George Pérez and the Art of the Group Shot

George Pérez, the Wonder Woman, Teen Titans and Crisis artist who brought the DC Universe to life like no one else before or since, passed away last calendar month at the old age of 67. It ’ s impossible to overstate just how big an shock Pérez had not precisely on DC, but on the very art of comics itself. sol, all this month, we ’ ll be doing our best to highlight equitable some of the accomplishments Pérez made as a godhead at DC which have inspired so many. Pérez co-created the most authoritative adolescent Titans ever devised and breathed new life into the mud of Wonder Woman, but that ’ s not what we ’ rhenium here to talk about today. today, we recognize George Pérez as the undisputed king of one of the greatest feats in comedian ledger art : the group shot .
The group shoot is a feat where an artist dynamically captures an overwhelm phone number of characters within a single tableau, showcasing each quality individually while presenting them as part of a greater solid. A great group shoot suggests that all the characters you ’ re seeing have rich people stories of their own, but besides live within the same space as each other—an integral message when presenting a sprawl, fictional universe. It stands for the possibility within the entire global it represents. And if there was ever one king of the group shoot, it was George. Pérez ’ s forte was never just a single character, but a world of them. today, it ’ s impossible to even attempt a group shot without drawing inhalation from, let alone comparison to, the exploit of George Pérez .
We ’ d say more, but it may be best to let the art do most of the talking. hera, we ’ d like to present you with some of our favored Pérez group shots from his tenure at DC. We ’ ll always miss his expansive position, but the hundreds of stories he drew will continue to drive us for generations .

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The Flash #290 (1980)

This simple Justice League roll panel may not look like much, but it ’ s the first group forum of heroes George Pérez ever drew for DC, in a Firestorm backup to The Flash. It ’ second allow that this panel depicts Firestorm ’ s credence and generalization into the Justice League of America, as the DC Universe was itself opening to Pérez ’ s quickly developing talents .

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Justice League of America #184 (1980)

not long after both Firestorm and Pérez himself were inducted into the Justice League, our artist was already taking on ambitious cosmic projects, with the Justice League of America, the Justice Society of America, and the New Gods of New Genesis all battling the forces of Darkseid in a three-part JLA narrative. Notice here how the three factions all converge from different sides of the page towards a focal point, the imposing silhouette of the DC Universe ’ s greatest foe towering above them all. right from the start, Pérez knew how to draw a diverse array of heroes without losing the meaning of what was at venture .

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Tales of the New Teen Titans #3 (1982)

With his collaborative collaborator Marv Wolfman, George Pérez helped redefine the Teen Titans from a team of superhero sidekicks into the voice of a raw genesis. With raw characters like Starfire, Raven and Cyborg presenting worlds of possibilities for storytelling, the sky was the restrict. But along with much of the previous Teen Titans team, Wolfman and Pérez besides made a storm enlist of Beast Boy, once the youngest member of the Doom Patrol, and an accessory member of the original Titans. In their Tales of the New Teen Titans, the newest members of the team catch the readers up on their unique backstories. In this evocative illustration from Beast Boy ’ s narrative, we see his worldly concern explode behind him as the Doom Patrol is claimed by calamity, followed by raw beginnings with a team of heroes he can call his peers .

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The New Teen Titans #3 (1984)

The devil Trigon is possibly the most awful of all George Pérez ’ mho creations, with an huge power to distort whichever world he claims into a atrocious reality indistinguishable from hell itself. In the inaugural discharge of Wolfman and Pérez ’ s relaunched New Titans series, the Titans witness the panic of Trigon firsthand and the results feel like they came out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Filled with details of uncountable writhing bodies which form the architecture of the blasted landscape itself, this doubling page circulate alone is filled with so much ghastly detail that you can ’ thymine serve but gaze deeply into the expiate .

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Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 (1985)

It ’ s indeed heavily to pick a single page from Crisis on Infinite Earths to represent George Pérez ’ south work. The entire twelve-issue event is considered by many to be his magnum opus—an undertaking to include the entirety of the DC Universe and all it entails within a single earthshaking stopping point to fifty years of stories. But if we had to pick a single exemplify to encapsulate its magnificence, it would be this conference of the combine united states army of DC heroes with their improbable savior, Alexander Luthor Jr. of Earth-3. Its disk overhead perspective provides a depth of sphere which allows you to feel the presence of every character in the scene, each of which, from Elongated man to Plastic Man, are moved to express themselves in a ocular way. This two-page outspread may well be the platonic ideal of crowd shots, providing enough ocular interest to keep you staring hanker after you ’ ve left the shop class .

