Creator Spotlight – Frank Miller

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One of the most prolific comic creators of our time is Frank Miller. He single-handedly made two comic characters into iconic status. Several of his creator owned projects have either seen film/television time or will in the future. Frank Miller’s art is extremely distinctive as well. Everything from the overbearing board shoulders of Batman to the loneliness feel of Daredevil’s pain, to the violence of 300. His writing replicates his artistry. Usually very bold and forthcoming. A distinctive comic creator in every facet. A true legend and Icon in the industry.

Here are just a few of his key books in his vast career. It took a very long time to compile this list and we hope you enjoy every bit of it as we did putting it together.

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Twilight Zone #84 (1978) The first professional work from Frank Miller.

Weird War Tales #64 (1978) First DC Comics work.

John Carter Warlord of Mars #18 (1978) First Marvel Comics work with writer Chris Claremont. John Byrne cover.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #27 (1979) First Daredevil pencils. Miller will go on to basically own the Daredevil character. Most of anything you will ever see on film or on television on Daredevil is based from Miller’s interpretation of the character.

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Daredevil #158 (1979) Miller’s first time on the Daredevil title will prove to be a major turning point in this characters life. The character is forever marked with the Miller touch. As said before, everything you see on paper or on a screen is a direct result of Miller. That is all. This comic is also the first professional cover he does in collaboration with Joe Rubinstein.

Marvel Premiere #49 (1979) Miller/Janson cover. Falcon graces the cover and this is also Falcon’s first solo comic ever.

Rom #1 (1979) One of the many reasons to own this comic; a collaborative cover with Joe Rubinstein. He goes on to do other Rom covers.

X-Men Annual #3 (1979) First X-Men, cover art only with Terry Austin.

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Daredevil #164 (1980) Origin retold. The first Miller Daredevil origin story (art only).

Daredevil #165 (1980) Miller collaborates on writing duties that will forever change the flow and dynamics for this character.

Daredevil #168 (1981) Origin and first appearance of Elektra. Miller also takes over the writing chores here.

Captain America #241 (1980) The classic Cap/Punisher cover with Bob McLeod.

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Avengers #193 (1980) First Avengers pencils and cover. Both in a collaborate model.

DC Special Series #21 (1980) First Miller Batman. We all know what influence he had on Batman right? Here’s the first time he pencils a Batman story. Written by Denny O’ Neil.

Marvel Premiere #53 (1980) A Miller/Rubinstein Black Panther cover.

Marvel Team-Up #95 (1980) A Miller/McLeod collaboration cover. Also the first appearance on Mockingbird.

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Marvel Spotlight #8 (1980) First Captain Marvel. Pencils and cover art.

Marvel Team-Up #100 (1980) Cover art with Klaus Janson. Also pencils interior story with first appearance of Karma. Chris Claremont writes.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14 (1980) One of Miller’s (first?) solo cover’s with Spidey and Doctor Strange.

Star Wars #43 (1981) A Star Wars pinup page from Miller. This comic also happens to be Boba Fett’s second comic book appearance.

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Machine Man #19 (1981) Cover art with Terry Austin. Steve Ditko interior pencils. First appearance of Jack O’ Lantern (which appears on the cover).

Marvel Premiere #58 (1981) Second American appearance of Doctor Who. Miller/Austin cover art.

Rom #17 (1981) The infamous X-Men Rom issue(s). This comic and the next (issue #18) both had Miller art on the covers.

Incredible Hulk #258 (1981) Soviet Super Soldiers cover – Miller/Milgrom. Also the first appearance of this group.

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Daredevil #170 (1981) Writer/artist Frank Miller brings Kingpin into the life of Matt Murdock, making Kingpin one of Daredevil’s greatest adversaries of all time. Besides Bullseye of course.

Daredevil #176 (181) First appearance of Stick.

Daredevil #177 (1981) Miller writes Daredevil’s origin. Retold.

Daredevil #178 (1982) First team-up with Power Man and Iron Fist. Will this equate to box office money because of the possibility of a Netflix team-up? Maybe. Still a great book to have regardless.

