Characters: Sin City
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Portrayed by: Mickey Rourke
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Nancy, which he doesn't pursue because of his appearance and violent ways. But she's still a friend he relies on and is loyal to...
- Ambiguous Disorder: He says he get "confused" a lot, but he's also said to be good at solving puzzles, implying that he may have a degree of savancy.Marv: I got a condition. It's bad to forget your medicine when you got a condition.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV. He generally doesn't start trouble with people who don't deserve it, and has shown selfless heroism on at least one occasion.
- Badass: He's a complete One-Man Army who can take out dozens of opponents with ease and can withstand an enormous amount of damage.
- Badass Longcoat: His main attire, which he often steals from random people who tried to mess with him. Frank Miller has referred to him as "Conan in a trenchcoat."
- Because You Were Nice to Me: He's willing to die and go to hell all for the sake of a woman he's only known for one night, just because she showed him kindness.
- Berserk Button:
- Roughing up women is one of the surest ways to piss Marv off.
- He doesn't take kindly to a bunch of fratboys setting fire to a homeless guy either.
- Marv doesn't like any disparaging talk about ladies and gets violent when a tourist repeatedly insults Josie the Bartender.
- If you ever decide to beat up Dwight in a fistfight, don't let Marv find out. Just ask Manute.
- Beware the Nice Ones: It takes a lot to get Marv worked up, but if you do then get the heck out.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's jolly, jovial, loves combat and is a pretty bombastic guy when he's drinking.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Dwight pretty much says this straight out in A Dame to Kill For."Most people think Marv is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He'd be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody's face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him. They woulda tossed him girls like Nancy back then. "
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Lucille's girlfriend Claire. "She tried to analyze me once, but got too scared."
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Just ask the Assistant D.A. who got his arm broken in three places for threatening Marv's mama.
- Everyone Has Standards: Marv can be pretty vicious to people who incur his wrath. But as he tells Cardinal Roark, at least he doesn't eat people.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "Could you get a move on? I haven't got all day."
- Famous Last Words: "Is that the best you can do, you pansies?"
- Frameup: Kevin kills Goldie while she and Marv are asleep. Marv awakens to find cops coming too quickly for his liking, which tips him off that he's been set up.
- Gentle Giant: When not on the job.
- Heroes Fight Barehanded: Marv has a Sprinfield Armory M1911A1 which he named Gladys but mostly just uses his "mitts". Considering his brutish strength, it makes sense.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "The Hard Goodbye", to protect his mother and Wendy.
- Hidden Depths: In most of his appearances he comes off as a slightly crazy dumb brute and a bit of a clown, which is how Dwight and most other characters in the story see him. But "The Hard Goodbye," the only major story where he is the lead character and narrator, reveals him to be a very melancholic and insecure man who is tortured by the meaningless of his life.
- Honor Before Reason: Will willingly and literally go to Hell to repay any and all kindness given to him.
- I Call It "Vera": His gun "Gladys", named after the harshest nun at his school. He feels it has almost lived up to its name.
- I Don't Want to Die: Unexpectedly given how willing he is to throw himself into danger and how by his account he doesn't have much to live for, but Marv is terrified of dying. He only acknowledges the possibility after finding out that he's going up against a Roark, and it takes him a few issues to work past his fear.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Marv is obsessed with finding Goldie's killer not just because she slept with him but because she slept with him to get him to protect her and he failed to do so.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: "When I need to find something out, I just go and find somebody that knows more than me, and I go and ask them. Sometimes I ask pretty hard." Methods include sticking heads down toilets and driving along holding mooks' faces againts the asphalt.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Skirts across Noble Demon territory in the comics and sequel film. But overall, he's a sweet-natured guy when not committing grievous bodily harm.
- The Lancer: To Dwight in "A Dame To Kill For" and to Nancy in "Nancy's Last Dance."
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite his size, Marv is just as quick and agile as he is strong. There are several instances where he takes down multiple opponents in a short span of time and even avoids getting shot.
- Made of Iron: He survives being shot and run over multiple times, including a burst at very close range. It even takes them two goes on the electric chair to finish him off.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Heavily implied to have been one all his life due to his unattractive appearance and ultraviolent behavior, until The Hard Goodbye. Even claims to have been unable to buy a woman due to his looks.
- Not Good with People: Between his frightening appearance and mental instability Marv doesn't seem to do well with people, but he outright refuses to kill a wolf, instead knocking it unconscious, giving it a gentle pat and giving it a nice snack later.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Marv can take just about anything you can give him short of gunfire and even then you need to shoot him in the head. In the end it takes two jolts in the electric chair to kill him.
- One-Man Army: He's capable of taking on squads of heavily armed cops with only his "mitts".
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He is deeply afraid of winding up as "a maniac [or] a psycho killer" and will only kill someone if, as Marv himself puts it, "I know for sure I ought to".
- Politically Incorrect Hero: He sometimes uses slurs such as "dyke" or "jap", but most of the time he doesn't sound like he means it maliciously. The film took out most of the offending dialogue.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Mentioned that he 'fought in a war', implied to be Vietnam, and shows an exaggeration of PSTD symptoms.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Cardinal Roark calls him "a monster" when he presents Kevin's head to the Cardinal. Marv replies "At least I don't eat people."
- Sociopathic Hero: Is uncomfortably close to this in the comics and sequel film. For the most part though, he detests hurting innocent people and usually gives people a chance at redemption first (the punks harassing a bartender in "A Dame to Kill For" and the frat boys burning winos in "Just Another Saturday Night").
- Stout Strength: Not an extreme case, but when he takes his trademark trenchcoat off, he has a definite barrel chest.
