main image

JOHN BYRNE

Real Name: John Lindley Byrne

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Comics writer, penciller, inker and letterer

Group Membership: The Marvel Bullpen

Affiliations: Bobbie Chase, Blonde Phantom (Louise Mason), Chris Claremont, Clea, Dave Cockrum, Paty Cockrum, Corky, Tom DeFalco, Eternity, Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Susan Richards-Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), Mike Higgins, Misty Knight, Howard Mackie, Moira MacTaggert, Lilandra Neramani, Ann Nocenti, Nova (Frankie Raye), Odin (Odin Borson), Glynis Oliver-Wein, Puck (Eugene Judd), Lt. Rafael Scarfe, Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, Uatu the Watcher, Roberta, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters), Bonnie Wilford, Ron Wilson, Renée Witterstaetter, X-Men (Banshee/Sean Cassidy, Charles Xavier, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Phoenix Force (as Jean Grey), Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett)

Enemies: Golden Tiger Gang, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters)

Known Relatives: Andrea Braun-Byrne (wife, divorced), Kieron Dwyer (former stepson)

Aliases: Bjorn Heyn (anagram for John Byrne), "Genius" (nickname he gave himself)

Base of Operations: Fairfield, Connecticut;
formerly Evanston, Illinois;
formerly New York City, New York;
formerly Calgary, Alberta, Canada;
formerly Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada;
formerly Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;
formerly West Bromwich, England, United Kingdom

First Appearance: Iron Fist I#8 (October, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: John Byrne possessed no known superhuman powers. As a talented, self-professed writer who also draws, Byrne was also more than proficient in inking and lettering. Byrne had chronicled the licensed adventures of superheroes like the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk and Thing for Marvel Comics. In his interactions with others, Byrne could at times be rude to the point of arrogance, smugly convinced of the greatness of his own artistic vision. After an encounter with Eternity, he briefly grasped the full cosmic truth (see comments).

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 150 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue (wears glasses)
Hair: Blonde

History:

(Iron Fist I#8) - John Byrne and several of his Marvel Comics colleagues were about to get mugged by members of the street gang known as the Golden Tigers. Iron Fist intervened on their behalf and fought off the hoodlums who ran off. When NYPD's Lt. Rafael Scarfe and his officers arrived, Byrne offered to use his artistic skills to draw mugshots of the assailants and the trademark tiger head print they wore on their leather jackets.

(Iron Fist I#15) - John Byrne attended a party thrown by Jean Grey and Misty Knight that got off to a bit of a rocky start when Wolverine arrived early and caught Misty's friend Iron Fist entering the apartment. Figuring he was dealing with a burglar, Logan stormed in and tried to stop the martial artist, trashing most of the place in the process. That didn't prevent Byrne, his creative collaborator Chris Claremont and his then wife Bonnie Wilford from having a good time. Joined by fellow Marvel staffers Dave and Paty Cockrum, John mingled with the X-Men and their associates like Moira MacTaggert and Lilandra Neramani.

(Uncanny X-Men I#121) - John Byrne was having dinner with his ladyfriend Darice at Sky 360,  the rotating restaurant on top of Calgary Tower. Before long, they had to run for their lives when a freak weather event generated during a nearby conflict between the X-Men and Alpha Flight caused the windows of the tower to shatter.

(Captain America I#252/2) - John Byrne politely refused writer Roger Stern's request to draw all the Avengers and their associates in a single panel as part of a back-up in a recent issue of Marvel's officially licensed Captain America comic.

(Fantastic Four I#262) - Frustrated that the Fantastic Four were on an extended leave of absence while the deadline for the next issue of their Marvel comic was fast approaching, John Byrne felt pressured by his assistant editor Mike Higgins to simply make up a story. He gave it serious consideration after he once again failed to reach them and was politely brushed off by the FF's robotic receptionist Roberta.

   Moments before Byrne's wife Andrea entered his work room, John had been visited by the Watcher who teleported him away. Uatu explained to the astounded Byrne that he, as the chronicler of the FF's exploits, needed to be at their side during what might be their last adventure. Byrne found himself alongside the FF just as Lilandra Neramani and the Shi'ar were about to start the formal trial of Reed Richards, who was being accused of crimes against sentience for saving the life of the planet-eater Galactus.

