Comic book creator John Byrne used to create X-Men comic books with Chris Claremont. Then, after the death of Jean Grey, he left. He continued to work for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, writing and drawing a stunning array of different comic books including the likes of Fantastic Four, Alpha Flight, Hulk, Superman, Man of Steel, She-Hulk, Namor, West Coast Avengers, a Wonder Woman run, New Gods and Fourth World, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men The Hidden Years, Next Men, 2112, Babe, Danger Unlimited, Ganthet’s Tale, Superman: True Brit, Superman And Batman: Generations, JLA, Doom Patrol, Atom, Demon, Action Comics, and many more.
But he fell out of love with Marvel and DC — and only returned to comics working for IDW on titles such as FX, Cold War, a Next Men revival, and the recent Star Trek fumetti comic.
But he is still best known for his earlier Marvel work, which keeps getting reinvented in comics, games, TV shows — and most blatantly the recent X:Men: Days of Future Past movie.
Recently on the John Byrne Message Board, a forum for John and his biggest fans, he posted a new piece with the following note:
That thread about going back to Marvel created an itch I needed to scratch. I asked myself if I could still pencil for someone else to ink. This was the result.
I think the only way I could even get close to these characters again would be if Marvel decided to give HIDDEN YEARS back to me, and then stood back and let me do my job.
Then, as he was drawing other pages, something came to him.
Just had one of my wilder ideas. Remember when Chris was doing X-MEN FOREVER, picking up from when he left the book? Immediately some people started speculating about me doing the same, X-MEN EVERMORE, picking up from my own exit point.
But just now I thought of something that would be even more fun. For the sake of reference, let’s call it X-MEN ELSEWHEN, picking up with the coda of X-MEN 136, but proceeding as if Shooter hadn’t thrown his king-sized monkey wrench into the works! So Jean* doesn’t die, Scott doesn’t leave, and, well, a whole bunch of other stuff does and doesn’t happen.
(And, no, not scripted by Chris!!)
Never gonna happen, but fun to think about.
* Yes, Jean.
And the readers of the John Byrne Forum started to get a new, never-before-seen X-Men comic book by John Byrne. For free.
A number of readers started using the pages as inking practice as well, posting the results.
John Byrne also started adding dialogue as he went along, to help people to understand what was going on. Especially if they were trying to ink him.
And suddenly the comic book was in full gear.
The last page published so far was yesterday.
As above, John Byrne hasn’t ruled out returning to Marvel for a project like this under certain circumstances. And I do know that Marvel Comics would be open to John Byrne returning, also under certain circumstances.
Is there any chance those circumstances could coincide?