Any week there is a new George Pérez comic to read calls for a celebration. What pleases me is that this story is not rooted in corporate comics continuity; rather the esteemed writer/artist has jumped head first into stories with his own new characters--something he clearly relishes. What also pleases me so is that the man still hungers to tell new tales, rather than spend his free time (post recent eye surgery) pursuing his love of theater/acting or just basking in the glow of an incredible career. As he noted in a recent CBR interview: "I will never regret any of my time working for DC and Marvel, especially in light of the fact that, especially with DC, I have been earning considerable money in royalties that allows me the option of not drawing comics at all if I were crazy enough to consider that."
Savor that last detail for a moment. In an economy and industry where an entity like The Hero Initiative needs to exist (an organization solely devoted to creating "a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life"), I was glad to learn there are at least a few creators, such as Pérez, who receive suitable royalties for their hard work and success in corporate comics. (It should be noted while I am mentioning Hero Initiative that Pérez has done a great deal to support the organization himself, as anyone who has ever seen him at a con can attest).
Yet, my larger point is, it's great that Pérez--at a stage when he could be basking in the acclaim he has well earned--relishes the opportunity to create a new universe and a new set of characters, which were revealed this past Wednesday with Sirens #1 (the first installment of a six-issue miniseries).
The writer/artist, who has a long-standing history of writing great female characters, has constructed a book with a full cast of women. The first issue runs the risk of overwhelming a reader with too much information too quickly--Pérez does not skimp on dialogue or details in his art. However, the first issue introduces the narrative in a variety of different eras --given it is about a team of time travelers to a certain extent -- making it feasible to digest the wealth of story in large bit-sized pieces. He hooked me with the schoolteacher who also happened to be a unique gunslinger in 1884 Arizona.
BOOM! Studios wisely structured Sirens as a string of miniseries, rather than an ongoing series, forcing him (even by Pérez's own admission in that recent CBR interview) to focus his narrative (and admittedly wide scope) to a six-issue story. I think that increases the chances of readers giving this new universe a try. And folks should--it is an intense, yet oddly refreshing, read. Pérez has a track record that rarely disappoints. Any creator as eager to tell me a story as he clearly is (despite the health obstacles life has periodically thrown his way) deserves a large and appreciating audience.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]