As reported by Variety, Pérez died on 6 May after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but he leaves behind a legacy mostly unmatched in the world of comics. The news of his death was shared by his friend Constance Eza, who wrote a few words about his importance to not only her, but the entire world.
“Everyone knows George’s legacy as a creator,” Eza wrote. “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.”
DC Comics chief creative officer Jim Lee also wrote a few words in honour of Pérez, and his words show just how much Pérez impacted the worlds of both DC and Marvel. “Both the DC and Marvel universes owe so much to the pen of George Pérez,” Lee wrote. “From his runs on the Avengers and Fantastic Four to his reinvention of the New Teen Titans and relaunch of Wonder Woman and of course his seminal universe defining work, Crisis on Infinite Earths, George’s vision and attention to detail were unparalleled and made devout readers into fans and fans into super fanatics.”
Pérez was born in 1954 in the South Bronx and he dreamed of being an artist since he was a child. At 19, he began working for Marvel Comics as an assistant to Fantastic Four artist Rich Buckler. In 1974, Pérez made his official debut as an artist for the anthology series Astonishing Tales.
In 1980, Pérez was asked by DC to work on The New Teen Titans, which was a relaunch of the teenage superhero team that was led by Marv Wolfman. He would continue to work in the world of DC and would be an integral part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths event that saw DC’s heroes team up against Anti-Monitor.
Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, Pérez helped relaunch Wonder Woman and would even write on the series. Pérez’s work would be cited as an inspiration for Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman film from 2017.
As the years continued, he would jump back and forth between Marvel and DC, and in 2012 he chose to leave DC after disagreements on rewrites of his work and subpar editorial planning. After DC, he wrote and drew a sci-fi miniseries called Sirens for Boom! Studios.
In 2019, Pérez announced his retirement due to health issues. Pérez is survived by his wife, Carol Flynn.