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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Batman The Dark Knight Returns #1

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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

InvestComics Hot Picks #287

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Welcome to the InvestComics Hot Picks for new comic releases on 9-18-13

(Disclaimer: all comic recommendations are from a speculative vantage point. Not all comics are to guarantee a return on your investment. This article is used as a guide for investments and more so for entertainment purposes. Any opinions or expression of investments should be used as a judgement upon the investor, not InvestComics. Please use your own discretion when investing and have fun.)

The first ever InvestComics Publications comic book ever; The Dawning #1 have arrived! Look for more information coming very soon!!

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DC Comic fans are showing a tremendous outpouring of support regarding their 3D covers. The slick covers have taken the comic shops and the collectors market by storm. The trend continues this week for DC Comics as well as InvestComics. For the past couple of weeks InvestComics has detailed each 3D villain cover with the first appearance of that character. However, the villain pool seems to be thinning out just a bit with some of these adversaries. Perfect time to get that rare breakout book isn’t it? Do not miss any of these comics, there is a potential sleeper(s) hidden amongst the crowd this week. Buckle in; it’s been a fun ride so far as we anticipate more aftermarket greatness! And as always some fantastic reads!

DC 3D Comics 9-18-13 Hot Picks

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Wonder Woman (2011 4th Series) #23.1 – Probably one of the weakest villain books of all this week with Cheetah clawing her way into the life of our favorite Amazonian. Cheetah made here first appearance back in 1943’s Wonder Woman #6. Look at that cover! Now look at the current cover. Yes time has been treating Cheetah nicely. Aged well.

Action Comics (2011 2nd Series) #23.3 – Good ol’ Lex Luthor comes a’knockin this week. Of course one of the most recognizable villains of all time; Luthor’s debut came in Action Comics #23 (1940).

Superman (2011 3rd Series) #23.3 – A more recent villain takes the reigns over on the Superman comic this week; H’el is his name and he made his first appearance way back in Supergirl #13 in 2012.

Batman and Robin (2011 2nd Series) #23.3 – A twofer issue, Ra’s al Ghul and League of Assassins. Check out Ra’s debut in the Neal Adams/Denny O’ Neil classic Batman #232 (1971) and League of Assassins made their debut in Strange Adventures #215 (1968) with a Neal Adams cover art.

Swamp Thing (2011 5th Series) #23.1 – While Antone Arcane is not a household name, the first appearance of Arcane came at the helm of one of the most prolific horror penciler’s of all time. He is in fact ‘THE’ horror artist. Swamp Thing #2 (1973) was the first appearance of Arcane drawn by Berni Wrightson. Will the first appearance of Arcane ever stack up against the Ra’s al Ghul or Luthor’s of the world? Probably not, but owning this comic complements any collection. A classic from a legendary artist (and writer, Len Wein!), this is a win.

Batman The Dark Knight (2011 2nd Series) #23.3 – Clayface first appeared in Batman #40 (1940) from creators Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. Nuff said.

Teen Titans (2011 4th Series) #23.2 – Here we have one of those villains on the cusp of a huge breakout. Already appearing on the hit television show Arrow, Deathstroke will have to make it to the big screen if DC/Warner Bros ever get their comics to film in order. Why would he “have to” make it to the big screen you may ask? Because he’s beloved by comic fans alike, he’s a total bad as*, and he would translate beautifully to the big screen. If you are in the market for a comic that has tremendous upside potential, look no further than The New Teen Titans #2 (1980). Already a high valued comic, it has more room to uptick. The debut of Deathstroke is brought to you by the team of George Perez and Marv Wolfman. What are you waiting for? Go get this comic.

Batman (2011 2nd Series) #23.3 – Penguin’s debut – Detective Comics #58 (1941)

Justice League (2011) #23.3 – Dial ‘H’ for Hero first appears in House of Mystery #156 (1966).

