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Fantastic Four by John Byrne Omnibus Volume 1 (Marvel Omnibus) Hardcover – 23 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1084 pages
  • Publisher: MARVEL - US (23 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785158243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785158240
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 6.4 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

It was the world's greatest comic magazine - again! Not since the days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had a creator so perfectly captured the intense mood, cosmic style and classic sense of adventure of Marvel's First Family. Fresh off an earth-shattering and reputation-making run as penciler on UNCANNY X-MEN, John Byrne proved his writing talent was every bit the equal of his art as he pulled double-duty on FANTASTIC FOUR, launching Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny into realms of imagination and wonder into which few creators before had dared to travel. From the four corners of the globe to the farthest reaches of space to the deepest depths of the Negative Zone, the FF face off against foes old and new - including the Dr. Doom, Galactus and Annihilus! Plus: The FF aid the Inhumans, bid farewell to the Baxter Building, don new costumes and celebrate their 20th anniversary in style as Byrne reminds us all there's a family at the heart of this team of adventurers! Collecting MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #61-62; MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #50; FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #215-218, #220-221, #232-262 and ANNUAL #17; PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN (1976) #42; AVENGERS (1963) #233; THING (1983) #2; and ALPHA FLIGHT (1983) #4.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Hill on 11 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Fantastic Four have been going now for many years, and in that time there has been a great variation in the quality of the stories, from the classic Lee/Kirby era, to the other end of the spectrum where there has been some absolute rubbish.

This volume is from a time when the FF was one of the best comics on the newsstand.

At a time when there was some quite stiff opposition, such as Frank Miller's Daredevil run, or Alan Moore's Swamp Thing stories, the John Byrne run on the FF ranks right up there with the best of them.

As with all these Omnibus editions, the only way to read it comfortably is to sit at a table with it - you can't really take these to bed to read.

This is an essential purchase for any longtime fan of the FF such as myself, or indeed for any younger reader who has only seen the newer stories from such people as Grant Morrison and Jonathan Hickman.

Apart from the 1960s material I personally do not think there has ever been any better FF.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Carvalho on 12 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Was a good read overall, but compared to storylines now, it did seem old fashioned, But worth buying if you are looking to understand John Byrne's version of the FF
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2 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Aug 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
oversized hardcover which is almost impossible to hold it up to read due to its weight. the reproduced comics are fairly good but I wish I'd bought a soft cover essential instead.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Legacy 9 Nov 2011
By Veese - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`Fantastic' is truly the operative word when it comes to describing this mammoth collection. Although Mr John Byrne is still going strong in the 21st Century, his historic 1980s run on the first family of Marvel Comics is well regarded in the comic industry as not only one of his top creative achievements in his long career but as one of the very best runs in the history of Marvel Comics Fantastic Four title.

At nearly 1100 pages, weighing just over 7 lbs, this monster collects 47 different Marvel Comics titles from the 1970s into the 1980s that feature FF characters touched by Mr. Byrne either as just the penciler or the full writer/artist. I was personally happy to find the opening story in the collection is a forgotten favorite from a 1977 Marvel Team-Up two parter by Chris Claremont with Mr. Byrne on pencils. The fast paced dramatic tale pits Spider-Man alongside the Human Torch and then Ms. Marvel against a rampaging Super Skrull (an alien infused with the powers of the Fantastic Four).

From there we move onto a great 1979 issue of Marvel Two-In-One #50 where the Thing decides to travel back in time with a cure that would only work on a younger version of himself in his earliest days as the monster after his fateful transformation.

The collection then delivers all of Mr. Byrne's work on the main run of the Fantastic Four title beginning in 1979 as penciler, then as full creator in 1981. What's neat about this collection is that between gaps in his early work on the title, the Omnibus editors have added in pages that give not only a brief synopsis of FF issues in-between the Byrne issues but also tosses in quick explanations as to why Mr. Byrne was not involved in the issues not collected here. Example: After FF 221 concludes " John Byrne, who had been pulling double duty on FF & The X-Men at this time, left after #221." Then the run's gap synopsis paragraph follows. A very nice touch added for those wondering why there are issues "missing".

