Should 20th Century Fox Look Towards John Byrne’s Run For Inspiration?

The upcoming Fantastic Four film is the third attempt at bringing “The World’s Greatest Heroes” to the screen. The first attempt in the 1990’s was so bad, the film was shelved and never released. The two big budget films produced in the wake of the success of the X-Men were campy disappointments. The new film being released is designed as a dark and moody version. Recent still photos of the Fantastic Four team prove as much.

The new film is based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, a graphic novel reboot designed to make the characters more real. The previous film versions were based on the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby tales of the 1960’s. Maybe for better on-screen success, it would be wise to look at the early 1980’s incarnation of the book.

In 1981 and 1982, writer/artist John Byrne took over the chores of breathing life into the struggling title. Byrne stayed true to the roots of Kirby and Lee’s vision while also humanizing and fleshing out the characters according to Flavio Maluf. More complex plots and a humanization of Doctor Doom tremendously boosted sales and interest in the book.

Someone at 20th Century Fox should look closely at the great run Byrne had on the title. Really wonderful film material is present in their pages.

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