(BOOM! Studios, 2014)
Written, Illustrated, and Created by George Perez
Colors by Leonardo Paciarotti
Let’s not bury the lead. George M*$@er&*.^%’in Perez! Need I say more? The man who helped define the look of a generation of comic books has released his first original book. BOOM! Studios and George Perez release Sirens this week, but don’t expect to get it on the first read. Perez’s brain works on several levels at once, the man who brought order to the DCU with Crisis on Infinite Earths debuts a similarly time-tangled comic in Sirens.
I’ve always been a fan of Perez. His work on Teen Titans and The Avengers, not to mention Crisis, were the images that defined what a “cool” comic looked like to me. It was only later that I understood how much he had to do with the actual plotting of books, and upon learning that liked the man and his efforts that much more.
Long ago, in what seems like a different time, I reviewed Crisis on Infinite Earths for this very site. It was my interview, my first review, and it was my first re-read of that series in years. Without knowing the mess that Perez was dealing with, you delve into a 12 issue series that not only introduces new characters but it kills favorites, all in service of trying to re-align a continuity that was decades in the messing. Not only did he manage to bring some semblance of order to the tangle town of DC continuity, but he was able to contribute some iconic artwork to the history as well. Crisis #7 and #8 alone are probably two of the most recognizable in comics, and a couple of favorites in my collection.
So we’ve established, I hope, that George Perez has had a major impact on the industry and the decades that he’s been working.
Sirens is Perez’s idea and encompasses all of the things he’s become known for over the years. It’s a team book, a time-travel book (hence the somewhat wonky continuity), and an all-female cast. There are dragons and spaceships and drones, oh my. It’s a cacophony of different angles on the same story. It seems, as you’re reading it, like it might get confusing, but he’s paced the story in such a way that by the end of the first issue you feel like you’ve finally got a handle on it right before he throws you the next curveball.
The art is wonderfully and typically Perez. It really felt like I was reading another chapter of Crisis because of the familiarly busy panels and full-to-bursting word balloons. This guy knows how to fill a page, and that is a nod to the artist in him I think. As both writer and artist, he sees the pages in his mind beforehand and has the ability to execute every last minute detail that he wants on the page. Leonardo Paciorotti colors the pages so they look just like they should, like Perez pages.
If you’re a fan of Perez’s artwork, than this is a book for you. But don’t just pick it up for that, remember that there is a story as well, one penned by the artist and executed in the fashion that he wants it done. There aren’t many creators from the late 1900’s who were doing all of the work themselves, and who feel comfortable in that role now that it is getting more common, but Perez shows here that he is ready and willing, and that Sirens will be another in the long line of George Perez books that we’ll remember for years to come.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.