Won't go into plot details for the rest of the run, suffice it to say these are some of the very best Marvel Comics stories one would come across and enormously entertaining for readers of any age. The FF face down some of their most notorious foes such as The Frightful Four, Doctor Doom, Galactus and The Skrulls. Some of the stories are so big in scope, the FF also team up with the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe such as The Avengers, Spider-Man, The Inhumans, The Silver Surfer and The X-Men. There are additionally several new characters first introduced here to the Marvel Universe such as Nova, Terrax and even Herbie the Robot.

All the original Byrne Pin-Ups that appeared in any of these issues are, of course, found in here. The back end of the tome also includes 28 FF character pinups from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, reproduced trade paperback covers and even the Direct Market variant cover for this same collection (last pinup in the book).

While there have been other Marvel Comics trade paperback collections of Mr. Byrne's main run on this series, fans who own them will absolutely want to upgrade to this far more superior format. As with most of the Marvel Omnibus books, the inks on every page are crisply reproduced and the quality of the glossy page stock and rich colors are superb.

This collection represents not only John Byrne's creative legacy, it's a love letter to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's silver-age output and is a timeless gift to fans of this four-color genre. Worth every penny. Photos of my copy have been added to this listing!
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
the second best run on the Fantastic Four - don't even argue, dude 16 Nov 2011
By H. Bala - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With mad respect to what Chris Claremont was doing in UNCANNY X-MEN and Marv Wolfman in NEW TEEN TITANS, the finest comic book being published in that era was John Byrne's FANTASTIC FOUR. Of all them folks who'd tried to step into Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's shoes, and specifically with this series, John Byrne came closest to recapturing that sense of epic scope and grand adventure while retaining the tight-knit bonds of family. Byrne's run was often regarded as the second Goldgen Age of the FF and cracking open his stories, you just felt that far horizon expanding even further.

Byrne's run really starts at issue #232, although this heavy@ss tome also collects the FF-related stuff he did prior. As such, MARVEL TEAM-UP #61-62 (Spidey teaming up with the Torch and then with Ms. Marvel against the Super-Skrull) and FANTASTIC FOUR #209-218 feature his pencil work (with Byrne getting tapped as the new regular artist of the FANTASTIC FOUR even as the comic book was in the middle of a sweeping eleven-part Galactus saga). MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #50 (presenting the Thing vs. the Thing) and FANTASTIC FOUR #220-221 showcase not only his pencils but his script-work as well. But it wasn't until he officially began illustrating AND writing FF in issue #232 that he began to impose his own visual interpretations. The most striking shift is in how Reed Richards looked, metamorphosing from a standard muscular gent to a slim, high browed science hero who looked befittingly more academic. The Thing also gradually underwent a physical change, eventually assuming that rocky starfish-shaped figure which in my mind will always be the most iconic.

Byrne's creativity was off the charts. Sometimes, or maybe often, his dynamic talent with the pencil and inks overshadows his gift for writing. But I think his FF run exhibited that perfect fusion between his words and pictures. First and foremost, he reinvented Susan Richards into a strong, take charge woman. He effected her code name change into the Invisible Woman. By the time Byrne was done, Sue was regarded as possibly the FF's most powerful member. Byrne made Reed Richards relatable, adeptly playing off Mr. Fantastic's cold scientific detachment against his innate humanity. And I love that when push came to shove, it was the man and not the scientist who always won thru. Ben Grimm was never more likable or tragic or portrayed with so much heart. Heck, even Johnny Storm grew up a little bit while Byrne was the showrunner.

I loved how he borrowed a page from Lee and Kirby and took Marvel's first family back to their roots. At heart, Reed, Susan, Johnny, and Ben are explorer-adventurers, more so than they are superheroes. Even more than the X-Men or the Avengers, the Fantastic Four almost nonchalantly venture to the outer reaches of time, space and dimension. They do this to satisfy their curiousity (okay, mostly, it's to satisfy Reed's curiousity). It's not their fault that time and again supervillains keep cropping up. Nothing exemplifies this wanderlust more so than the multiple-issued Negative Zone saga (#251-256), with issue #252 particularly striking for Byrne's use of innovative panel compositions. This arc is also when their costumes underwent a dramatic color shift.

