Sunday, May 08, 2022

RIP George Perez

Coming so soon on the heels of the loss of the great Neal Adams, is the loss of the great George Perez. This was not unexpected, but even though after his December diagnosis he said he had a few months left, just because you know it's coming doesn't make it easier.

So like with Adams, I'm not going to eulogize Perez, you can read the many tributes around the internet, all of which say he was a genuinely nice guy. Instead, I'll present a gallery of his Legion work from 1980-2013.

I just wanted to post this picture up top as one of the great "FUCK YEAH!" moments in Legion history, which was drawn by George.

In general, while doing my research, I'm breaking this down into three categories, though only showing the covers to the first set:
  1. Covers of Legion books
  2. Covers of books that a Legionnaire or two may be on, but it's not a Legion story
  3. Interior art
In 1980-81, shortly after arriving at DC from Marvel, Perez did a great number of covers across all titles, among which were six issues of LSH v2 (268, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281). He also drew Colossal Boy on the jam cover to LSH v2 300.

In 2007, Perez joined with writer Mark Waid for a six-issue story arc called "The Lords of Luck", featuring Batman, Green Lantern, Supergirl, Blue Beetle III, Lobo, and the Threeboot Legion versus the Luck Lords and the Fatal Five. The Legion cover-starred in issue 5 but the Luck Lords and the Fatal Five were throughout the whole arc. There was a new cover for the reprint collection.

In 2008-09, while the rest of the DC Universe was going through a Final Crisis, the Legion was involved in a side-story that involved the Retroboot, Reboot, and Threeboot versions of 3 worlds. The DC Universe #0 issue was a prelude that had a tease of "Legion of 3 Worlds" that didn't otherwise appear in the miniseries. The first printing had the Retroboot Legion in the center, while the second printing had the Threeboot Legion. An unused version of the cover of DC Universe #0 became the cover to the collected edition of the series, which had all three Legions.

Each of the issues of the miniseries had a variant cover (one full cover and one "sliver" cover). Issue #1 had a couple other versions, the first being a pencils-only version of the full cover (as the RRP variant) and one with that image as a sliver, as the second printing. 

After it was all over, Perez was at the Baltimore Con in 2009 and had this to say about working on L3W:

First, when asked about his "wish list" for future projects, Perez discussed the creators with who he wanted to work rather than characters. Basically, L3W fulfilled his last wish from his fandom days. For him, working with creators is what is interesting when considering new projects. He volunteered that having known Paul Levitz since their days in fandom, he would enjoy drawing a Legion project for him.

Perez did an interview in 2019 saying that this miniseries was basically the last thing on his bucket list that he wanted to draw.

Well, the irony is that the Legion, when I was growing up, was one of my favorite comics. I mean even over The Avengers because I loved all of the characters, all of the costumes, all the color.

I thought, one of the first comics I would ever do if I got the chance — other than well, I knew I wanted JLA, I knew I wanted The Avengers — but I really wanted the Legion of Super-Heroes. And then it took so long in my career to finally do a Legion of Super-Heroes story. I did a few covers, I did a few little pinups… but I’d never worked on a Legion story. They appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but then again, who didn’t?

Finally, Perez drew the cover to LSH v7 #20 in 2013 - and although I own the issue, I have no recollection of ever seeing it before today when I discovered it while researching this blog post. One final "new" (to me) cover on Free Comic Book Day and the day it was announced that he had passed away.

He also drew a number of covers that had a Legionnaire on the cover, though it wasn't a Legion book:

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths 1-10
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe 3-5, 13-18
  • DC Universe: Legacies 5, 6
And finally, issues that had interior art featuring (or at least guest-starring) the Legion:
  • DC Comics Presents 38
  • Best of DC Digest 24
  • Superman v1 423
  • History of the DC Universe 2

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