammad Ali’s 1977 exhibition bout with rising heavyweight boxer Michael “Dynamite” Dokes. Like Spider-Man, Muhammad Ali avoids every punch thrown his way, even taunting his opponent slightly.
Float Like a… Spider?
He might seem like a friendly, neighborhood hero, but the truth is that Spider-Man is one of the most impressive forces in the Marvel Universe. With his unique physiology and intelligent mind, Peter Parker has pulled off some truly remarkable things in his time as a superhero. Whether it’s stopping a plan from crashing or supporting the weight of the Daily Bugle, the ol’ Webhead has shown that his powers have taken him far beyond what average people are capable of. Even in a world inhabited by powerful aliens, mutants and literal gods, Spider-Man consistently proves himself to be one of the dynamic heroes around.
But as shocking as his superhuman achievements are, it’s even more impressive seeing Spider-Man do something that has some form of basis in reality. Granted, few people in the world could do the things that Muhammad Ali was capable of. He was, after all, considered one of the best heavyweight boxers to ever compete in the sport. But his triumphs in the ring thrilled audiences everywhere and set the gold standard of what a human could do. Having Spider-Man essentially recreate the bout isn’t just a coy reference, but a tribute to a truly skilled athlete.
Spider-Man’s Best Moves Honor Muhammad Ali
From fighting Superman to inspiring Spider-Man, Muhammad Ali remains a venerated figure, even in comic books. The legacy of Muhammad Ali continues to this day with fans of boxing still holding him up as an icon. While superheroes inspire readers in their own ways, it’s nothing compared to the impact athletes can have in the real world. Spider-Man may have Spider-Sense that warns him of any incoming danger, but for Ali, it was all natural skill. Hidden tributes like these are a reminder that there are figures in the real world far more impressive than even the most notable of superheroes. Fans can see Muhammad Ali’s tribute from Spider-Man in Gold Goblin #5, on sale now.