This omnibus is over a thousand pages long. It weighs more than my grandma. The other day I killed a bison with it. Byrne didn't skimp on the large scale storytelling. Dr. Doom and Galactus make multiple appearances. The Inhumans are in here. In fact, Dr. Doom is such a monumental character that he hijacks issue #258, taking over the story while the FF are distinguished by their absence. The classic giant issue #250 - and I know I'm jumping around here, sorry - marks an anniversary and pits the FF, Spidey, and Captain America against the X-Men, except that things aren't quite what they seem. Issues #242-44 chronicle Reed's controversial decision to save a dying Galactus. But, hands down, my favorite John Byrne Fantastic Four story is "Terror in a Tiny Town" (issue #236) which commemorates the FF's 20th anniversary. This one had everything, John Byrne's storytelling at its most scintillating. It finds the Fantastic Four leading very different lives and without their powers. This issue also includes "The Challenge of Dr. Doom!" featuring script by Stan Lee and breakdowns by Jack Kirby. Byrne's run lasted until issue #293, meaning that there should be another omnibus volume en route. Anyway, I absolutely recommend this sucker. And I know it's a lot of dough to shell out, but it's worth it unless, of course, you already have them John Byrne FANTASTIC FOUR VISIONARIES volumes. In any case, let your senses be staggered, only don't drop this omnibus on your bare foot. It'll shatter every bone in your foot and probably crack the pavement underneath.

FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS Vol. 1 collects MARVEL TEAM-UP #61-62, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #50, and FANTASTIC FOUR #209-218, #220-221, #232-260, FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #17, AVENGERS #233 and THING #2. Bonus stuff isn't all that, consisting of reprints of Byrne's various cover work and his artistic contribution to the OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. Would it have killed Byrne to type up an introduction?
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic! 10 Nov 2011
By Aaron Stack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Fantastic Four by John Byrne is certainly a title that deserved being collected in the deluxe Omnibus format. In conjunction with fellow writer/ artist Walt Simonson (Thor) & Frank Miller (Daredevil) it helped to take 80's era Marvel to a new plateau. This specific Omnibus focuses (wisely in my opinion) on John Byrnes complete development as creator on the Fantastic Four and not just one particular run with the characters. It includes his early work as an artist in different books featuring the FF (i.e. Marvel Team Up 61-62, Marvel Two In One 50, and Fantastic Four 209 - 221). I found it interesting to see the development in the overall look of the FF as Byrne developed his own artistic style; that alone makes this an outstanding compilation for a comic book enthusiast,. It's fair to say though he really hits the ground running with his first issue as a writer/artist with Fantastic Four 232 "Back to Basics" (indeed!).

Byrne over the course of his FF run brings back almost all of Lee & Kirby's best villains & heroes from their original 103 issue run: the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Skrulls, the Black Panther, the Inhumans, and most importantly Doctor Doom! It's been said by many others but it bears repeating ...this is easily the best take on the Fantastic Four since Stan Lee & Jack Kirby left the book! Byrnes grasp on the characters (particularly Ben Grimm) is spot on. Byrne mixed just enough nostalgia with just enough of the "next big thing" ( the X-men "guest appearance", expanding on the Galactus Mythos) to propel the franchise forward. Outstanding.

The Omnibus itself is beautiful presentation. The cover is gorgeous and really pops when seen in person! It's well over 1,000 pages of comics with approximately 8-10 pages of bonus material (a little disappointing to be honest). Absolutely NO gutter loss and the sewn binding looks great on my copy. As was the case with the Thor Simonson Omnibus, I own the entire original run as they were purchased off the spinner rack, to these eyes the coloring and paper look good and do not distract from the art work. Please note that this book like the Simonson Thor Omni does NOT include the letters pages, I know that is a issue to some collectors but I'm somewhat ambivalent in this case. My only disappointment with this book is that I would have enjoyed a few essays on Byrnes work and maybe even an interview with him on the subject. Oh well, maybe volume two will meet those needs.
Overall I am inclined to give Marvel another 5 stars and a pat on the back for putting out this great looking volume! Keep up the good work.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Trip the Byrne Fantastic 7 Jan 2012
By Axel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The praise heaped on this volume in other reviews is well deserved and the consensus is indeed correct: this is a massive volume containing massively entertaining stories with great art that gets better and better as John Byrne is left to his own devices. Get this because it is just an essential part of comics history and completely entertaining.

