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

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 48 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Feb. 3, 1973.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Jan. 27, 1968. 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 Jan. 31 and Feb. 6.)

So let’s set the scene: Richard Nixon was early in his aborted second term but there was major news as the Paris Peace Accords — designed to end the Vietnam War — were signed just the week before. (The treaty officially removed the US from fighting but the bloody conflict would continue for another two years.) The big film at the time was Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial (and tedious) Last Tango In Paris. On television, All In the Family was in the middle of a 14-week run atop the Nielsens.

The Billboard 100 was grooving along, with Elton John’s Crocodile Rock, Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain and Steve Wonder’s Superstition in the lead three positions, respectively. (By the way, the No. 6 song — Oh, Babe, What Would You Say, by Hurricane Smith — was in heavy rotation at Chez Greenfield because it would send my sister Paula and me into fits of laughter.) Meanwhile, Simon’s No Secrets was the best-selling album.

Far out.

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

FOOM #1, Marvel. The first issue of FOOM (Friends Of Ol’ Marvel), Marvel’s fan-club newsletter. There really is nothing more Seventies than bearded, turtlenecked Stan Lee.

Dan adds: I’ve recently begun collecting Amazing World of DC Comics and would love to do the same with FOOM but damn, those issues are expensive. Hey, Marvel, how about an omnibus?)

Justice League of America #105, DC Comics. Ralph “The Elongated Man” Dibny joins the team! I know lots of people consider Ralph to be a second-rate replacement for Plastic Man, but I’ve always preferred Ralph, who actually has a personality.

Dan adds: I didn’t dig EM that much when I was a kid but I’ve really grown to appreciate his very charming Silver and Bronze Age adventures with his wife, Sue. Also: I love the Flash’s two-fisted victory pump! But why is Ollie being such a tool?

Daredevil #99, Marvel. I’d be willing to bet cash money that if you asked most modern Black Widow fans, they would have no idea that there was a period when she was Daredevil’s sidekick. An odd time for Natasha.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Where Monsters Dwell #21, DC. Reprints the 1961 first appearance of Lee and Kirby’s Fin Fang Foom and his gigantic underpants!

Swamp Thing #4, DC. Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s seminal work was great from the beginning — and it brought out the best in succeeding creators. In this ish, Swampy battles a werewolf.

Weird Western Tales #17, DC. Dang, that’s one grim cover, pardner. Jonah Hex best be careful yonder.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Jan. 27 — in 1968! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Jan. 20 — in 1982! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I love the 70’s JLA covers. Covers today look so unfinished somehow. My only complaint is the Flash’s left hand looks twisted backwards. Funny…..never noticed GA being a downer. Never a huge fan of EM. I took him more as a rif on Mr. Fantastic than Plaz. But the variety in the JLA made it fun.

    (I think there’s a typo in the Fin Fang listing. It shows “DC”.)

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  2. Ollie is being such a tool…because he is one?

    How did that Hex cover get approved by the Comics Code? I’m glad it did!


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  3. I know Marvel was well on its way to surpassing DC as the big comic company at this point, but when I look at these covers, I’m reminded of why, as an eight year old looking over the spinner rack, I gravitated to DC. Every DC cover here is so intriguing whereas the Marvel stuff always looked the same. How is that Daredevil cover any different than any random Spider-Man cover? DC usually managed to get my dimes and nickels back then.

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  4. My aunt once bought for me the entire run of FOOM at a garage sale. I was only 11 or so at the time, and didn’t quite know what to make of them. I eventually traded them away, since I didn’t see them as “comics”, thus not of value. I would love to go back in time and smack 11 year old me on the back of the head.

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  5. I wasn’t born in the ’70s, but even that decade had some quality content, especially the music kind.

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  6. That JLA issue is the first comic I remember getting as a kid (I was in Grade 3) from my Grandfather.

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  7. You’re pushing all my buttons here–got all the DCs off the newsstand (was not a Marvel reader at all during this time–never even looked at the covers!). Plus, Carly Simon–what’s not to love? Had a thing for her for years–bought No Secrets on cassette at the time (and still have it to this day!).

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  8. Don’t agree with you about LAST TANGO IN PARIS, but that’s O.K.
    And I’d say that Black Widow was more than Daredevil’s “sidekick”. She was his lover and shared the masthead with him.

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