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

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 51 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Oct. 19, 1971.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Oct. 12, 1965. 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 Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.)

So, let’s set the scene: Richard Nixon was in his first presidential term, with his re-election year just around the corner. The Omega Man, part of Charlton Heston’s cycle of dystopian sci-fi flicks that includes Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green, was tops at the box office. But if you were looking for something even grittier, one of the greatest cop films in movie history was in theaters too: The French Connection. Damn.

The Flip Wilson Show, in its second season, led the Nielsens. Did you have a Flip/Geraldine doll?

Rod Stewart was in the No. 1 slot of the Billboard 100 with what would become one of his signature classics — Maggie May, which was actually the B-side to the lovely Reason to Believe. The disc spent five weeks at No. 1. Let the folks at Rhino explain it:

“If you’re wondering why we’ve referenced both Maggie May and Reason to Believe, the Tim Hardin cover that Stewart recorded, well, that’s because – believe it or not – it was actually the latter song that was the A-side of this single. Radio, however, started to favor playing Maggie May, and before long, it not only topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic but, indeed, transformed Stewart – then still best known as the frontman for the Faces – onto a superstar in his own right.”

Meanwhile, Rod the Mod’s Every Picture Tells a Story — one of the very best LPs I have ever heard — owned the album charts too. But, as in last week’s column, the Billboard 200 was an embarrassment of riches: The runner-up was John Lennon’s epochal Imagine(!) and other major hits included the Shaft soundtrack, Santana III, Tapestry by Carole King, the Carpenters’ eponymous Carpenters, Ram by Paul McCartney and Who’s Next by the Who.

Far out.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #237, DC. This is one of the first comic books I ever got off a spinner rack — maybe the first. It’s hard to tell but I remember looking up at it at the Krauser’s convenience store near my home in Ocean Township, N.J., and having my little mind blown. Anyway, I’ve written a ton on this comic so let me point you here, where Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil each weigh in on what I firmly consider the best comic-book Halloween story of them all. And hey, click here to check out the color guide for the cover — it’s even eerier than the finished product!

Green Lantern #87, DC. Wait, wait, wait. You mean to tell me that one of the most important comics of the ’70s — Adams and O’Neil’s introduction of John Stewart in an exploration of race in America — came out the same day (Oct. 21) as Batman #237? Come on, that cannot be true. But it is. Wow.

Conan the Barbarian #13, Marvel. Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith and inker Sal Buscema on Web of the Spider-God. Need more be said?

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

Marvel Feature #2, Marvel. Some early Defenders here. Seemed like the Defenders had to contend with robed cult members a lot more than the Avengers or X-Men did.

World’s Finest Comics #208, DC Comics. I can never resist a “Superman pulls the planet” cover.

Where Monsters Dwell #13, Marvel. I love the fact that the monster’s head is up in the corner box, as if he’s the star of the book every month.

The Unexpected #130, DC Comics. Wonderfully spooky cover here from the great Nick Cardy.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Oct. 12 — in 1965! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Oct. 5 — in 1987! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. There’s so much CLASSIC here, I can’t even touch on it all! I’ll say this for the established material: The “Marvel Feature” Defenders run was a blast!

    As for the material I’m not familiar with, what does it say about me when the dude with the HORRENDOUS orange turtleneck sweater is far more scary than the undead couple on the cover of “Unexpected” #130?

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  2. I did not have a Flip/Geraldine doll, but I did have a Jimmy “J.J.” Walker doll…. Dy-No-Mite!

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  3. I had a Flip/Geraldine doll. I loved that show and still pull up the YouTube clips.

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  4. Oh my God ! I had the Flip Wilson doll haha

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