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Independent Heroes

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.
  • AM/FM Characterization: He loves Country Music, his favourite country singer being Merle Haggard. He even talks about him while driving an injured Dwight to the hospital.
    Kadie's is my kind of joint. Country and I don't mean that touchy-feely "You put me on a natural high" garbage they're passing off as country these days. No, at Kadie's it's the old stuff. It's Conway and Tammy and Merle, from back before they went all squishy. Songs to drink to and cry to.
  • Animal Lover: 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.
  • Anti-Hero: Of the Unscrupulous Hero variety. He generally doesn't start trouble with people who don't deserve it, and has shown selfless heroism on at least one occasion.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kevin, a Serial Killer who murdered a hooker he loved.
  • Badass Driver: Not shown much, but Marv has shown himself to be quite dangerous whether in cars or motorcycles
  • Badass Longcoat: His main attire, which he often steals from random people who tried to mess with him. He's got a real eye for particularly high-quality ones, too, even if he doesn't know brand names. Frank Miller has referred to him as "Conan in a trenchcoat."
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: What drives his motivation. 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 (though the punk also pulled a gun on Marv).
    • If you ever decide to beat up Dwight in a fistfight, don't let Marv find out. Just ask Manute.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Marv is actually a very friendly guy when he's not dishing out bodily harm to bad guys, and it takes a lot to really get him worked up, but if you do then get the heck out.
  • Blood Knight: Marv loves a good fight and will happily face down multiple armed opponents with nothing but his own fists.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He's jolly, jovial, loves combat and is a pretty bombastic guy when he's drinking.
  • Book Dumb: He's not very well educated, and his condition keeps him from being able to think clearly most of the time, to boot. However, he has good senses and instincts, and anything he really needs to know he can just beat out of someone.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Dwight says this word-for-word 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. "
  • Breakout Character: Marv proved popular enough in the very first story that the series switched to being told in Anachronic Order so that he could reappear after getting killed off.
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: As Dwight puts it, Marv would be right at home swinging an axe into somebody's face. And true enough, he later on grabs a hatchet and begins to go to town on a bunch of dirty SWAT men.
    SWAT Officer: Captain! The target, there's no sign of him!
    Marv: Here's a sign!
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: When he needs to know something, he asks. Sometimes he asks pretty hard.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Marv doesn't have much interest in a fair fight and favors incapacitating blows and dirty moves to come out on top as well as using whatever weapons he can.
  • Creepy Monotone: He often speaks in a soft, plain-spoken, calm, almost nonchalant demeanor, showing no sign of hesitation or fear, even while committing gruesome killings.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Lucille's girlfriend Claire. "She tried to analyze me once, but got too scared."
  • Deadpan Snarker: He usually gives dry comments while violently beating up people.
  • Defiant to the End: Even during his execution, Marv manages to taunt his executioners.
  • Determinator: Once he gets set on a goal, literally nothing will stop him. Goes hand in hand with him being Made of Iron.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Marv is not really that bad a person but he can go to Anti-Hero territory. There's no doubt though, that there is no person he loves more than his mom. 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. He also tries to avoid harming the dog Kevin owns, and absolutely refuses to kill it since he knows it's only following its instincts.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He doesn't show any fear when being strapped to the electric chair, telling them to get a move on and even laughing when the first round doesn't kill him.
  • Face of a Thug: Downplayed. He legitimately can be as violent and thuggish as he looks, but if you're not actively antagonizing him or someone he likes, he's a pretty decent guy overall.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "Could you get a move on? I haven't got all day."
  • Frame-Up: 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.
  • Friend to All Children: Despite his brutal, thuggish lifestyle, Marv has a soft spot for kids, and one later story has him going out of his way to save a lost, scared little girl and help her get back to her parents.
  • Genius Bruiser: He is seen by others and thinks of himself as just a mindless brute but Marv can be exceptionally crafty and a skilled detective, able to uncover what Cardinal Roark was doing almost single handedly.
  • Gentle Giant: When not on the job.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Marv has a Springfield 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.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: For a given definition of "hero" but he is made to take the fall for all the girls Kevin and Cardinal Roark killed as well as his own victims and even Lucille, the last of which is the only one he seems upset by given how much he cared for her.
  • 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 meaninglessness of his life.
    • Marv also has a very low opinion of his own intelligence, but consistently shows that he can figure out perplexing situations very quickly and is also extremely good at thinking on his feet and making complex plans.
  • Honor Before Reason: Will willingly and, he thinks, literally, go to Hell to repay any and all kindness given to him.
  • Horrifying Hero: Or anti-hero. Marv is a somewhat insane bruiser, easily over seven feet tall, with craggy features. He also fights in a particularly brutal fashion and revels in violence. But said violence is always directed at people worse than 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.
  • Informed Flaw: He's convinced himself that he doesn't have a particularly high intellect, but he shows a surprising amount of intelligence when needed, noticeably an ability to logically deduce confusing and complex events quite accurately, sometimes based on scarce or conflicting information, and his skills in combat also imply a degree of intelligence from a tactical viewpoint.
    • His "condition" and "confusion" are mentioned several times, and he even notices how he has gone days without medicines. It doesn't have any particular effect on him, except calling Wendy "Goldie", which might actually just be a simple Freudian Slip, particularly when you consider how obsessed Marv is with Goldie.
