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The Greatest George Perez Stories Ever Told!

Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest George Perez Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

10. Justice League of America #195-197 “JLA and JSA vs. the Secret Society of Super-Villains”

This story, written by Gerry Conway, opened with a very memorable cover (shown above) and had a notable good ol’ brawl between the good guys and the bad guys!

9. Avengers “The Serpent Crown Saga”

This storyline came in #4 on the Greatest Steve Englehart Stories list, and makes Perez’s top ten, as well.

This is early Perez, just starting to come to prominence, and this storyline sure helped, as this sprawling epic had everything, including time travel, the Squadron Supreme and President Nelson Rockefeller!

8. Avengers #161-162 “The Bride of Ultron”

This was a dramatic two-parter by Perez and writer Jim Shooter that both A. Set up Hank’s later emotional problems (and his infamous slap of Jan) and B. Introduced us to Jocasta (well, not called Jocasta yet).

In this dramatic tale, a clearly insane Ant-Man attacks the team and teams up with Ultron to “save” the Wasp’s life by giving her a robot body (of course, Ultron is actually using Pym to kill Wasp and use her life force to activate a robot bride for Ultron).

In battle with Ultron and a new weapon, a bunch of Avengers are seemingly killed by Ultron, leading to the living teammates to vow to avenge their friends’ deaths (one of the times “avengers” really worked).

This leads to a thrilling conclusion with still more twists in store.

7. Avengers Vol. 3 #1-4 “The Morgan Conquest”

This is the story that began Perez’s acclaimed run with writer Kurt Busiek!

6. Wonder Woman #1-6 “Gods and Mortals”

This is the beginning storyline of George Perez’s reboot of Wonder Woman, which he plotted and drew!

5. Avengers Vol. 3 #19-22, 0 “Ultron Unlimited”

This epic storyline by Busiek and Perez really gave us the “ultimate” Ultron storyline!

It also has one of the coolest moments in a Marvel comic of the past fifteen years or so!

4. Hulk: Future Imperfect

This story came in #1 on Peter David’s Greatest Stories Told list, so it is not surprising to see it here, as well, as this was a great story set in the future that gave Perez a lot to work with, action, drama and an extremely memorable museum piece that looked like it took Perez years to draw, that’s how detailed and cool it was!

3. New Teen Titans “The Judas Contract”

This was the game-changing story arc in New Teen Titans that revealed a traitor among the Titans and introduced a new member of the Titans and new identity for Dick Grayson!

Not only that, but an origin for Deathstroke the Terminator!

Written by Marv Wolfman (I believe Perez co-plotted, though), this is one of the most acclaimed Titans stories of all time.

2. JLA/Avengers

Almost 20 years after Perez began work on a similar project, the massive Marvel/DC crossover pitting their preeminent teams against each other (and then with each other) was written by Kurt Busiek, but it was Perez who had the task of making dozens and dozens of superheros look cool, while managing to both A. have as many Justice League and Avengers members appear as possible while B. still keeping things coherent.

It’s amazing that he pulled it off (Kurt Busiek as writer surely helped).

1. Crisis on Infinite Earths

One of the most memorable stories of the past three decades, Crisis (written by Marv Wolfman) involved George Perez drawing effectively the entire DC Multiverse.

Plus, of course, one of the greatest covers of all time, which you see above.

That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!

47 Comments

I’ve read so few Perez stories, but I have read some issues from both of his Avengers periods (And a couple of Teen Titans, but that was so long ago I don’t remember them well). I thought his later Avengers work was even better than the early stuff. The newer colouring techniques really suited his penciling style.

I heard once that Perez is one of the only artists who actually prefers drawing large teams. That JLA/Avengers story must have been a dream job for him. (And it’s hard to think of any other artist who could’ve handled so many characters all at once.)

I’m sad to see that Legion of 3 Worlds didn’t make it, but really it doesn’t matter what Perez does… he is IMO one of the top 5 comic artists of all time.

I’m sad to see that Legion of 3 Worlds didn’t make it

It JUST missed, coming in #11.

I love “Who Is Donna Troy?” from New Teen Titans #38.

Awesome list!

Wonder Woman! These lists usually ignore female characters, I was afraid it wouldn’t make the Top 10.

And the Jim Shooter Ultron battle! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that adores it.

The only one on the list that I don’t like much is JLA/Avengers, but I already knew it would make it.

I didn’t expect there to be quite so much Avengers stuff on the list. I was thinking of it mainly in terms of the art, so I neglected, say, his FF issues (which I quite liked) in favor of more dazzling work like the Terror of Trigon arc in New Teen Titans v. 2 or the History of the DC Universe two-shot.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

What is there NOT to love about George Perez’s art?!?

Not a DAMN thing!!!! ;-)

Perez Hulk face much too thin, look like Vision!

Brian Cronin

May 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

The Hulk’s look at the time was a thinner face.

Very nice list. Pérez has had quite the nice career. I just read JLA/Avengers for the first time and it’s surprising how good it was compared to most team-up/crossover stories.

