The Avengers raise a glass to George Pérez in a touching personal tribute

The Avengers by George Pérez
The Avengers by George Pérez (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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.

Pérez died on May 6, 2022

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.

Avengers #55 page reconfigured from Avengers Finale by George Pérez (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The art was originally featured in 2004's Avengers Finale, 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. 

George Pérez photo courtesy the artist in a collage with art from JLA/Avengers

George Pérez photo courtesy the artist in a collage with art from JLA/Avengers (Image credit: George Marston)

How artist George Pérez drew the entire Marvel and DC Universes and redefined the superhero genre.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.