RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1973!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 47 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Oct. 28, 1973.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Oct. 21, 1984. 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 Oct. 25 and Oct. 31.)


So let’s set the scene: The nation was still reeling from Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” the week earlier. Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy William Ruckelshaus to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox. They both refused and resigned. Robert Bork ultimately carried out the order — in part costing him a spot on the Supreme Court years later. (Spiro Agnew resigned earlier in the month due to his corruption while Maryland governor.)

The big film at the time was The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, which had been out for about 10 days. While All in the Family was the top sitcom, the highest-ranked TV program of the week was a showing of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. (Yes!) The No. 1 single was Midnight Train to Georgia, by Gladys Knight and the Pips — which was inspired by Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors. (Look it up!) Goats Head Soup by the Rolling Stones, meanwhile, was the best-selling album. (By the way, check out the new deluxe edition of the album — it kills. One of the best of the Stones’ re-releases to date.)

Go ape!

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

The Amazing Spider-Man #129, Marvel. The first appearance of the Punisher! To this day, I prefer him with pointy eyebrows, in black spandex with skull-tooth ammo belt and white gloves and boots. He was intimidating enough without all the leather. I have a nice Spidey run from the Gerry Conway era — my favorite ever — but I still don’t have an original copy of this one. Anyone feel like giving me, oh, say $1,900?

Captain America #170, Marvel. The early days of the classic Secret Empire run that set up Steve Rogers becoming Nomad. Plotted by Steve Englehart, scripted by Mike Friedrich, with art by Sal Buscema and Vince Colletta.

Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery #51, Gold Key. Hey, it’s Halloween week. How could I NOT grab a copy of Boris Karloff? Plus another groovy George Wilson cover. Fun fact: This series lasted until the end of the decade. It was a reprint mag by then, but still. That says something about Karloff’s continued pop-culture cachet a decade after his death.

Eerie #53, Warren. I was 6 in 1973, so this was too overwhelming for Young Dan. Today, though, I couldn’t pass this up. More Halloween reading! Plus, I love mummies — and that Manuel Sanjulian cover is far out!

Tarzan #227, DC. Kubert’s Tarzan = best ever Tarzan comic.

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

Flash #225, DC Comics. Any time there was a Reverse-Flash appearance on a cover, I immediately coughed up the money for it. Something about that costume absolutely fascinated me as a kid.

Dan adds: He’s not wrong.

Superboy #200, DC Comics. It’s the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel! Of course I would have bought it.

Adventure Comics #431, DC Comics. The debut installment of the infamous Spectre feature in Adventure by writer Michael Fleischer and artist Jim Aparo — the darkest, creepiest and most violent run the character ever saw. This is great stuff.

Dan adds: Didn’t discover this until much later. Scott’s 100 percent right.

The Great Gazoo #3, Charlton. The Great Gazoo had his own comic book?! Why am I just hearing about this now?! If you’ll excuse me, I have to go to eBay…


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Oct. 21 — in 1984! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Oct. 14 — in 1969! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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    • Y’know what? I almost wrote that but I don’t think it is. It’s pretty close but I’m not 100 percent sure. I just watched the movie the other day and it looks like the artist took some liberties. But either way, I do think it was inspired by it, for what that’s worth.

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  1. Thanks so much- I started reading a year later, so these books I remember as back issues- When I finally picked up the Flash and Adventure books about 15 years ago, I was whisked back to the 70s. There is something magical about reading a book by a childhood favorite creative team for the first time as an adult- A fake nostalgia…

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  2. Got the Flash, Adventure and Superboy/LSH books off the stands.

    Who doesn’t love the idea of melting someone’s hands?

    The Flash story can explain why Lanterns weren’t allowed on Earth in the Legion’s era.

    And the wedding story was great!

    The 15 year old me loved all of them!

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  3. Some really great selections here, particularly Adventure 431 and Amazing Spider-Man 129! They could each be on a hot picks list for the entire year of 1973! It’s too bad DC didn’t do anything this year to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Spectre.

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  4. Great picks! What a sweet spot for Bronze Age fans.

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