Over the years, Marvel Comics has been a part of the careers of many big name creators, including artist and writer John Byrne. Byrne is best known for his lengthy tenures as artist and writer on The Fantastic Four, and as artist and co-plotter on The Uncanny X-Men. Byrne exited Marvel back in 2000. The split was not a clean one, which makes Byrne's admission that he has been in talks with the company all the more surprising.
Byrne revealed at Fan Expo Boston 2018 that he had been working on an independent X-Men side project called X-Men: Elsewhen, which he clarified was "just for fun," according to Adventures in Poor Taste. Said project is similar to writer Chris Claremont's X-Men: Forever series, in that it would be set in a timeline where Jim Shooter's influence on Claremont and Byrne's X-Men run had never happened. But it appears that some of the art Byrne produced caught the eye of current Marvel Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski, who contacted Byrne through email.
"And then I got an email from C.B. Cebulski saying, ‘Love it! Let’s talk about this!’ Oh, that’s unexpected,'" said Byrne. "So yeah, it just happened as a fun thing. It’s still just a fun thing as far as I’m concerned."
As Fantastic Four writer and artist, Byrne penned a much-lauded run in which She-Hulk took the Thing's place on the team. He also created the now-famous dark blue and white uniforms the Fantastic Four are known for. As artist and co-plotter on The Uncanny X-Men, Byrne helped craft the Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past storylines.
Byrne had a bitter falling out with Marvel in 2000 following the cancellation of X-Men: The Hidden Years. At the time, Byrne's separation from Marvel was announced outside of the usual channels, on the creator's America Online forum. Byrne's announcement was met harshly by former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada. Byrne and Marvel have not seen eye-to-eye ever since, though the creator has remained active in the comics field.
There has been no confirmation about whether Byrne will return to Marvel just yet, but given his long history with the company and the fact that he was instrumental in crafting some of Marvel's most memorable characters and storylines, it would be interesting to see what new tales he could tell within the modern Marvel Universe. For now, fans can only imagine.