   Initially, the FF weren't too pleased to see Byrne, figuring that there were bigger things at stake than a mere comic book story. However Byrne stuck around and when he noticed Lilandra was in charge, he openly blurted out he always thought she was an arrogant witch too full of her own importance for actually daring to threaten the FF (see comments).

   Byrne watched on as the trial unfolded and the jury was almost swayed by the Watcher and Odin of Asgard who made it a special point to come to Reed's defense. Byrne, like the others, was shocked to see Galactus and his herald Nova arrive at the trial. Galactus and the Watcher then joined forces to summon Eternity, who gave testimony by revealing to all those present the complete cosmic truth that proved Galactus played a vital role in the universe.

    After returning home, Byrne called his editor Mike Higgins to tell him what he'd just been through with the FF. Higgins didn't quite believe it was actually true, but was relieved John had a story nonetheless. Before Byrne could start working, the Watcher appeared to him once more and urged John to hurry because the full majesty of the cosmic truth was already fading from his mind.

(Thing I#7/2 - (fb) - BTS) - Unbeknownst to the Thing, John Byrne decided Ben's official recount of his fight against the low level supervillain Goody Two-Shoes wasn't exciting enough. In order to use their encounter in an issue of the Thing's official Marvel comic, Byrne and artist Ron Wilson, decided to embellish the truth.

(Thing I#7/2) - When the Thing read Byrne's take on his confrontation with Goody Two-Shoes, he was shocked to learn how badly Byrne had exaggerated matters. Byrne made it seem like Goody came dangerously close to killing him, while in reality all it took for Ben to take him out was a mere flick of his fingers. Storming into Byrne's giant private offices at Marvel, Thing interrupted a production meeting between Byrne, his assistant editor Ann Nocenti and Thing artist Ron Wilson. The latter two tried to calm the hopping mad hero down, but a distinctly dismissive Byrne flat out told Thing his life sometimes just wasn't interesting. Completely losing his cool, Ben crushed Byrne's office, along with John, Ron and Ann, into "something interesting".

(Sensational She-Hulk I#2) - Dissatisfied by the slow pace of the story's opening pages, Marvel's editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco sent several memos to Sensational She-Hulk editor Bobbie Chase, demanding more action. Chase had Byrne deliver the goods by having John draw a fleet of Tribbite ships over Manhattan. When DeFalco sent another memo asking for a few more, an angry Byrne fired back he wasn't going to draw that (expletive deleted) fleet again.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#4) - Hoping to have a romantic fling with her handsome new boss, district attorney Towers, She-Hulk became furious at Byrne when he dropped the sudden reveal that Towers was actually a happily married man with two daughters.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#6) - During an unplanned trip to outerspace with Razorback and Taryn O'Connell, She-Hulk urged Byrne on to draw some proper cosmic vistas to commemorate the occasion. Byrne complied.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#8 - BTS) - Following creative differences with editor Bobbie Chase, John Byrne decided to leave the book.

(Avengers West Coast#56) - After giving writer Mike Higgins the wrong information on what Avengers he could use in the 1988 summer crossover Atlantis Attacks, John Byrne was forced by his editor Howard Mackie to apologize to the readers in person. Byrne had told Higgins he could use Tigra, forgetting she had at the time reverted to a feral state and wasn't on active duty. Byrne admitted he had goofed, claiming there were so many Avengers it's hard to keep track. He then excused himself to go eat a proverbial bug.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#31) - After being reinstated as writer and artist on Sensational She-Hulk, Byrne immediately tried to turn back time by replacing the #31 in the indicia box with a #9. She-Hulk caught him in the act on the cover and John's new editor Renée Witterstaetter told Byrne to put his ego back in its box.

(Alpha Flight I#105 - BTS) - The men of Alpha Flight decided to hold Madison Jeffries' bachelor party on Christmas Eve at Puck's old pub Corky's Tavern in Toronto. Dressed in their civilian clothes, they happily downed quite a few drinks to celebrate Jeffries' upcoming nuptials to Diamond Lil (Lilian Crawley).

