JLA/Avengers Being Reprinted in Honor of George Perez by Hero Initiative

JLA/Avengers will be reprinted for the first time in decades via the Hero Initiative. The charity, which helps comic book creators with their medical costs and financial struggles, worked with DC Comics and Marvel Comics to allow for the printing of 7000 new copies of the book, which was first serialized in 2003 and 2004. The Hero Initiative's JLA/Avengers collection also includes 64 pages of additional content, reprinting the introductions by original Avengers writer/editor Stan Lee and Justice League of America editor Julius Schwartz. The Hero Initiative edition also includes a new afterword by JLA/Avengers writer Kurt Busiek. The new copies are being distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors and will release in March. More information will be available on The Hero Initiative's website

The reprinting honors George Pérez, the artist who drew the crossover series, and who has long supported The Hero Initiative's efforts. Pérez is a founding member of Hero Initiative's board of directors and has also served as the chair of its Disbursement Committee. At age 67, Pérez revealed in December that he has a terminal cancer diagnosis. He had announced his retirement from comics work three years earlier. He is now in hospice care.

(Photo: The Hero Initiative)

"To all my fans, friends, and extended family, It's rather hard to believe that it's been almost three years since I formally announced my retirement from producing comics due to my failing vision and other infirmities brought on primarily by my diabetes," Perez wrote on Facebook in a message revealing his diagnosis to fans. "At the time I was flattered and humbled by the number of tributes and testimonials given me by my fans and peers. The kind words spoken on those occasions were so heartwarming that I used to quip that 'the only thing missing from those events was me lying in a box.'

"It was amusing at the time, I thought. Now, not so much. On November 29th I received confirmation that, after undergoing surgery for a blockage in my liver, I have Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year. I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays, and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I've opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possibly with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends, and my fans."

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated entirely to helping comic book creators in need. The Hero Initiative acts as a financial safety net for aging creators in need of emergency medical aid and financial support life essentials, as well as a means of finding new, paying work. The Hero Initiative provides a means for donators to give something back to the creators who brought them joy, but who are often not taken care of by the industry in which they worked. Since its founding in 2000, The Hero Initiative has awarded over $1 million to veteran comic book creators.