RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1987!

Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 36 years ago…

This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of Feb. 15, 1987.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of Feb. 8, 1981. 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. 12 and Feb. 18.)

So, let’s set the scene: Ronald Reagan was late in his presidency. Oliver Stone’s horrifying, yet mesmerizing Platoon was the No. 1 film at the box office. The violent rumination on the physical and emotional toll of the Vietnam War was released late in 1986 and highlighted by an ensemble cast led by Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger and a still-likeable Charlie Sheen. It would be surpassed in artistry by Stanley Kubrick’s similarly themed Full Metal Jacket, which would be released in June, but both were part of a string of ’70s and ’80s films that forced Americans to come to terms with a war that had a devastating impact on our national psyche well after it ended.

The Cosby Show ruled the Nielsens because none of us knew what the hell was going on with Bill Cosby.

Bon Jovi’s barely tolerable Livin’ On a Prayer topped the Billboard 100 but I’d take the No. 2 tune in a heartbeat: Keep Your Hands to Yourself by the Georgia Satellites.

Bon Jovi’s sophomorically named Slippery When Wet, meanwhile was the best-selling album. On the other hand, the runner-up is widely considered one of the greatest albums from the ’80s — and beyond: License to Ill by the Beastie Boys.

On location, touring around the nation, Beastie Boys always on vacation…

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Batman #407, DC. The finale to one of the greatest Batman stories — nay, comics stories — ever told: Batman: Year One. Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis’ 4-part masterpiece rewrote Batman for a grittier era and in many ways has been even more influential than its predecessor The Dark Knight Returns. The story, which has not a single wasted moment, boils down Batman to the essentials, giving us a seminal work that is as readable today as it was 36 years ago. Plus, the cover might be the best of the four, with the white logo providing a stark contrast to the young Caped Crusader’s confrontation with the man who would become one of his greatest allies, Jim Gordon — who to some is the actual protagonist of the story. Rock solid and nearly perfect.

Scott adds: Batman: Year One gets overshadowed by Frank Miller’s other Batman classic The Dark Knight Returns, but I think this is actually the stronger work.

Zatanna Special #1, DC. I just got this the other day, to go along with my new copy of DC Super-Stars #11. Gray Morrow knew how to draw Zatanna, that’s for sure.

All-Star Comics Illustrated Index #1, ICG/Eclipse. I had the Teen Titans series but it’s certainly worth going back to track this mini down. If the rights could ever be worked out, a trade compilation of all the Index series would be fab.

The Official Marvel Index to the X-Men #1, Marvel. Plus, don’t forget that Marvel started the whole thing.

Thor #379, Marvel. Hey, look! It’s Fin Fang Foom in his XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL underpants!

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

Blue Beetle #12, DC Comics. I love me a floating head cover.

Secret Origins #14, DC Comics. This was used to kick off the new post-Crisis Suicide Squad series that emerged from the Legends event. So much of the Suicide Squad we see in comics and films today came out of this body of work by John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell. It’s really good stuff.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Feb. 8 — in 1981! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of Feb. 1 — in 1979! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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