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Flashback: Just Imagine Stan Lee and George Perez's "Crisis"

posted Nov 25, 2017, 9:17 AM by Vu Nguyen
From Vu

DC Comics
The Internet has a short memory, I couldn't find any mentioning of George Perez's involvement in the Just Imagine Stan Lee... series online, so I'm making available all the stories from 2000. None of the links will work (don't click the links below), but I've decided to include them as an archival view.

Just to summarize, George Perez was originally scheduled to draw Just Imagine Stan Lee's Crisis special, as announced in June 2000, but by the end of 2000, George decided to sign a full time / exclusive contract for CrossGen Comics and could not legally draw for DC Comics.

It should also be noted that in the six-month time period (June to December, 2000), that Stan Lee hadn't written the comic book yet: "the story isn't even nearly written".  Eventually the book was published in 2002 with John Cassaday as the book's artist.

 December 29, 2000 | Lee/Perez's Crisis No-Go
From Tony Lorenz, via Perez Club
Fri, 29 Dec 2000 09:28:53 -0800 (PST)
Talking to George last night, he told me the Stan Lee story not going to happen, mainly because the story isn't even nearly written, George had thought he'd begin drawing it January or Febuary, but now it doesn't look like the story would be written until sometime next year, but with the CrossGen contract, it's not going to happen. George did tell me some other exciting projects but I made a promise not to let the cat out of the bag.
August 2, 2000 | Perez and Lee to work at DC
From Shane Elliott
Stan Lee & George Perez to work together at DC!

A couple days... well, weeks... okay, maybe months ago I reported that George Perez was going to be working on the 'Crisis' issue of the upcoming DC special series "Just Imagine Stan Lee ...". According to DC editor Mike Carlin, announcing artists for the specials at the San Diego Comic-Con International this past weekend, that is now confirmed and no longer a rumor! Joe Kubert will draw Batman, while Jim Lee will add his touch to Wonder Woman.

From Pérez Spreads Crimson Plague
"...the Stan Lee project for DC. I’m really looking forward to that. He’s got two issues fully plotted and I’m the 12th [the 12th artist], so I have to wait. It’s a dream come true. Stan and I have been talking about working together for a quarter of a century. He actually gave me my first raise personally, when he spotted my work on Fantastic Four."

DC Comics is pleased to announce the coolest collaboration in the history of comic books. Living legend Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-man, the Hulk and the X-Men and founder of Stan Lee Media is teaming up with longstanding rival DC Comics to present Lee's alternative interpretation of the world's most beloved super-heroes including Batman and Superman. The series, JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE CREATING, gives Lee the freedom to literally start the lives of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other DC stars over from birth. Will Superman work at the Daily Planet? Will Batman have the Batmobile? Will they even be heroes? The imagination of comic-book lovers everywhere will run rampant as they wait to read the adventures of the DC Universe through the eyes of Stan Lee - the comic book world's most prized and beloved storyteller.

The series will feature the hottest artistic talent in the industry: John Buscema, longtime collaborator with Lee on The Silver Surfer and artist of The Avengers, Fantastic Four and Conan the Barbarian; Dave Gibbons, illustrator of the Hugo Award-winning Watchmen; Joe Kubert, illustrator of Tarzan and founder of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art; Jim Lee, artist of the best-selling and record-setting comic book X-Men #1; Bruce Timm, producer of the Emmy Award-winning Batman and Superman animated television series; and others will lend their hand in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to illustrate and create alternative versions of the world's most popular super-heroes with Lee.

"During all the years I've been with Marvel, it was always fun to imagine how I might have written the DC characters. Now, it's really great to have the chance to reapproach the DC Universe and tackle the storytelling and characterization in my own style," said Stan Lee, Founder, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Stan Lee Media. "The chance to work with people I've admired for years and the chance to create stories with characters that I've enjoyed for years was an offer I could not resist."

"With his artistic collaborators at Marvel, Stan co-created the richest imaginary universe a single comics writer has ever built. Every kid who ever picked up one of his comics wondered what Stan would do if he ever worked on the DC heroes and now we can deliver their dream," commented Paul Levitz, DC'sExecutive Vice President and Publisher, "and by Stan doing it as a special series, we can capture the magic of turning back the clock to see how he would have started it all."