Detective Comics (2011 2nd Series) #23.3 – There were rumors a while back that the Scarecrow was to appear in the next Batman flick. If this occurs, it will mean an already nice payday for the owners of World’s Finest Comics #3 (1941) – first appearance of Scarecrow. Here’s a funny fact. Did you know that back in the day that shock jock Howard Stern turned down the part of the Scarecrow? That would have been something huh?

Justice League of America (2013 3rd Series) #7.3 – The very first Shadow Thief was a male. He appeared The Brave and the Bold #36 (1955).

Flash (2011) #23.3 – The Rogues are an important group because when, not if, when the Flash movie finally makes it to your local theater, this group should be considered as the villains for the film. Yes too much for a first film, but what about the sequel? Yes a big stretch here, but the glass is always half full here at InvestComics! Check out their debut in Flash #130 (1962).

Justice League Dark (2011) #23.2 – A weak showing with Eclipso at the forefront here. Fantastic 3D cover though! House of Secrets #61 (1963) houses the first appearance of Eclipso.

Green Lantern (2011 4th Series) #23.3 – The Black Hand joins the Forever Evil fray. With a Gil Kane cover; Green Lantern #29 (1964) is a nice book to own, first appearance of Black Hand.

That covers your 3D fix for this week. Now onto the Hot Picks!

InvestComics Hot Picks 9-18-13

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DC’s hit series Arrow will bring a television character to “life” in the comic books for the first time. Check out Arrow (2012 DC) #11 for the debut of Roy Harper!

Marvel Comics will bring back the Jester in Daredevil (2011 3rd Series) #31, a long time nuisance for our beloved Daredevil. The Jester debut in Daredevil #42 (1968) written by some guy named Stan Lee. Another return this week from Marvel happens in Thor God of Thunder (2012) #13. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, the name Malekith the Accursed should ring a bell. He will be in the new Thor movie coming out this November. Most are probably aware by now too that Thor #344 holds the first appearance of this villain. If you have this comic, be sure to dump it very soon, prices will be coming down very quick once the hype wears off. Malekith is a onetime deal here. He probably will not be showing up in any other Marvel film after this one. Also from Marvel this week, Superior Carnage (2013) #3 will debut of the all new Carnage! This one will fly off the shelf, grab a copy.

Two number one comics are sold out at Diamond this week. Get your hands on these if you can. Zero (2013 Image) #1 will be seeing second printings very shortly, a huge interest in this book. Also Transformers Regeneration One (2012 IDW) #0 is sold out! Maybe a short print run here? Who knows, but IDW seems to have struck a chord with the Transformers base.

Two Dark Horse number one comics to check out this week are Kiss Me Satan (2013) #1 and Buzzkill #1.

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As always, invest wisely.

Jay Katz

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 8-29-12

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Welcome to the InvestComics Comic Hot Picks for comic releases on 8-29-12

It’s all about DC Comics this week. Seven number one issues to cover here! Now granted the majority of these are Annuals, but this is InvestComics, so we got you covered from yesteryear to present of course! Throughout history of comic collectables, “Annuals” never garnered the monetary value of other comics. The biggest reason for this is because most of the time the annuals were just “fill ins” or reprints of stories within the regular series put in the “Annual” with a new cover slapped on it. Some Annuals of years past and today do command ones attention, but the Annuals of today (DC especially) are incorporating major storylines within their pages. Let’s be clear here though, DC is not breaking ground with including their storylines within their Annuals, but they may have a first with releasing so many Annuals within the same week!

