Frank Miller (born January 27, 1957, in Olney, Maryland) is an American writer, artist, and film director best known for his film noir style comic-book stories. He is acclaimed as one of the most influential and popular creators in comics today.
Raised in Montpelier, Vermont, Miller was a comics fan from an early age. Setting out to become an artist, he published his first work in The Twilight Zone for Gold Key Comics in 1978. More penciling work followed for anthology titles from DC Comics and his first work at Marvel Comics in John Carter: Warlord of Mars, #18.
At Marvel, Miller settled in as a regular fill-in and cover artist, working on a variety of titles. A pivotal fill-in job was on Spectacular Spider-Man issues 27 and 28. These stories featured Daredevil as a supporting character, who at the time was considered a B-list superhero with a poorly selling title. However, Miller saw something in the character he liked and asked editor in chief Jim Shooter if he could take over Daredevil's regular title. Shooter agreed, and Miller became the new penciller on the title.
Daredevil and the early 1980s
Miller's first issue of Daredevil was #158, which was the last part of an ongoing story written by Roger McKenzie. Although mainly conforming to traditional comic-book styles, Miller infused this first issue with his own film noir style, which proved to be a success. After this issue Miller became one of Marvel's fastest rising stars and also started plotting stories with McKenzie. His artwork was highly detailed but still noirish as his run progressed. Learning from Neal Adams, Miller would sit for hours sketching the roofs and streets of New York in an attempt to give his Daredevil art an authentic feel not commonly seen in superhero comics at the time.
Beginning with issue 168 in 1981, Miller took over the writing duties as well, with Klaus Janson providing inks. This issue saw the first appearance of Elektra, a character who would become incredibly popular in her own right. Meanwhile, Miller had made Daredevil so successful that it went from a bimonthly to a monthly title with issue 171.
Over the months, Miller gradually infused the stories with darker themes and stories heavily influenced by Japanese manga. Some stories failed to pass the Comics Code Authority censor in their original forms. This trend peaked in issue 181 when the assassin Bullseye killed Elektra. Although deaths of supporting characters were commonplace in comics at the time, the death of a major character like Elektra was not. Miller made it clear in the next few issues that he intended Elektra to remain dead; nonetheless, he resurrected her later.
Miller finished his Daredevil run with issue 191. In his time he had transformed a secondary Marvel character into one of the most popular and best-selling characters, while Miller himself had become the industry's hottest creator and was in high demand.
Also during this time, Miller and writer Chris Claremont produced a four-part Wolverine miniseries, spun off from the popular X-Men title. Miller used this solo appearance to expand on Wolverine's character and to feature his manga-influenced art more explicitly. The series was a critical success and further cemented Miller's place as a major talent. Miller found time to draw a short Batman Christmas story for a DC Comics Christmas special. He would become closely associated with this character as well as with Daredevil.
Miller rounded out his stint at Marvel with The Elektra Saga, a four-part miniseries largely consisting of material previously published in his Daredevil run. He moved to DC Comics and produced Ronin (his first creator-owned title) and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which would revitalize one of DC's stars.
- 155 subject(s) created by "Frank Miller"
- 129 work(s) where "Frank Miller" worked on a cover
- 63 work(s) that "Frank Miller" wrote
- 67 work(s) that "Frank Miller" penciled
- 8 work(s) that "Frank Miller" inked
- 91 cover(s) "Frank Miller" worked on
- 189 image(s) "Frank Miller" worked on as penciler
- 3 image(s) "Frank Miller" worked on as inker
Links and References
- Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Volume 1 (trade paperback ISBN 0785107576) collects:
- Daredevil #158-161, 163, 164 (1979-80, written by Roger McKenzie)
- Daredevil #165, #166 (1980, co-plotted with scripter Roger McKenzie)
- Daredevil #167 (1980, written by David Michelinie)
- Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Volume 2 (trade paperback ISBN 0785107711) collects:
- Daredevil #168-182 (1981-82, also art)
- Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Volume 3 (trade paperback ISBN 0785108025) collects:
- Daredevil #183-191 (1982-83, also art)
- "Elektra" short story from Bizarre Adventures magazine #28 (1981)
- What If...? #28 (1981, also art, co-written by Mike W. Barr)
- What If...? #34 (1982, "What if Daredevil Were Deaf?" one-page joke, also art)
- What If...? #35 (1982, also art)
- Elektra: Assassin (1986, 8 issues, art by Bill Sienkiewicz; also trade paperback ISBN 0871353091)
- Daredevil: Love and War (1986, art by Bill Sienkiewicz; graphic novel ISBN 0871351722)
- Daredevil #219 (1985, art by John Buscema and Gerry Talaoc)
- Daredevil #226 (1985, co-written by Denny O'Neil, art by David Mazzucchelli and Dennis Janke)
- Daredevil #227-233 (1985-86, art by David Mazzucchelli; collected as Daredevil: Born Again, ISBN 0871352974)
- Elektra Lives Again (1990, also art; graphic novel ISBN 0785108904)
- Daredevil: The Man Without Fear (1993, 5 issues, art by John Romita Jr.; also trade paperback ISBN 0785100466)
- John Carter, Warlord of Mars #18 (1978, written by Chris Claremont)
- Complete Frank Miller Spider-Man (trade paperback ISBN 0785108998) collects:
- Spectacular Spider-Man #27-28 (1979, includes first time drawing Daredevil, written by Bill Mantlo)
- Marvel Team-Up #100 (1980, written by Chris Claremont)
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14, 15 (1980-81, written by Denny O'Neil)
- Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 (1981, art by Herb Trimpe and Mike Esposito; the only time Miller ever wrote Spider-Man, teaming him up with Daredevil, Moon Knight, Power Man, and Iron Fist against the Kingpin and the Purple Man)
- Marvel Two-in-One #51 (1979, "Full House--Dragons High!" written by Peter Gillis)
- Marvel Spotlight volume 2, #8 (1980, "Captain Marvel: Planet Where Time Stood Still," written by Denny O'Neil)
- Bizarre Adventures magazine #31 (1982, "The Philistines," written by Denny O'Neil)
- Wolverine, 4-issue limited series (1982, written by Chris Claremont; also trade paperback ISBN 087135277X)
- Incredible Hulk Annual #11 (1982, "Doc Samson: Unus Unchained!" written by Mary Jo Duffy)
- Extensive review of 300 with artwork
- Art of Frank Miller
- The Complete Frank Miller Website
- Frank Miller's 300 Adapted for Film, PlayStation Game
- Frank Miller at the Internet Movie Database