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Legendary 'JLA/Avengers' crossover lands ultra-rare reprint in honor of artist George Perez
One of the biggest comic book crossovers of all time will return to honor an icon.
Late last year, iconic comics creator George Perez announced that he's been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and that he's decided he won't undergo treatment and "just let nature take its course." The news that one of the most important and influential comics creators in the history of superhero storytelling has potentially just months left rocked the comics world, and set in motion a series of tributes to Perez in an effort to let him know how much he's loved while he's still with us.
Now, we know those tributes will include the long-awaited, much-requested return of one of the biggest comic book crossover events in modern history. The Hero Initiative, a charity Perez co-founded, announced Wednesday that it has partnered with both Marvel and DC Comics to reprint JLA/Avengers, the epic cross-publisher event series written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Perez. The new collected edition will arrive in March in a limited edition, 7,000-copy printing, honoring Perez's work with the Hero Initiative over the years.
Originally published in 2003, when Busiek and Perez were fresh off a blockbuster run together on Avengers, JLA/Avengers follows what happens when two key figures from disparate superhero universes -- DC's Krona and Marvel's Grandmaster -- decide to play a great game involving both the Justice League and the Avengers. What follows is a multiversal race to gather various items of power from both universes, intertwining both teams of heroes in an epic adventure. The series was the last crossover of its kind, marking the end of DC/Marvel collaborations as both publishers moved forward into new eras of universe building both in comics and, in recent years, on the big screen.
Now, JLA/Avengers is back with 64 pages of bonus content, including reprints of the original introductions to the series from Marvel legend Stan Lee and DC legend Julius Schwartz, as well as a new afterword written by Busiek.
Founded more than two decades ago, The Hero Initiative is dedicated to helping comics creators facing medical and financial hardships, and regularly conducts fundraisers to keep disbursements going to creators who need them the most. Perez is one of the charity's founding members, has served on its board of directors and its disbursement committee, and was awarded the Hero Initiative's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. So, in addition to all he's done for superhero comics, he's also done a great deal for his fellow creators over the course of his time in the industry.
The JLA/Avengers reprint arrives in March, and it'll probably go fast. Be sure to check in with your local shop to make sure you can snag a copy.