Retired comic artist George Pérez has posted eight unused pages he penciled for Birds of Prey. The pages were intended for Birds of Prey #7, which was cancelled in the wake of The New 52, leaving a Pérez-drawn Birds of Prey comic purely a might-have-been.
Shared on Pérez’s personal website, the eight pages depict Birds of Prey member Evelyn Crawford, a.k.a. Starling, visiting her Uncle Earl, the elderly World War II vet and former spy who raised her. Because of Earl’s advanced Alzheimer’s, he has traumatic flashbacks to his violent past and attempts to kill Starling. As the pages show, though, Starling is prepared and is able to calm her foster father.
“I was told that the story was all ready to go when I agreed to do this, but the editors decided that plot changes needed to be made and thus I could only produce these 8 pages and waited for months for the revisions that never came,” Pérez said, referring to the editorial changes mandated by New 52. “I finally had to find other work and this story just got forgotten to death.”
In the end, Pérez never had an opportunity to pen an issue of Birds of Prey. “While not much really happens in these pages, I did try to add some visual pizzazz where I could,” he added. “If nothing else, it’s a good conversation starter for those who like to ponder what could have been.”
A genre-defining artist who had been active in the industry since 1973, Pérez is celebrated for his art for Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wonder Woman, and The Avengers, among other properties. He announced his retirement in 2019, citing health issues, although he said he will continue to attend DragonCon and FetishCon.
Pages posted by artist George Pérez reveal a scene from an unpublished issue of “Birds of Prey” he was once intended to draw.