Superman Annual #1

Let’s start with the greatest superhero of all, (mostly voted by public court of opinion, so fight amongst yourselves)…..Superman! Superman Annual #1 comes in with a lot of fanfare. DC is pushing this comic as a must get comic. There are surprise cameos, a new Green Lantern, Aliens and 5 different artists on this comic. Not that highly unusual to have so many artists on one annual book, but what is unusual is the creative changes on this comic from the original solicit. This annual was originally written by Keith Giffen, but now is written by Scott Lobdell. DC also is pushing only one of the artists very hard on this book and that creator is Pascal Alixe, who incidentally did not appear on the original solicit. What’s going on DC? So on to more important things here, anyone know when the first Superman Annual appeared? Let’s see now, the original Superman #1 issue came out in 1939, so that would mean that the first Superman Annual came out 21 years later in 1960, correct? Yes. What exactly happened with the timeline here? Why 21 years for the first annual? The only guess is the oblivious one, DC didn’t think of “annuals” until then. The 1960 Superman Annual will cost a collector only about $1800. Not too shabby for the first Superman Annual. The saving grace for this annual that basically has no intros or first appearances is the artistry of legend Curt Swan! Oh yes and it also has a map of Krypton! Maybe that’s a first?!?

Green Lantern Annual #1

Next up; Green Lantern Annual #1. Much like all of the Annuals coming from DC this week, this particular annual feature’s a major plotline (conclusion) involving the Black Hand. DC says “Everything Changes Here. EVERYTHING!” Okay so you reeled us in DC, good job! Green Lantern’s first Annual came out in 1963. Two superb artists bring this annual to life; Alex Toth and Gil Kane. A very nice story in these pages finds Gil Kane teaching us how to draw Green Lantern. How cool is that?? And look at that beauty of a cover by Gil Kane too. Funny to look at the side by side comparisons of the 2 Green Lantern Annual covers isn’t it? Gil captures the essence of “fun” in comics, while the latest captures the doom and gloom that seems to have overtaken most of the comic covers these days. Oh well, c’est la vie!

Detective Annual #1

Detective Comics Annual #1 this week features the fight of all fights. No not Rob Liefeld and Scott Synder, but Batman vs. The Black Hand Mask. Great cover here, but an even nicer cover from the 1988 Detective Comics Annual #1 from the awesome Klaus Janson. The issue also features the writing talent of legend Denny O’Neil! A five dollar pick up for this one.

It looks like The Rouges will have their way with the Flash in Flash Annual #1, but according to DC’s solicit, something worse than The Rogues waits to attack the Flash! Yea for the reader! Bad for the Flash! 1963 was a very good year (sing that sentence in your best Frank Sinatra voice please) for DC annuals. The Flash Annual #1 debuted with art from “Mr.Flash himself” Carmine Infantino. This $800 comic brings origin stories along with Carmine Infantino. Not much else you need now is there?

Flash Annual #1

Justice League International Annual

Justice League International Annual #1 ties onto Justice League #12 this week. The first Justice League International Annual happened in 1988 with names like Joe Rubinstein (cover), Bill Willingham (Art) and with writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. Now that’s a lineup! With the tie in here though, the comic to pay more attention to is Justice League #12. They’re fighting a new villain and DC claims that the ending (last page) is so shocking it will have the comic community talking. Bring it!

The Outsiders #1 Looker #1

DC also has some regular number one issues coming out this week. National Comics Looker #1 brings Emily Briggs in her own solo comic. Check out the Looker’s first appearance in The Outsiders #1 from 1985. A new mini-series debuts from DC, Phantom Lady #1. Phantom Lady first appeared way back in Police Comics #1 in 1941. Her first appearance goes for a whopping $10,000! Well it also happens to be the first appearance of Plastic Man. He may have something to do with driving that price up! Phantom Lady doesn’t fly solo in this mini-series. Her partner in crime is Doll Man. His first appearance is in Feature Comics #27 from 1939. He’s not as worthy as Plastic Man, um we mean Phantom Lady’s first appearance. He gets only $4000 for his first.

Phantom Lady #1 Police Comics #1 Feature Comics #27

And finally but not least, check out Bongo Comics’ Lil Homer #1!

That’s it for this week. Be sure to scroll through the covers below. They made the InvestComics Comic Hot Picks Covers of the Week! Everything from Big Dog Ink to Amazing Spider-Man!

Until next week, Invest wisely.

Jay Katz

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