RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1980!

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 March 15, 1980.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of March 8, 1969. 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 March 12 and March 18.)

So, let’s set the scene: Jimmy Carter was president and this week Gerald Ford announced that he would not run for the GOP nomination in 1980, helping to clear the way for Ronald Reagan. Also this week, John Wayne Gacy, one of history’s most notorious serial killers, was convicted of 33 counts of murder.

Three distinctly different dramas were among the box office leaders: All That Jazz, Coal Miner’s Daughter and Kramer vs. Kramer. The No. 1 show was 60 Minutes, as it often was. As far as scripted TV goes, the top shows included MASH, Dukes of Hazzard and Alice.

I had been Bar Mitzvahed in February and one of the gifts I got was Queen’s The Game, which happened to feature this week’s top-selling single: Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Also among the leaders (at No. 3) was one of rock’s all-time great anthems — Another Brick In The Wall (Part II), by Pink Floyd, from the band’s No. 1 album The Wall.

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #324, DC. One of the highlights of Len Wein’s wonderful run on Batman. The Darknight Detective’s relationship with Catwoman, which the writer first teased nearly two years before, came to a head in this two-parter (begun the issue before) featuring Cat-Man’s return to Gotham. Two issues later, Selina would leave Bruce, ending the first genuine romance between the two on DC’s mainstream Earth. Art by Irv Novick and Bob Smith behind a dramatic Jim Aparo cover. Prime storytelling.

The Flash #286, DC. Who is the Rainbow Raider? He’s the guy who inspired this wonderful Don Heck/Dick Giordano cover — one of the most memorable Flash covers of the era.

World’s Finest #263, DC. The final fate of Bob Haney’s Super Sons, as Denny O’Neil and Rich Buckler detail how they could exist, then promptly kill them off. Fun while it lasted!

1994 Magazine #12, Warren. The opposite of a “Hot Pick”: “The Slimy, Crawly Slithering Gropies Do Terrible Things to Pretty Little Girls!” What the fuck, guys?

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

The X-Men #134, Marvel. There’s no ignoring this issue. Unquestionably the most important X-Men arc ever published, this was the point where I know I started to think something seriously bad was about to happen.

Dan adds: Yeah, there’s nothing I can add here.

Justice League of America #179, DC. Firestorm joins the League! The beginning of the end for the classic League, and one of my favorite eras.

The Avengers #196, Marvel. First full appearance of the Taskmaster! You wanna get me to buy a comic, put Taskmaster on the cover.

Rom #7, Marvel. Great Michael Golden cover here.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of March 8 — in 1969! Click here.

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

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Loved the Jim Starlin cover on JLA!

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  2. 1980 was a great year for comics. I remember getting those issues of Batman, JLA, ROM, and X-men all from 7-11. Avengers 196 I got in the mail , I had a subscription from Marvel and I remember being blown away by that Perez cover. Great post !

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  3. I remember these! I was a sophomore in College, busy with the school play (a memorable winter/spring for me!) and I read the Dark Pheonix saga in my dorm room, sitting on the theater stage and back at Mom & Dad’s that summer. A great book and I will mention the perfect artwork! Thanks for the memories!

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  4. I’m a huge Warren magazine fan. I’ve read most of them aside from Famous Monsters. Just recently I’ve put together and begun reading the run of 1984/1994. I’ve got to say that 84/94 is particularly repugnant. I’d be surprised if it’s ever collected in archive form. It shouldn’t have been printed the first time!

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  5. Dan,

    I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, this is my favorite era of BATMAN! Every time you post one of these Jim Aparo or Irv Novick issues the memories come flooding back to me. I got this issue at 7-Eleven along with a cherry Slurpee and a Smoke-a-Roni pepperoni stick. Then I went home and read it whilst awaiting the 3:00 rerun of BATMAN ’66 on channel 11. The eighties were a great time to be a DC Comics super-fan!

    Thanks again for the memories, Old Chum! I really needed that.

    “Groovy” Mike Decker

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  6. I love that I’m not the only one whose best memories of comics started at the local 7-11! Slurpees and comics, what’s not to love?

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