Comic Wire

Wed, November 15th, 2000 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

JOHN BYRNE LEAVES MARVEL

As much as he may be linked with DC Comics' revamp of Superman in the 1980s, to many fans, John Byrne will be inextricably linked with Marvel Comics.

It was there, with Chris Claremont, that he was part of the creative team of "Uncanny X-Men" during its ascent to comic book royalty, there where he produced a legendary run on "Fantastic Four" and there that he showed his more light-hearted side, taking a third-tier character and making her a hit in "Sensational She-Hulk."

And now, Byrne has cut ties with Marvel.

"I was officially informed yesterday that, despite the fact that they are still profitable, several 'redundant' X-Titles are being axed," Byrne told the Comic Wire Wednesday morning. "'X-Men: The Hidden Years' is one of these, ending with #19. No one at Marvel was able to provide a reasonable explanation of why, in today's marketplace, profitable books are being canceled. Since I have no interest in working for a company apparently so intent on committing suicide, I have terminated my association with Marvel Comics effective immediately."

Byrne had initially made the announcement Tuesday night at his America Online forum.

"Well, we really wanted to announce the cancellations when it was the proper time but since John decided that he wanted to talk about it on his message board then there's really no reason for me to wait," Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada told the Comic Wire on Wednesday. "Yes, 'Hidden Years' is one of the X titles that are being canceled. With regard to John's remarks I think he meant to say that my reasons made no sense to him. We discussed the reasons and came to the conclusion that were not going to see eye to eye."

Byrne's run on "Uncanny X-Men" was with the "new" X-Men team introduced in the late 1970s, after several years of reprints in the failing title. "Hidden Years" is the story of what happened to the original X-Men during the same period.

As for Byrne's future with Marvel, Quesada was realistic:

"I think John made it very clear that he had no intentions to work with Marvel, but if he ever has a change of heart, he knows where to find us."

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