RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1964!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 57 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Dec. 1, 1964.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Nov. 24, 1977. 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 Nov. 28 and Dec. 4.)

HyperFocal: 0

So, let’s set the scene: Lyndon Johnson had just defeated Barry Goldwater to win re-election to the White House. My Fair Lady was the top movie in the land. (I watched it recently and it doesn’t age particularly well.) Right around the corner, though, was the third James Bond flick — Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery (natch), which opened in the US on Dec. 22. It had been out in the UK since September.

Bonanza was the top-rated show on television. Not just that, Lorne Greene, if you can believe it, had the top-selling single on the Billboard 100: Ringo. Not about that Ringo, mind you, but about a gunslinger with the same name. Seeing as how it was 1964, this was only a partial coincidence. As it happens, the Beatles’ I Feel Fine entered the chart at 22. Meanwhile, their purported rivals the Rolling Stones were at No. 6 with Time Is on My Side.

The Beatles, of course, dominated album sales in ’64, with three albums that enjoyed lengthy stays at the top. For all of December, though, Beach Boys Concert was the leader. (Barbra Streisand’s People was the big seller the month before.)


Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #169, DC. Wow, this issue just made this week’s 13 PENGUIN COVERS 80th anniversary salute. Check it out here! Anyway, this was one of the top Silver Age Bat-stories and was the basis for the Batman TV show’s first Penguin appearance. Neat, huh? By Ed Herron, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella. (That’s an Infantino/Giella cover.)

Infantino and Giella

Scott adds: One of the more iconic of the “New Look” Batman covers. Carmine Infantino’s take on the Penguin defined the look of the character for the Silver Age.

The Atom #17, DC. It’s been a long time since the Atom has been considered capable of sustaining an ongoing solo book. But back in ’60s, his inventive adventures under the watchful eye of editor Julie Schwartz were some of the most endearingly entertaining of the ’60s. This issue, which boasts a Gil Kane/Murphy Anderson cover, was delivered by Gardner Fox, Kane and Sid Greene. That’s a lot of big talent working on the World’s Smallest Super-Hero.

Journey Into Mystery #113, Marvel. Thor pisses off Odin because he’s in love with Jane Foster. Don Blake reveals his Thor identity to Jane — but Odin takes his powers away, so he can’t transform. He gets the powers back long enough to defeat the Grey Gargoyle — and then Blake retracts his confession, saying it was madness. This episode of “As Asgard Turns” is brought to you by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Chic Stone and Procter & Gamble. Also: In the backup, Young Loki hates Young Thor.

Daredevil #6, Marvel. Matt Murdock’s last go-around in the yellow outfit (for the time being). Next ish would bring the debut of Wally Wood’s classic red jumpsuit. So a little bit of history here.

The Fightin’ Five #31, Fightin’ Marines #62, Fightin’ Navy #119. A lotta fightin’ at Charlton in those days!

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

The Flash #150, DC Comics. Barry Allen has a pretty shaky grasp of physics here, but I’ll allow it.

Dan adds: The Scarlet Speedster’s adventures could be a little convoluted but they were never not fun — especially when a Rogue like Captain Cold showed up.

The Doom Patrol #93, DC Comics. That is one hell of a giant robot. Comics need more giant robots like that.

Tales to Astonish #65, Marvel. Hank Pym has had a lot of costumes over the years, and I can honestly say this is just about the only one I don’t like.

Dan: That’s an expert talking, folks. Scott LOVES Ant-Man/Giant-Man!


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 24 — in 1977! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 17 — in 1983! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. From time to time, I heard it claimed that the Adam West Batman TV series somehow wasn’t “true” to the comic book presentation of the character. Batman #169 shows that not to be the case. Not only was the plot of Batman #169 used for the 1st Penguin episode, but numerous scenes were lifted directly out of the comic including the giant umbrella and the bank customers umbrellas shooting off like rockets.

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  2. The world definitely needs more giant robots driven by villainous apes.

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