Rest in peace, George Pérez

The renowned artist of ‘New Teen Titans,’ ‘JLA/Avengers’ and more passed away from Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.

Legendary artist and Eisner Hall of Fame member George Pérez passed away yesterday at the age of 67 from Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.

Pérez revealed his heartbreaking diagnosis last year and took every opportunity over the last few months to connect with fans of his work. The news was shared by his friend, Constance Eza, who manages his Facebook page.

“We are all very much grieving but, at the same time, we are so incredibly grateful for the joy he brought to our lives,” Eza said in the Facebook post. “To know George was to love him; and he loved back. Fiercely and with his whole heart. The world is a lot less vibrant today without him in it. He loved all of you. He loved hearing your posts and seeing the drawings you sent and the tributes you made. He was deeply proud to have brought so much joy to so many.”

The post states that a memorial service for the artist will take place at MEGACON Orlando at 6 p.m. on May 22. It will be open to all.

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Dark Crisis expands with five specials focused on the Justice League members who just died

‘Dark Crisis’ will run through December with multiple tie-ins, crossover issues and more.

DC has revealed more of their plans for Dark Crisis, the big event series spearheaded by Joshua Williamson that kicked off in Justice League #75 with the “death” of several members of the Justice League.

I put “death” in quotes because with this latest announcement, we find out that all those dead Leaguers will appear in a series of specials over the next few months, with the big conclusion to the event expected to land in December.

Here’s a look at what’s been announced thus far:

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Hero Initiative will bring ‘JLA/Avengers’ back into print

Marvel and DC’s biggest and arguably best crossover event returns to print next month in honor of artist George Perez.

JLA/Avengers, arguably one of the greatest comics crossover events ever and, hell, probably a contender for one of the greatest Avengers AND Justice League stories of all time, will find its way back into print later this year thanks to the Hero Initiative.

The organization announced a special limited-edition reprint collecting the stellar miniseries by Kurt Busiek and George Perez, with the intent to honor “one of George Pérez seminal bodies of work and his long-time support of Hero.” Perez is a founding member of their board of directors and has served as chair of its Disbursement Committee, and this of course follows the news from last year that the legendary artist was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.

JLA/Avengers walked a long and winding road to publication, with many speed bumps and false starts along the way.

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George Perez diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer

“It’s quite uplifting to be told that you’ve led a good life, that you’ve brought joy to so many lives and that you’ll be leaving this world a better place because you were part of it.”

Legendary artist and Eisner Hall of Fame member George Perez has shared the heartbreaking news that he has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.

“It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year,” he said on Facebook. “I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.”

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The Justice League at 60, Part Four: Conway’s Corner

Tom Bondurant continues his look back at 60 years of the Justice League.

Check out part one, part two and part three of this series!

Ask a Marvel fan about Gerry Conway and you’re likely to get an answer involving Gwen Stacy. Ask a DC fan about Conway and the answer may well involve his eight years as regular writer of Justice League of America. We’ve mentioned his statistics already, but they bear repeating: Gerry Conway wrote 102 of JLA‘s 261 issues (including 81 in the Satellite Era), plus one of its three annuals. Original JLA writer Gardner F. Fox is in second place with 65 issues.

Between Fox and Conway, an assortment of writers worked with the scarily dependable penciller Dick Dillin. Denny O’Neil, Mike Friedrich and Len Wein each contributed solid, multi-year runs before writing duties were shared among a bullpen for three years. After that was Conway’s immediate predecessor Steve Englehart, whose 10 oversized issues successfully combined existing DC lore with new characters and relationship-driven subplots. Included in the latter was friction between Flash, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman over her alleged bossiness (in reality mind-manipulation from new villain The Construct). Englehart left everyone on good terms, but it was awkward and a little bumpy getting there.

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Hulk’s evil alter ego gets an origin story in August

Peter David, Dale Keown and Germán Peralta present “Maestro” this summer.

The former Hulk creative team of Peter David and Dale Keown will reteam to tell the origin story of the Maestro, the evil, future version of the Hulk from the landmark Future Imperfect miniseries.

They’ll be joined by artist Germán Peralta as they reveal how the Maestro took over the world after a nuclear holocaust.

“I had no idea that when I first created the Maestro for Future Imperfect that he would have the kind of popularity and staying power he has now,” David told Marvel.com. “Until now, I’ve only been able to allude to his origins, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore them in this series, and I can’t wait for fans to see all the artwork that’s been coming in!”

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George Perez announces retirement from comics

The Eisner Hall of Fame member cites health reasons for his decision.

Over the weekend, Eisner Hall of Fame member George Perez formally announced on his Facebook page that he plans to retire “from the business of creating new comic stories.”

He cited his health as a driving factor in his decision, but also stressed to fans that they need not worry about him. Over the last few years, Perez has suffered from diabetes, heart ailments and vision problems with his left eye. He also noted that the retirement will mean the end to private commissions, while convention sketches will be very limited.

You can read his entire post after the jump:

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