(Alpha Flight I#105) - John Byrne was having a beer by himself at the bar when the owner of Corky's Tavern, Corky, spotted his former dimunitive bouncer, Eugene Milton Judd. Curious about what had happened to him, Corky grilled Judd who revealed he had actually been busy saving the world as Puck of Alpha Flight. Thinking Judd was joking, Corky laughed it off and Byrne even mockingly wondered if Judd could maybe set him up with Aurora.

   Judd was vindicated when a desperate man tried to hold up the Tavern, only to be easily apprehended by Alpha Flight.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#36) - Concerned about the increasing number of unresolved subplots, She-Hulk warned John Byrne he'd better have some plans in place to dovetail the stories of Mahkizmo and the Living Eraser or it might confuse her readers. "All two of them?" was Byrne's snide response in a caption box. Before moving on, Jennifer warned John not to get funny. That was her job, after all.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#37) - She-Hulk became infuriated with Byrne when he published several blank pages in the wake of the Living Eraser's attack. Ripping apart the third blank page, Jennifer yelled at John, reminding him that half the fans hated this trick when he pulled it years ago in an issue of Alpha Flight. Obeying his leading lady's wishes, Byrne restored everything to normal.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#38) - After Mahkizmo proved the latest in a long line of villains infatuated with her, She-Hulk started to yell at Byrne about it. Renée dutifully provided footnotes as She-Hulk recounted the parade of losers he had sent to lust after her. Backed into a corner by two women, Byrne pleaded with Renée to stop annotating. Their discussion threatened to fill the entire panel, forcing She-Hulk to literally toss the caption boxes in the trash.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#40 - BTS) - John Byrne had been steadily increasing the weight of She-Hulk's sidekick, Louise Mason who had only recently regained her former, youthful and svelte figure after being rejuvenated.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#41 - BTS) - Byrne continued to draw Louise Mason as an increasingly obese woman, even as she joined She-Hulk on an outerspace mission against Spragg the Living Hill.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#41) - After receiving Byrne's art for Sensational She-Hulk I#41, Renée Witterstaetter noticed she was a page short and called Byrne in his studio. Admitting he had misplaced it, Byrne kept Witterstaetter talking until their conversation had filled the remaining page.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#42 - BTS) - After packing on even more pounds in-between issues, Louise Mason had enough and quit the story. Explaining to She-Hulk she realized Byrne had planned to do a story with her exploring the emotional anguish caused by unwanted weight gain and she wouldn't stand for it. She-Hulk was sympathetic to Mason's plight, adding that she just realized Byrne had a thing for drawing hugely fat women like Pink Pearl, Big Bertha and "the Skrull Queen in that Fantastic Four Annual was in." Mason went out to remedy the situation.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#43 - BTS) - Mason met with various higher ups at Marvel and Byrne was forced to slim her down until she was, as she described herself, "pleasantly plump".

(Sensational She-Hulk I#43) - Byrne tried to shake things up by adopting a radically different style of writing and drawing. After a few pages, Renée stepped in and demanded he set things right. Not falling for Byrne's excuse that it was a "fromage", Witterstaetter pointed out he couldn't even spell "homage" correctly. She then ordered him to start the story over using his own style.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#44) - In a shameless attempt to emulate today's hot artists, Byrne filled about half the issue with artsy pin-ups of She-Hulk as the background to the actual story. In the captions, he argued with his editor Renée about the merits of this type of storytelling. In the end, Witterstaetter won out.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#48) - Unable to settle on the bad guy for this issue, Byrne came up with Your Favorite Villain.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#50 - (fb) - BTS) - Worried about John Byrne's increasingly erratic story ideas for the She-Hulk's solo book, Renée Witterstaetter decided to replace him. Renée knocked John out and left him tied and gagged inside a closet at her Marvel office, Witterstaetter then called She-Hulk to inform her Byrne had died.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#50) - Renée lied to She-Hulk about Byrne's demise, claiming he broke his neck after tripping over a dangling plot thread. She then started to show Jennifer several art and writing samples for possible replacements (provided by, among others, Frank Miller, Walter Simonson and Richard and Wendy Pini). She-Hulk didn't like any of them and became suspicious when she kept hearing muffled sounds coming from Renée's closet. Checking out what was going on, She-Hulk found and freed Byrne who smugly started ranting about himself in the third person by his self chosen nickname "genius".

