In 1981, fresh off a defining run on the X-Men with writer Chris Claremont, Canadian comic book creator John Byrne turned his attention on The Fantastic Four. Once Marvel Comics’ flagship title, The Fantastic Four had become a middling comic book in the 70s, its position usurped by the X-Men due to engaging, tight plotting, well-defined characters, and a strong sense of realism in both the writing and artwork, not to mention powerful, cinematic drama. The Uncanny X-Men was the premier comic book title of the time, and John Byrne was a major component in its rise to prominence. When creative differences with Claremont and editor-in-chief Jim Shooter soured Byrne on The X-Men, he asked for, and was given, full creative rein on The Fantastic Four, beginning with issue 232, with a cover date of July 1981.
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