iFlashback! April 9th, 2003

It’s time for an iFlashback! A weekly feature in which we take a look at some comics that were on sale nine years ago. Why nine years and not ten? Well because our Mondays in 2012 sync up with the Wednesdays of 2003.

So jog down memory lane with me. The date is April 9th, 2003. The number one film in the box office is Phone Booth, the number one song is 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”  and these are some of the comics on the stands at your local comic book shop.


 Aquaman #5

by Rick Veitch, Yvel Guichet, Mark Probst

 Uncanny X-Men #421

By Chuck Austen, Ron Garney, Mark Morales, Chris Bachalo

Blood and Water #2

By Judd Winick, Tomm Coker, Brian Bolland

 Batgirl: Year One #5

By Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin, Alvaro Lopez

 Sentinel #1

By Sean McKeever, Eric Vedder, Udon Studios

 Superman & Batman: Generations III

By John Byrne

 Invincible #4

By Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, Bill Crabtree

Tom Strong # 20

By Alan Moore, Jerry Ordway, Karl Story, Dave Stewart

Alias #21

By Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, David Mack

That was comic book landscape on April 9th, 2003. Spark any memories? Did you read any of these books? Let us know what you thought of them!


  1. Nope. Must have been within my hiatus period.

  2. Chuck Austen on Uncanny X-Men?…..I’m trying to forget….

  3. I loved the last three; the rest of them, not so much.

  4. I am soooo fucking old. Who the fuck is 50 cent?

    This is a very cool feature. I honestly don’t think I remember any of these books. I read comics occasionally back then, but not as consistently as I do now. Grad school took up most of my time.

    Love that Invincible cover.

  5. That was right around when I stopped reading X-books, at least until Whedon came on a couple years later.

    I don’t remember if I ever bought it, but I remember my old comic shop had a copy of that issue of Tom Strong laying around for ages. I loved the covers for that series.

  6. Great! Now I’m having Chuck Austen flashbacks. I’m sending you my therapy bill iFanboy.

  7. Was at the height of my fandom around this time, eating up everything. This week’s a fine example; was very into Sentinel, that Batgirl mini is an all-time favorite, along with Alias, which would be on my desert island collection.

    • I haven’t read the Batgirl mini, but Robin Year One (by essentially the same team) is also well worth your time, if you haven’t read it.

    • @Ken – I have and enjoyed it too.

    • @KenOchalek – Robin Year One was good. But Batgirl Year One was awesome. Seriously, go find it. The trade is out of print now, and hard to find. So it’s a bit of a tough get. But if you come across it, very much worth it. Fantastic Marcos Martin art. THE Barbara Gordon story, IMO. My avatar should give my opinion away my opinion on that series.

    • +1 for Batgirl. That was an amazing mini. Even better than the excellent Robin one.

  8. Really cool feature! Would be fun to see an old pull list from 2003 show up.

  9. Chuck Austen….. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I miss the dc bullet logo

  11. That X-men issue was on of my first attempts at getting into X-men, I think I got the follow issue and then stopped. If I’d known I could have been getting invincible no. 4 instead….urg!

    What’s with Aquaman it looks like a vertigo book?

  12. I like this feature! Unfortunately, I was reading none of these books at the time. I think I was reading Daredevil, 100 Bullets, Ex Machina, Sleeper, Powers, and Ultimate X-Men and a few others.

    I can’t believe this was 9 years ago. #wheredidmytwentiesgo?

  13. Thank god I wasn’t back into comics in 2003. Until the tail end of this list all of these comics, and the creators attached to them, sound horrible.

    Also, remember when Colin Farrell was a sure thing at the box office?

    • Y: The Last Man; Sigil; Queen and Country; Bendis on Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man; Brubaker on Detective and Catwoman; Gotham Central; Runaways; Sleeper; Morrison on New X-Men; Waid and Weiringo on Fantastic Four; Johns on JSA; Mystique; Ennis on Punisher; X-Statix; Fables; Lucifer; 100 Bullets; etc. were all coming out at this time too.

      There are always good comics being published, you just have to be open to them.

    • Who can forget all that chatter about what a sure bet Colin Farrell was at the box office in 2003?! You couldn’t go outside without hearing Colin Farrell this, box office that. Addresses to the Union and Letterman monologues- all Farrell/box office

  14. I wish the news post had linked to a shipping manifest for April 9th 2003. So I could find out what my pulls were that week.

