Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: Sin City, Vol. 4: That Yellow Bastard

Sin City, Vol. 4: That Yellow Bastard Sin City, Vol. 4: That Yellow Bastard by Frank Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Frank Miller's Sin City may be an acquired taste, but it's got me hooked. It's almost a quarter century now since Miller set out to refine the hardboiled, noir formula to its essence, and, if there are others who have followed more or less as successfully in his footsteps, few have achieved the profile he has.

Hartigan may be over the top, but what's the point of going after the pure essence of a thing if you don't spin it out to its extreme. Bruce Willis humanizes the character somewhat in the excellent film adaptation, so don't be shocked here by a Hartigan who's colder and more nihilistic. He's seen the worst the world can offer, and he's chosen to make his stand in a clear and meaningful way: he'll save one girl's life at the price of everything, at a price no one will ever realize he has paid.

In any case, having read all seven volumes of the collected Sin City, I put this forward as the strongest. the first, The Hard Goodbye, comes close and may yet be the best place to start, but -- just so you know what you're in for if you give the whole series a shot -- this is where it all peaks.

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