- Super Senses: Marv's senses are extremely sharp.
- Super Strength: In the film at least, he's able to rip the bars out from the basement cell he's been locked in.
- Torture Technician: He has an appetite for Cold-Blooded Torture and is quite good at it.
- Undying Loyalty: To any of his good friends, but especially to Goldie.
- Unreliable Narrator: Has an unspecified "condition" which he admits makes him less than trustworthy. Although there is a very real possibility that he's hallucinating most of the unsavoury stuff shown, and might just be an insane murderer, later yarns do indicate that the events in The Hard Goodbye are likely very real.
- Wife-Basher Basher: And hunts them down like animals too.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Marv is really big on this, possibly due to his upbringing. The only times he breaks this is to spare Wendy from watching him torture Kevin to death, and killing a female sex-slaver in one short story (though it's ambiguous if the slaver is biologically female).
Portrayed by: N/A
- Badass: Aside from Miho, is likely the deadliest person in Basin City. He's only interest in the girl he saved and struck up a romance with.
- Badass Longcoat: He's shown several times wearing a long coat, and he has every right to wear it.
- Barbarian Long Hair: He has a long black mane, and a thick beard.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Really, all he wants to do is pursue his burgeoning romance with Esther. When she's kidnapped, he goes to hell and back just to rescue her.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He shoots sniper through the scope of his own rifle, using a regular handgun while in a dark room. Later, he kills an entire warehouse full of mooks before any of them have the chance to fire a single round.
- Nice Guy: Amazingly nice, given the sheer ruthlessness and ugliness of the setting. It's notable that he gets one of the few truly happy endings in the entire comic series.
- One-Man Army: Described as such in-universe. Wallace seems to be one of the most formidable fighters in the entire setting. While sheer numbers and firepower seems to give all but the most deranged of Sin City protagonists (Marv) some pause, all Wallace needs is a small amount of time to get some guns, and he is perfectly capable of dismantling a large part of a criminal organization, and is considered by their leader to be "too costly" to seek revenge against.
- Retired Badass: Ex-Navy SEAL to be specific. Apparently received the Medal of Honor in a high risk mission.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: He once ripped one of his commissioned nude paintings in half in front of his patron — before said patron could pay him for it — because he thought it was tasteless and demeaning to his model.
- Starving Artist: He's a freelance painter who struggles to pay his rent, and routinely has to work as a short-order cook to make ends meet. Despite his financial struggles, he has no problem with turning down a commission job if he feels that it lacks artistic integrity.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: At one point, he throws a machete to decapitate a Mook.
- Would Hit a Girl: One of the few heroes who would.
Portrayed by: Jessica Alba
- Badass and Child Duo: She's the child, Hartigan is the Badass. Though not a child anymore...
- Break the Cutie: Averted. She refuses to scream for Junior. Played straight with Hartigan's suicide. She becomes an alcoholic, for example.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Lampshaded by her after she cuts her own face and pretends Senator Roark did it, so Marv will join her on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: It's hard to tell because the comics are largely black and white, but Nancy Callahan is canonically blonde. A young woman working herself through law school by working as a topless exotic dancer off hours, she's probably the kindest and most innocent character in the comics (Word of God calls her "an angel" living in a Wretched Hive). She's aquainted with a lot of the major characters, who protect her from abusive or downright evil men out to hurt her.
- May-December Romance: Subverted. She's in love with Hartigan but he refuses to sleep with her, because he's old enough to be her grandfather.
- Ms. Fanservice: Most of her appearances have her topless, since she is a stripper. Downplayed in the film, due to Jessica Alba's refusal to appear topless. Though in the film, it IS still Jessica Alba as a stripper with killer abs.
- Nerds Are Sexy: She is very studious and is a fan of detective novels.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: When people want to see her outside the strip club, they'll say this.
- Rescue Romance: She fell in love with Hartigan after he saved her from Junior.
- Rescue Sex: Subverted. She offers this to Hartigan—much to his dismay, as he's still coping with how She Is All Grown Up. He turns down her offer, but has to take a cold shower afterward.
- Single-Target Sexuality: She says she tried to fall in love with other boys and admits she thought she did at certain points, but ultimately Hartigan's always been the only one she truly loves.
- She Is All Grown Up:Hartigan: Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up. She filled out.
- Stripperiffic: Doesn't wear a whole lot, usually opting for assless chaps. Then again, it is part of her job.
- Take Up My Hand Cannon: After Hartigan's death, she somehow manages to get her hands on his old revolver and trains with it daily. She eventually uses it to kill Senator Roark.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Nancy's Last Dance, she takes up Hartigan's handgun, cuts her hair, intentionally scars her face, and eventually manages to, with help from Marv, kill Senator Roark and every single person in his mansion in revenge for Hartigan's death.
- Wife Husbandry: Averted; she loves Hartigan because he saved her when she was a kid, but he refuses to take advantage of this.
Portrayed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Anti-Hero: He is a Guile Hero and overall has a cocky personality.
- Badass: Effortlessly beats the crap out of Senator Roark's men. He also beats Senator Roark at cards twice and dies without even flinching.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Is always seen wearing a suit.
- Badass Boast: "You'd be smart to kill me now."
- Boom, Headshot: How Senator Roark kills him.
- Born Lucky: He perfectly wins every game of chance he plays. With one silver dollar, he wins a slot machine, then uses the coins to play other slot machines, etc. he also admits that Marcy has nothing to so with it. She is just to distract everybody else. In his card games, he always seems to get a winning hand, even if he fakes not having it.
- Canon Foreigner: Only appears in the film, though in a story written by Miller himself.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Senator Roark has him beaten, his fingers broken, thrown from a moving car and shot.