    • Based entirely off this sales chart for April 2003: (http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2003/2003-04.html) in the month of April I bought…

      Thieves & Kings 41
      Firebreather 4
      Tech Jacket 5
      Jack Staff 2
      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 9
      Meridian 35
      Sigil 35
      Route 666 11
      Crux 25
      Savage Dragon 106
      Mystic 35
      Negation 17
      Chimera 3
      Out There 17
      Solus 2
      JLA Age of Wonder 1
      Robotech 5
      Y The Last Man 10
      Fables 12
      Paradise X 10
      Astro City Local Heroes 2
      Exiles 25

      Damn that was a good time to be a comic fan. RIP Crossgen.

    • Ah, thank you. That is a much better website for this then the one I was using.

    • never mind. It’s not broken up by week. Just monthly. Still thanks, it’s another nice reference point.

    • What site are you using? I noticed Invincible 4 wasn’t on the Sales chart, so I’m working if April was just the cover date or something.

  15. Alias!

    • The title that got me fully back in to comics. I remember thinking: “I liked that Bendis guy from Sam & Twitch. Maybe I should give this Jennifer Garner comic he’s writing a go.”

  16. Great feature idea!

    I definitely own that Sentinel book, randomly. Remember nothing about it, bought it on a whim and clearly it left absolutely no lasting impression on me.

    Got Alias too, loved that book then, love it still now.

  17. Ahhhh Batgirl Year one, that’s when i first fell in love with Marcos Martin’s art.

  18. I like this feature a lot, hopefully we’ll be seeing more of it. This when I was just around the time I was getting back into comics after a hiatus of more than a decade.

    It’s nice to see that Marcos Martin has been awesome for a long time.

  19. Just out of curiosity, I thought most people kept a list of what they pull every week? I’d loose track of spending and what books I have.

    Out of the books listed, I picked up Sentinel, Blood + Water, and UXM…I only remember “Blood + Water” which I still think was a fairly good book. “Gotham Central” was also getting really good at that time.

  20. The good: invincible, alias, batgirl and Tom strong
    The bad: uncanny x-men and aquaman
    The rest may or may not be ugly- did not read them.

  21. I was into comics in 2003 but wasn’t reading them regularly.

  22. WHY IS BATGIRL YEAR ONE OUT OF PRINT. It’s really fantastic. GET IT BACK IN PRINT DC. JEEZ. TPBs are like 5x the price on ebay.

    • Exactly, Flan. It took me a while to hunt down a copy at a decent price. I continue to be flummoxed by DC’s trade program.

  23. Really like this feature, Timmy. Look forward to it.

    As I said above, Batgirl Year One is one of my favorite mini-series. If you are either a Barbara Gordon or Marcos Martin fan, and haven’t read this, something is wrong with you.

    And as far as Invincible #4 goes, who would have thought a comic with the tag, “Girls, acne, homework, super-villains…” would have the staying power to last a decade and 90 issues. I almost feel as if Kirkman deserves more credit for Invincible than he does The Walking Dead. With TWD, he tapped into a genre that wasn’t being utilized by comics. And created a property that was ripe for the taking Hollywood wise. But with Invincible, he wrote a book in the standard genre of comics, with a take that had been done a million times before, and simply did it so good that people couldn’t ignore it or stop reading it. Respect, Robby Kirk. Respect.

  24. @timmy: Great idea for an article. Maybe you jump around times to keep it fresh? It would be interesting to see what was happening in the 90’s, 80’s and 70’s too.

    • It’s not exactly easy finding shipping dates on titles back in the early 2000’s I imagine it’s even harder for those decades. Good idea though. I definitely will think about it.

    • @timmy: If it helps, I’ve kept Diamond Distribution shipping lists starting from about 1995 in a spreadsheet. Prior to that, I logged only what I bought, which I realize won’t help much.

  25. For me, it was Superman Batman Generations 3. Byrne’s art + an imaginary tale gets me every time. I think I’ve still got that series around here somewhere. Very good idea for an article Timmy.

  26. From this list, I loved Sentinel and Alias. I bought ever issue of the Batgirl mini despite not liking it at all (which is sad since I liked the creators). I bought quite a few books from this era; Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Mystique (I loved that book). I bought between 50-75 books a month back then. I would try just about anything once
    *pets 19 year-old me fondly*

  27. I could use a reissue of the Alias omnibus . . .

  28. loved that batgirl, one of the best batgirl stories out there

  29. I think I was travelling round Europe then so I missed
    a lot & to be truthful quite glad I did!

  30. Go shawty! it’s yo birthday!

    Wow, Invincible is the only book* that exists up to now!

    *(except UXM, of course)