In the latest Legends Revealed comic, check out a George Perez Year One miniseries we missed due to Heroes Reborn.
Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and twenty-eighth episode where we examine three comic book legends and determine if they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three captions.
George Perez almost wrote and drew an Avengers: Year One miniseries
After spending a decade at DC, George Perez made his triumphant return to Marvel in the 1990s with Infinity Gauntletwhile doing wonder woman at CC.
After leaving this project, Perez notably worked for Malibu Comics, before and after the purchase of Marvel. However, during this time his return to Marvel also saw him do projects here and there for the publisher, such as a cover for the Avengers Diary in 1993 (as well as a classic 30th anniversary poster that I used for the header of this post)…
(By the way, even back when I thought that, how annoying is it to see a classic artist like George Perez having to draw the costumes from that era for something like that? “Oh, we know that Scarlet Witch will definitely be wearing this costume for over a year. Yes sir, let’s immortalize this costume!”)
The great Scott Braden did one of his Lost Tales pieces about the project (although I first read about the failed project in Perez’s Modern Masters from TwoMorrows by Eric Nolen-Weathington).
Perez was asked by Ralph Macchio in 1992 to do an Avengers graphic novel (presumably with the idea of releasing it in the Avengers 30th anniversary year of 1993). Perez was hesitant because he hadn’t followed the Avengers since he left the book in 1980, but Marvel editor Tom DeFalco gave them an idea of the project, as he noted: ” (Former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief) Tom DeFalco suggested I do a “retro” story which led Ralph and I to come up with the beginnings of a Year One Avengers story. needed a hook that would make it stand out from the rest.”
Perez found this hook by telling the story from the perspective of the Avengers supporting cast (Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts for Iron Man, Jane Foster for Thor, etc.).
Perez recalled, “It was (the late Comics Buyer’s Guide editor) Don Thompson who made the comment, ‘Superheroes are never as interesting as the people they affect. That’s what makes these modern gods so interesting – the way people react to them. And, when I started writing this story, I wondered how I would feel knowing someone with superpowers. So through Jarvis, Jane, Pepper and the others, they were my proxies. Their initial reactions to these heroes were similar to my reaction to these characters when I encountered them in the pages of The Avengers and their own books. I also wanted to do what Kurt (Busiek) ultimately did with Marvels, in that I wanted to show how people reacted when they first saw these heroes – that first palpable sense of wonder mixed with a sense of duty, since the supporting cast was actually involved with superheroes. They were hired help. For superheroes to be super, these characters had to take care of the mundane, everyday activities.
Although initially a graphic novel, time has passed (and Perez has done other projects, like the legendary Imperfect future mini-series in prestige format), it finally became a mini-series in prestige format which was to be drawn by the great Angel Medina…
However, when it came time to do the project, Medina was then hired as a new regular artist on The Incredible Hulk…
Remember Medina’s awesome Pulp Fiction tribute cover?
Perez then recalled, “Having lost my cartoonist, I then asked Ralph, ‘Why don’t we get this guy named George Perez to draw him?’ Because the whole time I was writing the story, I couldn’t help visually imagining what I was going to do with it.
But then disaster struck (for the project, at least). Heroes Reborn was coming and obviously a Year One mini-series wasn’t going to happen while the Avengers were being produced by Extreme Studios (then Wildstorm Studios)…
Luckily, when that thing ended, Perez actually returned to the Avengers as a new regular performer on the revived series…
However, the project (which would have been called Avengers Assemble) was now dead in the water. Perez noted, “I had some things planned with some of the character backgrounds like Iron Man that I can’t do now since Kurt Busiek wrote his book. And, I would never impose my opinions on other people’s stories. But, because he was also the writer of Avengers, and he and I agreed on how to portray specific characters, we were able to incorporate some of those ideas from Avengers Assemble into the show. But sadly, Avengers Assemble is a dead project, and that’s what it should stay.”
Be sure to check out Branden’s article for more details on what Perez has planned with the plot. Sounds really cool, because it takes the Avengers right up to the classic avengers #16.
SOME MORE LEGENDS OF ENTERTAINMENT!
Check out some entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:
1. Did Alec Guinness come up with the idea for Obi-Wan Kenobi to die in Star Wars?
2. Did the US Army buy a hundred thousand Viewmasters during WWII?
3. Did Hormel Foods sue the Muppets for making fun of spam?
4. Did Perry White almost play a James Earl Jones in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman?
PART TWO COMING SOON!
Check back soon for part 2 of the legends of this episode!
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