- Decapitation Presentation: Senator Roark cuts Marcy's head off and throws it to him.
- Doomed Moral Victor: Though he is murdered by Senator Roark, he doesn't care, since he publicly humiliated him twice and showed that he's Not So Invincible After All.
- Face Death with Dignity: Accepts his fate before being killed by Senator Roark.
- Go Out with a Smile: Smiles before being shot by Senator Roark.
- Guile Hero: He bluffs Senator Roark into going all in by tricking him that he doesn't have the winning hand. It works twice.
- Heroic Bastard: He is actually Senator Roark's bastard son.
- Heroic BSOD: After Marcy is killed.
- Idiot Ball: Liebowitz warns him to leave town after beating Senator Roark at poker and humiliating him in front of his allies, instead he tours the city with Marcy.
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself for Marcy's death.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Recieves one from Senator Roark's men. And gives one to them too.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There's another main character named Johnny in the comics. And John Hartigan and "Iron Jack" (John) Rafferty.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "That blackjack of yours could split somebody's skull open."
- Professional Gambler: Considering his skill and success, he's probably one of these.
- Single Tear: He has one rolling down his face when Roark shoots him in the head.
- Son of a Whore: According to Senator Roark.
Portrayed by: Devon Aoki, Jamie Chung
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Every time she uses a bladed weapon, limbs come off. At one point in The Big Fat Kill, she casually shoved a sword through the roof of a car and into a guy's skull.
- Badass: The single deadliest woman in the Sin City universe.
- Berserk Button: Insult her Asian Heritage and EXTRA messy and hilarious dismemberment will be WELL deserved, you racist bastard.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: When up close, she favours a katana to slice and dice. When she wants to play it quiet from long range, she'll switch to a bow and arrows.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Implied to be this when Dwight gets flirted on by a female cop, forcing him to act like he is a total pervert to make her lose interest in order to save the cop's life.
- Cute Bruiser:Dwight: She guides my glance upward to the pixie perched at the roof's edge. Deadly little Miho.
- Cute Mute: Miho never speaks. She lets her various deadly weapons do the talking.
- Dual Wielding: Miho prefers two katana blades when she goes into action.
- Flechette Storm: Both her regular shurikens and her big manji shuriken.
- Honor Before Reason: She briefly went against Old Town, her own employers, because Dwight saved her life and she owed him her allegiance.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Combined with Absurdly Sharp Blade. When Miho unsheathes her katana, someone will generally get cut in half.
- Kimono Fanservice: Her costume isn't quite a kimono but she fulfills this purpose.
- Ninja: She'll cut you quick, she'll kill you quiet. You won't feel a thing, not unless she wants you to.
- Noble Demon: Word of God is that she's literally this. Does seem more noble than usual though.
- Nonstandard Character Design: In her later appearances, Miho is always drawn as just an outline, with no shading whatsoever.
- One Woman Army: She is more than capable of taking down multiple gun-wielding mooks with a katana without breaking a sweat.
- Pinball Projectile: She uses her manji shuriken in this manner a few times.
- Professional Killer: Miho is very much an assassin.
- Psycho for Hire: One of the rare heroic examples of such.
- Sociopathic Hero: A lesser case, although she occasionally does things that make even the girls of Old Town squicked out at times.
- The Stoic: Miho has no expression on her face other than a deadly calm when she goes to work.
- Tsundere: In Family Values, her softer side is shown when she cuddles up and goes to sleep on Dwight's lap and seems to have a very comfortable demeanor around him, in contrast to her earlier depictions where she is moments away from slicing him in half. Whether or not there is romance is up for debate. It hasn't stopped fans from Shipping the two of them. It's also a nod to her being frequently described as "catlike" in her mercurial attitudes and casual cruelty.
- The Voiceless: She also never speaks.
- Always Save the Girl: Shows big time during the end of The Big Fat Kill, in willing to surrender Old Town in exchange for Gail. Unfortunately for the bad guys this is just a distraction serving to buy time for the rest of the Old Town girls to show up and unleash hell.
- Anti-Hero: Type III without the Nominal Hero tendencies at the start of The Big Fat Kill. Though he was dangerously close to a Type IV when he considered shooting a cop without knowing whether he was clean or not. Generally, however, he's a normal guy who has been squicked out by the actions of both Marv and Miho.
- Badass Bookworm: He is well-read, going by his knowledge of Spartan battle techniques and the fact that he apparently knows Latin. He was also a Pulitzer-worthy journalist at some point.
- Badass Longcoat: Starts wearing one after his Magic Plastic Surgery. He wears it during most of his biggest fights.
- Batman Gambit: His plans often include a lot of manipulation but go off without a hitch.
- Byronic Hero: Starts out as one early on in the comics and in A Dame to Kill For, but steadily grows out of it.
- Celibate Hero: He tries to avoid women earlier in the comics due to his bad prior break-up with Ava Lord, where he nearly drank himself into oblivion.
- The Chessmaster: Demonstrated in how he outwits Ava in A Dame to Kill For and Manute in The Big Fat Kill
- Creepy Monotone: Though, this is mostly based on Clive Owen's performance.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Dwight is violently protective of women. Ava uses this against him in order to get rid of her husband Damien and get her hands on all his money.
- Expy: Of Mike Hammer, though he lacks some of Hammer's more deranged tendencies.
- Freudian Threat: Issues one against Jackie-Boy near the beginning of The Big Fat KillDwight: You ever so much as talk to Shellie again — you even think her name — and I'll cut you in ways that'll make you useless to a woman.
- Guns Akimbo: Dwight's weapons of choice are two 1911 pistols.
- Honor Before Reason: He'll always stick up for a woman in trouble, something which Ava takes advantage of by manipulating him into killing her husband.