   Proving her point that Byrne was near a nervous breakdown, Renée tricked John into showing She-Hulk what he had in store for her next issue. Shocked that Byrne wanted to recast her as a toddler version of herself called Lil' She-Hulk, she casually dismissed Byrne by throwing him to his death. Leaving a shocked Renée behind, She-Hulk cheerfully noted that death sells and that the demise of a super-ego should sell at least as many copies as the death of a super-man.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Dan Green (inks).

After writing Chris Claremont's 616 profile, it just didn't seem right to leave out his Uncanny X-Men collaborator John Byrne. Besides, Byrne's many appearances in Sensational She-Hulk alone warranted a full profile.

It's pretty hard not to read Byrne's comments on Lilandra being arrogant and full of herself in Fantastic Four I#265 as a direct dig at Chris Claremont. After all, Claremont had Lilandra show up at the Baxter Building to threaten the team in Uncanny X-Men I#167, by all accounts without asking or even telling John first.

Given the nature of Sensational She-Hulk, John Byrne should really have a BTS credit for issues #1 through #8 and #31 through #50, because of She-Hulk's ongoing conversation with him. However, for clarity's sake I only selected the stories in which he actually replied or showed up in person.

So, how does one provide an in-universe explanation for the fact John Byrne seemed able to directly communicate with his comic book characters and even appear in the stories? Considering he only started to manifest these abilities until after his exposure to Eternity's cosmic truth, it's most likely an after effect of that experience. After all, Uatu did state that while the ultimate truth would fade, a remnant would remain... For my money, possessing even a sliver of passing omniscience is more than to let you do all the shtick you want to do with a gamma irradiated lawyer turned heroine. 

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
John Byrne has no known connections to:


John Byrne of Earth-8910

On Earth-8910 (the Impossible Man's insane Earth) John Byrne and Chris Claremont tried to outwrite one another, attended to by their female characters (in Byrne's case, She-Hulk, in Claremont's the White Queen, etc.).

--Excalibur I#14


















images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#262, p1, pan2 (main image)
Uncanny X-Men I#121, p10, pan3-4 (and Darice)
Fantastic Four I#262, p22, pan3 (the Watcher)
Thing I#7, p19, pan5-6 (Misunderstood genius)
Sensational She-Hulk I#4, p7, pan1-2 (She-Hulk raging)
Avengers West Coast#56, p23, pan5 (vs Readers)
Sensational She-Hulk I#37, p19 (She-Hulk yells at Byrne)
Sensational She-Hulk I#41, p22, pan6-7 (solving missing page)


Appearances:
Iron Fist I#8 (October, 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Iron Fist I#15 (September, 1977) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#121 (May, 1979) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (writer, pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Captain America I#252/2 (December, 1980) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Josef Rubinstein (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Fantastic Four I#262 (January, 1984) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
The Thing I#7/2 (January, 1984) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#2 (June, 1989) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#4 (August, 1989) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Bobbie Chase, James DiGiovanna (editors)
Sensational She-Hulk I#6 (October, 1989) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Al Gordon (inks), Bobbie Chase, James DiGiovanna (editors)
Excalibur I#14 (November, 1989) - Chris Claremont (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Paul Neary (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#8 (November, 1989) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Bobbie Chase, James DiGiovanna (editors)
Avengers West Coast#56 (March, 1990) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Paul Ryan (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#31 (September, 1991) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Alpha Flight I#105 ( February, 1992) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Tom Morgan (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#37 (March, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#38 (April, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#40 (June, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#41 (July, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#42 (August, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#43 (September, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#44 (October, 1992) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#48 (February, 1993) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#50 (April, 1993) - John Byrne, Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Richard Pini, Howard Mackie (writers), John Byrne, Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Wendy Pini, Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Howard Mackie (pencils, inks), Renée Witterstaetter (editor)


Last updated: 01/07/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters