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ORLANDO -- With editor Joey Cavalieri stuck in New York because of the weather, George Perez proved brave and bold enough to handle The Brave and The Bold panel at MegaCon on Friday.

An unexpected solo act, Perez talked extensively about his first monthly gig in three years -- since CrossGen's Solus -- and opened the floor to questions from the fans.

Following are the highlights:

* Perez had in hand an early look at The Brave and The Bold #1, which reaches stores on Wednesday. Since he has only two more convention appearances -- in New York and Pittsburgh -- until 2009, he decided to sign the book and make it available at the convention through Hero Initiative.

* Perez noted that he just found out that he'll be doing 10 issues of The Brave and The Bold per year with writer Mark Waid. "My contracted stipulated 10 books per year because DC didn't want to overburden me," Perez said. "I didn't know about it. None us knew there was a skip month."

DC's just-released May solicitations revealed no The Brave and The Bold #4. That issue will arrive in stores in June, and there will be a skip month every four months.

* The Brave and The Bold #3 pits the futuristic Fatal Five against Batman and Blue Beetle. "The Fatal Five vs. Batman and Blue Beetle? They don't stand a chance!" Perez said, smiling. "But Mark threw in a nice surprise."

* Perez said that Waid initially wrote full scripts, but now is looser in his approach to B&B. "I get to play," Perez said. "I like to throw a few curves to a writer -- but not without consulting him first."

* The first arc of B&B will last six issues. Perez said he's completed the cover for #4, which pairs Supergirl and Lobo, but he doesn't know who will be featured in the rest of the arc.

"After the first arc, we are talking about single and two-issue story arcs, so we have more freedom with characters," Perez said.

* Perez said he would like to draw "anybody I can get my grubby hands on," including B-, C- and even D-list characters.

"We can do characters that spread through space and time, so that give us an unlimited canvas to work on," Perez said. "The fact that Mark Waid knows the DC Universe so well, I've got a great tour guide."

Perez said he would love to return to Wonder Woman, pairing her with Power Girl, and would also like a crack at the Metal Men.

"Mark knows it could be JLA and Legion if he wants because I'm that fearless when it comes to characters," Perez said.

* Perez said he doesn't contribute to the plotting of B&B and that he isn't really up on current DC continuity. He does like to contribute to staging, choreography and emotion of stories.

"I just don't have time to understand the big picture any more," he said.

* Perez said he was offered to write Wonder Woman, but declined, at least partly because of the continuity issues. "I was flattered, but I'm not sure I even know she is any more," he said.

* Perez said he and writer Marv Wolfman have been asked to contribute to Teen Titans #50, but isn't sure it will happen. "It depends on my schedule," he said.

* Perez praised the work of B&B inker Bob Wiacek -- "He's very faithful to my pencils -- and long-time collaborator and colorist Tom Smith for his detailed work.

* Perez said he has no interest in working in Hollywood. "It takes a strong ego, and I'm a little too sensitive," he said.

* Asked how he felt about Cartoon Network's Teen Titans animated series, Perez said he was grateful in how it has expanded the audience for the characters. He admitted he was a little taken back by its visuals at first glance.

"It's a very clever cartoon," he said. "This is their version of these iconic characters, and it's aimed at a younger audience. But they don't talk down to them, which is a very tough tightrope to walk."

Perez added that royalties from the show have been very nice.

"DC Comics is really meticulous about royalites," Perez said, noting that was one of the reasons he signed an exclusive with the publisher.

* Asked if there ever was a character he hated so much he wanted to kill, Perez said, "Vibe. And I did kill him. I would have given him a full-page death if I had the room."

Perez said he hated the treatment the Puerto Rican character was given.

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