“It was said Daredevil grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, an amazing name for a neighborhood. But that opened a Pandora’s Box of all the crime stuff I wanted to do. I borrowed liberally from Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit’ and turned Daredevil into a crime comic.” – Frank Miller
Frank Miller’s interpretation of Daredevil helped shape much of how the character is perceived today. Here we look at the market for a few of the earlier Frank Miller/Daredevil key comic books. Do not fear, the Elektra issues and a few other supporting character keys are absent in this article, but will be featured on their own down the line.
The first Daredevil art created by Frank Miller wasn’t in the Daredevil self-titled series, but rather, was the pencils for Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #27. After Spider-Man was blinded by the Masked Marauder, he sought help from the superhero most adept to the situation, Daredevil.
The sales data for CGC 9.8 copies of the book are shown below.
When CGC graded copies of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #27 first came on the market, the very initial sales prices of CGC 9.8 copies hung around the ~$300 level but quickly gapped down over -50% to settle just above $140. After this uncertainty was sorted, Spectacular Spider-Man #27 has been on a rather consistent upward growth trend. This “little engine that could” took about six years for the value of the book to return to the initial few ~$300 sales price and break above on a consistent basis, but it achieved it nevertheless. Furthermore, sales prices have continued upwards with no end in sight. It’s not as flashy as movie speculation/gambling, but Spectacular Spider-Man #27 has an attractive long-term investment outlook.
Just a few months after The Spectacular Spider-Man #27, Frank Miller served as the artist for Daredevil #158, thus marking the beginning of his widely praised Daredevil run. It’s worth noting that at comparable CGC grades, Daredevil #158 manages to achieve a higher market value than Spectacular Spider-Man #27. For the trends, we will be focusing on the book graded CGC 9.6, the top 23.0% of the census.
Sales prices for Daredevil #158 have been on an upward trend from late 2009 until 2015 when it experienced a reversal to the downside. Outside of a short spike in 2018, the negative trend continued to the present day, with little indication of any possible turnaround. To provide further context for how pessimistic the current sales prices are, they’ve completely undone the years of growth and returned to similar price levels of 2009. An over 50% loss in value; leaving your money under the mattress would have yielded better results.
With one of the most iconic Daredevil covers, Daredevil #184 pits the Daredevil and his ideals up against the Punishers. Sales for Daredevil #184, graded CGC 9.8, are shown below.
Describing the sales price trend of Daredevil #184 as “slow and steady” would be an understatement. While the book achieves higher highs and higher lows, the price range at any given moment is wide enough to encompass the similar sales prices from as much as five years prior. Overall, Daredevil #184 does offer a safe long-term hold, but the growth rate isn’t the most attractive investment opportunity.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #27 (1979) – BUY
- Daredevil #158 (1979) – REDUCE
- Daredevil #184 (1982) – Stable upward trend, but not the best growth rate.
“Sometimes, I think I accomplish more with my fists than with my law firm. Sometimes, I don’t really care. All I know is that the Kitchen’s quiet tonight… and that’s good.” – Daredevil
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