Posts Tagged ‘JLA’

**In DEEPEST SPACE lie’s the dormant Superhero Satellite, a hulking historical archive long abandoned by its crew sits in dark silence. A lone beacon light flashes to indicate functionality. A suddenly flicker illuminates the main monitor as the ships living computer for no apparent reason activates its internal systems. The hum of the onboard fans and motors whirl into almost life like a life support system kicks in. Yes despite its abandonment this Satellite is very much functional..very much still alive technologically speaking. The screens fill with images…comic panels of its former owners youth. Images of a Universe wide Crisis, others showcasing a female Amazon Warrior doing battle, Super Teams from different universes colliding, the birth of a universes most versatile villainous threat donning a fearsome gauntlet. As the screen toggle’s through thousands of images it lands on the image of their creator…a legend in our archives and this writers introduction to a life long hobby. That name is George Perez. Welcome home heroes this blog is back for a celebration…a celebration of artistic excellence. *

I was spoiled as a comic’s fan. My introduction to comics, I will argue, is a case of starting out on top and then everything else is a downhill situation. My first comic that I bought on my own free will was the George Perez/Marv Wolfman New Teen Titan’s number 1. I was absolutely hooked. It shined with brand new characters, plus my favorite DC character at the time was Robin, he of Batman fame! The book was electricity to this 6 year old’s eyes. I didn’t know it at the time but this was my gold standard that all else would be compared to. Perez was special..if there was such thing as a PERFECT draftsman it’s George. On December 7th George announced to the world he had terminal pancreatic cancer and had 6 months to a year to live. The outpouring of love for George on social media was nothing short of incredible and heartwarming. This article is not an obituary. It is not a career retrospective this is simply a note to George to thank him and tell him how much his work impacted me. So Mr. Perez.. this ones for you.

First, an introduction to our Mighty Marching Super-Blog Team-Up (YES I KNOW it doesn’t rhyme work with me here!!) Super-Blog Team-Up is a collective effort that occurs quarterly and involves blogs, podcasts, YouTube networks and more to create content on a single theme and launch on one specific day. We all know the amount of content out there in 2022 in regards to podcasts and video platforms can be overwhelming and the blogging format often takes a back seat. The folks at the SBTU believe that great work should be shared and this is the heart and soul of our band of brothers (and Sister!) to keep the heart beat of bloggers and content creators alive and visible. If you enjoy this post the good news is there is much more to enjoy. At the bottom of these writings you will see a whole host of links for more Super-Blog Team-Up action. If you are a Twitter nerd like me why not use the hashtags #SuperBlogTeamUp or #SBTU for access to all of our past events! Now with formalities out of the way on to the reason we have all assembled to celebrate the works of one special artist in our industry Mr. George Perez.

I had read plenty of comics growing up. I was reading nearly everything on the rack and grocery cash lanes. The All-Star artist’s of my era were John Byrne, Frank Miller, Neal Adam’s, Jim Aparo, Gene Colan just to name a few..a heavyweight line up if there ever was one. Another “Hero fact” was that I was a tried and true DC Comic’s kid! Batman and Detective were my go-to books first every month. 



I had noticed George’s work on the Avengers but at that young age I did not have a discerning eye enough to say “that’s George Perez book!!”.. or “That’s a John Byrne book.!!” You just knew what felt right. You just knew that this was what the characters were meant to look and feel like. One of the biggest qualms I have with looking at a modern comic is that they simply didn’t feel like a comic. Digital artwork simply doesn’t look like pencil on paper. It just doesn’t. There is a defined rule set that makes great comic art for me. They are simple rules magnon

First it’s the visual. Do the characters look they way they should? Did the artist get Superman’s face right? Were Batman’s ears big enough? One of the biggest disappointments of my life was reading Jack Kirby do Super Powers. Superman just wasn’t right, Wonder Woman looked like a cro-magnon cross dresser. I realize now looking back the issue was not Kirby….it just wasn’t George.

Two. Is the artist able to convey realistic characters in not only action poses but just acting and living on the page like regular humans??

Three. Bombascity. Did the work jump off the page. Was it exciting? Visually challenging? 

Finally. The details!! A good artist can draw a solid character shape on the page. A great artist can design a living and breathing world for these characters to live in with great backgrounds, lush environments and mind blowing original sets that just send you deep into your imagination. 

For me Perez checks everyone of these boxes and in many cases wrote the book on them!! Character’s looked and felt alive inside the pages. He conveyed emotion in all the characters he created and drew and for that 15 minutes you held a Perez book in your hand you lived in his world because it was real! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is titans-header-sbtu.jpg

Back to New Teen Titans. Starting with just the cover alone this book was special. The covers made the books “MUST SEE” and it featured a toy box of new characters like Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy and Cyborg who were born under George’s pencil. Whether it was battling Deathstroke, or Brother Blood you had someone making these hero’s and villains live on the page. Robin a character decades old never looked so good and George matured him and it felt “right”. The New Teen Titans were my team!! 

As my exposure to comic’s advanced I was introduced to such Legends as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr. , and John Buscema to name a few but none of them seemed in my young eyes to be on the level of Perez during this time. As I said at the start, I was spoiled out of the gate. Of course as years went by I learned to love all the aforementioned names but I also knew what outstanding pencil work looked like.

George who had cut his teeth on such books as the Avengers in the 1970s, as well on books such as Werewolf By Night, Fantastic Four and the InHumans…It would be the opportunities he received at DC that would propel him to superstardom. 

