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 April 5, 1987.

Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of March 29, 1971. 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 April 2 and April 8.)

Nightline host Ted Koppel

So let’s set the scene: Ronald Reagan was in his second presidential term. The big news of the week was Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis’ racist comments April 6 on ABC News: Nightline, in which he claimed Blacks may not be equipped to be in baseball management. He resigned the next day.

There’s no accounting for taste: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol was the No. 1 movie at the box office. You read that right: No. 1.

Huge week in television history: Fox launched its prime-time programming April 5 with Married… With Children and The Tracey Ullman Show. NBC’s The Cosby Show, meanwhile, dominated the ratings.

I deeply regret having to inform you that Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, from the movie Mannequin, was atop the Billboard 100. I’m not a music snob — I promise — but there was no song among the leaders that I can say I truly like. The No. 2 song, Club Nouveau’s cover of Lean On Me was serviceable but not even close to Bill Withers’ majestic original from 15 years earlier. (The new version won a Grammy award — for Bill Withers, as writer — for Best R&B Song.)

On the other hand, Beastie Boys’ License to Ill was the best-selling album, so something was going right in the music world.

Your Mom busted in and said, what’s that noise? Aw, Mom you’re just jealous it’s the Beastie Boys!

Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension

Superman #7, DC. Somewhere in the Multiverse, John Byrne continued his Superman run until Issue #100. I want to go to there to see how that played out. Loved this comic. It was my favorite at the time.

Watchmen #10, DC. Like I have to explain this.

Wolverine, Marvel. A paperback collecting Claremont and Miller’s four-part miniseries. It was the early days of trade collections and this one was most definitely worthy of the format.

Silver Surfer #1, Marvel. Englehart and Rogers, together again!

Flash #2, DC. The very early days of Wally West as the Flash, courtesy of Mike Baron and Butch Guice. The switchover from Barry Allen was one of the most compelling aspects of the post-Crisis world.

Wonder Woman #6, DC. George Perez’s Wonder Woman was really taking off.

Batman #409, DC. Little-known fact: I didn’t much like the Batman flagship title post-Crisis — with the extremely obvious exception of Batman: Year One. This issue continued the thoroughly unnecessary revamp of Jason Todd. The original had a lot of potential but was never really allowed to solidify because worlds lived, worlds died, and nothing was the same. (Except the parts that were.)

The Punisher #1, Marvel. Baron and Klaus Janson launch Frank Castle’s first ongoing series. The over-the-top cover always makes me laugh.

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

Justice League #3, DC. The new League’s first clash with the Rocket Red Corps was when I really began to realize that this new series was something special.

Dan adds: My wife Wendy and I this year started a new thing: Once a month she picks a movie I’ve never seen and we watch it together, and I pick a run of comics or graphic novel she’s never read and I sit nearby and answer any questions she might have. March was the first seven issues of Justice League. She dug it. (We watched 1973’s The Spirit of the Beehive, widely considered the best Spanish movie of the decade. I dug it.) But back to this issue: It also had a rare variant that DC published to test a new logo. It didn’t take but it’s a great cover for the rare pairing of Batman and Captain Marvel.

The Avengers #281, Marvel. I really loved Big John Buscema’s late-’80s run on The Avengers.

Secret Origins #16, DC. Even when I was a kid, there was no passing up a comic with an Hourman cover appearance.

Young All-Stars #2, DC. Man, I wanted to love this series so much. Roy Thomas tried so hard to keep his All-Star Squadron series going after Crisis took away all of the Earth-Two duplicates, but the problem was these somewhat dull kids were never gonna have the gravitas of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, no matter how much pulp flavor, mythology and WWII history he tried to instill in them.


— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of March 29 — in 1971! Click here.

— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of March 22 — in 1983! Click here.

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. 1987 was most definitely a huge year for entertainment. Thank you so much for these picks.

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  2. I picked up many of these!

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  3. Wow ! I bought most of these comics, and for me there’s only 1 version of Lean on Me and that’s Mr Withers not that horrible cover version.

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  4. I remember most of these. I was hyped for Punisher #1 and Silver Surfer #1, and that Wolverine trade was only $4.95! A steal!

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