- Magic Plastic Surgery: Unfortunately The Eyes Never Lie and Manute recognises him instantly.
- Nothing Up My Sleeve: Produces a revolver from up his sleeve after he's searched by Manute and his guns taken off him.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Despite having plastic surgery to change his face, he really doesn't look a whole lot different at the end of A Dame To Kill For, barring the longer hair. Manute sees through this, noting that he still has the eyes of a dead man. Later stories avert this by tweaking his appearance.
- Straw Nihilist: Has a very nihilistic view early on in the comics.
- Would Hit a Girl: Though Dwight is violently protective of women, he is not above hitting them, whether because they have royally pissed him off (such as Ava) or because he needs to snap them out of hysterics (such as Gail).
Portrayed by: Rosario Dawson
- Anti-Hero: She's crass, violent and sadistic.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Gail has this with Dwight. One minute they're madly in love, the other she's ready to blow his brains out if he does something stupid.
- Girl Bites Girl: She bites Becky in the neck for betraying Old Town to the mob.
- Sociopathic Hero: She clearly delights in violence
- Hellbent For Leather: Justified because she's a dominatrix.
- Lady of War: She leads the Old Town Girls against the Mob in The Big Fat Kill. Dwight compares her to a Valkyrie.
The Old Town Girls
- Anti-Heroines: Especially Gail, who is noticeably more crass and sadistic than the rest.
- Band of Brothels: These ladies are the law in Old Town. They have a deal with the police: The cops get free "services", and in return, they leave the girls alone to deal with the pimps and the mobs themselves.
- Batman Gambit: Goldie seduced Marv so that she would have someone to protect her... or at least avenge her death.
- Big Sister Instinct: Goldie has been murdered; Wendy is not pleased.
- Dark Action Girls: None of them are saints. And they do enjoy killing, which especially shows in their shooting against Manute and his lackies.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Anyone who thinks he can come to Old Town for the "services" and then stiff the girls for payment should consider hanging himself instead. The results are the same, but he'll suffer less.
Basin City Police
Portrayed by: Bruce Willis
- Anti-Hero: Type II with some treading into Type IV territory while killing Junior.
- Ate His Gun: How he dies. See Heroic Sacrifice for why.
- Badass and Child Duo: With Nancy when she's younger.
- Badass Grandpa: Being in his sixties with a heart condition, he can still put a world of hurt on guys half his age.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears a standard film noir-style trenchcoat which is pretty useful for concealing his Hand Cannon.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When he gets his hands on Rourke Jr, the results are... messy.
- Break Their Hearts To Save Them: He lets his loved ones believe Roark's lies about him raping Nancy, and at the end he lies to Nancy herself just to keep her safe.
- By-the-Book Cop: Is described as this by Liebowitz, being the only cop in the franchise that isn't on the take. Downplayed, though, as he'll still use underhanded tactics in a fight, such as knives and lead pipes.
- Celibate Hero: Despite spending years in prison, he turns down an offer of Rescue Sex from Nancy because he views her as a surrogate daughter.
- Cowboy Cop: Given how he shot Junior in the groin so he wouldn't commit any more rapes. The trope is even lampshaded when he's given a SAA Colt revolver by Nancy (who wears a cowgirl outfit on stage).
- Determinator: Wills himself back to life after being hung by the Yellow Bastard.
- Expy: Was specifically created because Frank Miller was disappointed with The Dead Pool and felt that That Yellow Bastard would have made a better final appearance for Harry.
- Face Death with Dignity: Although he is upset about it, Hartigan is pretty calm about his decision.
- Fallen Hero: Invoked. Roark has him take the fall for Junior's crimes, having him sent to prison for raping Nancy. Hartigan goes with it to protect her.
- Frameup: He's convicted of raping Nancy, even though he stopped Junior from doing it. He takes the hit, though, as he believes it'll save her life.
- Hand Cannon: His Weapon of Choice is a .44 Magnum and he later uses Nancy's revolver as well as an Auto-9.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Commits suicide so the Roarks can't go after Nancy.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Hartigan purposefully destroys his marriage for this reason.
- Nice Guy: And a rare genuine one in the Crapsack World too.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Hartigan is rewarded for saving a girl from the worst kind of scum by being framed for her rape by the scumbag's even worse father and spending eight long years in prison.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: In "Nancy's Last Dance", he remains in Basin City as a ghost. The mechanics are difficult to explain, but Nancy can see him, though she only halfway talks to him, and he serves as a critical distraction by appearing in Senator Roark's mirror to save Nancy's life and allow her to kill Roark.
- Taking the Heat: Goes to prison so that Nancy can live.
- X Marks the Hero: Has an x-shaped scar on his forehead. How he got it has yet to be explained, but Frank Miller has promised a Hartigan prequel someday.
Jack Rafferty (Jackie-Boy, Iron Jack)
Portrayed by: Benicio Del Toro
- The Alcoholic: According to Shelly.
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses a hand to Miho when he pulls a gun on Becky.
- Butt Monkey: Literally when his ass lands on a shuriken. Things just get worse from there, with his corpse subject to all matter of indignities.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He and Shelly only slept together once but he thinks he's her boyfriend and is royally pissed off when he suspects her of "cheating" on him.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Gets his hand chopped off by Miho, sits on her swastika shuriken, has his gun backfire into his skull, then gets turned into a human Pez dispenser by Miho.
- Dead Person Conversation: Between his corpse and Dwight, though Dwight knows he's imagining it all.
- Dirty Cop: Just one more in a town full of them.
- Domestic Abuser: In at least one instance he gave Shelly two black eyes, and he punches her again after he and his friends barge into her apartment.
