John Byrne

Doomsday + 1 3 (November 1975)

Joe Gill sure doesn’t have many ideas. Worse, the lack of them cuts into what Byrne gets to draw. For example, this issue has visuals out of the first issue–the space stuff–and the second issue–the robots. Gill gives it a different context (these robots are intergalactic peacekeepers investigating the destruction of Earth) but Byrne doesn’t […]

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Doomsday + 1 2 (September 1975)

So Barbie is falling in love with the thawed cave man. I doubt Gill will be able to sell it, though it does give his characters something interesting. There’s nothing otherwise. The Ken guy gets kidnapped by an evil Soviet cyborg and it’s all painfully boring. Gill only continues the ravaged world exploration thing for […]

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Doomsday + 1 1 (July 1975)

It’s the end of the world as we know it… and John Byrne’s drawing it. I’m not sure what the series’s title, Doomsday + 1, has to do with the content. The premise is simple–three astronauts return to Earth after a nuclear war. Writer Joe Gill doesn’t know much about nuclear warheads, because the radiation’s […]

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Rocketeer Adventures 2 4 (June 2012)

John Byrne easily does the best story in this issue. Really. And he can even draw Peevy. He lays out his story well, though the details on the characters aren’t any great shakes. The Rocketeer’s funny looking, while Cliff looks like Snidely Whiplash. Still, Byrne’s clearly enthusiastic about the characters and the setting. The other […]

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Dark Horse Presents 57 (December 1991)

Not much to recommend Next Men this time. Byrne handles his violent action sequence well, but he’s also selling a U.S. senator killing a federal agent. Who knows, maybe it’s all a Tea Party thing. Regardless, no longer interested in the series. The Creep is, again, excellent. I can’t believe Arcudi’s writing it. And Eaglesham’s […]

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Dark Horse Presents 56 (November 1991)

This oversized issue opens and closes with an Aliens two-parter. Loose art from Guinan and Akins doesn’t help Arcudi’s script. It’s absolutely incomprehensible if you don’t read the Aliens series. Byrne finally produces a Next Men I’m not interested in. It’s two government guys revealing all. The art’s really, really mediocre. It’s like even Byrne […]

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Dark Horse Presents 54 (September 1991)

The big surprise this issue is Byrne’s Next Men. It’s actually pretty solid (though I think it features all four Byrne faces). The art’s great–nice flow of action–and the story’s intriguing. I think it’s the strongest narrative structure I’ve ever read from Byrne (though it might just be because it’s a prologue). Geary’s got a […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 11 (September 1999)

Oh, wow. This issue is actually the worst. The dialogue is so unbearably bad, it doesn’t even matter Milgrom’s inks are a little better than last time. Spider-Man gets in a fight with Giant-Man and the Wasp–who Byrne portrays as being entirely narcissistic and without any heroic qualities whatsoever, but still forces the reader to […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 10 (August 1999)

And there you have it… I say something nice and this issue’s my reward. This issue might be the worst. I mean, maybe not in terms of scenic writing, but certainly in terms of plotting and art. Milgrom’s inks here are atrocious. The only panel he doesn’t seem to ruin is a close-up of Johnny […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 9 (July 1999)

This issue might actually be the best one of the series (so far). I mean, the Daredevil appearance at the beginning is awful–actually, wait, the whole beginning is awful. Actually, everything’s awful except the fight in Central Park against Kraven and the Chameleon. And even it has bad art–Al Milgrom is a terrible inker for […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 8 (June 1999)

Artistically speaking, I don’t depend on John Byrne for much. Solid layouts maybe, everyone looking the same definitely, a decided lack of backgrounds as well… but I guess I also depend on him not to do Liefeld-like proportions and he closes the issue on one. It’s hideous. But it’s also a mystery–he draws Norman Osborn […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 7 (May 1999)

This issue–even though it’s got Betty Brant and I doubt Byrne’s going to have a chance to foul up their flirtation–might be the worst so far. Again, I don’t care (does anyone care about Chapter One? I know even Byrne distanced himself from it, though I swear I read he once said “anyone who doesn’t […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 6 (April 1999)

This issue, with Byrne eschewing most of Electro’s origin, not to mention the Lee and Dikto issue featuring him, is maybe more what all of Chapter One should have been. It’s got Byrne’s fingerprints all over it, versus a more direct “retelling.” For example, Byrne adds a huge Human Torch fight sequence this issue–the Torch […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 5 (March 1999)

Wow, it’s worse when Byrne only tries to retell a single Lee and Ditko length issue. He does half the Doctor Doom story (ignoring the initial meeting between Doom and Spider-Man, again, a somewhat interesting omission) and half the Lizard story. The originals probably took fifteen minutes to read. Maybe more. Byrne’s retelling is a […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 4 (February 1999)

Reading the original issues, I noticed how money concerned Peter’s actions often were during the first few issues. Bryne seems to have noticed it too, turning it into something of a plot point–Spider-Man realizes he should be selfless or some such thing. The problem with Byrne’s take is how lousy it suggests Spider-Man was before […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 3 (January 1999)

It’s somewhat interesting to see how Byrne adapts the originals–for example, he sets up a cliffhanger on something from the middle of an original (Spidey’s initial defeat at Doctor Octopus’s hands). But interesting isn’t good. Or worthwhile. Here, Byrne introduces a previously unknown Superman and Jimmy Olsen relationship between Spidey and Flash Thompson. Byrne continues […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 2 (December 1998)

Byrne’s approach to retelling the first “year” of Amazing Spider-Man issues is pretty simple, at least from what’s going on here. Gut the teenage Peter Parker drama and put in all Spider-Man and supervillains. Given how much of the originals Lee spent on the teenage drama, I imagine it had something to do with their […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 1 (December 1998)

It takes Byrne twice as long to tell the Spider-Man origin this issue. Retell, sorry. I’m trying to think if there’s a single thing he does in the comic worth mentioning. He adds black people, he makes Peter’s classmates really vicious, Liz Allen in particular. Otherwise, it’s not much different than a padded retelling of […]

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Spider-Man: Chapter One 0 (April 1999)

You know, it’s not terrible. I mean, it’s kind of dumb in a nineties rehash kind of way–if Byrne ever got so thorough in his thinking of Superman’s origin, he never showed it in Man of Steel and just let a lot go unmentioned–but it’s nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. Maybe because […]

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Fantastic Four 288 (March 1986)

Strangely, the John Byrne Beyonder does not look like the standard John Byrne male. No idea why he chose to do something different. Maybe it’s just the eyeshadow. Maybe he started with the Byrne male and then the eyeshadow ruined it. It’s an utterly goofy story, however, featuring some mind boggling continuity turns–the Dr. Doom […]

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Fantastic Four 285 (December 1985)

Holy shit. I thought Byrne was going to do some kind of responsible story about a kid lighting himself on fire to be like the Human Torch but he does not. There’s certainly an element of that story in this issue, but there’s no responsibility. Byrne turns it into A Christmas Carol (but with only […]

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Alpha Flight 28 (November 1985)

You know, Alpha Flight? Not bad. I’m always somewhat loathe to compliment John Byrne (he draws Guardian’s wife like a whore, by the way, there’s something about redheaded white Canadians in boots and glasses, makes them look like whores), but he manages a team book pretty well. I had some trouble keeping up (did Marvel […]

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