Comic Book Legends Revealed #463
COMIC LEGEND: John Byrne quit drawing Uncanny X-Men based on the opening page of Uncanny X-Men #140.
In the past, I’ve written about the problems that John Byrne had while working on Uncanny X-Men with Chris Claremont. His main issue was that the two men would plot out the book, Byrne would then draw it but since Claremont would script it before the book went to print, then Claremont would essentially have final say on how the book was presented. This was most famously an issue during Days of Future Past, when Claremont dramatically changed the ending via an added caption (you can read the old Comic Book Legends Revealed on that here).
Byrne was very angry. So angry that I had written that Byrne almost left the title over the incident. However, I was mistaken. Byrne did not leave the book over that since he had ALREADY left the book over a prior incident. Days of Future Past was drawn before Uncanny X-Men #140 (the issue before Days of Future Past) came out, and it was THAT book that led to Byrne quitting the title when it came out (and the next three issues were just books Byrne had already drawn/was in the middle of drawing).
My friend JohnByrneDraws let me in on the info via his awesome site, JohnByrneDraws.
Again, as noted, Byrne was routinely irked at how Claremont’s ability to change things via his scripting duties just trumped Byrne’s efforts and after a while it just wasn’t worth it to him. The final straw in this battle was a somewhat surprising page from Uncanny X-Men #140…
Byrne was irked that he drew Colossus easily tearing out a tree stump and then Claremont wrote dialogue and captions that made it as though it was a struggle for Colossus to tear out the tree.
While that, of course, was just a minor instance, Byrne just saw it as emblematic of all his troubles with Claremont changing the story after Byrne drew it so he decided that enough was enough and he left the book.
So if you have Uncanny X-Men #140, you own a little bit of comic book history.
Thanks to JohnByrneDraws for the info!