Frank Miller is a tough guy to do a top 10 for. His early comic book career changed superheroics forever—and that was way back in the early 1980s at Marvel, and then the mid-’80s at DC. His indie career, beginning in the early 1990s, paved the way for the neo-realistic post-noir comics that literally wallpapered the racks by the year 2000.
And then he turned to “historical fiction” and, once again, created market where there really hadn’t been one before. Along the way, he experimented with publication formats (higher-quality gloss with longer page counts in Ronin and The Dark Knight Returns; wide-panel hardcovers with The 300; pulpy B&Ws with Sin City), shattered all genres, and crashed into screenwriting with original scripts for Robocop 2 (deemed too violent to film) and adaptations of his own original work that proved hugely successful, as well as inspiring the modern superhero film with his work on Batman.
He was controversial as Hell, with his use of graphic, detailed, physical violence and his seeming glorification of vigilantism in a much more realistic, street-focused way than ever had been done before.
So when you pick just ten great Miller books, do you go for breadth? Do you go for sales numbers, influence, or critical success? I don’t know if there’s a “right” answer to those questions, but I can tell you what I chose to do: I’m picking the ten I enjoyed reading the most. The ones I can pick up over and over, and/or the ones that influenced the way I buy and read comics.
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