Late last year, legendary artist George Pérez revealed that he has Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer, and that he is foregoing treatment in favor of spending his remaining days as fully as he can. Pérez was a founding member of The Hero Initiative’s board of directors, and now the non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial support to comic creators in need has announced that, in association with DC Comics and Marvel Comics, they will bring one of Pérez’s most iconic works, JLA/Avengers, back to print in a limited softcover edition.
The new Hero Initiative edition of JLA/Avengers will be a 288-page softcover volume, with a cover price of $29.99. It will be limited to 7,000 copies, and will be available to order through Diamond Comic Distributors, rush-solicited for release in March. Along with previously-released bonus material including introductions by Stan Lee and Julius Schwartz, the new edition will also include a brand-new afterward by Busiek.
On his Facebook page, Pérez commented on the new edition:
I am so incredibly overjoyed to hear that my fanboy dream is going to be available to a whole new generation of comic book fans who weren’t there when it was printed that many years ago. And it’s wonderful that it’s happening while I’m still alive to see it.
Whatever it was that allowed this reprint to be released I am very grateful and on behalf of the fans all I can say is well done DC and Marvel! And of course, I am so elated that all profits from this reprint are going to one of my favorite personal charities! -George
Originally published in 2003-04, the four-issue JLA/Avengers was written by Kurt Busiek, illustrated by Pérez, colored by Tom Smith, and lettered by Comicraft. The four-issue series saw the two publisher’s signature super-teams come together across time and space in a tale that was, somewhat fittingly, to date the last time DC and Marvel ever collaborated on a project.
The four-issue JLA/Avengers has been collected twice before, with a deluxe, slipcased hardcover edition released in 2005 and a softcover edition out in 2008. Both versions have been long out-of-print, though, and demand for the series to return has been rising since Pérez revealed his diagnosis. It’s good to see DC and Marvel putting their differences aside to bring this book back to benefit an artist as universally beloved as Pérez.
The new edition of JLA/Avengers will be available in stores in March. You can donate directly to The Hero Initiative here.