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

Amazing Spider-Man Checklist #1

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Welcome to InvestComics Amazing Spider-Man Checklist (Part 1). All of his main titles will be covered and then some other books, including some obscure silly books. Keep in mind here that while this is one of the most comprehensive Spider-Man lists you will find, there are some comics and creators that were missed and some that were missed on purpose. So if you’re seeking out the first appearance of Mountain Marko or Red 9, you won’t find it here. But you’ll find the first appearance of Man-Wolf! Or if you’re looking for that special 1 in 15 variant cover, or the 30 cent variant …..you won’t find those here either. Just some key issues (and “not” so key issues), but if you think you have one that we missed, do not hesitate to give us your pick(s) below in the comments section or on Facebook or Tweet us!

So first a quick video Intro! This video covers all of the comics that will be covered in this week’s InvestComics Hot Picks. Enjoy the images and music first, then come back…….go ahead you can, we’ll be right here waiting for ya!

Spider-Man

Amazing Fantasy #15This would be the first and foremost obvious pick out of the gate here. For those that are not comic collectors and just happened to stumble upon this article, Amazing Fantasy #15 is the first appearance of Spider-Man. Owning this comic is the equivalent of owning Action Comics #1 from DC Comics. Now while Spidey’s first appearance is not worth as much monetarily, it carries the same stature as owning the flagship character within the Marvel Comics line as does Superman (Action Comics #1) does for DC Comics. If you ever have the chance to somehow be in a position to own this comic book, don’t think twice about it.

The first 50 comics in the original Amazing Spider-Man (1963) rivals as good of a run in any collection of books you will find within the comic hobby anywhere.

Amazing Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man #1Gives us the first appearance of the biggest thorn in Peter Parker’s side for the last 48 years or so……his boss, J. Jonah Jameson. This comic also features the first Chameleon.

Amazing Spider-Man #2The second issue has the first Tinkerer! Well that’s not the character we’re looking for now is it? No of course not, The Vulture makes his debut in the second issue. Now that’s the one we were looking for!

Amazing Spider-Man #3Features the debut of the second Spider-Man film star Dr. Octopus. And from the third Spidey Film…

Amazing Spider-Man #4We have our first look at the Sandman in this issue. So there you have the first four issues of Amazing Spider-Man with first appearances of some of the most enigmatic characters in the history of the franchise; characters that have withstood the test of time and continue to be a basic part of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery in the modern day.

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Amazing Spider-Man #5The first true test of Spider-Man and his “amazing powers” came in these pages where he faced off and first met Dr. Doom for the first time. The Spider-Man rogue gallery continues to grow in the very next issue……

Amazing Spider-Man #6The latest Spider-Man movie has Dr. Conner becoming the Lizard and this is where we first see the reptile. Although the Lizard inside of the Spider-Man comics truly represents the villain, the movie changes things up a bit and this is the first disappointment off the bat from the trailers. Same as they did in the second movie with Goblin’s metal faceplate. Very disappointing…..

Amazing Spider-Man #9Jumping to the next issue, the introduction of this character (which would be awesome to see on the big screen one day!) makes for an electrifying issue to own. If you can buy this issue within the $2400 range, buy it. It has upside all over this one. Electro makes his debut here.

Amazing Spider-Man #10The first of the “weaker” debuts falls on the 10th. The Enforcers.

Amazing Spider-Man #13Lucky 13 debuts a villain that was rumored a while back to appear in the latest Spidey film, unfortunately we didn’t get him. Mysterio would have been quite a challenge to sell to the audience with that big ole’ globe on his head, but hey we all were sold on cars turning into giant robots right?

Amazing Spider-Man #15 Kraven the Hunter makes his first appearance right here. 279 issues later though….well we’ll get to that.

Amazing Spider-Man #20Another cool villain that we all await to see on the big screen one day makes his way into Peter’s tormented life. Scorpion’s first appearance right here.

Amazing Spider-Man #25Sticking with the torment in Peter’s life (just kidding ladies!), Peter meets two women that will change his life forever. Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. One of these women does not get another date after 96 issues. More on that in a bit. This issue also debuts the robot Spider-Slayer. More on that as well later.

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Amazing Spider-Man #28The Molten Man makes his debut here. Very interesting value comparison here with the previous issue. The Molten Man doesn’t command that much attention in the collectors market does he? No he doesn’t. Take a look at that cover. That black cover is near impossible to find in a high grade. That’s the explanation to that.

Amazing Spider-Man #33This comic has absolutely no first appearances, has no death, no life changing moments. The first “classic cover” by Steve Ditko in this Amazing Spider-Man run besides the first issue.