    • He broods a lot over his appearance, considering himself unlovable and seeing it as something not even a prostitute would accept, which is why he considers Goldie a miracle. We see several women, prostitutes included, who don't appear to have a problem with his face. Egregious in the movie, when no one he faces, regardless of gender and whether or not they knew it before, is disturbed by his appearance, and it only gets one mean comment from a random guy. Considering how gritty and politically incorrect Sin City is otherwise, it stands out.
  • 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 against 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 to richly-deserving parties.
  • 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 possesses an abnormal amount of physical strength and endurance, having survived several gunshot wounds, lacerations, being hit by moving vehicles, and two jolts in the electric chair.
  • Manchild: While a brutal, tough old side of beef, Marv has some fairly childlike and simple views on the world and the people around him; in many ways, his brutality is just the manifestation of an overgrown Bully Hunter dealing with a whole-nother class of bully, and putting a child's imagination to gruesome ends. Most notably, his mom never changed the decor in his old room — there's a model airplane hanging from the ceiling, pennants on the walls, and a child's bed that looks comically undersized for his giant frame — and he cries whenever he sleeps in it because it smells like home to him.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He is violent but also determined and overall a pretty Nice Guy.
  • Never Gets Drunk: His beverage of choice is beer, and he's such a brick shithouse it has almost no effect. When he visits Nancy's apartment she lets him down a whole six-pack she had in her fridge and he's the same as he always is.
  • 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.
  • No Social Skills: Dwight notes that Marv's unable to understand how people are able to behave around each other—then corrects himself to say that it's more like Dwight is a person born in the wrong time, and that he belongs in an era where (paraphrasing) his skills and attitude as natural born predator would be welcome among humanity.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He fights off Kevin, who's younger than him.
  • One-Man Army: He's capable of taking on squads of heavily armed cops with only his "mitts".
  • Papa Wolf: He's like this to the girls at Kadie's Bar, especially Nancy. Granted, it's due to his enormous chivalry, but given his age and the ages of most of the dancers, he qualifies. He mentions one moment when a frat boy roughed up Nancy, which hit his Berserk Button about hitting women in general, and he "straightened him out but good," mentioning that he maybe went a little too far (implying that the other guy didn't survive). There's also the short yarn "Silent Night," where Marv hears about a mother asking after her missing daughter, then hunts down and kills her abductors (who had been planning to sell the poor girl for sex) and cradles the terrified child in his arms in a rare tender moment before taking her home.
  • 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." But he also loves doing it, to the point that Kevin's complete non-reaction to the brutal fate Marv subjects him to frustrates him enormously.
    "I love hitmen. No matter what you do to them you don't feel bad."
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: He sometimes uses slurs such as "faggot", "dyke" or "jap". The film took out most of the offending dialogue. He's pretty disgusted with Lucille being a lesbian, even suggesting she undergo conversion therapy. Her response shut him up about it.
  • Protectorate: While he was alive, Nancy was this for him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dwight notes that his eyes turn red when he's in the mood for carnage.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In the context of psyching himself up, the more he thinks about the idea of killing Cardinal Roark (practically a living saint in the eyes of the public) for the sake of a prostitute Roark had killed, the more awesome he thinks it sounds.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Goldie is killed, he goes to war with the Roarks.
  • Sex as a Rite-of-Passage: Kind of. Marv didn't just have a great time with Goldie, he also lost his v-card, something he regards an irreplaceable experience he would never have known otherwise, due to women (even prostitutes) being scared off by his looks. As such, her death is worth a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, even if it eventually kills him as he suspects it will.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Mentioned that he 'fought in a war', implied to be Vietnam, and shows an exaggeration of PTSD 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").
  • Spider-Sense: Marv gets a cold feeling in his stomach when he's around the presence of imminent or past death, even if said death isn't apparent. It does save his life a couple of times. (e.g. When the cops are coming for him at the start of the story and when Kevin was about to attack from behind).
  • 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. This is why he's shocked when Kevin is able to get the drop on him.
  • Super-Strength: In the film at least, he's able to rip the bars out from the basement cell he's been locked in.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When stocking up at a hardware store for his second attack on Kevin, an employee asks if he and Wendy are improving their home security. Marv's reply differs between media. In the film, he replies "You bet your ass." in a boastful, genuine tone, in the comic he just firmly tells the guy he ought to mind his own business.
  • Together in Death: Implied with Goldie.
  • Torture Technician: He has a well-developed skill and a strong appetite for torture. He never blinks, nor seems to think twice about inflicting the slowest, most creatively painful death he can possibly implement on his worst enemies.
  • 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 possibility that he's hallucinating most of the unsavory stuff shown, and might just be an insane murderer, later yarns do indicate that the events in The Hard Goodbye are likely very real.
  • The Vietnam Vet: He joined the army and went to an unnamed war (heavily implied to be Vietnam) where he probably developed his scars. He also would later suffer from a 'condition' (that might have been Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • Wife-Basher Basher: And hunts them down like animals too.
  • Working-Class Hero: He was born in The Projects and had a rough childhood.
  • 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.
  • Wrong-Name Outburst: Because her twin sister made such an impression on him, and because of his "condition," Marv keeps accidentally calling Wendy "Goldie" throughout The Hard Goodbye. She actually minds least when this happens while she's paying him a conjugal visit before the end of his life, since by that point, he's avenged her sister and saved many of her fellow prostitutes.

