RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1979!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 43 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Aug. 24, 1979.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Aug. 17, 1989. 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 Aug. 21 and Aug. 27.)

So, let’s set the scene: Jimmy Carter was in the third year of his only presidential term. The top flick at the box office was The Muppet Movie. (I still don’t know how Kermit rode that bike.) but there were plenty of other choices too — a Star Wars re-release, Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the best football movie ever, North Dallas Forty. It’s a great book, too.

There was also The Amityville Horror, which scared the bejeezus out of 12-year-old Dan but which is pretty ludicrous by today’s standards.

It was the waning days of rerun season but the top shows of the week were WKRP in Cincinnati, MASH, Three’s Company, Charlie’s Angels and Taxi.

The charts were all about The Knack: The resoundingly catchy My Sharona led the Billboard 100 while the top-selling album was Get the Knack.


Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

The Brave and the Bold #156, DC. The beauty of The Brave and the Bold is that Batman could team up with pretty much anyone — though to this day, I’m stunned there was never a Batman/Captain Marvel pairing. Anyway, this wasn’t a Bob Haney/Jim Aparo joint — Haney’s last B&B would be the following issue — it was a Cary Burkett/Don Newton/Bob Smith collaboration.

Battle of the Planets #3, Gold Key. Like Star Blazers, I loved Battle of the Planets. If I had seen this on sale at the overstuffed stationery shop in Highland Park, N.J., where I got my comics, I would have snapped this up. Alas, I didn’t.

Marvel Tales #109, Marvel. Reprinting Spidey’s throwdown with the Molten Man from Amazing Spider-Man #132 — from the thick of Gerry Conway’s superb run. Pencils by John Romita (inks by Paul Reinman) so this baby just sells itself.

Iron Man #128, Marvel. This actually came out a day after this time frame so I’m bending the rules and allowing it because it’s such a landmark issue. Tony Stark’s alcoholism would redefine the character forever.

Scott adds: I have to admit, with the benefit of hindsight, the handling of alcoholism in the famous “Demon in a Bottle” storyline is a little on the superficial side. Tony manages to give up the booze and face his addiction far too easily. When writer Denny O’Neil told the tale of Tony’s relapse some 40 issues later, it was far grimmer and more authentic-feeling.

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

The Avengers #189, Marvel. A rare-at-the-time solo Hawkeye tale!

The X-Men #127, Marvel. An often-overlooked Claremont/Byrne classic storyline, coming as it does right before the legendary Dark Phoenix Saga.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #257, DC Comics. It’s such a dumb reason to buy a comic, but I always loved the uniforms on the Science Police in Legion.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Aug. 17 — in 1989! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Aug. 10 — in 1973! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. The most bittersweet week of my life. A lady struck my grandfather’s bike with her car on the morning of August 24th and he passed away at a hospital, not long after midnight on August 30th. I was 7 years old and nothing was ever the same again. In the chaos which followed, someone brought me my first superhero comic book to help ease my mind: It was World’s Finest Comics #260.

    Avengers #189 is one of my ten favorite issues of all time. Steven Grant, (and friends) John Byrne and Dan Green provided the epilogue to the Korvac Saga while setting the stage for Hawkeye’s status quo at the time of his return to the Avengers and Mark Gruenwald’s miniseries a few years later. That story has everything for the casual reader.

    In fact, I have every comic listed up there in floppy or collected form except for Battle of the Planets.

    And I agree with Scott that despite Bob Layton’s stellar artwork on the first alcohol storyline, Denny O’Neil and Luke McDonnell’s chronicle of Tony’s second bout with the bottle is far superior. It nearly ended his life and gave way for James Rhodes to go from a supporting character to Marvel A-Lister. I was there when Iron Man #170 hit the stands and Rhodey remains my favorite Iron Man to this day.

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    • That’s a very moving story. Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing how comics can give such solace during such painful times.

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