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

Hitting up the comics racks — 49 years ago!

When Diamond ceased shipping because of the coronavirus, we decided to keep our weekly HOT PICKS going but with a twist: Instead of Scott Tipton and me picking the books for the current week in 2020, we’ve been picking titles from the same week — but decades earlier.

Well, Diamond is back for those shops able to operate, and so we’ve resumed our regular HOT PICKS. (Click here.) But due to popular demand, we’ve decided to keep RETRO HOT PICKS going as its own feature! Regular HOT PICKS runs Mondays and RETRO HOT PICKS runs Wednesdays.

Now, last time in RETRO HOT PICKS, it was books that went on sale the week of June 3, 1986. (Click here to check it out.) This time, it’s the week of June 10, 1971. (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 June 7 and June 13.)

So let’s set the scene: Richard Nixon was in his first term as president — but the Pentagon Papers were first published June 13, beginning the slow, inexorable slide to his resignation more than three years later. Escape From the Planet of the Apes, released a few weeks earlier, was still in movie theaters. The three big shows on TV were All in the Family, The Flip Wilson Show and Marcus Welby, M.D. And one of the world’s greatest rock and roll songs — the Rolling Stones’ Brown Sugar, was at the top of the Billboard singles chart until it was displaced by Honey Cone’s catchy R&B pop hit Want Ads.

Right on.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #234, DC Comics. So much has been made over the years about Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ classic Joker makeover in Batman #251, that a lot of folks tend to forget that two years earlier, they did the same for Two-Face, who had been largely absent since the ’50s. This was the first step toward returning the villain to A-List status thanks to O’Neil’s first-rate story and Adams’ chilling depiction of Harvey Dent.

Scott adds: The Bronze Age return of Two-Face, as conceived by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams in their landmark Batman run! This was the first appearance of Harvey Dent in seventeen years (though there was a faux Two-Face appearance in World’s Finest in the late ’60s).

Yosemite Sam #4, Gold Key. When I was a little kid, I had a Yosemite Sam shirt. Only I pronounced it “Yoze-Might” because I was still learning how to read. I’ve never forgotten that. It has nothing to do with this comic book other than giving me the chance to tell that anecdote.

The Flintstones #7, Charlton. I was a loyal watcher of The Flintstones in syndication, so had I seen this at 7-Eleven, I probably would have asked Mom or Dad for it.

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

The Amazing Spider-Man #100, Marvel. The infamous issue where Spider-Man took a potion designed to remove his powers but grew four extra arms instead. I only ever saw this issue years after it hit the stands, but it still really freaked me out.

Dan adds: It’s not just the Stan Lee/Gil Kane/Frank Giacoia/Tony Mortellaro story, it’s that stunning John Romita/Giacoia cover, which has thrilled me since the first time I saw it decades ago. Finally, in the last year, I picked up a copy for a relative song. Love it.

Avengers #91, Marvel. Part of the run-up to the Kree-Skrull War, this was a time in Avengers that never felt right to me without Cap, Iron Man or Thor on the team, and especially Hawkeye being in this ridiculous Goliath getup. Still, good solid comics by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema.

Justice League of America #91, DC. While this isn’t one of the most significant Justice League/Justice Society teamups, it is notable for the fact that it’s the only time the Robins of both Earths show up for the party.

Dan adds: Not only that, we get the first look at the Neal Adams-design “adult Robin” costume that would later become the standard for Earth-Two’s Dick Grayson. Plus: Floating heads!


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of June 3 — in 1986! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of May 27 — in 1982! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. A true reflection of how great of a time for comics it was.

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  2. I was only buying DC comics back then–I remember buying both the Batman and JLA issues on the stands.

    Loved the JSA team-up stories whenever they came out.

    Was not the biggest Batman fan at the time, but that cover!

    And did look through Spidey #100 –it freaked me out at the time also!

    (I’m old)

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