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Characters: Sin City
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    Independent Heroes 


  • 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.
  • 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."
    Marv: That's a damn fine coat you got there.
  • 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.
  • 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. "
  • 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.
  • 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: Almost crosses into Noble Demon territory. He's actually a pretty sweet-natured guy when he's not committing grievous bodily harm.
  • 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.
  • 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 hooker 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.
  • 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".
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Mentioned that he 'fought in a war', implied to be Vietnam, and shows an exaggeration of PSTD symptoms.
  • Sociopathic Hero: The biggest one in the entire series. He loves to get into fights and gruesomely torture people to death, although this is only directed towards villains. He actually detests hurting innocents.
  • 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.
  • 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).


  • 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.
  • 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 GenreSavvy 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.
  • 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.

Nancy Callahan

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wife Husbandry: Averted; she loves Hartigan because he saved her when she was a kid, but he refuses to take advantage of this.

    Old Town 


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: In her later appearances, Miho is always drawn as just an outline, with no shading whatsoever.
  • 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: She does things that make even the more hardened of the girls of Old Town go "Yeesh!"
  • 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.

Dwight McCarthy

  • 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. He once ventured into Type IV territory when he considered shooting a cop even though he wasn't sure 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.
  • Batman Gambit: His plans often include a lot of manipulation but go off without a hitch.
  • 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 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 Kill
    Dwight: 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.
  • 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).

The Old Town Girls

  • 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.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Goldie has been murdered; Wendy is not pleased.
  • The Leader: Twin sisters Goldie and Wendy both share the position.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Wendy does this to Marv during his interrogation, and gets lectured on proper techniques by Marv.

    Basin City Police 

John Hartigan

  • 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.
  • 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.

Jack Rafferty (Jackie-Boy, Iron Jack)

  • The Alcoholic: According to Shelly.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Definitely a bastard, but he's only a boyfriend to Shelly in his own mind.
  • 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.
  • 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 an utter 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.


  • 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 Leibowitz, 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
  • Precision F-Strike: "Make a missing person outta the fucker!" Regarding The Colonel. Notable because it's the only time fuck, or any version, is used in the comics is used in the comics.


  • Compensating for Something: Acts overtly macho (see *) 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.


  • 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.
  • Token Good Teammate: One of the few non-corrupt police officers in Basin City until Ava works her charms on him.

    Roark Family and Associates 

Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark

  • 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Like Kevin, Cardinal Roark refuses to give Marv the satisfaction of seeing him show fear.
  • 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."
  • 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.

Senator Roark

  • 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.
  • 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 Booth.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: Beat his wife to death with a baseball bat.

Roark Jr. aka The Yellow Bastard

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Loves To Hear Them Scream: In fact, it's deconstructed by Nancy. He's unable to rape her because he's impotent without it, thus she refuses to do so when he starts whipping her.
  • 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.
  • 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," which says very disturbing things about him indeed.
  • 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.
  • 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 thing but raping and killing children.


  • 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, having rationalized his murderous tendencies as instructions from God. The Roarks use him as an assassin from time to time.
  • 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.
  • Wolverine Claws: Kevin's nails are sharpened in order to act as deadly claws.

Douglas Klump & Burt Shlubb AKA Fatman and Little Boy

    Basin City Mob 

Herr Wallenquist (aka Mob Boss Wallenquist)

  • 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 Millar 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.
  • Genre Savvy: It's possible that this is the reason he's such an effective mob boss. Ava Lord is an obvious Femme Fatale, and while her seemingly supernatural ability to attract and manipulate men works on seemingly everyone, he simply tells her right away that "her charms didn't interest him". Furthermore, after Wallace deals a heavy blow to his operations, he simply tells his lieutenants that it would be too costly to go after the obvious heroic protagonist One-Man Army.
  • The Ghost: In many stories, 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 Liboweitz. 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.
  • 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?

The Colonel

Delia aka Blue Eyes

  • 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.

    Independent Villains 

Ava Lord

  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Recurring Character: Again, one of the few bad guys who keeps showing up. Even after he dies, thanks to the non-linear timeline.
  • Worf Effect: As badass as he is, he is sometimes a measuring stick to show how badass other heroes are.

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