Reviewer: Tia Tanaka
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Writer: Frank Miller
Artist: Frank Miller
Genre: Graphic Novel (Softcover)
MSRP: $19.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now
In an office filled with die hard Frank Miller fans, it is hard not to ignore the fact that everyone here is excited and glad that Dark Horse Books has decided to release a third edition of Frank Miller’s Sin City books. Having read Miller’s other work I knew what to expect from Volume 2, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For but what I wasn’t expecting was the fact that it was too good to want to put down. Now I see why everyone in this office is such a big fan.
A Dame To Kill For is right up there with classic film noir movies like “Double Indemnity” or “Strangers on a Train” only with Frank Miller’s gin-soaked, blood-splattering style. It introduces us to Sin City’s other bad ass by the name of Dwight McCarthy. When we first see him, he is perched on the roof snapping photographs of a very mismatched couple. She is beautiful, curvy in all the right places and ready to please. He is short, stocky, somewhat grotesque and married but not to her.
Suddenly, things get very violent in that bedroom as the man – who comes to the conclusion that it’s better to kill her before the wife finds out about his love for this working girl – pulls out a gun. In comes Dwight to save her and take the girl back to Old Town were any man can make his dreams come true with women of exquisite beauty … for a price, of course. Secondly, he heads to his boss’s office with a roll of film. You see, Dwight is a private investigator who takes on the jobs his boss can’t do.
It isn’t until chivalrous Dwight comes back home that he gets a phone call from somebody in his past. This person has haunted him for so long and, despite his bitterness toward her, Dwight goes to meet her anyway in the already familiar smoky saloon that is Club Pecos. You see, she is Ava, the beautiful temptress that broke his heart, stepped all over it with her high heels then walked off with a man who is far more wealthy than he. Now, there she was, begging him to take her back because her wealthy husband, Damien Lord, tortures her.
At first, Dwight is cold and wants nothing to do with her but he is compelled by her beauty to the point that he just gives in and sneaks into Damien Lord’s ritzy mansion. As he keeps watch over Ava, he is quickly discovered and Lord’s trusted bodyguard, a bulldozer of a man named Manute, beats Dwight. For the most part, Lord and his men thought he was simply a pervert getting an eyeful of Ava so Dwight thinks he’s safe for the moment but when Ava pays him a visit he is ensnared by her beauty once more.
Unfortunately, a night of passion also compels Dwight to take care of Ava’s problem but first he gets help in the form of Marv, the big brutish hero of Volume 1’s The Hard Goodbye. Eager to help just because the caper involves busting some heads, Marv joins Dwight in storming Lord’s mansion and while Marv takes care of security as well as Manute, it is Dwight who beats Damien Lord to death with his fists.
Then it happens … Ava turns his gun on Dwight and pulls the trigger multiple times. Badly injured, Dwight barely escapes the encounter with his life and if it wasn’t for Marv he would have been stone dead. He tells Marv to drive him to Old Town where he calls in a favor to Gayle, one of Old Town’s beautiful working ladies.
It’s clear that Dwight and Gail have a long history together and it’s clear that she is willing to do anything for him so when the girls of Old Town wants him out it is Gail who convinces them that Dwight has saved her as well as the deadly Miho. He convinces Gail and Miho to join him in getting some good old-fashioned payback. The final chapter is just gold so I won’t be spoiling things by telling you what goes down.
Oh yeah, leave it to Frank Miller to spin a crime story this intense, bloody and ultra cool. Besides his brilliant storytelling and amazing dialogue, the art is just surreal and gorgeous. Then again, anyone who has ever picked up a comic book or graphic novel by Mr. Miller could tell you that.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is exactly the kind of work that should be sitting next to the works of Raymond Chandler of Dashiell Hammett and a comic worth buying if you didn’t get a chance to read it. Stylish, brutal and sexy, Volume 2 is a compulsive read and exactly what to expect from the Sin City series. You really can’t go wrong with purchasing this one.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
As a private investigator, Dwight suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the woman that tore a chunk of his heart and made him suffer for it. She is Ava, a gorgeous woman who sets Dwight up to take care of her husband. When she turns on him, though, Dwight must not only recover from the aftermath of her betrayal but also set things right again in a quest for revenge.
You just have to admire Frank Miller’s style that makes the Sin City series a visually mesmerizing treat even though it’s just black and white. You also have to love the character design, especially the more grotesque-looking ones.
A Dame To Kill For is vintage crime noir but with that wonderfully twisted and face-slamming Frank Miller touch that made Sin City such an instant classic. This story is a sexy, page-turning affair that just gets more interesting the more you read it until the finale where everything comes together beautifully. You cannot miss this volume.
Review copy provided by Dark Horse Books