Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 39 years ago…
This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of April 12, 1984.
Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of April 5, 1987. 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 9 and April 15.)
So, let’s set the scene: Ronald Reagan was running for a second presidential term. The national catchphrase was “Where’s the beef?” from a wildly popular Wendy’s commercial directed by Joe Sedelmaier (Dad of our pal animator J.J. Sedelmaier). The ad was so ubiquitous that it made its way into the Democratic primary, where eventual nominee Walter Mondale used the line to criticize Sen. Gary Hart’s skimpy policy ideas.
The top movie at the box office was Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which was not even close to the final chapter. The Oscars were this week, too, with Terms of Endearment the big winner, garnering five trophies, for Best Picture, Best Director (James L. Brooks), Best Actress (Shirley MacLaine), Best Adapted Screenplay (Brooks) and Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson).
As it happens, the 56th Academy Awards led the Nielsens, but other popular programs included Dallas, Simon and Simon and The A-Team.
Paging Peter Quill! The Billboard 100 had a very ’80s week, led by one of the decade’s most emblematic hits — Footloose by Kenny Loggins, from the movie that made Kevin Bacon a household name. Check out the full list here, but other memorable tunes (for good or bad) that made the rankings were Against All Odds by Phil Collins (No. 2), Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell (No. 3), Hello by Lionel Richie (No. 4) and Jump by Van Halen (No. 10).
Michael Jackson’s Thriller — which came out in 1982(!) — was the best-selling album for the 37th and final time. That’s a record, kids.
Everybody cut, everybody cut / Everybody cut, everybody cut
Dan Greenfield, editor, 13th Dimension
Tales of the Teen Titans #44, DC. This is one of the most important comics of my life. I was 17 when Dick Grayson became Nightwing, which is the perfect age for a story about Robin growing up and taking on a new identity. I was thoroughly invested and nearly 40 years later it remains not just a touchstone of comics history but an indelibly personal landmark. This was a Big, Big Deal.
Scott adds: Marv Wolfman and George Perez at the height of their powers with “The Judas Contract.” Comics don’t get better than this.
Batman #373, DC. Meanwhile, Jason Todd was cutting his teeth as the new Robin.
Marvel Fanfare #15, Marvel. The Thing goes solo — by Barry Windsor-Smith. One of the most popular issues of this series’ run.
The Flash #335, DC. When people think of Carmine Infantino and the Flash, they naturally think of the Silver Age. Makes all the sense in the world. But ol’ Carmine’s Bronze Age covers for the Scarlet Speedster are also excellent and deserve their own recognition.
Amazing Heroes #45, Fantagraphics. A cover feature on Ed Hannigan, who was one of the best cover designers of the time. I don’t think he gets the credit he should.
Scott Tipton, contributor-at-large, 13th Dimension
The Uncanny X-Men #183, Marvel. I was really pissed off at Colossus when he dumped Kitty Pryde after the Secret Wars, so I remember really enjoying the Juggernaut whomping the tar out of him in a barroom brawl.
The Avengers #245, Marvel. Those were heady days at Marvel for us Rom fans, when Rom and the Dire Wraiths were guest-starring in practically every book on the shelves.
Rom #56, Marvel. Speaking of which, here’s Rom crossing paths with Alpha Flight in the pages of his own book.
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of April 5 — in 1987! Click here.
— RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale The Week of March 29 — in 1971! Click here.