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Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 (1981) Miller writes a story that includes Moon Knight. He also does the cover art with Rubinstein that includes Moon Knight.

Daredevil #181 (1982) The death of Elektra. Also the first Punisher appearance in the series. Miller creates another adversary for the ages here for the Daredevil character, but it’s a vigilante (hero) this time. As with the Power Man/Iron Fist team up, will Netflix heat things up here with the Punisher coming on board? Again maybe, but be forewarned, this comic is way over-printed and very easy to find.

Daredevil #182 (1982) A classic cover.

Daredevil #183 (1982) First Daredevil/Punisher cover.

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Daredevil #184 (1982) …….And another classic cover.

Moon Knight #15 (1982) A Joe Jusko/Frank Miller Moon Knight cover.

Wolverine (1982) This limited series went on to change the Wolverine character forever. Written by Chris Claremont, pencils and covers by Miller. And issue #1; another ridiculous classic cover.

Daredevil #187 (1982) Like the cover says “Stop it please..” But we simply cannot. Here is yet another classic cover.

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What If? #35 (1982) This story asks the question “What If Bullseye had not killed Elektra?” An awesome story written and drawn by Miller.

Daredevil #189 (1982) The death of Stick. That cover though……Miiler’s Daredevil run would end with issue #191.

Wonder Woman #298 (1982) Here’s a random cover collaboration with Dick Giordano.

Ronin (1983) This critically acclaimed DC series was a Frank Miller creation. Writes, pencils, inks and cover art. This series was optioned by the Syfy channel.

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Spider-Man and Daredevil Special Edition #1 (1984) Although a reprint special, a new Spidey/Daredevil cover makes this a must have.

Superboy #51 (1984) Cover art.

Destroyer Duck #7 (1984) Miller Eclipse Comics cover art of another ‘DD’.

Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1 (1984) Getting closer to that Batman book…..Miller teams with Aparo on this no Batman cover.

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Marvel Fanfare #18 (1985) Captain America solo cover.

Superman The Secret Years (1985) Superman covers by Miller.

Daredevil #219 (1985) Miller is back on one issue of the Daredevil, as writer and cover artist. He comes back in issue #226 as regular series writer.

Batman The Dark Knight Returns (1986) Here is another turning point for a character because of Frank Miller. This comic changed the course of history for Batman as we know it. The crazy thing about this game changer of a story was that he was writing Daredevil at the same time and killing that too! Two issues into his return to the Daredevil title came this mastery opus.

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Daredevil #232 (1986) Miller is done writing the Batman opus. And continues to kick major butt on the Daredevil title. The Born Again story line, #231 not approved drug issue, Amazing really. Here he introduces us to Nuke.

Mazing Man #12 (1986) A Dark Knight Miller cover.

Batman #404 (1987) Miller begins the classic Batman: Year One story line. Once again altering the course of Batman comic history. Wow.

Give Me Liberty (1990) Critically acclaimed story written by Miller and pencils by Dave Gibbons.

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Hard Boiled (1990) A two issue Magazine sized Dark Horse book written by Miller. Well received. Issue number three comes out two years later.

Dark Horse Presents – Fifth Anniversary Special (1991) The first time readers see Miller’s Sin City creation. We all know where this wound up too.

Valiant Comics (1992) Miller does a bunch of cover art for Valiant comics; Archer and Armstrong #1, Eternal Warrior #1, Harbinger #8, Magnvs Robot Fighter #15, Rai #6, Shadowman #4, Solar, Man of the Atom #12, and X-O Manowar #7.

Robocop Vs. Terminator (1992) Here Miller teams with legend Walt Simonson in this four issue mini. Walt pencils and Miller writes.

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Spawn #8 (1993) Miller does a Spawn pinup. He writes issue #11.

Marvel Age #127 (1993) Here’s a nice nugget. A Frank Miller/Greg Capullo Cable cover collaboration. Looks like the cover (and Cable!) is literally cut in half as each creator took a side.

