RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1984!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 38 years ago!

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Feb. 16, 1984.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Feb. 9, 1964 — when the Beatles debuted on Ed Sullivan. 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 Feb. 13 and Feb. 19.)

So let’s set the scene: Ronald Reagan was in his re-election year. (He’d win in a landslide.) Footloose — which made Kevin Bacon a big star — was the hottest movie in the U.S. of A. (The most charming scene is still Bacon teaching Chris Penn to dance. Not a big fan of the song, though.)

Dallas was tops in the Nielsen ratings. Karma Chameleon by Culture Club led the Billboard 100, but my fave at the time was at No. 8 — Yes’ Owner of a Lonely Heart; I used to drive around waiting for it to come on the radio. The pop culture juggernaut at the time, however, was Michael Jackson’s album Thriller, which was in the middle of a record 37 weeks at No. 1.

Move yourself.

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

New Defenders #131, Marvel. The X-Men-heavy stint of the Defenders lineup was far too brief.

Fantastic Four #266, Marvel. As much as people love John Byrne’s FF run, I don’t think he gets enough credit for his striking covers.

Iron Man #182, Marvel. Everyone thinks “Demon in a Bottle” when they think drunk Iron Man stories, but Denny O’Neil’s later handling of the issue was much more grounded and harrowing.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #90, Marvel. For my money, the Spidey/Black Cat romance in the pages of Peter Parker was one of the more compelling story arcs in comics in the ‘80s.

Supergirl #19, DC Comics. This was funny: DC Comics changed Supergirl’s costume and gave her a headband at the request of the producers of the then-upcoming movie, then at the very last second the producers changed their mind and got rid of the headband. Whoops.

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Blue Ribbon Comics #7, Archie. The Archie superheroes have just never held on with any consistency, despite many tries over the years. It’s too bad, because there’s something special about characters like the Fly, the Shield, the Fox and so on.

Amazing Heroes #41, Fantagraphics. I was an Amazing Heroes devotee — and this baby featured Wayne Boring’s Superman on the cover. How cool is that?


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Feb. 9 — in 1964! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Feb. 2 — in 1978! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I actually read the 1980s “Supergirl” comics online and enjoyed them. I like the costume that she wore later on that was movie-influenced.

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  2. That Defenders issue takes me back. I think I got it as an impulse buy, possibly to check out the new mutant status quo. But my 11-year-old self thought it was hilarious. A goofy one-off villain called the Walrus goes on a rampage, defying his mad scientist enabler. My friend and I still repeat that scientist’s line, yelling at Walrus on the phone: “Don’t you goo-goo-gachoob me!”

    Also got that FF, and only now notice, since you brought up the cover: it looks like a template for what Byrne would draw 3 years later for Superman #1. Might be coincidence, unlike Byrne’s very deliberate homage to FF 249 which he duplicated in Superman #8.

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