There is no Justice without Sin

April 20, 2005 at 3:53 PM (General)

The above quote is from the awesome Trailer 2 for Sin City, one of the two movies I am really waiting to see.  The trailer can be viewed at the Sin City website.  I read a few of Frank Miller’s Sin City comics over the last few days.  The movie is based on three of the stories, namely "Sin City (The Hard Goodbye)", "The Big Fat Kill" and "That Yellow Bastard".  I have read the last two stories.

"The Big Fat Kill" opens with Shellie, who is in danger from the drunk Jackie Boy and gang.  However, Dwight is in the room and he drives away Jackie Boy and gang, who make their way into Old Town.  That’s where the complications start.  Old Town is a section of Sin City entirely run by the prostitutes there.  The book describes them like so — "The ladies are the law here, beautiful and merciless.  If you’ve got the cash and play by the rules, they’ll make all your dreams come true.  But if you cross them, you’re a corpse.".  Dwight apparently has a past with the ladies in Old Town, so he knows what can happen when a drunk gang shows up there — namely a total bloodbath — and thanks to the deadly assassin Miho, everyone is killed.  But then something is discovered that might mean the end of the truce (between the ladies, the cops and the mob) in Old Town, and Dwight must now take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen.  An entertaining story, with some over-the-top violence, and one very bizarre/funny sequence (namely the talking head one).

While I liked the previous story, I absolutely loved the next story I read, "That Yellow Bastard".  This is about a cop, John Hartigan, who is one of the few honest cops in Sin City, and has always stood by principles no matter what.  With just one hour to go before retirement, he is informed about one loose end — a little girl, eleven-year old Nancy Callahan, is in grave danger of being raped and killed by Junior, the son of corrupt Senator Roark.  So Hartigan saves her and puts Junior into a coma, but then he is imprisoned.  The Senator threatens Hartigan that he will kill his family unless he confesses to having raped Nancy and shooting his son.  Hartigan spends eight years in prison, receiving letters every week from Nancy, who owes her life to him.  She writes to him under the name of "Cordelia", so that no one would be able to trace them back to her.  But one day the letters stop coming, and Hartigan must save her again.  "That Yellow Bastard" is one of the most involving stories I’ve ever read, and it was very dramatic.  The relationship between Nancy Callahan and Hartigan reminded me of the Luc Besson film The Professional.  The characters are very well written and the story overall is very emotional.  There is some pretty disturbing stuff in the book, especially the confrontation of Hartigan and the Yellow Bastard, but it all establishes the atmosphere of Sin City very well.

Both these stories feature great artwork.  The art is primarily in pure black and white (no tones), except for little bits of (yellow!) colour (to highlight certain parts of the art).  The whole thing is of course a one-man job, being written, drawn and lettered by Frank Miller.

I can’t wait to see how the books have been translated into the movie.  Everything I’ve seen about the movie so far looks absolutely stunning.


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