Fantastic Four 285 (December 1985)


Holy shit. I thought Byrne was going to do some kind of responsible story about a kid lighting himself on fire to be like the Human Torch but he does not. There’s certainly an element of that story in this issue, but there’s no responsibility. Byrne turns it into A Christmas Carol (but with only one ghost and the Beyonder being that ghost) and instead tells the reader since the kid was lonely and read Fantastic Four comic books and all, lighting himself on fire at the ripe old age of thirteen and dying is thumbs up.

I mean, I get what Byrne’s trying to say, the Torch isn’t responsible, but the way he magics away Johnny’s guilt and feelings of responsibility? Wow. It’s incredible.

It’s so incredible, it kind of has to be read to be believed. Along with Byrne’s awful artwork. Is the man incapable of drawing faces?


Hero; writer and penciller, John Byrne; inker, Al Gordon; colorist, Glynis Oliver; letterer, John Workman; publisher, Marvel Comics.


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