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 Dec. 14, 1982.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Dec. 7, 1962. 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 Dec. 11 and Dec. 17.)

So, let’s set the scene: Ronald Reagan was in his first presidential term. The Richard Pryor vehicle The Toy topped the box office, but it would be quickly supplanted by Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie, which was released Dec. 17.

You did catch the Mego display behind Pryor, right?

CBS had a stranglehold on the Nielsens, with four network shows leading the ratings — Dallas, 60 Minutes, MASH and a special hosted by Robin Williams, E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors, which cashed in on 1982’s E.T.-mania.

The top single on the Billboard 100 was Hall & Oates’ Maneater, which I never liked. I did like other songs of theirs but this one rubbed me the wrong way from the start. I’ll take the No. 2 song any day — Mickey, the kinda-sorta novelty song by Toni Basil that features one of the most infectious hooks in pop music history. And one of its goofiest videos:

Meanwhile, two very of-the-moment LPs led the album charts — Business As Usual, by Men at Work (No. 1) and Built for Speed by Stray Cats (No. 2).

Oh Mickey, you’re so fine/You’re so fine, you blow my mind…

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #357, DC. The first appearance of the original Jason Todd. The one I liked. The one who shouldn’t have been discarded after Crisis. The one who had loads of story potential that was never fully realized because of said Crisis. The one who might have survived the call-in vote years later because he was at least likeable. (Though the fans were so bloodthirsty by that point, he probably would have been offed too.)

Fantastic Four #252, Marvel. A bold horizontal cover by John Byrne. What’s not to like?

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #3, Marvel. If only I were a Marvel reader back then. Woulda snapped this whole series up just like I did a couple years later with DC’s Who’s Who.

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

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #76, Marvel. Black Cat’s near-death at the hands of Doc Ock had me on pins and needles way back when.

The New Teen Titans #29, DC Comics. As happy as I was to see old-school Teen Titan Speedy back, the Brotherhood of Evil always left this reviewer cold. Great Perez cover, though.

Dan adds: It goes without saying how great this series was. But what was most memorable about this issue in retrospect was that Terra would officially join the team in the next issue.

The Defenders #117, Marvel. As a kid, I thought writer J.M. DeMatteis’ Over-Mind stories were some trippy stuff.

Marvel Team-Up #127, Marvel. The Watcher shows up in his festive holiday green robes…


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Dec. 7 — in 1962! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Nov. 30 — in 1973! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Wow ! This is a trip down memory lane. Love Hall and Oats and Men at Work(got that record for Christmas)
    Remember very clearly going to my local mall where there was this fun shop called “The Newsstand” which looked like an old fashioned newsstand and as I was walking up to it I saw the cover of New Teen Titans 29 and it totally blew me away! I love that cover. God bless George Perez and Merry Christmas to you all. Great post.

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  2. Al Milgrom so awful. Black Cat looks like a man. Never understood how he was so frequently used in the 80s

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