RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1971!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 49 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Dec. 9, 1971.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Dec. 2, 1983. Click here to check it out.

(Keep in mind that comics came out on multiple days back then — as has become the case now. So these are technically the comics that went on sale between Dec. 6 and Dec. 12.)

So let’s set the scene: President Richard Nixon was headed into his re-election year — an eventful one that would ultimately lead to his resignation less than three years later. The week wasn’t the greatest for movies — Gumshoe, starring Albert Finney, came out on Dec. 9. But check out some of the movies that were released during the final weeks of the year: A Clockwork Orange, Harold and Maude, The Last Picture Show, Dirty Harry, Straw Dogs and Diamonds Are Forever (though I admit that’s the weakest of the official Connery Bond films).

All In the Family, as it so often did, topped the Nielsens. But you know what was third? A Charlie Brown Christmas! (Take that you 2020 network bastards!) The No. 1 single was Sly & the Family Stone’s classic Family Affair, while Santana III led the album charts.

Far out.

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

The Avengers #97, Marvel. The finale of the Kree-Skrull War is writer Roy Thomas at his Roy Thomassiest, with Rick Jones reaching back to the Golden Age of Comics to resurrect some of Timely’s greatest mystery men of World War II, and a couple of its most obscure as well.

Captain America #147, Marvel. I always liked it when Captain America was sharing title billing with the Falcon. That alone probably would have gotten me to pluck this comic off the spinner rack.

The Funky Phantom #1, Gold Key. This cartoon was still on the air a few years later when I was old enough to be watching TV, and even as a tiny kid I never got the point of it. So he’s a Revolutionary War ghost who goes around helping teens solve mysteries? What? And what makes him “funky”? All that said, if I saw this comic today I’d buy it, just in the hopes of gaining some clarity.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

All-Star Western #10, DC. The debut of Jonah Hex — DC’s greatest Western character and perhaps the greatest Western character in all of comics. John Albano and Tony DeZuniga’s antihero has been the subject of many great runs over the years, particularly the Justin Gray/Jimmy Palmiotti series that ended about six years ago.

The Brave and the Bold #100, DC. One of my very first B&B issues. The Nick Cardy cover worked its scary magic on Young Dan, especially since I was still very much of the Adam West Batman frame of mind.

World’s Finest #209, DC. I’ve mentioned this before but I have never been a fan of the Superman/Batman team, at least not when they meet on a regular basis. Even for comics, it’s an idea that stretches credulity. So, I’ve only ever been an off-and-on reader of World’s Finest. But I most certainly dug this period when Superman teamed up with other heroes in WF, presaging DC Comics Presents by a number of years. Superman and Batman every month? Tough sell. Superman and Hawkman as a one-off? For sure.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Dec. 2 — in 1983! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 25 — in 1985! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I think they’re using the word “funk” in its definition as a state of cowardice or fear. The phantom’s body language on the cover would support this.

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    • Let’s be thankful he wasn’t the Raunchy Revolutionary 🙂

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  2. That Brave and Bold #100 is one of my favorite comics. Aparo’s art was magnificent, the dynamic between the 4 guest stars was interesting, and the end in the surgery room was a classic, filled with suspense, right up to the end. And it even throws in a begrudging wink and nod to Marvel’s Spider-Man. Some forty-nine years later, it still is a solid story.

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