Zor-El of Argo

May 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Only one Teen Titans story on the list? I had hoped to see the first story-arc(Trigon) from the New Teen Titans baxter series!

Can’t really quibble over any of these picks. A few random comments:

1. The Serpent Crown Saga: A truly great pick, with outstanding writing and art. For the Perezophile, it is especially noteworthy as a sign of Perez’s extremely rapid artistic growth (and for fans of Perez’s work on the JLA/AVENGERS crossover, it offers a neat adumbration in the form of an AVENGERS vs. SQUADRON SUPREME mash-up).

2: “Late”Perez: Just compare Perez’s work on JLA/AVENGERS to his early work. The man still has it. Unlike some of his contemporaries (Cough John Byrne cough), Perez is still at the top of his game.

Mike Loughlin

May 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I think the Teen Titans stories didn’t get as many votes because they’ve aged so poorly. Not Perez’s contributions; the art and plotting (which he shared with Wolfman on most issues) were usually good. The dialogue and characterization, however, could be grating. Strangely, I don’t think his earlier comics (which don’t look as good) suffer as much because the level of angst is much lower.

As it is, I put 2 Titans stories on my list (“Judas Contract” & the first epic sp[ace arc that featured the Omega Men and concluded in Annual 1) because I felt they deserved it. If I were only judging the art, I’d have put “Terror of Trigon” on the list, as buttler did. I did put one story on my list based on the art: CrossGen Chronicles 2, which tied into Scion. Any Perez fans looking for comics he’s drawn that they might not own could track down his CrossGen Chronicles issues. Issues 2-4 are on ebay for $1.10 each as we speak. Threy’re well worth reading.

Pretty good list. My main quibbles would be that I much prefer the second Wonder Woman arc, “The Challenge of the Gods”, to the story in the first trade. I always thought JLA/Avengers was pretty “paint by numbers” (not that it could have been anything else), and went with Perez’s collabo w/ Mark Waid on Brave and the Bold instead – but I knew that was a losing battle.

Tie for “Judas Contract” and WONDER WOMAN. No matter how hard, I can’t pick between the two.

I would have to say JLA/Avengers may be the ultimate George Perez story—two comic book universes getting the “Crisis treatment” with wall-to-wall heroes and villains on just about every page, but two stories that didn’t make the list that always stands out when I think about Perez’s contributions to comics are “Who Killed Myndi Mayer?” from Wonder Woman (1987) #20 and the Teen Titans/Doom Patrol three-parter from New Teen Titans (1980) #13-15. Each is proof of Perez’s varied skills as a storyteller.

It is surprising that something as bad as Legion of 3 Worlds would end up in the 11th place! That’s probably just for art sake, hopefully, because it was one of Johns’ most unbearable materials.

I’m currently re-reading JLA/Avengers (in the beautiful oversized edition) and man does it ever stand up well! There are so many subtle bits in it that Busiek and Perez worked into the story and artwork, in addition to the grand moments that are often cited from it. I’m actually enjoying it as much on the 4th or 5th read through as I did on the first. So it would top my list of greatest Perez moments (with Crisis in 2nd).

Six of my picks made the top ten, and I have no complaints about the divergences. Like Englehart’s list, it’s a massively impressive set of works. I guess statistically they must exist, but I can’t remember seeing a single bad page from Perez, whereas there are plenty that stick in the mind and leap from the memory as quintessentially outstanding.

Okay, since we’re all here. I’m curious about Crimson Plague. Was that any good?

I always thought it was a shame that he didn’t do the art for every issue of The Korvac Saga – that would have surely made the list.

Brian Cronin

May 9, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I always thought it was a shame that he didn’t do the art for every issue of The Korvac Saga – that would have surely made the list.

I was surprised it didn’t get more support even with him missing the last couple of issues.

I think it’s so weird that everyone loves Future Imperfect. I found it a fairly rote dystopia yarn with a lot of obnoxious dialogue. I was pretty disappointed considering I usually love Peter David.

I wish I had voted just to try and get JLA/Avengers above the over-rated Crisis on Infinite Earths. Nothing against Perez’s art, but I didn’t care for the story all that much.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm

@MarkAndrew:

“Okay, since we’re all here. I’m curious about Crimson Plague. Was that any good?”

It wasn’t bad, very nice art, but unfortunately, the Gorilla Imprint folded and and the series was never completed (as far as I know).

JLA/Avengers would have made the top of my list. I just re-read it in the oversize edition a couple months ago, and it’s just a fun comic. And Perez’s art is amazing. If you’re a fan of JLA/Avengers it’s totally worth the money to get the over size edition.

