One area of focus in comic collecting that has been overlooked since other forms of media began to have such a great influence on the hobby is that of hunting down key comics by top creators. Never fear. We’re here to help you sort through the top books by individual creators, both in terms of investing and reading. This time we’re looking at the works of Frank Miller.

The Great Influencer

In the late 1970s, Frank Miller began a powerhouse career that would see him redefine first Daredevil at Marvel, and then Batman at DC. He created what are deemed by many to be the definitive versions of these characters that heavily influence the works of present-day writers and artists. His cinematic style also led to his own creations making the jump from page to screen in works such as Sin City and 300.

Perhaps no other comic book writer/artist had as great an impact on comic storytelling in the late Bronze and early Copper Age as Frank Miller.

First Issue

Miller’s first published work was in the pages of Twilight Zone #84, published by Gold Key in June 1978. It was a 3-page uncredited story entitled “Royal Feast.” His first credited work was published nearly simultaneously by DC in a 6-page story in Weird War Tales #64. While the former is credited as his first work, both are worth consideration if you’re a Miller fan.

There are 137 graded copies of Twilight Zone #84 in the CGC census, of which none are graded at 9.8 and only four at 9.6. The only recorded sale of a 9.6 was in 2019 when it went for $650. The most recent sale was a 4.5 graded signed copy going for $144 on July 15.

Even harder to find is Weird War Tales #64 with only 88 graded copies, although six are in the 9.8 grade. The last sale of a 9.8 was for $320 in 2020. In the most recent sale, a 9.2 sold for $123 on August 11. Both are very affordable for the first work of an artist as popular as Miller.

Move to Marvel

Miller continued at DC for a few months, contributing artwork to short stories in DC war-related comics but jumped at the chance to get some work at Marvel later in 1978.

His first work for the published was his first full issue: John Carter Warlord of Mars #18. There are 142 graded copies with sales in the past year ranging from $205 for a 9.6 to $30 for a 7.0.

Miller’s work at Marvel over the next year consisted primarily of fill-in pencils for interiors and the occasional cover. The most memorable of these fill-in issues was Spectacular Spider-Man #27. An issue that featured Daredevil, it would be Miller’s first work on the character.

Considered by many collectors to be his most important early work, we see a tremendous leap in the number of graded copies to 1,476. While the sale in an August 25 ComicConnect auction for $365 marks a significant downturn in the value for this issue from a high of a slashed $995 set in January 2022, it does help to make this comic more affordable than it’s been in a while.

Daredevil Begins

Upon hearing that longtime artist Gene Colan was leaving Daredevil, Miller lobbied hard to begin working on the book. His wish was granted by Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter beginning with the now-famous Daredevil #158. There are a whopping 3,379 graded copies of this book.

While, like the vast majority of comics, it has dropped in value over the last couple years, it’s still far above its late 2020 value. The most recent sale of a 9.8 in the June 7 ComicConnect auction for $1,001 is significantly higher than its December 2020 sale price of $625.

While Miller’s cinematic style of penciling was on display on the title from the start, it didn’t initially move more issues. Daredevil had been demoted to a bi-monthly schedule due to low sales and was heavily considered for cancellation. Moreover, Miller was unhappy with writer Roger McKenzie’s scripts and threatened to leave the series.

Fortunately, editor Denny O’Neill saw Miller’s talent and allowed him to start writing the series beginning with Daredevil #168.

Featuring the first appearance of Miller’s most famous creation – Elektra – there are a huge 7,308 graded copies of Daredevil #168 in the CGC census. Values have begun to rise once more for this issue as a 9.8 graded copy just sold in the August 24 ComicConnect auction for $3,450, far above the $2,867 90-day average and the $2,798 one-year average.

While it’s hard to predict the future of back issue values, it’s quite possible that we may have already passed the floor for the price on this comic.

Daredevil Explodes

So transformative was Miller’s work on Daredevil that within three issues sales climbed exponentially and the series was back on a monthly schedule. Among comic book fans at the time, Miller was all the talk for his writing and his artwork on a character that had always been considered one of Marvel’s B-level heroes.

From the incorporation of the Kingpin as Matt Murdock’s primary foe to the introduction of the Hand and Stick to his innovative use of Bullseye, each issue brought elements to Daredevil’s story that have since become canon and it’s hard now to imagine them not being a part of his journey.

It all came to a head in Daredevil #181, in which Miller killed off Elektra. Don’t worry – she came back at the end of his run. There are 6,913 graded copies of this issue. 9.8 values are on an upward swing with a 30-day average of $237, up from the $207 and $209 90-day and one-year averages respectively.

Of course, 9.8 values are kept lower than would be expected by the presence of six 9.9 graded copies in the CGC census. The only sale of one of those was for $5,755 in 2019.

Miller would continue on the series until Daredevil #191. You can pick up just about any issue in his two-year run and witness some of the greatest superhero comics of, if not all time, at least within that generation of comic creators. They are truly amazing works that have heavily influenced everyone who succeeded him on the character, a testament to the revolutionary quality of Miller as a creator.


In the midst of Miller’s Daredevil run he teamed with X-Men scribe Chris Claremont on another seminal comic, this one being the Wolverine mini-series from 1982. Pairing Marvel’s up-and-coming popular character with one of their most popular artists of the time was a stroke of pure genius. It was lightning in a bottle, and it heavily influenced the way Wolverine was depicted from that point on.

Additionally, the mini-series was a relatively new invention and this series, likely more than any other to that point, showed the advantages of using a finite number of issues to tell a compact yet powerful tale.

There are a mind-blowing 26,421 graded copies of Wolverine Limited Series #1 in the CGC census, including three graded at 10.0 and 27 at 9.9. The only sale of one of those 10.0 copies was in 2009 for $15,535. It isn’t too hard to imagine that this could be a $50,000 comic, even in today’s market. At the more pedestrian 9.8 grade, the most recent sale for a slashed $700 on September 11 is about where this book has been in terms of value for a few months.

Being that it’s Wolverine’s first solo series, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it rise as we get closer to the character’s appearance in Deadpool 3.

But Wait – There’s More

Next time, we’ll take a look at Miller’s move to DC, his work on everyone’s favorite caped crusader, his return to Daredevil, and his creator-owned comics that made the jump to film.

Do you collect Frank Miller’s works? What are some of your favorites? Let us know below.

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.