Amazing Spider-Man #37First appearance of Norman! Norman Osborn that is.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 The iconic John Romita Sr. debuts his beautiful Spider-Man artistry right here. This Near Mint Gem comes in at only $1600. And just look at that cover! What a wonderful piece of history to own here.

Amazing Spider-Man #40The following issue features the Green Goblin’s origin. While it may cost you a few dollars more to get THIS issue, the real winner is the previous issue.

Amazing Spider-Man #41The first appearances continue onward here in this ridiculous run. Most fans were hoping to see the Rhino make it to the big screen this go around, but not this time.

Amazing Spider-Man #46Shocker’s first appearance.

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Amazing Spider-Man #50As said earlier in this article. The first 50 comics in the Amazing Spider-Man run…..unreal and rivaled to any of the biggest character names out there. This comic not only has the first appearance of Kingpin, but it’s a classic cover from John Romita Sr. The classic of all classic Spidey comics.

Amazing Spider-Man #78First appearance of the Prowler.

Amazing Spider-Man #80 The first Bronze Age Spider-Man comic. A fantastic buy at only $125.

Amazing Spider-Man #90Death finds its way into Spider-Man’s life, with more to come…..The death of Captain Stacy right here.

Amazing Spider-Man #96The famous “drug issue”. This would be the first time in comic book history that drugs were the focal point of a storyline. It’s also the first time that the “comic approved stamp” was not on the cover. It would return only to disappear for good years later.

Amazing Spider-Man #101 Before Twilight, before Anne Rice, before Blade, there was Morbius! This comic paved the way for cooler vampires.

Amazing Spider-Man #102The origin of Morbius.

Amazing Spider-Man #121Death comes knocking at Peter’s door once again. The death of Gwen Stacy. Boy did this rip Peter apart. Oh well, still has Mary Jane hanging around!

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Amazing Spider-Man #122The death of Green Goblin. No worries here though, something happens 4 issues later that fulfills that void left in your gut. Amazing Spider-Man #126 =  Harry Osborn as Green Goblin 2.

Amazing Spider-Man #124The first appearance of Man-Wolf! Awesome…..right? $120 for this comic. 

Amazing Spider-Man #125The origin of Man-Wolf. $100.

Amazing Spider-Man #129First appearance of the Punisher. At one time this comic garnered a lot of attention. A LOT! With all of the changes over the years to this great vigilante character, the demand has waned a bit. Still a comic book that should be in your collection though. If Marvel ever decides to take this character seriously to the point of epic proportions (a la’ Batman), this comic will be untouchable once again. Give Frank Castle A.K.A. the Punisher the right direction and all hell will break loose with this collector’s item once again. At $500 (NM), it’s still a nice investment, but you may have to wait a little while to see some growth.

Amazing Spider-Man #134 – And way behind the Punisher debut 5 issues earlier we come to the first appearance of Tarantula.

Amazing Spider-Man #136  – First appearance of Green Goblin 2.

Amazing Spider-Man #181An early retelling of Spider-Man’s origin. Only $30!

Amazing Spider-Man #182So with Gwen Stacy out of the picture some 61 issues ago, what better time to ask for Mary Jane’s hand in marriage? Peter’s “first” proposal.

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Amazing Spider-Man #194First appearance of the Black Cat. So Peter asks Mary Jane to marry him a few issues back and now this very hot girl in black spandex comes into the picture to make Peter have second thoughts. This stuff never happens in real life! Silly comic book stuff. What’s not so silly is the $90 price tag on here. Not too shabby! Guess that’s what Peter was saying too.

Amazing Spider-Man #195The origin of the Black Cat. Big drop off to only $25 for this issue.

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Amazing Spider-Man #238The first appearance of a major villain in sometime within the Spidey run. Hobgoblin debuts.

Amazing Spider-Man #252The entire Spider-Man history can be summed up into 4 parts. Speaking only in terms of the Spider-Man title books here, each part transcended Spidey onto a “New Level” if you will. Of course every story needs a beginning, Amazing Fantasy #15. A middle, which is this comic right here. The Debut of the Alien costume within the pages of Amazing Spider-Man would change the way Spider-Man as a character and franchise would be viewed forever. The cover says it all folks. Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #252 will be forever linked. Yes issue #252 is THAT important. The third is issue #298, more on that in just a bit. And as for the fourth part of Spidey history, that would be Ultimate Spider Man #1, which comes much later on and we’ll get to it.

Amazing Spider-Man #259The “origin” of Mary Jane? That’s funny, don’t us “regular people/humans” all have the same origin? Okay, well here is the origin of Mary Jane.

