Sin City
The Hard Goodbye

Author: Frank Miller
Artist: Frank Miller
Titan Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 1 84576 045 X
Available 22 April 2005

Marv spends a night of passion with a beautiful stranger he meets in a bar. The next morning he awakens to find her dead. Marv is besotted with the woman who showed him such kindness and sets off to track down her killer - regardless of the cost...

The Hard Goodbye marks the first Sin City graphic novel to be reprinted in anticipation of the release of the Hollywood movie. Having read this first release, I'm not entirely sure whether the movie can even scratch the surface of Frank Miller's creation.

This collection is incredibly dark. Marv is a mental patient with a past shrouded in mystery. He's done time inside for crimes unknown (although it's not difficult to guess) and takes medication to stop the voices in his head. He's a savage, cold killer who knows right from wrong, and enjoys punishing the wicked. He's also built like a sh... er... an outside toilet and is not the world's most handsome looking man. Not really the sort of character you expect to be the hero in a blockbuster summer movie is it?

The Hard Goodbye is a rather sad tale. Marv isn't even aware that the woman who he is avenging was a prostitute (most women of the night won't sleep with him, even if he pays them, because of his deformed features). All he cares about is that she showed him kindness and gave him a night of heaven. He sets about righting the injustice of her cruel slaying, knowing full well that the chances are he will be killed before he gets to the bottom of it, or thrown back in prison.

Like most anti-heroes, there is something likeable about Marv. He's a bit slow in the brain department, but his heart is in the right place.

From beginning to end, this is a visual and mentally stimulating treat and will prove once and for all, to all those misguided fools, that comics are not for kids.

Darren Rea

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