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

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 Nov. 30, 1973.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Nov. 23, 1988. 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 Nov. 27 and Dec. 3.)

So, let’s set the scene: Richard Nixon was in the White House but the scandals were beginning to take their toll: In October, Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president; Gerald Ford would be sworn in as his replacement Dec. 6.

“Memories…” The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, was the box office leader and something of a pop culture touchstone. As we know from many of these columns, All in the Family was easily the biggest show on television. The Waltons finished second for the week, with my favorite, MASH at No. 5. (Season 2’s The Incubator.)

The Carpenters’ Top of the World was the best-selling single, but I’ll take Ringo Starr’s signature Photograph, which was in the second slot. Perhaps the most lasting hit, however, was Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which was in third.

Meanwhile, the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is considered one of Elton’s absolute greatest, was the best-seller, but the charts had other killer LPs too, namely Ringo Starr’s Ringo (No. 2), the Who’s Quadrophenia (No. 3), and the Rolling Stones’ potent, if uneven, Goats Head Soup (No. 6). The album featured the regrettable Angie but it also gave us Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), a political statement wrapped in an infectious hard-rock groove.

Heart breaker, heart breakerYou stole the love right out of my heart

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Detective Comics #439, DC. Detective Comics under editor Archie Goodwin made for some fabulous reading. The main story, Night of the Stalker!, is a high-water mark of Bronze Age storytelling. It was plotted by Vin and Sal Amendola, scripted by Steve Englehart (years before he’d be teamed with Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin), with art by Sal Amendola and Dick Giordano. A classic.

Scott adds: The origin of Paul Kirk, Manhunter! From the great Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson.

Captain America #171, Marvel. The Falcon gets his wings! This issue is smack in the middle of Secret Empire, Steve Englehart’s landmark Captain America epic. Englehart once wrote for us a guest column on the storyline. Click here to check it out. (Oh, and Secret Empire is also getting an Epic Collection in 2023. Click here for the lowdown.)

Tarzan #228, DC. Because Joe Kubert did a GREAT Tarzan.

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

The Amazing Spider-Man #130, Marvel. Hammerhead! The Jackal! The Spider-Mobile! This issue has everything.

Dan adds: Gerry Conway was killing it month in and month out, with great interiors pencilled by Ross Andru. Spidey in those days was a soap opera in the best possible way, with multiple storylines rising and falling and intersecting seamlessly. Like Scott, I love the Spider-Mobile. But I like Spidey’s reaction even more:

Sub-Mariner #69, Marvel. That’s one hell of a John Romita cover.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 23 — in 1988! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 16 — in 1966! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I love these Retro Hot Picks. Great comics and music. Thank you

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  2. Wow. I only just realized that Englehart’s “Night of the Stalker” was the same week as Cap #171! Have to wonder what history might have been like if Archie Goodwin had managed to lure Englehart over to DC earlier for a Batman run!

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  3. I always loved the blue Namor costume!

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  4. Wow 100 pages for 50 cents!!!!!
    and i can’t tell the art from the same era apart….they all look great.
    i LOVE silver/bronze era.
    todays, not so much, but i can’t describe why yet

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