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Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985-1986)

Some of George Pérez ’ s greatest DC work wasn ’ t for a traditional comedian at all, but for a ocular encyclopedia. In 1985, DC began publication of an alphabetic “ Who ’ randomness Who ” of DC ’ s most substantive characters, soliciting character artwork from the greatest working comic artists of the ‘ 80s. Pérez ’ s work was present in every return, but where he actually shone was in his elaborate tableau of the characters profiled in each installation. Pérez contributed the beginning five of these covers, and late issues # 13- # 18, and set a tough pace to follow for the many early artists involved. But then, it was always Pérez ’ s character to inspire others to get to his level, and it always will be .

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The History of the DC Universe (1986)

As if Crisis on Infinite Earths weren ’ metric ton ambitious enough, Wolfman and Pérez followed up the consequence with a two-volume history of the DC Universe, laying out the entire streamlined timeline for a Post-Crisis world. Pérez ’ sulfur knead sings throughout this collection, lending his unique flare to every conceivable setting of the DC Universe, and in presenting its characters together, he was no less bold .

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Batman #400 (1986)

We ’ re including this one precisely because it ’ mho one of the few times George always drew a strictly Batman floor, and it ’ s a hell of a panel. In merely a piece of a page, Pérez presents us with a personality-filled gain of all of Batman ’ s greatest foes, simply existing together. There ’ s a casual atmosphere among this rogues gallery rarely seen when they ’ re assembled, lending a weight to their characters as not just obstacles for Batman to overcome, but people in their own right .

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Wonder Woman #7 (1987)

As both writer and artist, George Pérez ’ s work on Wonder Woman was the most significant and definitive the character had seen since the Golden Age of William Marston. The art frequently sang with triumphant feminine liberation, but was particularly transformative when it came to scenes on Mt. Olympus—with the use of Escher-like techniques to present the gods who inhabit it as in truth nonnatural. Where Pérez could be demonic with the kingdom of Trigon, hera, his greek pantheon was divine .

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War of the Gods #4 (1991)

The final issue of Pérez ’ s War of the Gods event is a particularly poignant one in his career, and not good because it combined his endow for deific imagination in Wonder Woman with his maximalist approach to Crisis on Infinite Earths. This finale was besides the inaugural prison term Pérez would work with Phil Jimenez, who would finally become a definitive Wonder Woman artist in his own correct. Up through Wonder Woman Historia : The Amazons nowadays, Pérez ’ mho influences are apparent in all of Jimenez ’ randomness cultivate, and that passing of the torch begins right here. We miss George every day, but it helps us to know that the collaborative spirit of the comic metier will ensure a separate of him is constantly with us through the continuing art he inspires .

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Infinite Crisis (2006)

Alongside Phil Jimenez, Ivan Reis and Joe Bennett, George Pérez was one of many to contribute to the thematic follow-up to his own Crisis. And while some sincerely cheer Pérezian group shots are show throughout the reserve, this spread from the trade collection is our favorite. Because what it represents in the heroes it includes international relations and security network ’ thyroxine a protection to DC ’ s past, but its approaching future. here, Infinite Crisis makes the statement that while DC will constantly celebrate its icons, new characters with new stories will constantly be integral to driving the DC Universe forward .

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Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 (2008)

George Pérez ’ s final fully drawn series for DC was about ampere ambitious as crisis on Infinite Earth itself : a temporally fluctuous bacchant of every incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, across disjointed continuities. It ’ south burst with dizzying shots just like this one and may good represent the best art of Pérez ’ second long and fabled career. But this particular spread, which dynamically features the two time-disjointed rosters of Legionnaires that have been pulled to a one distributor point in space and time, best captures the ebullient power of this unique crossing over between Legion, Legion and Legion .

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Wonder Woman #600 (2010)

One of our front-runner George Pérez pieces from his death years of drawing regularly for DC was this push shot in the landmark Wonder Woman # 600. Where Wonder Woman once was the exclusive female representative of DC ’ s A-List, here Pérez reveals good how far Wonder Woman ’ mho mission has come and everyone she ’ s inspired—a diverse range of heroines of every variety, who lone continue to expand today. Pérez ’ s own streak on Wonder Woman strived to convey a message of female authorization. The heroes present behind Wonder Woman on this page show that Pérez sincerely did carry through something bang-up with the hero he ’ s most remembered for. With the flush of love for George Pérez we ’ ve seen throughout the earth, it ’ randomness clear that just as Wonder Woman inspires all who follow her, the entire comics residential district will always follow behind the spirit of George Pérez, leading the charge forward .
One huge and perfective group shot .

Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly “ Ask the question ” column and writes about television, movies, comics and superhero history for Follow him on chirrup at @ AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion .

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