Comics Creators

Kirby Vs Byrne's FF: Who had the best concepts?


Outside of creating the original four, Kirby also gave us The Inhumans, Atlantis and the Sub-Mariner plus all the weirder stuff towards the end of his run. But the Byrne storylines were incredible too.

What do you think were the highlight storylines in both their runs? Note: I’m not talking about anyone else’s FF runs here. This is a direct look at both of these guys.



I like Byrne’s run a lot, and he did a lot to develop the characters and do interesting things with them that enriched them hugely.

But I’m not sure anyone can compete with the relentless imaginative outburst of the initial Lee/Kirby run. The concepts they threw out are still being mined today - Doom, Inhumans, Black Panther, the Kree and the Skrulls, the Watcher, the Silver Surfer, Galactus, the Negative Zone, Annihilus, even reintroducing Everett’s Namor to the new Marvel Universe. I don’t think many (any?) runs on any superhero book can touch it for raw creativity.

Byrne was arguably able to go to more sophisticated places though, partly due to the way comics had changed in the intervening years. The Sue Storm pregnancy/miscarriage storyline is the one that really sticks in my mind from his run as hitting hard.


I would say the Lee/Kirby run of Fantastic Four set the standard for modern comic books.


What were the highlights of the Byrne run for people?



As well as the pregnancy storyline, I always think of the one that dealt with Latveria and suggested that it might be worse off without Doom ruling it than it was with him in place as ruler. It was an interesting new angle on what could have seemed like a done-to-death character by that point.

I also enjoyed the big Galactus story involving Terrax and pretty much all the other Marvel heroes. It felt like a true epic on the level of the original Galactus trilogy.


Yes, what Dave said and I’d include the Gladiator arc too, “Terror in a Tiny Town”, the Trial of Reed Richards.

Byrne was better with the characters, and Stan/Jack better with the concepts. The one exception being the Thing who has never been the same since Stan and Jack left.


Yeah I’d agree with the overall idea. Byrne was the characters, including Sue most of all being seen as the most powerful of the 4 instead of the shy flower of the 60s version.

Concepts is hands down Kirby in a run full of hit idea after another.


What year do you think this is? :wink:


3816 AD

Why do you ask?


I’m reading through a lot of these at the moment and I think what makes Lee and Kirby so strong is that they base a lot of their ideas on world myths which are generally very well known. Things like Atlantis and the Hollow Earth have a deep, international understanding going all the way back to Jules Verne and even Plato.

Did they miss any? Byrne has a very keen eye and I’m surprised that he didn’t pick up on the other ones out there as he was very good at tapping into the same things Kirby in particular did.



Did they miss any world myths?


Bermuda Triangle is one.



There is the whole humanity-is-descended-from-ancient-aliens thing (the whole Erik von Daniken/ Chariots of the Gods type of thing that was so popular in the late '60s/early '70s), which of course Kirby came back to later with Eternals. I wonder if that was something that he had held back from FF.


Man in the Moon? Easter Island statues?


Aka The Watcher? :slight_smile:


Atlantis? :confused:


I guess some of the cryptozoology stuff - big foot, nessy etc


Giant monsters in FF #1.


Crop circles! The earth as a communicator? Stonehenge?


The Trial of Reed Richards (for saving Galactus) was one I remember pretty well. Also, when Franklin turns into an adult because he’s tired of being a kid.