- Fallen Hero: He was, apparently, at one point a hero cop who at some point was broken by Basin City and turned into the scumbag he is today. Frank Miller has stated he plans to do a comic detailing Jackie's fall at some point, though nothing has come of it.
- Guttural Growler: How Benicio del Toro voices him in the movie.
- In-Series Nickname: Dwight calls him "Jackie Boy." He also has the lesser used "Iron Jack" which was given to him by the papers after he did some heroic act as a cop.
- Jerkass: Acts like a scumbag to pretty much everyone except his sleazy drinking buddies. It costs him dearly.
- Major Injury Under Reaction: Gets his hand chopped off and all he does is mutter angrily the entire time.
- Never My Fault: Avoids taking the blame for anything he does. When Miho starts slaughtering he and his friends for threatening Becky's life, Jackie Boy is more confused than shocked.Jackie Boy: Outta nowhere... For no good reason...
- Plot-Triggering Death: His death by Miho in The Big Fat Kill threatens to destroy the truce between the girls of Oldtown and the cops.
- Would Hit a Girl: "I have never hit a woman in my life." Yeah right.
- Your Cheating Heart: Turns out Jackie has a wife.
Portrayed by: Jude Ciccollela
- Corrupt Cop: He's on Roark's payroll, even joining in on his poker games. He's also working for the Colonel. Looks down on Hartigan for being one of the few honest ones.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's prominently shown caring for his family, visiting his wounded son in the hospital and wishing his daughter goodnight later on.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's corrupt as hell, but the Colonel's slavery operation disgusts Liebowitz, even though he's learned to look the other way for the kickback money.
- Papa Wolf: Genuinely loves his family which helps spur him to turn against the Mob and kill one of their top agents.
- Pet the Dog: Warns Johnny to leave town after beating Senator Roark at poker.
- Precision F-Strike: "Make a missing person outta the fucker!" Regarding The Colonel. Notable because it's the only time fuck, of any variation, is used in the comics (with the possible exception of Nancy's Last Dance).
Portrayed by: N/A
- Compensating for Something: Acts overtly macho to compensate for having been a woman in the past.
- Eye Scream: Wallace's comrade stabs Manson in the eye with a knife during their last encounter.
- Meaningful Name: Named after Charles Manson. His partner, Bundy, was named after serial killer Ted Bundy.
- N-Word Privileges: When Wallace points out his psychological issues stemming from gender, Manson nearly shoots him in the balls (the only thing that stops him is Wallace's comrade coming to the rescue). When one of Manson's comrades does it, he calmly reminds them he's not a woman anymore.
- Transsexual: Hasn't been a woman for the last nine years.
Portrayed by: Christopher Meloni
- Above the Influence: At first. Ava sinks her claws into him relatively easily.
- Driven to Suicide: After he kills Bob, he realises what he's done and blows his own brains out in guilt.
- Not So Above It All: Mort falls head-over-heels for the destructive Ava while pursuing the investigation of the murderer of her husband. So much so, in fact, that Bob, the one who first got Mort to start pursuing women, wants more than anything to drag him from his destructive spiral before it is too late for him.
- Out-of-Character Alert: Knows that Hartigan is being framed and is willing to rally support to prove this.
- Tragic Hero: A cop who genuinely wanted to do the right thing and seemed like the Only Sane Man in what is otherwise a Wretched Hive of a city, who becomes just another notch in Ava's belt.
- Token Good Teammate: One of the few non-corrupt police officers in Basin City until Ava works her charms on him.
- Your Cheating Heart: Ava becomes the object of his obsession, and he begins having an affair with her.
- Boom Head Shot: Gets shot in the head Mort after calling Eva a whore one too many times.
- Cassandra Truth: Unlike Mort, Bob sees through Eva's act in A Dame to Kill For and becomes suspicious that she was the one to kill her husband. Mort refuses to believe him.
- Death by Irony: Gets killed by Mort after trying to get him to do the right thing. Quite similar to how Bob betrayed Hartigan.
- Dirty Cop: Downplayed, while he is on the Roark's payroll, the only crooked thing he's shown doing in the story is framing Hartigan. Outside of that he wasn't shown to be terribly evil.
- Moe Greene Special: Where Mort shoots him for calling Ava a whore.
Roark Family and Associates
Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark
Portrayed by: Rutger Hauer
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He seems to sincerely love Kevin and is distraught when Marv presents him with Kevin's head.
- Evil Mentor: Sometime in the past, Cardinal Roark was approached by Kevin, a cannibal who murdered and dined on Old Town's prostitutes, believing he was devouring their souls. Convinced that Kevin was being spoken to by God, Cardinal Roark assuaged the boy's pangs of guilt and stashed him at the Roark family farm.
- Expecting Someone Taller: When Marv finally meets him face-to-face, he says that Patrick is a lot smaller than he thought he'd be.
- Face Death with Dignity: Like Kevin, Cardinal Roark refuses to give Marv the satisfaction of seeing him show fear. Subverted in the end though, as Marv describes the way he screams and gurgles and cries as he dies as "beautiful" and extremely satisfying.
- Famous Last Words: "We're going home," kissing Kevin's severed head.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Joined Kevin in eating prostitutes to "consume their souls."
- In-Series Nickname: People like to refer to him as "Saint Patrick", but Marv says that the Pope hasn't made it official yet.
- Sinister Minister: He earned much acclaim for his service as a field medic and priest during a war. Marv mentions that Roark could have parlayed this praise into becoming President, but he instead became a Cardinal. However, the Cardinal's influence is what allowed his brother to be become a Senator. He also joins in on Kevin's crimes, consuming parts of his victims' corpses.
