George Pérez, the comic book artist whose work for both Marvel and DC made him one of the most acclaimed artists of the last 50 years, died today at age 67 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
Pérez worked on many iconic titles in his long career, including launching the New Teen Titans in 1980 with writer Marv Wolfman. Together, they created Cyborg, Raven and Starfire and had Dick Grayson become Nightwing. Though this may seem to be a massive achievement, the duo’s greatest success was Crisis on Infinite Earths, an arc they created in the 80s that completely reshaped the DC Comics Universe. The reboot killed several major characters in a multiverse saga that still resonates in pop culture forty years later. Pérez is also credited with rebooting Wonder Woman in 1987, and held two successful runs with the Avengers series.
Born in the South Bronx on June 9, 1954, Pérez worked as a studio assistant at Marvel before he turned 20, when his first comic book was published in 1974, Deathlok in Astonishing Tales #25. A friend of Pérez announced his passing via his Facebook account with a heartfelt tribute:
“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…Everyone knows George’s legacy as a creator. His art, characters and stories will be revered for years to come. But, as towering as that legacy is, it pales in comparison to the legacy of the man George was. George’s true legacy is his kindness. It’s the love he had for bringing others joy – and I hope you all carry that with you always.”
Survivors include his wife, Carol. A memorial service will take place at MEGACON Orlando at 6pm on Sunday, May 22nd. It will be open to all.