Daily Archives: April 23, 2012
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
Fantastic Four #232 was John Byrne’s first issue as both writer and artist and his run would last over five years on the title. Byrne had pencilled the book a few years earlier working with writers Marv Wolfman and Bill Mantlo. The Fantastic Four is more of a family than a super-hero team and no one understood that better than Byrne.
What made Byrne’s take on this title so memorable was how he handled the characters and their relationships. All team books tend to be formulaic, but what Byrne couldn’t succeed at doing with Alpha Flight, he was able to do with the Fantastic Four. He grew them from the archetypes created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and changed them subtly, but meaningfully.