Amazing Spider-Man #265First appearance of Silver Sable.

Amazing Spider-Man #272The first Modern Age Issue! Only $4. 

Amazing Spider-Man #294279 issues later…….Kraven’s demise right here.

Amazing Spider-Man #298 – The “third” part to the Spider-Man history, right here. Todd McFarlane made his debut on Spider-Man and changed the style of this character so much so that artist today still imitate the “look”. He brought a new look to Spidey that was never seen before as did Frank Miller with Batman, Neal Adams with Green Lantern, Walt Simonson with Thor and so on. Todd McFarlane’s first Spider-Man is well worth the money you put down on it. Oh yes and this comic features a cameo from a villain named Venom.

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Amazing Spider-Man #299First time we see Venom in costume. A “cameo” once again. Boy that cameo stuff is strange. This truly is the first time we ever see Venom and it’s not the issue that draws the big bucks, its issue 300 that does. Why? Weird.

Amazing Spider-Man #300So this is the first “FULL” Venom story. While Hobgoblin some 62 issues ago was an important vital part of Spidey’s rogue gallery, this villain named Venom is probably the most recognized villains to come out of the Spidey Universe ever. Fans get instantly excited at the mention or sight of Venom in the pages of a Spidey book. Now granted over the years Venom was in every comic book known to man, as much as Wolverine was (still is) which caused his value to drop a bit. That said, Venom’s first appearance is still a must for any Spider-Man or comic book collector.

Amazing Spider-Man #302First appearance of Wes Cassady.

Amazing Spider-Man #304First Jonathan Caesar and Black Fox.

Amazing Spider-Man #344First appearance of Cletus Kasady (Carnage)

Amazing Spider-Man #583The first time President Obama shows up in a comic. The start of absolute money grab from every comic company on the planet.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1The first appearance of the Sinister Six.

Amazing Spider-Man #30 Vol.2 First appearances by Morlun and Ezekiel. This issue is also the first from creator Michael Straczynski. Great characters, great creator and great cover!

Amazing Spider-Man #36  Vol. 2A special World Trade Center 9/11 tribute issue. A fantastic read and a very hard comic to get in Gem Mint condition due to the fact of the all black cover.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #1The first “new” Spidey series other than Amazing. That cover sure does look familiar though! (*AHEM amazing spider-man #134 AHEM*) A $50 comic with Spidey’s origin retold.

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Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #28Just as much as Frank Miller transcending Batman, he did the same for the Daredevil character. This comic provides the first time Frank Miller penciled Daredevil.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64Cloak & Dagger make their first appearance right here. Buy it.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #103Sometimes looking around the comic book collecting landscape, one shakes their head saying to themselves “how can that be worth only $3?” But yes, $3 will get you the first work from Peter David. Sweet.

Marvel Team-Up

Marvel Team-Up #1 – The first of a 150 issue run. These comics were awesome and fun!

Marvel Team-Up #53John Byrne’s first X-Men art.

Marvel Team-Up #65Welcome to America Captain Britain! First time we see the Captain here in the States.

Click on the RED links or comic cover to buy/bid from ALL available Ebay sellers on Ebay.

Marvel Team-Up #100First appearance of Karma, origin of Storm and Frank Miller art! All this for $6?!

Marvel Team-Up #141The “co-first appearance” of the alien costume.

Spidey Comics

Spider-Man #1 – Todd McFarlane’s Spidey #1 was mass produced to epic proportions. The entire run of 98 issues could be bought at less than $3 a piece. All but 2 that is. Spider-Man #1 – WalMart edition at about $20 and the golden prize of the run, well actually it’s the “Platinum” prize of the run is Spider-Man #1 Platinum Edition coming in at the $100 range.

Spider-Man Unlimited #8 – This little $3 comic was written by Joe Hill! Yes THE Joe Hill!! What you don’t know Joe Hill? How about Stephen King? You know that guy right? Okay well, Joe Hill is actually Joseph Hillstrom King. Oh okay, now you’re following. Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son and he writes too. This would be his first comic book work.

Ultimate Spider-Man #1There are essentially 4 tiers within the Spider-Man history universe. We discussed the previous three already. Ultimate Spider-Man brought the newest way to view Spidey. It’s another game changer. The new Spider-Man movie is basically going back to the Spidey roots with a younger Peter with a twist to his origin. Ultimate Spidey went back to Spidey’s roots too. Love it or hate it, the Ultimate Spider-Man book became the “next chapter” in the Spider-Man genre. With a ridiculous 16 different number one variant issues available, the best of the bunch goes to the White variant.

 

Invest wisely. Read Spidey.

Jay Katz