The project will be presented as twelve issues in DC's prestige format, beginning in late 2000 and later collected into trade book editions. Each issue will reveal an alternative version of a DC hero according to Lee and a collaborating artist, beginning with JUST IMAGINE STAN LEE WITH JOHN BUSCEMA CREATING SUPERMAN. Other characters scheduled for the series include Batman, Wonder Woman, the Sandman and the Justice League of America. The project was initiated by Michael Uslan, the principal of Branded Entertainment (a film and television company). As well, Uslan is the Executive Producer of Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman and Robin (1997), and a longtime comics fan.

update: 001222

June 4, 2000 | Perez Lines Up New Projects
From C.B.E.M.
June 2, 2000

So with George Perez leaving the Avengers this September, to the immediate forefront of all his fans' minds is what will he do next? Well, an artist of Perez's stature doesn't remain wanting for work for long, and Perez tells Newsarama he's already lined up his next gigs in addition to this upcoming revival of Crimson Plague at Gorilla. One of these new projects might come of somewhat a surprise to fans, the other just might send true comics fanboys into a dream-come-true lather...

First up is a series of four specials for CrossGen Comics. According to Perez, the specials will be similar in vein to the series of Tales of the Titans books he did with Marv Wolfman for DC years ago, meaning each special will provide background to characters and concepts in the four initial CrossGen titles - Scion, Meridian, Sigil and Mystic.

"I think I'm probably one of their first freelancers, I'm not on staff," explained Perez. "One of the things I look forward to working with CrossGen is working with a lot of new people, as most of the creators working there are relatively young newcomers, so I'll be the eldest statesman.

"I'm also very much looking forward to working with Barbara Kesel, whom I've wanted to work with for years. She was my editor for a time on Titans, so it'll be nice to work with her and Ron Marz, who will write the series of specials."

According to Perez, the specials probably won't be coming out until sometime in mid-2001 and a spokesperson for CrossGen said the early tentative plan is to probably release the specials on a quarterly basis.

As to the second new project, Perez reports he'll be illustrated one of the Imagine Stan Lee Creating_specials for DC. Which one..? Well, that would be Imagine Stan Lee Creating THE CRISIS of course!

"Big Surprise.!!" exclaimed Perez, though details are still sketchy at this point.

"Beyond the title, I don't have the faintest idea where Stan is going to go with it," he said. "I'll be as surprised as everyone else. My only hope is that it will be something like the old Crisis wherein I get to draw everybody that Stan creates and all the other artists have designed prior to my involvement. I don't know yet if I'll be designing any new characters, that will be up to Stan." Concluded Perez on his future_"So with that, the CrossGen specials and Crimson Plaque, that's a pretty full plate."

Avengers editor Tom Brevoort and writer Kurt Busiek have responded to this morning's news regarding the upcoming departure of penciler George Perez (with September's double-sized issue #34 being his last). While expressing appreciation for his long run and dedication to the title, they also said it's still a bit early to discuss the title's post-Perez future.

"It`s all pretty new news, at this point," said Busiek, when asked for comment. "I`m thrilled to have been able to work with George this long, and I`d jump at the chance to work with him again, on practically anything. I sympathize with his health troubles, knowing what it feels like, and completely understand and support his decision."

"George has been on Avengers for three years now, including four double-sized issues," added Brevoort. "Which is a pretty substantial run these days, particularly from an artist some naysayers feared would crap out by issue #3. While we wish George were able to stay with the book even longer, we appreciate and admire the work he`s done these last 36 months, and look forward to working with him again in the future."

As for what artist will be taking over the title following George`s departure, both writer and editor say it`s too early to say anything just yet. "But Kurt and I have been discussing the possibilities, and as soon as we`re ready, we`ll make announcements as appropriate," said Brevoort

And as to Busiek's own future with the title_when asked if he's stay on following Perez's departure, Busiek responded, "I`ll be staying for the near future at least, since there are open plot-threads to be dealt with. Beyond that is an open question - so much depends on who the new artist might be and where we might want to go with the book. It`s certainly tempting to make a clean break and be satisfied with what George and I accomplished, handing the book to someone else to chart a new course - but it`s also tempting to take on the new challenge of finding a new voice for the series to go with its new look, and seeing if we can take the whole thing higher still. But right now, we just don`t have enough information to announce anything."

And on possible future collaborations with Perez? "George and I have talked about working together in the future and we`d both love to. We`ve talked about a project or two - but right now, George needs to concentrate on recovering from three years of drawing with the pedal to the metal. He`s done a fabulous job, and I`m sure he`ll talk about his future (which includes Crimson Plague, of course!) when he`s ready to."