RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1963!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 59 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Sept. 7, 1963.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Aug. 31, 1985. Click here to check it out.

(Keep in mind that comics came out on multiple days, so these are technically the comics that went on sale between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10.)

So, let’s set the scene: The sands were shifting. A week and a half before, on Aug. 28, Martin Luther King led the March on Washington, culminating in his famed “I Have a Dream” speech. John F. Kennedy was president but he would be assassinated two and a half months later.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s Cleopatra, which endured a notoriously troubled production, ruled the box office and would ultimately be the year’s top-grossing film.

The Beverly Hillbillies and Bonanza were two of the biggest shows on TV, as well as The Ed Sullivan Show. The top-selling single was the Angels’ My Boyfriend’s Back — and the runner-up was Allan Sherman’s comic classic Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp). Sherman’s My Son the Nut led the album charts, proving that comedy albums were often as popular as music albums at the time.

Hills, that is. Swimmin’ pools. Movie stars.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #159, DC. The Batman titles were in the final throes of the Caped Crusader’s bizarre monsters-and-aliens period but supervillains still popped up. The Great Clayface-Joker Feud is considered a high point of the era, but I especially dig the “imaginary” back-up story starring redheaded Bruce Wayne Jr. — aka Robin II, one of the inspirations for Damian Wayne.

The Amazing Spider-Man #7, Marvel. The Vulture’s second appearance — and boy were Stan Lee and Steve Ditko on a roll. Check out the major villains who debuted in the series’ first seven issues: the Chameleon, the Vulture, the Tinkerer, Doc Ock, the Sandman and the Lizard. Oh, and he faced Dr. Doom, too. Man.

Mystery in Space #87, DC. Hawkman joins Mystery in Space! After two tryouts in The Brave and the Bold, Katar Hol finally got his own gig — and would graduate to a solo mag in early 1964.

My Greatest Adventure #83, DC. In the Doom Patrol’s third appearance, Negative Man goes berserk! It even says so on the cover!

Scott Tipton, contributor-at-large, 13th Dimension

Tales of Suspense #48, Marvel. It’s the first appearance of the Ditko-designed classic red-and-gold Iron Man armor! Mister Doll had considerably less staying power.

Fantastic Four #21, Marvel. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a double of Adolf Hitler right there.

Strange Tales #115, Marvel. One of these days I have to put together a run of these solo Human Torch stories; I don’t believe they’ve ever been collected.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Aug. 31 — in 1985! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Aug. 24 — in 1979! Click here.

Primary sources: Mike’s Amazing World of Comics, the Grand Comics Database.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. Is it any wonder why this 8-year-old boy was so entranced by the world of comic books in 1963? Thank you for the nice way I feel right now by seeing these again.

    Post a Reply
  2. Dan, there is a complete collection of the Human Torch stories in Strange Tales. It’s called, “The Human Torch & The Thing: Strange Tales – The Complete Collection”.

    Post a Reply
  3. Actually, the Human Torch run in Strange Tales was collected in Marvel Masterworks form. Two volumes. Good stuff.

    Post a Reply
  4. There was a trade titled Human Torch and the Thing that collects the Strange Tales run.

    Post a Reply
  5. An interesting week from almost exactly 20 years before I started collecting. I did love those early FF issues as an early teen in the 80s because they reminded me of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon. Got a low-grade copy of #21 (love that cover!) for a dollar or two in 1984.

    Post a Reply
  6. My eleven-year-old self bought all of them!

    Post a Reply
  7. Thanks for the blast from the past, I got my start reading comics in 1963, at age 4.

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: