YMMV: Mike Hammer

  • Angst? What Angst?: In one novel Velda shoots a thug In the Back to stop him from killing Hammer. Afterwards instead of crying she starts laughing, and Hammer tells her she's right to do so, as there's "no shame to killing an evil thing."
  • Canon Sue: So much so that Spillane actually played Hammer in a 1963 film adaptation of The Girl Hunters.
  • Critical Dissonance: Critics hated the books back in the day, and to a large extent they still do, but there's no denying their popularity.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Harlem Nocturne" by Earle Hagen, the theme song of the 1980's TV series.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The hideous sounds in Kiss Me Deadly when the suitcase is opened.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Spillane was bitterly amused—at best—about the movie version of Kiss Me Deadly, for the changes it made both to the story (changing it from a Mafia-oriented yarn to one about a nuclear powder keg) and to Hammer himself (making him into a "divorce dick" who routinely pulls scams on both sides of the case).
  • Values Dissonance: Hammer hates commies, queers and marijuana dealers with equal passion. When the character was watered down for the Stacy Keach series, his old fashioned values were often played for laughs; e.g. Hammer's love for cigarettes at odds with the growing social disdain for smoking.