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

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 46 years ago…

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Jan. 11, 1977.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Jan. 4, 1985. 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 Jan. 8 and Jan. 14.)

So, let’s set the scene: Gerald Ford gave his final State of the Union address this week, as President-elect Jimmy Carter prepared to be sworn in Jan. 20. King Kong, a flawed remake of the classic that I nevertheless fell in love with as a 9-year-old kid, conquered the box office. Did I ever tell you how I would take the clothes off my Mego Cornelius and use him as King Kong with my Matchbox City? True story!

Little Ladies of the Night, a TV network teen-prostitute flick very much of its time, not only led the Nielsens, it was one of the highest-rated TV movies of all time to that point. Later in the month, however, the powerhouse miniseries Roots would take America by storm.

Leo Sayer’s infectious — and easily mimicked — You Make Me Feel Like Dancing was the best-selling single. The heavy action was on the Billboard albums chart, however, with a bevy of classics crowding the top-sellers, including the Eagles’ epochal Hotel California at No. 1, as well as Stevie Wonder’s magnum opus Songs in the Key of Life (No. 2), Wings Over America (No. 3), the ridiculously popular Boston debut album (No. 4) and Frampton Comes Alive (No. 7).


Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #286, DC. When talking Joker stories in the ’70s, fans automatically cite the classic Batman #251, or The Laughing Fish in Detective Comics #475-476, or maybe Batman #321 or Batman #260, all of which frequently end up in Best Of anthologies. Great stories, to be sure, but I’ve always been partial to this issue too, with its fab Jim Aparo cover. And here’s the thing: In those days, a Joker story was a special occasion in and of itself. Yeah, there was that brief solo series he had but he wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as he is now, sales being what they are. Yet from a strict storytelling standpoint, how can you miss someone if they won’t go away?

Teen Titans #47, DC. As much as I dug the Teen Titans’ “second series” when I was younger, I’m disappointed to report that the issues just don’t hold up all that well today. That said, if you’d like a nice little nostalgia trip, you could do worse.

Master of Kung Fu #51, Marvel. The epilogue to one of the most popular Shang-Chi stories, by Doug Moench, Jim Craig and Pablo Marcos, with a dynamite Paul Gulacy cover.

The Eternals #10, Marvel. Great big hand for Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia, folks!

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

The Amazing Spider-Man #167, Marvel. It’s quite honestly intolerable that I have been buying action figures since I was a boy and still don’t have a figure of J. Jonah Jameson’s Spider-Slayer robot.

Superman #310. First appearance of a new Metallo (John Corben’s brother, Roger.) And look at that Garcia-Lopez cover. That’s one you could spot from across the street.

Captain America #208, Marvel. If memory serves, not only does Cap fight a tinpot dictator and a South American swamp monster in this issue, but he also encounters Hitler’s brain. This comic has everything.

Thor #258, Marvel. An issue from my favorite Thor run, when the Thunder God was flying around outer space in an old Viking ship with the Recorder. (On a side note, I bought all four of these issues down at the local Rexall back in ’77. Somebody must have given me a dollar.)


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Jan. 4 — in 1985! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Dec. 28 — in 1942! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Sigh, this brings back such memories of the 5th grade. King Kong was a disappointment, but I remember being psyched to see it. I recall the Winter of 77 being a beast, at least in the Northeast.

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  2. I remember buying Spider-Man 167 off a spinner rack at the local liquor store. It was my introduction to the spider slayer. Great issue and post. All good comics.

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  3. Great picks! I would have gleefully pulled Bat #286 off the spinner rack if I had seen that at the time, based on the Aparo cover alone! Interiors by Irv Novick & Joker as the villain – what’s not too love! TT#47 looks fun too!

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  4. I was 4 going on 5 in January of ’77. I remember watching Roots with my parents. The 70s were truly a special time for music, movies, TV and comics.

    That Jim Aparo Batman cover one of my all time favorites. How can your resist not finding out which Joker is the real deal?

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  5. I didn’t start buying and collecting comics until the following year, in the summer of ’78. But I did pick up most of these as back issues. I’ll need to check into that Thor run. My Thor collection is a little thin and sporadic. But I think this Teen Titans run was a lot of fun, even if it’s not exactly “classic” comics. IIRC, Bob Rozakis was writing TT at the time.

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