My main reason for writing this review though, is as a small warning for those coming to this omnibus from the Walt Simonson Thor Omnibus. The truth is that, while similar in length, the FF Omnibus does NOT contain exactly the same high quality white paper as contained in the Thor omnibus and does NOT have all new coloring (no re-coloring) as in the Thor omnibus. In the case of the latter tome, the recoloring on that marvellous white paper makes those stories pop in an amazing way and that volume is just gorgeous beyond words. This FF volume is lovely; the paper is a glossy white, but slightly thinner and plasticky, and the colors are the original colors from the comics as originally published. (The thinner paper also makes the volume slightly smaller than the other Omni.)

All this is just to warn you that if you're coming to the FF Omnibus expecting the exact same treatment as with Thor; please don't! I'd say that with this volume, the draw is the content, whereas with Thor, the draw is both content and presentation. In part because the Thor omnibus set expectations so high then, I've given this one less star. The FF volume is gorgeous though. Great solid binding, nice hardcovers with a beautiful slipcase, some modest extras and it's huge!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Ian Moodie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS vol 1 by MR JOHN BYRNE is indeed the ultimate tribute to Mr Stan Lee and Mr Jack Kibry !!!. A monster of a book, very well made with over 1080 high quality pages, it collects MARVEL TEAM-UP # 61-62, MARVEL TWO-IN -ONE #50, FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 1 #S 209 to 218, 220-221, 232 to 260, FF annual # 17, AVENGERS # 233 and THING # 2...Wow!!!...47 of marvels most classic comics are preserved and showcased here !!!.
The stories are INDEED EXCELLENT!! rooted in philosophy, science, physics and religion. The narrations are particularly very interesting. The art is visually pleasing and stimulating. Easily, one of the very best Omnibuses available.

In Marvel Team-up # 61-62 Spider Man, the Human Torch and Ms Marvel battles the SUPER SKRULL. In FF #209 to #218 a serious situation involving the SKRULLS, NOVA, the SPHINX, the ALL-POWERFUL GALACTUS. TERRAX the untamed was introduced. JOE SINNOTT INKS. BLASTAAR the living bomb burst, the FRIGHTFUL FOUR and HERBIE THE ROBOT was showcased.
The core of Mr Byrne's work takes off in FF #s 232 on wards in which he tells the story and does the art. Here we see conflicts involving the alchemist DIALBO, EGO the living planet. The relocation of the incomparable INHUMANS to the moon, the torment of TERRAX the untamed, the utter defeat and saving of the ALL-MIGHTY GALACTUS, the wrath of FRANKLIN RICHARDS, the return of DOCTOR DOOM. GLADIATOR of the SHIAR strikes, the NEGATIVE ZONE re explored...A stunning adventure indeed. ANNIHILUS returns as well but was nastily defeated. The Skrull Throneworld consumed by The dying GALACTUS and a serious plot involving DOCTOR DOOM, TYROS, (formerly TERRAX) and the SILVER SURFER in which DOOM and TYROS was completely destroyed..Guest Stars galore includes ; the AVENGERS, SPIDER MAN, DAREDEVIL, THE WATCHER and DOCTOR STRANGE. In all of these conflagrations, the FANTASTIC FOUR never lose their sense of family, that's why there so very special!!! but the legacy continues in vol 2. STAN and JACK must be most proud!!!.
Highly recommended for the true collector, a perfect gift for the new fan, such a luxury to have, classics preserved,while saving space. I will certainly keep my copy for life. Once reserved..you will keep it for yours as well...Make Mine Marvel...Excelsior!!!.
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