Thursday, January 20, 2022

George Perez's Fantastic Titanic Firsts

Welcome to something a little different this time around, as I get a little personal about my favorite artist, George Perez, and reflect on a few of the places I first encountered his work on certain titles (focusing on the big teams) over the years for my entry this time for the Super Blog Team-Up.

Avengers Assemble

To start, the first Avengers issue I read featuring George Perez on art (well, about half the issue), written by Steve Englehart, with interior inks by John Tartaglione and cover inks by Mike Esposito, Avengers #150 (August, 1976), well into George's first run of Avengers, but still pretty early in his career.

What an issue to be introduced to the Avengers!  True, Steve and George only did the first 6 pages, and half of that was historical info on the Avengers, with the last half being a reprint of the Avengers first roster change into Cap's Kooky Quartet, this and its following issue was a great place to start on the long history of the Avengers, and gave me a love for this team (and you can follow that start here as well).

Improbable As It May Seem - The Impossible Man Is Back In Town

Next up, the only issue of the bunch with a cover by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott, is this Roy Thomas penned tale, with George inked by Joe Sinnott on the inside, Fantastic Four #176 (November, 1976), as the first time I encountered George with the Fantastic Four.

Following up on a run of issues where Ben Grimm was a man in a Thing suit, here Ben and his three fantastic teammates were returning to Earth in a space ship as Ben had changed back into the Thing.  Due to some mishaps, the team crashed their spaceship into Central Park.  

With all the excitement, the team lost track of their guest, the shape changing Impossible Man (who, in his wandering found the offices of Marvel Comics, and had some adventures with Stan, Jack, Roy, George and the rest of the Marvel Bullpen...which also allowed George to draw some parts of the Marvel Universe he hadn't gotten too yet....).

More than a little love for the Fantastic Four here, as I covered their Marvel Index book (as well as the Avengers one).

Apokolips Now

Here, a switch, and a bit of a bittersweet issue, as George took over art duties from Dick Dillin, who had passed away only finishing the first five pages of this issue, is Justice League of America #184 (November, 1980), written by Gerry Conway and cover inks by Dick Giordano, with interior inks by Frank McLaughlin.  This being George's first JLA issue (though I had read many before).

The second part of a three part JLA/JSA crossover involving the New Gods, a chance to throw George into the deep end of the DC Universe as he switch over from Marvel, with small teams of Justice League and Justice Society members working with Jack Kirby's New Gods against the forces of Apokolips as they tried to resurrect Darkseid (showcasing George's ability to do backgrounds, like when he did Marvel's Logan's Run!)

More of this JLA/JSA team up here, and the other JLA/JSA team up George drew here!

The Birth Of The Titans

Last, but by no means least, New Teen Titans #1 (November, 1980), written by Marv Wolfman, with cover inks by Dick Giordano, and interior inks by Romeo Tanghal, technically the second appearance of the team (though only Raven and Robin were in DC Comics Presents #26 in a non-dream sequence), this was chosen for that incredible cover, and its historical significance.

The Titans had been a team before, but things were going to be different here, as the alien Koriand'r (later to be Starfire) was making her way to Earth, as empathic Raven started to manipulate Robin into reforming the Teen Titans with old standbys Wonder Girl and Kid Flash (adding an infrequent member, Beast Boy, to the team, but giving him the new name of Changeling...and setting up future storylines for Donna, Wally and Gar).

Raven was also motivating injured Vic Stone to accept the deal life had given him by turning this student athlete into Cyborg, getting him to go along with the rest of the team.  These Titans, together, rescued Starfire from the Gordanians she had escaped from, but the mysteries of why Raven would want this group together would unfold over the next few issues (as well as the problems that Wilson lad would give the team, especially after his father got involved as well).  

Here, a little more history of the newer members of the Titans team, with more of George's artwork!

Since I'm breaking tradition a little, going more with my feelings towards the material as opposed to just the facts, here, a picture of me with the legend himself, from the Motor City, where I was his overflow line coordinator (and got a chance the next day on my off day to meet and get a sketch from of three times I've met Mr. Perez over the years, and I'm grateful to have done so as he is a fantastic person).

I am not only only fan who appreciates the work of George Perez, so here are a few more articles from the SBTU gang!

Here they are:

The Superhero Satellite:


Between the Pages Blog:

George Perez’s Uncanny X-Men

Source Material:

Brave and the Bold #1-6

In My Not So Humble Opinion:

I-BOTS from Tekno Comix


JLA/Avengers: It Had to be George

The Telltale Mind:

Future Perfect - Hulk: Future Imperfect

Comics Comics Comics blog (JJG):

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