February, 1998

AVENGERS #1 was arguably the most successful of the Heroes Return relaunches that brought the core Marvel heroes back to the Marvel Universe. The credit can substantially be attributed to the artwork of George Perez. When he was announced as the artist of the new AVENGERS series, naysayers snidely asked, “So, who’s going to draw issue #3?” But George surprised them all, penciling every issue in the first year, not missing an issue until #16, and remaining with the series longer than any of the other Heroes Return artists.

Both George and writer Kurt Busiek were in place when I became the Avengers editor–George was approached first, and he indicated that he wanted to work with either Kurt or Mark Waid as writer. I kibitzed with Kurt when he was writing up his pitch for the series (we were working on THUNDERBOLTS at the time, and were going to be doing IRON MAN together–I traded the IRON MAN editorship to get AVENGERS.) Kurt and George indicated a preference for having me as the book’s editor, and so I got the gig.

My big contribution to the issue was probably the poster of the original issue #1 cover as a picture in the Avengers’ meeting room. George had originally wanted a copy of his 30th anniversary Avengers poster in that spot, but we couldn’t find a usable copy of it that could be inserted, so I opted for the Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers piece instead. It seemed appropriate.

2014 Note: I am still the editor of AVENGERS to this day.

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