Perez was the man to call on when DC wanted to reset their entire run of books that they had published since 1937. Competition between Marvel and DC had heated up and the once mighty DC comics were now no longer the top dog in the industry as Marvel had found its way into the hearts and minds of comic readers. DC responded by buying up other companies such as a now defunct Charlton Comics and other existing properties in an attempt to realign their offerings. One massive problem DC thought they had was something that is very popular these days…the idea of the multiverse. The idea of multiple earth’s and realities was an issue creatively. The years of continuity was a creative hindrance for DC creative and the decision was made to wipe the slate clean with an all encompassing event known as Crisis On Infinite Earths. The idea was to streamline the years of muddled continuity into a clean linear singular universe. A massive undertaking to be sure but the question was who would bring this epic to life visually? George Perez was the man behind the 12 issue epic and it was incredible! It was here Perez showcased his magnum opus. 

All of George’s strengths were on display. Not only could George make magic in a multi person team book drawing multiple characters and scenes ..with Crisis On Infinite Earths he had to draw the entirety of the DC Universe. Every single character..drawn with style guide perfection. 

His mastery of scenery and intricate detail that was George’s signature. Every world, every space, scene, building , landscape all picture perfect. George Perez had arrived..and no one could touch him.

Every artist has their signature book..a signature Hero or maybe a team they hang their hat on. George had already made waves with epic runs on Avengers and The New Teen Titans. Now with DC rebooting its entire history it challenged it’s creative teams to re energize their core heroes to make them compelling to a very Marvel loving comics buying audience. Somewhere DC lost their “cool” factor and Marvel was the buzz at the comic shops. The first thing in DC’s plan was to inject the Trinity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman- DC’s Big Three!) with life blood with big time creative engines. Miller revitalized Batman following the legendary Dark Knight Returns 4 issue Limited Series.  John Byrne re imagined Superman with Man Of Steel.  In 87 Perez took full creative reigns on Wonder Woman both writing and drawing the book for 24 issues but staying on the book until issue 61 after stepping away from his artistic duties For me it was the first time Wonder Woman had felt and looked significant in forever. George drew her as a strong and powerful female super heroine who didn’t play second fiddle to the boys. The books direction became grounded as Perez took steps to develop her supporting cast of Amazonian’s, and pulled deeply into her Greek god roots. It was a transformation. This version is the same model they use in her modern incarnations in comics and on the big Hollywood Screens.

Perez’s Wonder Woman is such a departure as he establishes her as a force to be reckoned with better than any arc prior to this. The third string, love sick girl running around in her underwear was replaced with a dead serious Amazonian warrior, a creation of the gods just as powerful and certainly a more experienced fighter than her trinity counterparts. Wonder Woman was finally a full fledged top shelf character in DC and the magic of this shift in narrative set the table for everything we know about Wonder Woman today.

Where does George Perez stand in the pantheon of comics greatest artists? I get that opinions are subjective. Every one has their favorite’s and have good reasons for them. I am a fan of “Comic Book” art. I know great pencils when I see them. I look for detail. I look for emotional resonance. I look for realistic character interactions and I would argue that George Perez has mastered every element of what I love in a comic. He was my introduction to the comics world and was an entry drug like no other. They say you always remember your first and as I said at the beginning I was spoiled out of the gate holding that issue of The New Teen Titans. I would love to think that George himself may some how stumble upon this blog and my words and if he does I want him to know that his work meant something. It inspired people to read and create inside this medium and future generations of artists at this very minute are trying to emulate the work that he has done. Super-Blog Team-Up was created out of love for the comics medium and I know I speak from every one of our team when I say THANK YOU George you are loved and appreciated.

This is only the beginning. The Mighty SBTU have so much more detailed analysis of the very best Perez work out there. I urge you to check out all the amazing talent that makes up the Super-Blog Team-Up and their incredible articles and podcasts all about the master of the pencil… Mr. George Perez!

Until next time Satellite Subscribers we will see you all again…after a while! For MORE Super-Blog Team-Up action you need to go right now and check out the work of my fellow collaborators by clicking the links as we continue to discuss the work of one George Perez!

END TRANSMISSION…

  1. The Superhero Satellite: PEREZ

https://wp.me/p2N3Qb-1Lo

2. Between the Pages Blog: George Perez’s Uncanny X-Men

https://www.betweenthepagesblog.com/2022/01/george-perezs-uncanny-x-men.html

3. Source Material Comic Podcast: Brave and the Bold #1-6

https://www.spreaker.com/user/5870686/sm-perez-bandb-amped_7

4. The Telltale Mind: Hulk: Future Imperfect.

https://thetelltalemind.com/

5. In My Not So Humble Opinion: I-BOTS from Tekno Comix

https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2022/01/20/i-bots-from-tekno-comix/

6. Dave’s Comic Blog: Avengers #150, Fantastic Four #176, Justice League Of America #184, New Teen Titans #1 https://davescomicheroes.blogspot.com/2022/01/george-perezs-fantastic-titanic-firsts.html

7. Comics Comics Comics blog: JLA/Avengers: It Had to be George https://comicscomicscomics.blog/?p=1709

8. Chris Is On Infinite Earths: X-Lapsed

https://www.chrisisoninfiniteearths.com/

9. . The Daily Rios: A George Pérez Celebration #2

https://thedailyrios.com/

10. Radulich in Broadcasting Network: Comic Stripped: Logan’s Run

W2Mnet.com