If you're a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan like I am, you probably ran to your local comic shop last week to pick up a copy of IDW's The Last Ronin #1 and a few of its many variants. The Last Ronin and the hype preceding it have further assisted everything Ninja Turtles to get gobbled up in recent months at record-breaking prices. In searching for books that have been overlooked by this craze, I was reminded of an often overlooked and undervalued classic, Frank Miller's Ronin. Not only is this series a cool read, I think it is a great investment as well.

A Brief History

Frank Miller is often referred to as a visionary in the world of comics and rightfully so. His gritty artwork and scripts ushered in a new age for our favorite medium and made him one of the most sought after artists of the 1980s. After his extremely successful run on Daredevil, DC successfully poached Miller from Marvel to release the six-issue series Ronin, a dystopian work mixing science fiction with Kung Fu. His work on Daredevil and Ronin has been cited by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators Eastman and Laird as the inspiration for their hit series. The Last Ronin title is a nod to Miller's Ronin and its original influence.

In addition to comics, Frank Miller has been involved in some of the most popular cinema of all time. His work on Batman and Daredevil has been adapted into movies and television shows. The Sin City franchise and 300 were enormously successful. His most recent book, Cursed, was recently adapted for a Netflix show. He even wrote RoboCop 2 and 3. Where does this leave Ronin? Rumors of a movie or television adaptation have persisted for years. It is a perfect storyline for a blockbuster film in New York City. New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and the SyFy channel have all optioned the series over the last 20 years. Despite the overwhelming interest,  Ronin remains one of the only Frank Miller works to not make it to the big or small screen. Considering the success of all of his works, I believe it is not if, but when that they decide to finally bring this cyberpunk thriller to the big screen.  The powers that be would be crazy not to.

The Breakdown

Numerous factors cause comics to suddenly increase in value. Often newly released titles will cause older books to get fresh pairs of eyes and renewed interest. Movies are typically the largest catalyst for explosive increases in value. As stated above, I believe The Last Ronin series and most importantly the inevitably of a Ronin movie give Ronin #1 incredible potential. While it may be a gamble, here is why I think Ronin #1 is worth the investment. GoCollect data shows that a 9.8 is going for 85 dollars. This is incredibly undervalued for such an influential series by one of the most important comic artists of all time. A 9.6 is 26 dollars, less than the price of actually sending a book off to CGC! Raw copies can be grabbed in near-mint condition for only 4.99 on eBay. Not only are these rock bottom prices, there are only 545 total on the CGC census, giving it a very low population.

There is very little downside to buying Ronin #1. I like to think of Ronin as the equivalent of a penny stock with a bright future. The near certainty of a movie and its classic status, combined with a low population and undervalued pricing, make Ronin a great addition to any comic investment portfolio. Plus, who doesn't like cool ninja covers?


"Friends, America is on the rebound--New York City is on the rebound--Looking forward to days of prosperity!"- Ronin