Daredevil The Man Without Fear (1993) The mini series retelling of Daredevil’s origin. Written by Miller, art by John Romita Jr.

Spawn Batman (1994) One shot written by Miller, art by Todd McFarlane.

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G.I. Joe #1 (1995) From Dark Horse. An ultra cool Miller cover.

Batman Black and White #2 (1996) Miller Batman cover.

Overstreet Fan #19 (1997) A Dark Knight cover from Miller.

300 (1998) Well here’s another comic of Frank’s that made it to film. Written, Pencils, inks, and cover art.

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Green Lantern/Superman Legend of the Green Flame #1 (2000) An incredible Miller/Hollingsworth cover.

Dark Knight Strikes Again (2001) This followup three-part story did not fair all that well.

All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder (2005) This series was without its controversy. Issue number ten caused a stir (recalled) and Miller’s writing for this series was very edgy to say the least. Jim Lee art, Scott Williams inks, and Miller script. Series went up to ten issues. Miller also did a variant cover for most of the series.

Mighty Avengers #16 (2008) Daredevil/Elektra Secret Invasion Miller cover.

Detective Comics #27 (2014) A full spread variant cover Miller/Stewart.

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Invest wisely. Read comics.

Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz

Batman Checklist #1

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Welcome to InvestComics Batman Checklist (Part 1 of 3)

Yes as promised, the new Batman movie is coming out on July 20th and InvestComics has your Batman checklist. As accompanied the Spider-Man checklist, a small video was teased yesterday regarding all of the picks that you will be reading about. Not all of the comics made it into the video this time around, but a nice montage nonetheless. Take a look at some of the great artist that have graced us with THEIR image of Batman…..some fantastic comparisons of the different vision of these great creators over the years. Some have been left out, but not on any merit of simply missing them! If you have a favorite that was omitted, please let us know in the comments below!

Although Batman has a 25 year head start on Spider-Man, Do you think Bats rouge gallery pales in comparison to Spidey’s? Let the debate begin! That said, take a look at the InvestComics Spider-Man checklist Part 1 (HERE) and Part 2 (HERE) and notice that Spider-Man’s first 50 books have some significant first appearances. Of course there are lulls within the series, but it seems to happen more often for the Batman series than it does for Spidey. This is absolutely no knock on Batman here, just something that was more noticeable during the research through the Batman books.

So because Batman does have a jump on Spider-Man by 25 years, the InvestComics Dark Knight Checklist will run in 3 parts. First part here will be the self titled Batman comic, second part will be the Detective Comics and the third will be some cool extra appearances and other Batman comics. So without any further ado…..

Batman

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Batman #1 – At approximately $400,000 for this Batman comic, besides Detective Comics #27, obviously, this is the Mecca of all Bat books. This comic boasts the first appearance of one of the most if not THE most recognizable villains of all time the Joker.

Batman #5Speaking of the most recognizable villains, how about one of the most recognized automobile in the history of the world? Yes folks Bruce Wayne debuts his new chick magnet in this issue. The Batmobile.

Batman #11The first Joker cover in the Batman series. $10,000 gets you this one.

Batman #16Every rich bachelor needs a butler right? Another 10 grand gets you the most famous butler in comics history. Alfred.

Batman #20The start of the car magazines right here. The first time the Batmobile makes the cover on a Batman book.

Batman #25Evil meets evil and a beautiful relationship forms. The first team up of Joker and Penguin right here.

Batman #47 – An early retelling of Batman’s origin. Priced accordingly!

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Batman #59The first appearance of Deadshot. Whenever Warner Brothers decides to get into the comic book movie business full tilt, Deadshot will probably have a place in a movie. You heard it here first.

Batman #62An early Catwoman origin.

Batman #90This is the first comic code approved issue. Boy that’s a big stamp!

Batman #92 – ….While Batman comics brought the pop culture the most famous villain and automobile in history, it certainly didn’t deliver the most famous dog ever. Here is the first appearance of Ace the Bat-Hound. Yes Ace the Bat-Hound.

Batman #97The first Silver Age issue.

