I’m just going through some of my old comics, and am catching up on John Byrne’s run on FANTASTIC FOUR.
It has to be years since I’ve looked through some of these books, but some of the images and lines are ever quotable in my head.
But Byrne’s run, beyond the sound-bytes in my head, not only holds up, but reread it remains just fantastic comics (no pun intended).
John Byrne will be the first to praise Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s seminal run on the Fantastic Four, and I am a huge fan of that run, but John Byrne’s FF is all that magic just polished a bit, and is my personal favorite. It’s a phenomenal body of work with Byrne both penciling and writing. It does peter out a bit in his last couple years on the book, but those first 3 years from issue 232 to roughly issue 270, are just essential comics.
And all the more impressive because this was one man, writing, penciling, and often inking these comics, a crushing workload to try and do monthly… any one of those things, how he managed to do all three for YEARS, (and do all three brilliantly, this wasn’t today’s hack artist or writer just throwing anything at the wall. Byrne was bringing his A game every issue) is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Whatever you think of Byrne the man, for his often abrasive opinions, Byrne the creator is the real friggin deal. He’s the Iron Man (As in Cal Ripken, not Tony Stark) of comics, and Fantastic Four is the best of a lauded and laudable body of work.
If you’ve never read the issues, I highly recommend picking up the recently released John Byrne FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS here!