- Villain with Good Publicity: It's said he could've been president but chose to spend his life serving God instead. Even so, he's still influential and well-loved enough by the populace to get his brother elected senator.
- You Monster!: He calls Marv a monster after he shows him Kevin's head. Marv's blase reply is "At least I don't eat people."
Portrayed by: Powers Boothe
- Archnemesis Dad: To his illegitimate son Johnny, whom he refuses to acknowledge, brutalizes, and ultimately murders for crossing him.
- Avenging the Villain: Claims this is his goal in Nancy's Last Dance regarding Ethan. However, his behavior in The Long Bad Night and his general boredom over the entire affair makes this extremely suspect.
- Batter Up: The reason he can't produce more heirs is because he beat his previous wife to death with a bat.
- Diabolical Mastermind: While he only appears in a few scenes he is the main reason why Roark Junior (AKA The Yellow Bastard) hasn't been arrested.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In the second movie, A Dame to Kill For, at least, he proves that he truly does love Junior as more than just a means to obtain a legacy. He has pictures of Junior, in his "freak" form, around his home, and tries to kill Nancy to avenge him.
- Gonk: In the comics he is a hideous, fat, old man. In the movie he's by no means gorgeous but he looks quite a bit better being played by Powers Boothe.
- Heir Club for Men: He's obsessed with creating a legacy for himself through his son and descendants. The reason he's so vengeful towards Hartigan is because the old cop dashed his dreams of having Junior become President and nearly ended the Roark family line by shooting off Junior's genitals. These dreams permanently come to an end with his wife dead and Junior killed by Hartigan.
- I Want Grandkids: The only reason he helped his son get his genitals back. Hartigan kills Junior, and tears out his genitals in case he could survive before he could rape Nancy, thus ruining his chances of getting grandkids from her or anyone Junior would choose to keep.
- Karma Houdini: By the end of Hartigan's story. However, Hartigan notes that the Senator's plans for a legacy are dashed, and nobody left to fill his role in Sin City. And he'll be joining his brother and his son in Hell very soon. In the second movie, A Dame to Kill For, he's killed by Nancy at the end of "Nancy's Last Dance", a story penned by Miller.
- Mad Eye: In the comics, his left eye is drawn without a retina, and seems to be permanently wide open.
- Named by the Adaptation: The film version of A Dame to Kill For reveals his son's name to be Ethan. Since he's Roark Junior, it is undoubtedly his first name, too.
- Offing the Offspring: In the second film, he knowingly murders his bastard son, Johnny, after Johnny humiliates him twice at cards. He even makes a joke about it afterwards. This renders his heartbroken rant about Junior's death rather more insincere.
- Porn Stache: Wears one in the first film; it's shaven off by the second.
- Satanic Archetype: The second film plays him up as this, as opposed to Hartigan's Messianic Archetype.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: He was never even arrested for his wife's death even though (by his own admission) he left his fingerprints all over the scene.
- Sleazy Politician: The Senator is well-connected in Sin City and will likely stay in office for a long time, but his chances of becoming President are nil.
- Sore Loser: The sorest there is. Just ask Johnny ...oh wait, you can't.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: Beat his wife to death with a baseball bat. He gloats that his DNA and fingerprints were all over the crime scene, but with one of his brothers as the Attorney General, he was never arrested for it.
Ethan Roark "Jr." aka The Yellow Bastard
Portrayed by: Nick Stahl
- Arch-Enemy: To Hartigan, whom he's obsessed with wreaking revenge on.
- Asshole Victim: He sure deserved his fate at Hartigan's hands, having been an absolutely revolting excuse for a human being.
- Body Horror: Gets his ear and his balls blown off by Hartigan. The process to rebuild his body involves witchcraft, genetic engineering and god knows what else, leaving his body unable to process waste. As a result, he turns yellow and smells awful.
- Dirty Coward: If he isn't running away from a fight, he's sneaking around, planning to strike when Hartigan least expects it.
- Evil Smells Bad: Hartigan notes how he smells like rotting meat. He picks up on his presence purely by the stench, in fact.
- Groin Attack: Hartigan does this to him both times he fights him. The second time is a lot more graphic than the first.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: To Nancy, it's more to get back at Hartigan and to make up for not raping her years before, there's still shades of it though.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: According to Hartigan, he's a decent shot, but is in too much of a hurry.
- Loves To Hear Them Scream: In fact, it's deconstructed by Nancy. He's unable to rape her because he might be impotent without it, thus she refuses to do so when he starts whipping her.
- Named by the Adaptation: The second film names him, and presumably his father, as Ethan Roark.
- Nightmare Fetishist: "He likes to hear them scream."
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His death involves Hartigan literally stomping him to mush.
- Obviously Evil: His new form as the "yellow bastard" finally shows him as rotten and disgusting on the outside as he already was on the inside. In the second film, Roark even lampshades this.
- Red Right Hand: He's literally yellow.
- Serial Killer: Initially only three victims of his were found, with Nancy Callahan being the attempted fourth, but Junior admits that he's killed hundreds of little girls.
- Serial Rapist: Junior is a serial child rapist as well as a serial child murderer. When he gets his hands on Nancy eight years after his first attempt on her is thwarted by Hartigan, he states that Nancy is "too old for him".
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: His Senator daddy lets him get away with all of his crimes.
- Spoiled Brat: Hartigan calls him this many times and it seems to be true. He whines when he doesn't get his way and at one point, threatens a Mook that he will call his father if his Torture Cellar wasn't set up properly.
- Torture Technician: He uses torture to get girls to scream, as it could possibly be the only way he can get it up.
