Retro Thursday: 2004′s top comics
Despite not really taking off as much as “Hush,” by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee, “Superman” 204, kicking off the Jim Lee era of ”Superman” (with writer Brian Azzarello) was the best-selling comic of 2004. This article, from January of 2005, gives a rundown on what was big in comic books in ’04. An oversized “Absolute” edition of the “For Tomorrow” storyline is due this spring.
By Matthew Price
The Man of Steel’s first issue by comics’ hottest artist was 2004’s best-selling comic book. “Superman” No. 204, the first issue by the creative team of Brian Azzarello (“100 Bullets”) and Jim Lee (“Batman”) topped the recently released list of the top-selling comics of 2004 through Diamond Comic Distributors.
Diamond is the exclusive distributor to the comic-book specialty market of the four largest publishers: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics.
Diamond does not release actual sales numbers, but industry Web site www.icv2.com estimated the sales of “Superman” No. 204 at nearly a quarter of a million copies. Diamond measures sell-in to stores, but not sell-through to consumers.
Jim Lee topped the charts in 2003 as well, as “Batman” No. 619, the conclusion to the “Hush” storyline, hit No. 1 for that year. Lee has a reasonable shot at the three-peat, as advance buzz is strong for “All-Star Batman” No. 1, written by Frank Miller (“The Dark Knight Returns,” “Sin City”) and drawn by Lee.
At No. 2 is “New Avengers” No. 1, a revamping of Marvel’s “Avengers” concept by writer Brian Michael Bendis (“Ultimate Spider-Man”) and penciler David Finch.
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