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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on the John Bryne Fantastic Four thread

    Finished reading the run for first time last night. And thought it might recording a few thoughts double pronto, just to see if others share the same bias..or have different views.

    First thing to say, is that I can see easily why so many people think this is a wonderful run. And I do too. So although I'll be saying eventually that I'm not sure one or two things worked...it needs to be seen against that general background.

    Start with a few key positives. I think the artwork...in particular the detail and imagination that John B put into scenes, the way he sequences the story to make it effortless to follow was wonderful. I like John B's art in general...and I think this is best work of his I've ever seen. Compared to say his recent work on Next Men...the styles the same, but jeez, there's much, much detail in the FF work. He must have worked like a Trojan to get it out on a monthly basis.

    The other key positive...the individual stories were top rate. I can't remember a single dud..I at least enjoyed each issue, and really, really enjoyed most.

    Where I did have a some "doubts" was some of the long term story threads, and maybe overall team balance.

    Looking at overall team balance...I think Reed was written as too perfect and too multi-skilled. We're told that he's a head in the clouds scientist, neglects his family from time to time, etc, etc. I just didn't see any evidence in this particular run to support that view of Reed. He was a kindly supportive husband and father, all round scientific genius...and just about every decision he made under pressure turned out to be right. He was written basically without fault or weakness.

    It gives less for rest of team to contribute....and was maybe biggest issue in team balance. On other hand Sue became more forceful and mature (compared to great Kirby/ Lee run) and Johnny came over as more mature and thoughtful. So I suppose actually....team balance was improved a bit, but with not enough done to amend imbalance due to Reed's "perfection".

    I have to say I wasn't really "in tune" with Reed's decision on Galactus. If a creature that regularly kills billions of people was dying, I think it's a no brainer to step aside and let nature take it's course. As usual Reed's decision (to save Galactus) turned out to be the "right one", and John B did a good job I think to put case for that...but I really, really didn't buy it. Maybe a case where my bias is showing, rather than poor story telling!

    For me, Johny's courtship of Alicia was another questionable area. I suppose this is a case where reading comics decades in arrears imposes limits on enjoyment...because obviously I knew "Alicia" was actually Lyja..and that most likely limited my emotional involvement in developments. But reaction of other characters seemed rather restrained and muted to me. Here is Johhny courting love of Ben's life...and Reed, Sue, and Johhny himself...really, really don't seem to see any potential issues with that. It just seemed odd.

    But..yes.. a terrific read.
    Last edited by JackDaw; 09-19-2018 at 03:54 AM.

  2. #2

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    isn't there a new vinyl poster for December release? can you order it online or do you have to get it from a comics store?

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    John Byrne can have some wonderfully creative stories that I enjoyed a lot, but he also seemed to get bogged down in very boring things like the technical workings of how a city can be put on the moon (seriously, FF 240 should have been a way more interesting and epic issue) or continuing his feud with Chris Claremont with the trial of Reed Richards.
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member DragonsChi's Avatar
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    John Byrne run on the Fantastic Four is one of the best runs EVER at Marvel. When listing notable Marvel history that run will always get it's card thrown in the hat.
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsChi View Post
    John Byrne run on the Fantastic Four is one of the best runs EVER at Marvel. When listing notable Marvel history that run will always get it's card thrown in the hat.
    My reading of Marvel runs has been really patchy, so my subsequent comments need to be taken with that in mind.

    I think large majority of runs where I’ve enjoyed reading the individual comics as much have been much shorter..stuff like Garth Ennis Fury Max, Brian Michael Bendis Alias, Alan Moore Captain Britain. There are just a few long runs that gave as much reading enjoyment...Punisher Max, Frank Miller Daredevil, and Ultimate Daredevil.

    Combine enjoyment of the story, with art quality...and then I’d be left with Fran Miller Daredevil and John Bryne FF as personal favourites.

    Beyond that...I suppose given its importance in starting so much in Marvel, original Lee/ Kirby FF run towers over all subsequent series in terms of how important it is for setting up the story telling Marvel-verse.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Crimz's Avatar
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    Loved what the run did for Sue as a character.
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  7. #7
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Perhaps even more of a good run than the 60s run.

  8. #8
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    It's okay.
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  9. #9
    Boisterously Confused
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    Byrne's run is imperfect. That said, it's the best FF anybody acheived since Kirby and Lee's heyday. He understood the synchronisity of family, sci-fi, and adventure at the title's heart.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Byrne's run is imperfect. That said, it's the best FF anybody acheived since Kirby and Lee's heyday. He understood the synchronisity of family, sci-fi, and adventure at the title's heart.
    Couldn't Lee's run also be reasonably described as imperfect too though?

  11. #11
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    Byrne's run was very good and on the top of my list. I will say the Johnny/Alicia pair was a God-Awful development and never should have happened. But outside of that there wasn't anything else that was a major problem for me.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    ... Reed's "perfection".
    Reed's character had to be perfect, because his scientific achievements were less so. I was a big fan of Byrne at the time and followed him to the FF. Prior to subscribing, I cared very little about the group for a number of reasons with Reed being at the top of that ignominious list. But Byrne made me like Reed. At least for a little while.

    I have to say I wasn't really "in tune" with Reed's decision on Galactus. If a creature that regularly kills billions of people was dying, I think it's a no brainer to step aside and let nature take it's course. As usual Reed's decision (to save Galactus) turned out to be the "right one", and John B did a good job I think to put case for that...but I really, really didn't buy it. Maybe a case where my bias is showing, rather than poor story telling!
    You're not alone. I love that story arc, but the decision to try and save Galactus in that instant should have earned Reed a few bolts of lightning to the arse from Thor. Galactus was largely an unknown quantity and at death's door. Saving him had to feel a little like trying to put a band-aid on a cornered and wounded tiger. How could any of them know that Galan's primal instinct for survival wouldn't kick in? Galan could start devouring the planet purely as an autonomous function designed to ensure that he remain as the crucial third pillar of the cosmic hierarchy. Fortunately, Reed was right.

    As for the plot, the one head scratcher that I'll always have is why Galactus didn't immediately absorb Thor's lightning? While Thor's ability to summon lightning may be magical, the lightning itself has its normal properties. Don't get me wrong, I love the "Here comes the cavalry 'I say thee Nay!'" of it all, but we repeatedly see Galactus getting struck with energies that he should be able to absorb outright. That part bothered me then and still does to this day.

    But seeing Frankie Raye become Nova II wipes those small complaints from memory. I would have gladly given all of my prized collections to soar the cosmos as a herald of Galactus, even if it meant destroying a populated world or two. Frankie was living my dream.

  13. #13
    Fantastic Member ARkadelphia's Avatar
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    Haven’t read the entire run but I think you’re very much on target here. Some thoughts...

    - Art was phenomenal. He’s always been one of my all time faves from that perspective, and this run may have been his peak. Certainly was better than his X-Men work in my opinion, though I’m sure others will disagree.

    - Agree On Johnny and Alicia. Bad bad bad idea from the get go.

    - Adding She-Hulk was inspired. More importantly, he took this character who was really a bad concept to begin with and single-handedly turned her into one of Marvel’s all time greats.

    - Development of Sue was also terrific. In an age where females still struggled mightily to be as powerful as the men, Byrne (like Claremont) really helped take many of them to the next level.

    - Did not have a problem with perfect Reed. I figure, he’s got the brains to be right 99% of the time. And from a husbandly perspective, he’s gotta have some stretches where he’s doing a good job, otherwise Sue wouldn’t stay.
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