MARVEL Reaches Out to JOHN BYRNE About New Work - After a Bitter Break-Up 18 Years Ago

John Byrne
Credit: John Byrne (Marvel Comics)
Credit: John Byrne (Marvel Comics)

John Byrne has stated that Marvel has reached out to him about new work - which, if it happens, would be his first for the publisher since 2000.

During a spotlight panel at Fan Expo Boston 2018, Byrne revealed it as part of explaining how his self-published continuation of his Uncanny X-Men run, called X-Men: Elsewhen.

"There was some discussion on my website: ‘What if you went back to Marvel?’ and it planted this itch in my brain. I thought, what if I went back to Marvel? Could I go back to Marvel? Can I do that? I haven’t drawn like that in 20 years," Byrne said (as transcribed by Adventures in Poor Taste).

Byrne has drawn over 20 pages of X-Men: Elsewhen, classifying it as a fun side project he doesn't intend to publish. Be that as it may, it got the attention ot Marvel's Editor-In-Chief C.B. Cebulski.

"And then I got an email from C.B. Cebulski saying, ‘Love it! Let’s talk about this!’ Oh, that’s unexpected," continued Byrne. "So yeah, it just happened as a fun thing. It’s still just a fun thing as far as I’m concerned."

Newsarama has confirmed that Byrne has spoken with Cebulski both by e-mail as well as during this weekend's convention. Skybound's Chris Ryall, who was with Byrne at the convention, shared with Newsarama this picture of Byrne and Cebulski from this past weekend.

Credit: Chris Ryall

Byrne publicly quit Marvel in 2000 following the publisher's decision to cancel his X-Men: Hidden Years title as part of a broader effort by then-Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada to slim down the X-Men line.

"I was officially informed yesterday that, despite the fact that they are still profitable, several 'redundant' X-Titles are being axed," Byrne told the CBR back in 2000. "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."

Quesada responded at the time, confirming that he and Byrne "were not going to see eye-to-eye."

"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."

Cebulski has spoken previously about how Byrne and Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men #121 was one of his first comics he ever read as a child. Byrne's longtime X-Men creative partner Claremont recently returned to the publisher, writing October's upcoming X-Men Black: Magneto story.

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