RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1977!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 45 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of June 22, 1977.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of June 15, 1986. 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 June 19 and June 25.)

So, let’s set the scene: President Carter was in the first year of his only term. At the box office, it was that magical summer of Stars Wars, which not only dominated ticket sales but became an enormous pop culture phenomenon. But get this — for three weeks in June it was supplanted as the No. 1 movie by The Deep. This was one of those weeks.

The top program in the nation was NBC’s fourth Man From Atlantis TV movie starring Patrick Duffy. It would later become a short-lived, cult-fave series.

The Billboard 100 was led by Marvin Gaye’s classic Got to Give It Up (Pt. 1), but also making the list was Gonna Fly Now from Rocky, by Bill Conti. (That rousing anthem was EVERYWHERE.) The Steve Miller Band’s Jet Airliner was No. 10. I prefer the version with the extended guitar intro, for what that’s worth. Fleetwood Mac’s epochal Rumours was a smash and is considered one of the most successful albums of all time. Of its four singles, Dreams was in the Top 10 this week.

A memorable summer on many fronts, I’d say — the infamous New York City blackout was but a few weeks away, Son of Sam would finally be captured in August, there was an epic battle for New York mayor, Roger Moore’s first-rate The Spy Who Loved Me would be released and the New York Yankees would go on to win the World Series in the fall.

I remember all of it. All of it.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman Family #13, DC. One of my very fave issues of Batman Family, the most consistently entertaining Bat-title of the ’70s. Not only do we get the long-awaited return of the Outsider, we get a Batgirl, Robin and Man-Bat team-up featuring the creative talents of Bob Rozakis, Don Newton and Marshall Rogers (plus a Jim Aparo cover). The highlight? Dick finally reveals his feelings for Babs! There’s also one of those groovy features where fans, including Norm Breyfogle, sent in their designs for a new Robin costume. A five-star Bronze Age comic.

Scott adds: Alfred needs to put on some pants.

Marvel Comics Super Special #1, Marvel. Kiss! That’s the name! Kiss! They may look insane! Kiss! If rock’s your game — it’s Kiss! This is the comic where the ink was mixed with their blood because Kiss was still supposed to kind of be scary and whatnot. It was written by Steve Gerber, with no less than five pencillers — John Romita Jr., Alan Weiss, John Buscema, Rich Buckler and Sal Buscema. The band fights Mephisto and Doctor Doom because Marvel.

Mister Miracle #19, DC. I’ve never read Englehart and Rogers’ Mister Miracle, which makes little sense when you consider that their Detective Comics run might be the best Batman story ever. I need to rectify this. (By the way, Englehart and Rogers’ Detective Comics #472 — starring Hugo Strange — came out later in the month.

DC Special Series #2, DC. An early attempt by DC to collect great stories of a recent vintage, in this case the first two issues of Swamp Thing by Wein and Wrightson.

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

Fantastic Four #186, Marvel. Some George Perez goodness here. Even this early in his career, very typical of George to pick up a story that had four good guys to draw and seven bad guys.


Spidey Super Stories #26, Marvel. Hey, I had this issue. I think it had that gorilla in it that used to be on The Electric Company all the time.


The Brave and the Bold #136, DC. I could never resist a Brave and the Bold triple team-up.

MORE

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of June 8 — in 1962! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of June 1 — in 1967! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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11 Comments

  1. Batman Family was ALWAYS a fun read! (Hey kids, remember when things tied into Batman weren’t just relentlessly grim and dark all the time?) And I remember reading that KISS Marvel Special via an omnibus released in the early 2000’s. Of COURSE an outrageous Rock band has to square off against both Marvel’s BIGGEST bad and their splinter version of “Satan”!

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    • I sure miss those non-dark stories. I need to visit that Mister Miracle run too!

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  2. My family went for a drive “in the country” one Saturday, maybe of this week. We kids were not into it. We stopped at a random drug store in a random town for some reason and I bought B&B #136. A boring car ride for me immediately turned around!

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  3. While there were several pencil artists on the first KISS comic, John Romita Jr wasn’t one of them. He drew the entire 2nd KISS comic a year later, and the art in that one was fantastic. In the first one some of the art was good, some of it wasn’t (Alan Weiss’ pencil work was less than stellar).

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  4. I have that issue of Spidey Super Stories. Of course, I have EVERY issue of Spidey Super Stories. Gotta have ’em all!

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  5. Ah, Mister Miracle #19–some time after that came out (those heady days run together in my memories), I was at a comic show in Boston and someone (I don’t remember who) was selling various artwork and color guides of comics. I had never seen a color guide before (a Xerox of the final artwork colored with markers and having the color codes written in for the printers (YBRs). Prodded on by a friend, I purchased the entire color guide for that particular issue for about $15 dollars, and I still have it to this day.

    I don’t own much original art, and of course this is not like a page of a drawn story, but it’s a unique part of my collection. And it’s a great story also!

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  6. That FF comic is the very first comic book I remember reading. I read it to bits, and very little of it survives today. It’s the conclusion of a story with Agatha Harkness, and I understood so little of it.

    Today, I have a much nicer copy of FF #186 that I bought so that George Perez could sign it when he came to do a signing at Lee’s Comics. I talked with George for a long time, and he was super friendly. Told him that this was my entry into comics & thanked him for being my gateway into this crazy, wonderful world!

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  7. I read a lot of comics during road trips, too. I remember picking up Super Friends 7 (which contained the first appearance of a few of the international characters who would later become the Global Guardians) around the same time as the Brave and Bold issue. Super Friends and Spidey Super Stories were great titles for young readers. The Batman Family and Superman Family Dollar Comics were a treat, too, because they contained multiple stories.

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  8. Wow! What a bumper crop of great stuff. I was soooo excited for the Kiss Magazine when it came out and I loved the Wrightson Swampy when I found the second ish. I didn’t get this one for years. No comic store in my home town. I guess maybe I ordered it from Robert Crestohl perhaps? Don’t remember. Anyway, thanks for the memories. And that Golden cover! I would have been all over that if I had seen it in my local “variety store” as we called them in Ontario.

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