5 avengers stories and only one titans story?!?!?! i’m not trying to disrespect perez’s avengers work, because it is great, but that would be like a greatest john byrne stories list having 1 x-men story and 5 alpha flight stories. the new teen titans was perez’s bread, butter, and foundation of a legendary career. surely it deserves more than one spot? who is donna troy? terror of trigon? the tamaran/omega men saga? the vigilante saga? the terra reveal in #34? dona troy’s wedding? not too long ago, wizard called titans #20 one of the greatest single issue stories ever… brian, how many more titan stories made the top 20?

MarkAndrew: Crimson Plague had an … interesting premise. But it didn’t last long enough for us to be able to judge if it would have been any good.

5 out of 10 on this one, which is my biggest showing on these lists so far (of the few I’ve felt qualified to vote for).

Really glad Bride of Ultron made it that high, I believe it was my number one vote!

One of mine that didn’t make it, but I didn’t really expect to, was Fantastic Four 200, a great Reed vs. Doom battle (and Perez of course draws a great Doom).

Some picks I was toying with include the first Taskmaster story and the Red Ronin story (just really liked that string of Avengers, I guess).

I thought of Korvac Saga, but could only think of were the first two issues he drew (167-168) which were good but mainly set-up, and issues 170-171 which I actually included in my Bride of Ultron vote since it was kind of the follow-up to that story.

I didn’t vote for it, but it would have been funny to see the Jarvis back-up in Avengers 201 make the list.

Pretty good, I got 8 of 10, with My number 1 pick comming in at 11.

Also, I’ve just picked up Creatures on the Loose #33, 35-37 and Marvel Premiere #45-46 and highly recommend it for Perez fans.

brian, how many more titan stories made the top 20?

Two more in the Top 15 (and I think both of them can be guessed pretty easily if people wish to guess!) – I honestly don’t recall how #16-20 figured out.

Mike Loughlin

May 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

Crimson Plague was bad, despite some nice artwork by Perez. The writing was pretty rough.

Have to disagree you with Mike. I remember mostly reading Crimson Plague for the Perez name and remember being impressed on reading it, and disappointed there wasn’t more later.

Surprised no Perez FF made the list.

@ Zor-El:

I was surprised by the lack of TEEN TITANS stories as well. I think it speaks more to the quality of work that followed Perez than anything.

FF #200 was Keith Pollard, not Perez

Nice list, but Avengers/JLA should be #1. It is THE single towering achievement in comic book art, bar none, hands down.

Alan Williams

May 11, 2010 at 11:30 am

I’m with Mr. Fludd. Although I love CoIE, I think some of the inking took away from Perez’s pencils. JLA/Avengers, OTOH, is pure Perez and pure awesomeness.

I imagine there were enough quality Titans stories that it split the vote, it’s not like there were “definitive” arcs in Titans, it was all of consistent quality.

So far, we’ve gotten the top 15 for each creator, and the top 10 for each character.

Can we please get #11-15 for Mr. Perez? I think he deserves it.

To tell the truth, my favorite Titans story is issues # 21-25 and the 1982 Annual, the whole Starfire/Blackfire saga. That was just cosmic fun, and George brought the full measure of his inventiveness to it.

I would agree with the majority of the stories above. There’s one thing though, JLA/Avengers had only one saving grace:

George Perez’s incomparable, dynamic art. It was a thrill to see him work on characters he had helped make so popular in the modern age. Perez has a style that is timeless.

The story itself: not Busiek’s best work. It was a rip-off of Marvel’s first mini-series, “Contest Of Champions”.

Great list. Perez is just too damn good.

Join me in calling DC and Marvel out: MAKE THAT JLA/AVENGERS issue 3 cover an oversized POSTER already.

Jason B: I think the plot was just a way to make it so that George is able to draw everyone and everything, and in that sense, Busiek executed it masterfully. I don’t think it was ever supposed to be this revolutionary style of storytelling or whatever. it was just an excuse to get George to be George.

Does anyone else find it kind of funny that the Judas Contract isn’t here, but it’s number one (outranking Crisis) on Marv’s list?

Avengers/JLA struck me as a celebration of 40+ years of super-hero storytelling (as well as the obvious mission of getting the two biggest, most powerful teams together) and the different traditions behind them. To that end it succeeded wonderfully.

Yeah, the story in JLA/Avengers wasn’t all that spectacular but the art was drop dead gorgeous.

GREAT pick on #10. One of the best and most underrated story sequences ever. Pure simple joy as a reader.

I adore Mr. Perez and all of his work!!!! As a wait for trader, I’ve tried to grab up as many books with his work in it that I can!!! One of his New Teen Titan’s issues were one of the first comics I ever bought and have loved all of his work ever since!! Have vols 1 and 3 of the larger trades collecting his Busiek Avengers run, have most of the Teen Titans stuff but sitll need quite a bit more and have all the Wonder Woman trades of his run that DC put out. Also have the JLA/Avengers trade which was amazing and the Final Crisis: LOSH trade. Hope he’s around for many more years and can still produce more great works!!! I debate in my mind at times if I like his or Jim Lee’s work more but I think I can say he’s my top classic / veteran artist while Lee is my favorite newish / modern artist!!

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