Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 44 years ago!
This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Nov. 9, 1978.
Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Nov. 2, 1974. 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. 6 and Nov. 12.)
So, let’s set the scene: Jimmy Carter was in the middle of his first and only presidential term. Cheech and Chong’s stoner classic Up in Smoke was No. 1 at the box office. Midnight Express, pretty much the anti-Up in Smoke, was also in theaters as was one of the funniest movies of all time, Animal House, which may have more quotable quotes per minute than any other comedy ever.
Weddings are ratings magnets and Little House on the Prairie topped the Nielsens with Mary and Adam’s nuptials.
I have to admit that I didn’t realize that Donna Summer did a cover of MacArthur Park. Well, she did and it led the Billboard 100 this week. Meanwhile, the Rolling Stones’ timeless Beast of Burden was also on the charts, at No. 8. Similarly, Summers’ Live and More was the best-selling LP and the Stones’ Some Girls clocked in at No. 9. A lot of other big-name albums crowded the top of the Billboard 200; it’s a real mixed bag, depending your musical proclivities.
You know what’s a good word? “Proclivities.”
Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension
Batman #308, DC. It was the early days of Len Wein’s great run as regular Bat-scribe: A reformed(?) Selina Kyle shows up at Bruce Wayne’s office and becomes a genuine love interest for the first time (not counting the alternate Earth-Two); the second appearance of Lucius Fox; and the debut of Mr. Freeze’s powder-blue-and-white spandex ensemble. As Scott notes below, it’s not Heart of Ice, but it’s a surprisingly affecting Mr. Freeze story.
Scott adds: It must have been really hard to write Mr. Freeze stories before Paul Dini gave him a personality and a back story.
Captain America #230, Marvel. Ron Wilson and Bob Layton’s cover is one of the most kinetic of the era. Damn, that looks like it hurts.
World’s Finest #255, DC. “Who — or what — was the original Bat-Man??” I don’t remember, but he’s really cool looking. (Look how he just swats away the real Batman!) Anyway, the Dollar Comics World’s Finest really boasted a helluva line-up, didn’t it?
Marvel Super Special #9, Marvel. A sword-and-sorcery smorgasbord starring Conan and Red Sonja, by such talents as Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Tony DeZuniga and Howard Chaykin.
Crazy #46, Marvel. Marvel’s Crazy goes crazy over Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk.
Scott Tipton, contributor-at-large, 13th Dimension
The Micronauts #2, Marvel. I’ve always thought this was an amazing cover. Show your heroes in peril while at the same time instantly communicating your series’ central concept: They’re really small.
Detective Comics #482, DC Comics. As if featuring an albino gorilla wasn’t already more than enough, this issue also offers artist Michael Golden’s “Bat-Mite’s New York Adventure.”
Dan adds: Only the second issue after Batman Family and Detective merged, highlights include not only the aforementioned Bat-Mite story — his best ever — but Batgirl’s battles with the Sino-Supermen, a band of Chinese agents given the powers of American superheroes. Plus, Robin battles the Raven, who had the chance to become the Teen Wonder’s archenemy. Never did, though.
Amazing Spider-Man #189, Marvel. Well, that can’t be a real Mummy fighting Spidey. Anyone have any guesses as to which Spider-Foe is under those wrappings?
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 2 — in 1974! Click here.
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Oct. 26 — in 1986! Click here.
Primary sources: Mike’s Amazing World of Comics, the Grand Comics Database.
November 9, 2022
An interesting week! Had no idea that Captain America cover was from the 70s; always thought that was like 1982 or so! The Micronauts cover was definitely my favorite of the early issues. And, yes, I know who Spider-Man’s REALLY facing off against, thanks to the 25-cent bin at my local shop.
November 9, 2022
That World’s Finest cover only adds to my inner longing that Jim Aparo was given a chance to illustrate at least a year’s worth of Superman stories! I really feel his work on the Man of Steel was underappreciated!
November 9, 2022
Good choices! I would add Flash #270 as a pick. Little did we know it would be the last time the great Irv Novick handled the art on the Flash title. I also didn’t know as a kid that DC was only shipping twice a month during this time. In retrospect, I wonder how many wasted trips I took to the convenience store when there were few new titles I was interested in.
November 10, 2022
Excellent artwork and covers throughout. That Cap is a classic piece by Wilson and Layton!
November 10, 2022
What a great month! Had no idea all those issues glommed together at the same time. Golden’s Bat-Mite story in ‘Tec 482 was fun and definitely classic Golden, but his The Demon story in the same issue is one of my all-time Golden faves. Would love to see the original art for that whole story.
November 16, 2022
Love the Aparo cover to BATMAN #308.
Pretty cool story with my favorite outfit for Mr. Freeze.
Got this comic in a WHITMAN/DC 3 Pack at Woolworths.