Fantastic Four #232
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #232
This is also, of course, the beginning of John Byrne's FF run, in which he writes, draws, and inks (he'd been on the title for pencils for a period of time, and he also wrote and drew a two issue arc last year). He kicks off with a story called Back to the Basics (which in many ways applies to the Jim Shooter era generally as well as Byrne's approach to this book)...
...and it features an attack on the FF by Diablo and his elementals.
The FF are able to beat the elementals with the old opponent switcharoo trick...
...and they track down Diablo with the help of Dr. Strange.
Sue gets a haircut this issue.
We're already starting to see her increased power levels too, just in the way she's depicted.
Also in this issue, Johnny and Frankie Ray renew their relationship.
Byrne's art is fantastic. Much better than during his run with Marv Wolfman. The detail in Reed's lab, the facial expressions, the storytelling... it's all perfect.
Diablo had been disguising himself as Mr. Olbaid at the start of this issue. Easier to decipher than Byrne's Bjorn Heyn credit.
Quality Rating: B
Historical Significance Rating: 3 - beginning John Byrne's FF run
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed forward in publishing time to accommodate Dr. Strange's appearance, which needs to take place after the Defender's Six Fingered Hand story (or during any other reasonable break).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAlicia Masters, Diablo, Dr. Strange, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Nova (Frankie Raye), Thing
Byrne was originally supposed to do just the writing; he agreed to do the art as well about a month after the scripting agreement.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 2, 2012 7:30 PM
Terry Austin was originally announced as the regular inker.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 7, 2012 5:30 PM
I was so busy spending all my money on Avengers and X titles that the only issue I had of Byrne's run was #286. I'm so glad that Marvel put it all together in one big bang - $125 is not actually all that expensive when you consider how much you get in the Omnibus. Great splash page to begin an incredible run.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 1, 2015 3:12 PM
I came across this article reprinting an interview Marv Wolfman and Len Wein made for The Fantastic Four Chronicles circa 1981. It's interesting to read that Wolfman was critical of Byrne's approach to the book in terms of taking the book back to the past.
Posted by: JSfan | June 3, 2015 7:48 AM
That interview is a good read, JSfan. I can understand why Wein and Wolfman wouldn't take kindly to Byrne disregarding everything they wrote, but their complaints about him changing their beloved status quo come off as more bitter than anything else. Was moving the Inhumans to the moon really that big of a deal? The two's summary of the FF's origin was pretty funny though.
And I for one am thankful that the original design for Uatu came back. I never cared for his more human-looking appearances.
Posted by: TCP | June 3, 2015 9:13 AM
I think it's funny that they defend the writer-editor role by saying it's good to be able to experiment without getting permission, and then complain that John Byrne changed the look of all the characters without getting permission (although he presumably DID get permission from his editor).
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2015 5:32 PM
Well, that interview is now over 33 years old. People online still fondly remember Byrne's run, overall. But does anyone talk about Wein/Wolfman's FF work in the same vein, now?
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | June 3, 2015 9:59 PM
So I went to my first convention yesterday. Small one right in my home city but there were still costumes. Anyway I got this issue, missed the next four issues then got Bryne issues up until 250 or so.
What exactly did happen during Wein and Wolfman's run? I don't want to read the summaries just yet even if their run's aren't exactly classic.
Posted by: david banes | October 4, 2015 3:06 PM
One significant event that happens across the Wein and Wolfman's run is the break-up of the team, which lasts about a year and ends in a Dr. Doom fight. In Wolfman's run there is also the Skrull/Xandarians War that is really a wrap-up to Wolfman's Nova run. And there's also HERBIE.
Any more than that and you can just read the summaries! :-)
Posted by: fnord12 | October 4, 2015 7:42 PM
Oh, I guess I did already read those then. I liked that run, it was pretty darn fun. I thought the break up was great and at least the Dr. Doom fight was cool. I sadly didn't get to finish the Skrull/Xandarians War yet.
Not classic but at least fun.
Posted by: davidbanes | October 4, 2015 11:11 PM
"Terry Austin was originally announced as the regular inker.
That is true. The shift to Byrne doing inks himself happened fairly last-minute, after the Inker credit box was already laid out on the splash page. That's why "Bjorn Heyn" was used there.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | June 18, 2017 7:24 PM
That Wolfman and Wein interview linked above-- thank you-- reads like those guys really never had very much respect for the playground they were playing in. I know I've read this interview somewhere before-- it really helps to explain why these guys' Fantastic Four runs were so dull. They criticize Byrne, but at least Byrne researched his material well. Here we see that Wolfman can't even remember the name of the town where Sue and Johnny lived (Central City). They seem to think of comics as a writers' and editors' only playground, and give little to no credit to the artists' contributions. They pick holes in the FF's origin story by making fun of elements they've made little effort to understand, or which could very easily be explained away logically with a little bit of effort-- so, no no-prizes for them! :-p
Posted by: Holt | May 7, 2018 10:04 PM
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