Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (spoilers)

moonmaster

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Alright, my first review. I've done this sort of stuff for my school news paper (I might post the review of Ultimates that I did at some point) but I've never tried it here. So....

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Sin City: That Yellow Bastard
Writer/Artist: Frank Miller
Publisher: Dark Horse

For a while, I had heard of Sin City but never thought about reading any of it. Later, when I heard the new of a Sin City movie, I wasn't interested. But when I first saw the trailer for the movie, I became interested. I finally got around to getting one of the Sin City books, and all I could say was 'wow'.

After hearing about what most of the volumes are about, 'That Yellow Bastard' sounded like the most interesting. When I picked up I read it in one sitting and loved every second of it. Miller's 'Dark Knight Returns' is one of my all time favorites, but Sin City takes every element that makes Miller's work so great and condenses it into one dirty, blood stained book.

The plot is as follows: A gruff old cop named Hartigan is just an hour from retirement but the only thing he wants to do is find Nancy Callahan, an eleven year old girl who has been kidnapped. The man who kidnapped her is Roark, the son of the senator and will easily get away with raping and killing her if he is not stopped. Hartigan manages to track down Roark and put him in a coma, but his own partner stops him. The senator covers up for his son and frames Hartigan for kidnapping and raping Nancy. Hartigan goes to jail for 8 years, kept in good spirits by Nancy's letters to him. The cops want him to sign a confession, but he refuses, thinking it may put Nancy in danger. When he is given a woman's finger that he believes is Nancy's he decides to confess. When he is released from jail he tries to find Nancy. When he does find her, he learns that she's become a stripper. The two are reunited, but Hartigan know that they are being followed by an odd man: the yellow bastard....

I won't spoil the rest for you, but I'll tell you that its pretty damn good. Its visceral and raw, with quite a bit of nudity and violence. You are absorbed into the dark and twisted world of Sin City. You feel real emotion when Hartigan is being beaten until he confesses, or when Nancy expresses her feeling for Hartigan. You truly want Hartigan to triumph over all the corrupt and evil forces that seem to be working against him.

The art shows why Frank Miller is truly incredible. He renders everything with passion and simple style. He can move from the most basic shapes to groteque details. His characters have a sort of warped, grizzled look to them that tends to reflect their personalities. The fact that everything is black and white (except for the Yellow Bastard) makes you think of an interesting contradiction: everything appears black and white but in reality there's no such thing. There's only gray.

This is truly Miller's book. No one else could take the concept and make it work in the incredible way that Miller does. He has taken the classic genre of film noir and transformed it into something new. As I have said before, Sin City is never black and white. Good guys do bad thing and vice versa. The people who are supposed to protect us let monsters roam the streets. Beauty and grotesqueness, life and death, these elements collide in a dark explosion of blood and bullets. In the end, the tale of Sin City is one of contradiction and tragedy, and I can't wait to read more of it.

Art: 10/10
Story: 10/10
Overall: 10/10
 

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Probably my favorite Sin City book. Nice review.
 

Friday

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Aye. It's my favorite too. I'm supprised at how many people prfered THe Big Fat Kill section of the movie over it.
 

moonmaster

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Can someone tell me what other ones are good? I'm thinking about buying another the next time I go to my comic shop.
 

E

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moonmaster said:
Can someone tell me what other ones are good? I'm thinking about buying another the next time I go to my comic shop.

I've only read the first four, with 5-7 waiting for me as soon as I get a chance to read them. You really can't go wrong with any of them.
 

Friday

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UltimateE said:
I've only read the first four, with 5-7 waiting for me as soon as I get a chance to read them. You really can't go wrong with any of them.
Well, 6 is a series of shorts, A couple focusing on established peoples like Dwight, Marv, and the two over-verbose henchmen, but other than that they're mainly used to set up characters from 7, Hell and Back, wich was mearly okay. It seemed to me like it was a story forced into Sin City, instead of one growing out of it like the others were.
 

moonmaster

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Got "The Hard Goodbye" today. It was pretty good. I noticed a definite difference between this one and That Yellow Bastard. For one, the story seemed a little meatier, and the art was just a tad bit less stylized. Marv was great. Kevin is one of the creepiest characters I've ever seen in a comic. I like the ending. So, I'm assuming the books aren't in chronological order (considering that certain characters, such as Kevin appear in That Yellow Bastard).
 

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moonmaster said:
So, I'm assuming the books aren't in chronological order

Correct. But some of them intertwine; you see some scenes of one book in another.
 

moonmaster

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UltimateE said:
Correct. But some of them intertwine; you see some scenes of one book in another.

I noticed that Dwight seemed to be promenantly shown in the bar scene in That Yellow Bastard. Next I'm getting the Big Fat Kill. I'm trying to get the movie ones first. I still haven't seen the movie, but I'm definitely going to rent it (I'll buy it if I like it). I'm thinking the DVD will be out in July.
 

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