Kicking off our 13-part series…
UPDATED 5/8/22: The great George Perez has died at the age of 67. This first ran in June 2019 as part of THE GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS. We re-present it here. Click here for our complete index of Perez features. — Dan
Welcome to THE GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS, a weekly discussion with the comics master about his greatest series. Over 13 weeks, Perez, who’s retiring from the world of comics, will give you his take on each installment of our recent TOP 13 GEORGE PEREZ COUNTDOWN, which was written by 13th Dimension contributor Anthony Durso. (Click here for much more on that.)
We kick things off today, June 9, because it’s Perez’s 65th birthday. And we begin with The Infinity Gauntlet — written by Jim Starlin and co-pencilled by Ron Lim — which came in at No. 13 on our countdown.
Here we go:
Dan Greenfield: We’ll start with the one that was No. 13 on the list, which is, interestingly enough, The Infinity Gauntlet — which a lot of people thought would be much higher up. But since…
George Perez: Since I didn’t finish it!
Greenfield: That’s the reason why it came in at No. 13! It had to be on the list, but that’s why it came in that way. … When it came down to Infinity Gauntlet, what was it that you really appreciated about working on that project?
Perez: Well, the reason I even took on the project was that I wanted to draw as many characters at Marvel as I could, you know? (Laughter)
Unfortunately, I also chose to do that at the same time I had contracted to write and draw War of the Gods over at DC, and it ended up being way too much work. And there was a slight touch of disappointment when Jim (Starlin) finally took the superheroes into outer space, where they faced Thanos for the next couple of issues. I said, that means no more superheroes are gonna be able to show up in these stories now. This is it, this is the cast now. I wanted more characters to draw!
But either way I had to bow out. And quite honestly, I always thought that the books should have been done by Ron Lim to begin with. Ron Lim set up everything with Jim Starlin, he did The Thanos Quest and everything else. So, it seemed only just that Ron should — because Ron was only supposed to replace me for the last half of Issue #4 because I was falling far behind. And when they said Ron could fill in and jump onto Issue #5, I said, “Why don’t you just let Ron finish the series? And I’ll glad;y ink Ron’s covers just to show that there’s not any petulance on my part.”
But I just realized that I was not going to be able to keep that book on schedule and Ron managed to do what I couldn’t do. So that’s why, of course, it always has that asterisk that … it’s the series George Perez couldn’t finish.
You know, in hindsight, how many people will even remember War of the Gods — and look at how much money Infinity Gauntlet is making! (Laughter)
Greenfield: What do you think of the last two Avengers movies…
Perez: I haven’t seen the last one.
Greenfield: Oh, you haven’t seen the latest one? So, no spoilers then.
Perez: No, the last one I saw was Infinity War. And the thing is, I was grateful and I kept thinking of Jim the entire time, like “Jim, good for you.” I just… the Geico gecko is wearing the Infinity Gauntlet in the commercial. (Laughter) I’m so happy for him.
The only thing, just from my point of view as a visual artist whose drawn these characters is, I wish they weren’t so ashamed of drawing the characters in costume! That everyone including Captain America is wearing black. It’s a focal disconnect for me, and I lament that a lot of superheroes, movies, are very dark. And by making them all wear black, even darker. And the fact that I can’t tell one from another — yes, Black Panther, Black Widow, you’ve got characters who wear black, but Captain America wearing black? And without a mask? And not even his own shield in Infinity War!
Greenfield: You need to see the new one. That’s the only spoiler I’ll give.
Perez: Yeah and I get invited to a lot of premieres and everything else. At this point, I don’t wanna fly all the way to California just to see a movie. I’ll wait until the furor dies out a bit.
NEXT: THE FANTASTIC FOUR. Click here.
— The GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS Index. Click here.
— GEORGE PEREZ’s TOP 13 Comics Series — RANKED. Click here.
NOTE: The interview was conducted at East Coast Comicon. The text has been edited and condensed slightly for clarity.