RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1982!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 40 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Sept. 14, 1982.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Sept. 7, 1963. 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 Sept. 11 and Sept. 17.)

So, let’s set the scene: Ronald Reagan was in the midst of his first presidential term. The news that shocked the world of pop culture this week was the untimely death Sept. 14 of Princess Grace of Monaco — aka Grace Kelly — at the age of 52. Kelly was in a devastating car accident the day before.

E.T. dominated the year’s box office and was tops again this week. Trivia: The movie made Reese’s Pieces a household name and we as a society have never looked back.

60 Minutes was the top-rated TV program but networks were scrambling to fill the programming slots that would open in a couple weeks with the looming NFL players’ strike. (Hey, it was a good time to check out the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders.)

The schmaltzy Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago led the Billboard 100 but also on the charts was every teenage boy’s inspirational workout song — Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, from the Rocky III soundtrack. Hell, it pushed me to do more reps in the gym, I can tell you that.

The best-selling album was American Fool by John Cougar (not yet Mellencamp), featuring the megahits Hurts So Good and Jack and Diane.


Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

The Legion of Super-Heroes #294, DC. Holy crap, it’s the climax of The Great Darkness Saga, one of the 1980s’ greatest storylines. And, guess what! I still haven’t read this classic by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt. (Shameful, I know. But I promise I’ll get on that!)

Camelot 3000 #1, DC. Great series from the minds of Mike W. Barr, Brian Bolland and Bruce D. Patterson. A landmark that helped exemply American comics’ experimental spirit in the ’80s.

Scott adds: This science-fiction retelling of the Arthurian legends is for my money one of the most overlooked and underrated comics of the 1980s.

Green Lantern #159, DC. He’s kind of a goofy villain but I’m down with Evil Star. I’ve always had a soft spot for him because he battled Green Lantern in one of the Filmation shorts of the ’60s. Can’t go wrong with that.

The Brave and the Bold #93, DC. If there’s a Batman book available, you know I’ll pick it. That said, Nemesis never interested me all that much though I do know he has a cult following. Personal tastes, y’know?

Smurfs #1, Marvel. No.

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

The Defenders #114, Marvel. The grand finale of an epic Defenders/Squadron Supreme team-up! This issue melted my brain.

Fantastic Four #249, Marvel. John Byrne here just hitting his stride in his epic writer/artist run on the series.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #73, Marvel. Love that cover, with the star treatment on the blacks. This was also the beginning of one of the more frightening Doc Ock storylines, with Ock determined to punish Spider-Man by murdering the Black Cat.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Sept. 7 — in 1963! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Aug. 31 — in 1985! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. The “Comics Speculation Bubble” was in full bloom then too. My room mate (I was in college) bought Smurfs #1 because he felt it was going to be a sound investment–Pop Culture and a #1 Comic? Gotta be worth millions in a couple years, right? Even then I know it wasn’t and told him.

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  2. Shame on you for not reading the greatest Legion story ever..get on that immediately!!

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  3. Sadly, the only one of these I had when I was a kid was the Smurfs book, but I did have PPtSSM #71 from just two months prior.

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  4. “The movie made Reese’s Pieces a household name and we as a society have never looked back.”

    We as a household have never looked back.

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  5. I was all in on Legion, but wish my 11 year-old self wasn’t so rigid about DC vs. Marvel, because I’m sure I would have been into FF then if I’d given it a chance. Also, that was a Brave & Bold issue I actually had – it was always hard to fine those on the spinner racks.

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