- Ungrateful Yellow Bastard: Even after his dad saved his life and recovered his "equipment" with expensive surgeries, he still doesn't think that much of him.
- Would Hurt a Child: His crimes consisted of nothing but raping and killing children.
Portrayed by: Elijah Wood
- Dodge the Bullet: Does this against Marv.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Is far more dangerous then Cardinal Roark in The Hard Goodbye
- Drop the Hammer: In his first fight with Marv, he knocks him out with a sledgehammer. He doesn't have it the next time, and Marv manages to last longer.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Word of God is Kevin hates Roark Jr. and thinks he's an abomination. He briefly appears in the story and apparently ignores Hartigan as he goes to finish off Roark Jr. Any disgust from Kevin is not really apparent from the panels themselves, however. When a cannibal finds a rapist repulsive, you know something's all kinds of wrong in this series.
- Evil Counterpart: Word of God is that he's this to Miho.
- Face Death with Dignity: Marv cuts off his arms and legs and ties them off. He lets him bleed a little to bring over his wolf, who begins eating him. But Kevin never screams. He just stares at Marv. Even when Marv finishes him off by sawing off his head, he never screams.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A picture from the film provides the page image.
- Fragile Speedster: He's quick and dishes out a lot of punishment against Marv but ends up being KOed by a single blow. Then again, it is Marv we're talking about.
- Holy Hitman: Kevin is very devout (overlooking or ignoring that his habits are in direct opposition to the Sixth Commandment; "You shall not murder"), in his insanity he believes his murderous tendencies are instructions from God. The Roarks use him as an assassin from time-to-time.
- Primal Stance: It comes off clearer in the film, but he moves like an animal, often in a crouch.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: His glasses are often drawn or shot to hide his eyes.
- Slasher Smile: The only expression he ever makes.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Though he is never heard speaking, Cardinal Roark describes his voice as "that of an angel". Then again, Cardinal Roark may be insane, so this is questionable.
- Special Person, Normal Name: He's a cannibalistic serial killer who never makes a sound, even when being tortured to death. He's so dangerous that he could take out Marv without getting a scratch. He might even literally be a demon. You can call him Kevin.
- Stealth Expert: He can move without making a sound, and Marv is shocked that he was able to sneak up on him.
- The Voiceless: It is mentioned that he had a beautiful voice but he only spoke to Cardinal Roark. We never see or hear him speak in either the comic or movie, even in his final moments. Considering that Roark clearly had a few screws loose, it's entirely possible that the beautiful voice was only in his head.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else: One of the most memorable things about him is just how average he looks, despite being a deadly killer. Moreso with Elijah Wood in the film.
- Wolverine Claws: Kevin's nails are sharpened in order to act as deadly claws.
Douglas Klump & Burt Shlubb AKA Fatman and Little Boy
Portrayed by: Rick Gomez & Nick Offerman
- Butt Monkeys: They're usually on the receiving end of humiliation from the protagonist of the story they appear in. Hartigan beats them silly twice, Dwight kneecaps them and they get blown up by a bomb wrapped in carpet.
- Delusions of Eloquence: The original trope namers
- Made of Iron: They survive a direct explosion with only Clothing Damage.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: They give Dwight a run for his money in "The Babe Wore Red". Notably, neither of them speaks a word throughout the story.
- Professional Killers: Of the extremely low rent variety.
- The Stool Pigeon: More than happy to drop the dime on anyone to rise in the criminal hierarchy or for a quick buck.
Basin City Mob
Herr Wallenquist (aka Mob Boss Wallenquist)
Portrayed by: Stacy Keach
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: 'Wallenquist' is a Swedish surname. He's supposed to be German.
- Expy: Given his tendency to wear single-color suits (usually white), his immense size, and his baldness, it's possible that he's basically a German version of Daredevil villain Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin. It's notable that Frank Miller did some of his better known early work in comics on Daredevil.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Often drawn this way.
- Germanic Depressives: He is very humorless and work-oriented.
- The Ghost: In many stories (the exception being A Dame to Kill For and To Hell And Back), he is mentioned and you can even see his plans coming to fruition but he never pops in. In fact, he never comes face-to-face with any of the heroes in Sin City, luckily enough.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He's almost always seen with a cigar.
- Gratuitous German: Averted. His English seems perfect. It's likely that he's been in the US for a long time.
- It's Personal: Also averted. Even when Wallace screws him over and takes out one of his organizations, he refuses to take revenge since it isn't financially viable.
- Karma Houdini: Implied to be averted. Wallace reduces his "human resources" operation to shambles, killing many of his best agents except the Colonel, who's killed by Liebowitz. Also, in Family Values, Dwight and the girls of Old Town frame his organisation for killing the Magliozzi mob family, which Dwight says will provoke a mob war between the crime syndicates.
- Large And In Charge: He's very physically imposing and the most powerful gangster in the series.
- Money Tropes: Hard to say just how many of these he fits, but he's a chilling villain who puts the "organized" in Sin City's organized crime, without ever even being threatened by any of the heroes, and he doesn't care about anything but making a profit.
- Named by the Adaptation: His first name is revealed in the film adaptation of "A Dame to Kill For" to be Alarich.
- Nazi Hunter: If the fan theory about him is true. See WMG for more details.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: He is probably the only male that does not give in to Ava Lord's advances.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He normally doesn't have an issue with murder but if there's no profit to it, why bother?
- Scary Shiny Glasses: His pupils are never seen. Unless he is the second character in "Rats", as some fans speculate.
The Colonel / The Salesman
Portrayed by: Josh Hartnett
- Age Lift: Inverted with Josh Hartnett's portrayal
- The Dragon: To Wallenquist.
- Face on a Milk Carton: His fate at the end of Hell and Back.
