Reviewer: Ian Mintz
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Writer: Frank Miller
Artist: Frank Miller
Genre: Graphic Novel (Softcover)
MSRP: $30.00 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now
When it comes to his storytelling style, Frank Miller just doesn’t spin a good yarn … he gives his readers a wild ride that you won’t forget long after you close one of his books. He has shown us just about every grimy back alley, side road and street corner of his sinister city of sin and we loved every inch of the place and just about every citizen of this twisted burg. In the seventh volume of Sin City: Hell and Back, the series goes out with a bang and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We meet Wallace, a talented artist whose talent is wasted on employers who simply want tasteless nudes. Oh, but Wallace has another talent and it is one he has kept from people including his nice landlady. Driving in the unusually pleasant warm night, Wallace life changes when he sees a beautiful young black woman jump from a ledge and straight into the ocean. Without missing a beat, Wallace dives right in and saves her.
Her name is Esther and she is grateful that Wallace pulled her out of the cold, murky water and took care of her at his place. Wallace finds her charming and loves that she finds his art fascinating enough that she lingers on every piece. She tells him she’s a struggling actress but she wants to hear about him and the interesting object she found in his drawer. They go for drinks and suddenly Esther and Wallace kiss … then something awful happens.
Waking up after taking a tranquilizer shot from a thug who travels with a strange doctor, Wallace realizes that these men took Esther with them kicking and screaming. The police think he was a junkie and when he tells them what happens the same cops tell him to leave the investigation up to them. Sensing the police will do nothing, Wallace decides to handle things himself. You see, Wallace is also a war hero who is good at fighting and it doesn’t take him long to find out where Esther lives.
At her apartment, Wallace meets a beautiful woman with blue eyes who tells him she’s Esther’s roommate. She also seems to be very interested in Wallace who tries to fight off the girl’s aggressive advances. Going on the run with this mystery girl, Wallace comes to a realization that she might not be who she seems she is and that the cops might have something to do with this as well. Meanwhile, Esther wakes up to find a familiar character (that’s if you read Volume 6) who tells her that her fate is like a second chance at life.
As Wallace gets closer to the truth and knowing he has to watch out for the police as well, he turns to a buddy from the military. However, when he is double-crossed by the beautiful Blue Eyes, it is his military buddy who lends a hand when he’s hallucinating. In one of the more unusual sequences of the Sin City series, Wallace finds it hard to concentrate when everything from Dirty Harry to Captain America is appearing before him.
In the middle of Wallace’s drugged visions, we meet a sultry and dangerously beautiful woman who bares a striking resemblance to Angelina Jolie. She is an assassin who works for the man who runs the entire operation involving many women much like Esther. In a sequence that plays out like a short story, we witness her threatening the son of the Chief of police.
In the final chapter of this story, Wallace shows who he really is as he not only attempts to rescue the women he hardly knows but has come to love but also destroy the organization by utilizing all his skills as a military specialist. Oh, it’s a thing of beauty to see a man wage a one-man war against some heavy odds that include assassins.
As I said, Miller just doesn’t know how to spin a good yarn but rather concoct a thrill ride you will not forget anytime soon. There are fights aplenty and twists and turns that make this particular story a really fun read. Then there’s his art that is just as unforgettable, especially Wallace’s hallucination that are in color and wild.
A truly thrilling and memorable finale, Hell and Back is a great way to close the book on the Sin City series. It’s a grand tale that is quite lengthy but believe me when I say that you will be zipping through the book just to see what happens next until – bam – you’ve reached the end. That’s when you know you’re in the presence of greatness so missing this would not be acceptable to any comic book fan.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
When a mysterious woman named Esther tries to take her own life, an artist named Wallace comes to her rescue and even falls in love with her. Unfortunately, somebody has had an eye on her and takes her away leaving Wallace shot with a tranquilizer. When he wakes up he goes on a mission to find and save the woman he has come to love from a very dangerous organization.
At risk of repeating ourselves, Miller’s work has always been original and unique and that applies to every book he has worked on including this one that has a color sequence that’s far too awesome for words.
Hell and Back is the perfect swan song for Frank Miller’s Sin City series and yet another memorable jaunt into a city that never failed to captivate us from the very start. With a new character who is just as ultra cool as the other characters Miller introduced, this story just keeps getting better with every page. Sin City fans, you should not be without this seventh volume.
Review copy provided by Dark Horse Books