April 20’s Avengers #55 features a heartfelt tribute to artist George Pérez, arguably the most iconic Avengers creator of all time, and it was drawn by the greatest Avengers artist of all time – George Pérez.
The special tribute, almost certainly the effort of long-time Avengers editor Tom Brevoort, is found after the main story that features Earth’s Mightiest Heroes taking on a brand new member.
Titled “George Pérez: Once an Avenger … Always an Avenger” the uncredited page features Captain America at the team’s long-time headquarters Avengers Mansion silently raising a glass to Pérez, joined by Wonder Man, Hank Pym, Iron Man (who raises a bottle of spring water), Beast, Janet Van Dyne, Sam Wilson, Carol Danvers (then Warbird ditto on the spring water), and finally longtime Avengers butler Jarvis fittingly in his own aside.
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The art was originally featured in 2004’s Avengers Finale (opens in new tab), which was exactly what it sounds like – a special postscript to the ‘Avengers Disassembled storyline that immediately preceded the New Avengers relaunch that changed the course of Marvel Comics history. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by various big-name artists, the special was meant to be the last meeting of the Avengers in their original incarnation.
The sequence drawn by Pérez was originally the Avengers paying tribute to teammates that died in battle over the years. The original dialogue has been removed to allow for the silent tribute to its own artist.
In December 2021 Pérez shared news with the comic book community that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and subsequently announced his plans to live out his remaining days celebrating comic books with his friends, co-creators, and fans, of which there are thousands of the former and millions of the latter.
How artist George Pérez drew the entire Marvel and DC Universes and redefined the superhero genre.