RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1967!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 56 years ago…

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of July 26, 1967.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of July 19, 1984. 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 July 23 and July 29.)

So, let’s set the scene: America’s split personality had come to the fore — it was both the Summer of Love, as the hippie movement blossomed to full flower, and the Long, Hot Summer, in which more than 150 race riots had exploded across the United States, including in Newark, N.J.; Durham, N.C., and Memphis, Tennessee.

The bloodiest rebellion of them all, and one of the most violent riots in the nation’s history, erupted July 23 in Detroit, with 43 deaths, 7,200 arrests and more than 2,500 buildings looted, damaged or destroyed in five days of catastrophic uproar.

Detroit burning

President Lyndon Johnson attempted to grapple with the situation by dispatching 4,700 U.S. Army paratroopers to assist police and the Michigan National Guard. At the end of the month, he’d establish the Kerner Commission to address the national crisis. But no number of studies and task forces can change the obvious, 56 years later: The United States still has not come to terms with systemic racial injustice.

San Francisco in all its glory

Meanwhile, paradoxically, the Summer of Love had bloomed, with its epicenter in San Francisco, where as many as 100,000 hippies had converged on Haight-Ashbury, making it the capital of a movement that embraced hallucinogenic drugs, free love, anti-Vietnam War fervor — and some of the most enduring popular music of all time. The Doors’ Light My Fire led the Billboard 100, which also featured Stevie Wonder’s I Was Made to Love Her at No. 2 and Windy, by the Association, at No. 3. Meanwhile, the unofficial anthem of the hippie movement — San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair), written by John Phillips and sung by Scott McKenzie — which had been released in May, was at No. 11.

Leading the album charts, however, was the LP that defined the era — the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Personally, I prefer a number of other Beatles albums, including Abbey Road, Let It Be, the White Album and Rubber Soul, but there is no denying the astounding impact Sgt. Pepper’s had on music specifically and popular culture in general.

Meanwhile, another Beatles classic was headed up the singles chart: the perfectly timed All You Need Is Love, which debuted in a worldwide broadcast at the end of June, was released as a single in the U.S. on July 17. This week, it was at No. 29, but it would eventually make it to No. 1, and become one of the band’s most notable songs. (On July 24, the Beatles also were among the prominent British citizens calling for the legalization of marijuana in a full-page ad in The Times of London.)

It was also a very ’60s time at the cinema: Perhaps the most bombastic James Bond movie of them all — You Only Live Twice, starring Sean Connery (natch) — was in a six-week run atop the box office. Competing for those 007 dollars, meanwhile, was the satirical Casino Royale. Another classic actioner was also in theaters — The Dirty Dozen.

It was rerun season on television, and a Bonanza repeat led the Nielsens. The only first-run series to crack the Top 13? The Saint, starring Roger Moore, on NBC. Oh, and Batman, Star Trek and The Monkees were all still on the air.

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done, nothing you can sing that can’t be sung…

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Justice League of America #56, DC. The annual JLA-JSA team-up! Because it was summertime! Aside from the fab Carmine Infantino/Murphy Anderson cover, this two-parter (which had begun the previous month) was best known for being the debut of Robin, the grown-up Boy Wonder of Earth-Two. (Walt Grogan, take note!)

Star Trek #1, Gold Key. Comics, the Final Frontier. Gold Key’s Star Trek comics weren’t exactly accurate to the source material but they were highly entertaining in their own, off-model way. Either way, the series boasted some of the best covers around, whether we’re talking the early ones that relied on stills from the TV show or the ones painted by the great George Wilson. And, hey look! Sulu made the cover of Issue #1! Oh, my!

Fantastic Four #67, Marvel. No Marvel comics came out this week in 1967 because release schedules were different then. (Because reasons.) So, as we have in these circumstances before, we’re bending the rules and allowing a few because they were still on sale. It’s more compelling to get the feel of going to the newsstand than to pay absolute fealty to specific dates. Anyway, this is yet another foundational issue by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott — the first full appearance of Him, later known as… Adam Warlock.

The Avengers #44, Marvel. Another Roy Thomas/John Buscema classic. In this one, we learn more of Black Widow’s background as she continues to develop into one of the House of Ideas’ coolest heroes. Also features the — SPOILER ALERT FOR A 56-YEAR-OLD COMIC — the death of the original Red Guardian.

Detective Comics #367, DC. There were not that many multipart Batman stories in the Silver Age, but this was one of them, written by Gardner Fox, with art by Infantino and inker Sid Greene. How many kids do you think cut that Infantino/Anderson cover up — and then came to regret it?

Metamorpho #14, DC. One of the many, many reasons I love the Silver Age is that guys like Metamorpho could get their own comics. This series ran for 17 issues in just under three years. By ’60s standards, that’s fairly short, but by today’s standards, that’s pretty dang impressive. The best you could hope for now would be a miniseries.

World’s Finest Comics #169, DC. A classic, nonsensical setup but even though there was an age gap at the time, Batgirl and Supergirl should have teamed up a whole lot more.

Not Brand Echh #3, Marvel. This was a really funny comic. I think I need to get my hands on the complete trade collection that came out a number of years back.

Showcase #70, DC. Penciller Bob Oksner and inker Henry Scarpelli doing their best to jump-start puberty for preadolescent boys across the country.

That’s all, folks! Scott’s off this week! See ya next time!


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of July 19 — in 1984! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of July 12 — in 1977! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I discovered and started collecting Marvel comics in August of ‘67. I was still a DC kid in July. I had a subscription to Detective Comics that began with issue 364 which obviously included issue 367 shown above. My 12 issue subscription wound up running for 16 issues which made this nine year old very happy.

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  2. I love the JLA cover #56 although I think it’s funny that Superman is going to fight Hour Man and Green Lantern is going up against Wildcat! The JSA is no match for the JLA unless they have Johnny Thunder’s genie around since the JLA didn’t have any magic heroes on their team back in the silver age. I believe they had to change the JLA Charter in order to let Zatanna join many years later.

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