Batman #98With every car there are secrets….right? Not sure what this even means, but this comic reveals “secrets” of the Batmobile. Gadgets and cool stuff are revealed here.

Batman #105The second appearance of Batwoman.

Batman #111Over the years Batman has donned some Bat-armor. Some cool, some not so cool. Batman wears armor for the first time in this issue. This falls into the “not so good” category.

Batman #121Mr. Zero, first appearance.

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Batman #130Bruce meet Lex, Lex meet Bruce. First time Superman’s nemesis shows up in Batman’s comic.

Batman #139The first appearance of the original Batgirl.

Batman #155The first Silver Age Penguin appearance.

Batman #171The first Silver Age Riddler appearance.

Batman #181The first appearance of the lovely Poison Ivy.

Batman # 189First appearance of the Silver Age Scarecrow.

Batman #200Anniversary issue! Batman origin retold.

Batman #218The Bronze Age comics begin here.

Batman #232A first appearance of significance in sometime within the Batman run. Ra’s Al Ghul makes his debut.

Batman #234 First Silver Age Two-Face appearance.

Batman #237The first appearance of the Reaper.

Batman #357Here’s the first appearance of a new Robin named Jason Todd along with a first appearance of a new villain named Killer Croc.

Batman #366Jason Todd dons the Robin costume for the first time.

Batman #391 – First Modern Age Batman issue.

Batman #400A huge anniversary issue. A who’s who in this issue as far as creators go. A very special issue to own.

Batman #404, 405, 406, 407As Todd McFarlane was a game changer to the Spider-Man franchise (artistry), Frank Miller was to the Batman franchise. Not so much for these particular comics though, but one of the most important 4 part storylines in the Batman run done by Miller here. “Year One” began the inspiration for some many others creators to start their own “Year One” story lines. That all said, the Batman comics and persona in general took a turn onto a path that has never looked back beginning here.  …..more on Frank Miller in part 3 of the InvestComics Dark Knight Checklist.

Batman #414Following Frank Miller only 7 issue prior comes Jim Starlin. Jim Starlin writing Batman, nuff said.

Batman #417Jim Starlin then goes on to write a fabulous storyline called “Ten Nights of The Beast”.

Batman #426, 427, 428, 429 Then Jim Starlin comes back to put the comic book world on its head in 1988 with the storyline called “Death in the Family”. Fans got to vote to either off Jason Todd or not. The Joker won. Jim Starlin talks about the death of Jason Todd in an Interview on InvestComics TV right HERE. He also talks about Thanos HERE in part 1 of the 3 part interview. Cool stuff.

Batman #436 It didn’t take too long for DC to get into Robin mode again. The introduction of Tim Drake right here.

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Batman #442Tim Drake puts on the Robin Costume. Wow is the costume still warm? Geez.

Batman #457 DC wants Tim to get his own identity with the whole Robin thing, so it’s new costume time!

Batman #475 The first appearance of Renee Montoya, a.k.a. Question II.

Batman #489First Jean-Paul Valley as Batman.

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Batman #497Well it finally happens in this issue. What so many have tried to do before. Break Batman’s will and break his back….literally. Bane accomplishes this wonderful task that so many before have failed at. A very important comic in the Batman series here as it’s the catalyst to the Dark Knight Rises movie coming out on the 20th. Why is this comic so affordable at only $5? Well at one time, this comic was as hot as a commodity can get. It’s obviously cooled down significantly due to the fact that the comic is a very accessible one to get. Vengeance of Bane one shot would be the way to go. More on that in Part 3 of InvestComics Dark Knight Checklist.

Batman #608Jumping some 100 plus issue later we come up to the next man responsible for bringing Batman to the “next level” if you will. Artistically speaking that is, thank you Mr. Jim Lee.

Batman #612Jim Lee is also responsible for one of the most prolific Batman covers of all time, at least in the modern era. Superman choking Batman…..classic.

That’s it for now! See you tomorrow with Part 2 of InvestComics Dark Knight Checkist!

Invest wisely.

Jay Katz