- Insistent Terminology: Refers to a group of female athletes as "merchandise" , tipping off Dirty Cop Liebowitz that he's in over his head.
- Lack of Empathy:
- No Name Given: Only known by his nickname
- Professional Killer: And he's so good at it he becomes a mentor to other killers
- Shame If Something Happened: How he threatens Liebowitz's son. Liebowitz doesn't take it well, eventually killing the Colonel.
Delia aka Blue Eyes
Portrayed by: N/A
- Dirty Coward: Despite her dream job being to kill people, when she's held at gunpoint by Wallace she begs him not to kill her. Doesn't work.
- The Dragon: Seems to serve as this to the Colonel.
- In Love with the Mark: Inverted. Her initiation to become an assassin involves killing the only man she's ever loved. She does so willingly. Afterwards, if she likes a target she tends to seduce them before killing them.
- Professional Killer: Her dream job was to be an assassin.
- Recurring Character: She's a recurring villain, but it's most likely because she's only prominent in comics where she doesn't cross a crusading hero. When she finally does, she gets killed by him.
- The Vamp: She frequently seduces men and sleeps with the targets she "likes."
- What Beautiful Eyes: Her most notable feature, which caused her ex-boyfriend, Jim, to nickname her Blue Eyes. She adopts this as her codename after she passes her initiation.
Portrayed by: Eva Green
- Big Bad: Of A Dame to Kill For.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She pretends to be the helpless victim to get men to do what she wants.
- Card-Carrying Villain: She openly brags about being pure evil, saying that society throws around the word madness in an attempt to justify evil people's actions rather than admitting evil people do exist.
- Distressed Damsel: Pleads with Dwight to save her from her abusive husband. Very subverted.
- Femme Fatale: In a series full of these, she stands out above the rest. She's sexy, she knows it, she knows how to use it, and racks up a body count - both directly and indirectly - that would give most of the women of Lowtown pause.
- Manipulative Bitch: Hoo boy. She tricks McCarthy into killing her husband by pretending to be a Damsel in Distress. She's manipulative to a seemingly supernatural degree given that she's capable of turning most men to putty in her hands.
- Ms. Fanservice: Probably spends more time undressed than clothed, especially as she's fond of skinnydipping. She uses her looks to manipulate any man to do her bidding.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Despite being the main villain in A Dame to Kill For, she mostly manipulates other people to do the dirty work for her. The closest she gets to being a physical threat in her own right is when she shoots Dwight right after revealing her duplicity.
- Sirens Are Mermaids: Ava spends a large time of her time swimming or bathing, Dwight once jokingly referred to her as a mermaid, and she shares the ability to manipulate any man to go their unwitting deaths.
- The Sociopath: She's manipulative, lies effortlessly, is incapable of empathy, and openly identifies as pure evil.
- The Vamp: See Femme Fatale above. She sleeps with Dwight, convinces him to kill her husband, and then shoots him and causes him to fall out of a window. In a series full of deadly women, she stands out as quite possibly the best example of this.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pulls one on Dwight to convince him to kill her husband. Tries it again to convince Dwight that Manute was the one forcing her to act evil. Doesn't work so well the second time.
Portrayed by: Michael Clarke Duncan, Dennis Haysbert
- Arch-Nemesis: He and Dwight butt heads many times.
- Badass: Not only is he one of the few badguys that lives through more than one story, but he is the only one to survive confrontations with Miho, Marv, and Wallace. In fact, surviving a confrontation with just one of these people is badass enough, to say nothing of all three of them.
- Battle Butler: He could also be considered a Badass Driver since he's a chauffeur, but he rarely drives.
- Cultured Badass: He seems to be highly educated and looks down on the "dregs of Sin City."
- Creepy Monotone: His film version, although the comic version is likely to have the same kind of voice.
- The Determinator: This is why he is one of the few recurring villains in Sin City.
- The Dragon: He serves Ava Lord or Wallenquist, depending on when the story takes place.
- Dragon-in-Chief: He has worked for an overweight crime boss and a Femme Fatale. Yeah, he's much more physically dangerous than his bosses.
- Evil Counterpart: One could easily make the argument that he is Marv's opposite number. In fact, Dwight brings Marv along specifically to deal with him.
- Faux Affably Evil: While he acts polite and complimentary, it's clear Manute's pretty much devoid of any redeemable qualities.
- Glass Eye: Has a fake gold eye as a the result of Marv ripping out the original eye during A Dame to Kill For.
- The Heavy: In The Big Fat Kill, while he is under orders from Wallenquist, he is the dominant bad guy in the story. Also, as big as he is, he's probably pretty heavy as well.
- I Lied: He apparently told Becky that he would let her live. He lied.
- Iron Butt Monkey: He gives Dwight a good beating in his first appearance in A Dame to Kill For before quickly becoming something of a punching bag in the Sin City universe.
- When Marv was brought in
- Nice Hat: When working as a butler and chauffeur for Ava, he wears a chauffeur hat as part of his uniform. When Dwight brings Marv along to take him on, Marv steals it and wears it during the getaway.
- No Kill Like Overkill: When Manute finally goes down in The Big Fat Kill, it's under a positively withering hail of bullets courtesy of the girls of Old Town. A Deleted Scene from the first film has Miho slice him in half.
- Recurring Character: Again, one of the few bad guys who keeps showing up. Even after he dies, thanks to the non-linear timeline.
- Scary Black Man: There's a reason Dwight had to call in Marv to help take this guy down. After Dwight had his face rearranged by this guy, he knew he couldn't take this guy alone.
- Worf Effect: As badass as he is, he is sometimes a measuring stick to show how badass other heroes are.