Portrayed by: N/A

  • Badass Boast: Trades them with Manute
    Manute: You're a quick little thing. I should have brought a fly swatter
    Wallace: You should've brought an army
  • Badass Longcoat: He's shown several times wearing a long coat, and he has every right to wear it.
  • Badass Pacifist: He lives a life of relative peace and solitude against the backdrop of crime-ridden Basin City. That said, he's one of the deadliest people in the series.
  • 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.
  • Celibate Hero: Unlike the other heroes, he shows zero interest in sex, being completely immune to Delia's seduction attempts. He even quits his job as an artist because he refuses to draw a nude woman.
  • Cop Hater: He strongly dislikes the police, going so far as to compare them to the KGB. Given that they harass and beat him up when they mistake him for a drug addict, it's hard to blame him.
  • Deranged Animation: Issue #7 has Wallace travelling, fighting, and talking with his friend high on tranquilizers. Every panel has The Captain appearing as something different, from monsters to Moses to pretty girls.
    The Captain: And one more thing. I know you're a bit off, but please could you stop checking out my butt?
    Wallace: Yes, sir sorry sir.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He shoots a 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.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's fast enough to give Manute the runaround.
  • 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, which also puts a damper in the plans of the villains since if they just kill him it will simply bring down more heat on them.
  • Rugged Scar: Little is known about his past in the military, but he keeps scars from this part of his life.
  • 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.
  • War Hero: He's a decommissioned Navy SEAL who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He does not share Marv's aversion to hurting women, as shown by his lethal actions toward female opponents.

    Nancy Callahan
Portrayed by: Jessica Alba (adult), Makenzie Vega (11 years old)

  • Adaptational Modesty: Despite being a stripper, she doesn't dance with bare breasts and vulva as she does in the graphic novel, at the request of Jessica Alba.
  • The Alcoholic: She becomes one after Hartigan's suicide.
  • Arch-Enemy: In the films, she has Senator Roark, who ruined her hero John Hartigan's life and drove him to suicide.
  • Automatic Crossbow: In Nancy's Last Dance, She loots one of these off of her first kill and does quite well with it during her and Marv's raid on Roark's home. She finishes the good senator off with Hartigan's gun, though.
  • Badass and Child Duo: She's the child, Hartigan is the Badass. Though not a child anymore...
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Both in the sense of "body" and "soul". In Nancy's Last Dance, she puts herself through all kinds of degradation—drinking on stage, driving herself mad with rage and grief, cutting (and apparently dyeing) her hair, and cutting her own face to motivate Marv. Frankly, her last line in the film seems to imply she may not be able to return to her normal life... However, Marv's presence emphasizes that this takes place before The Hard Goodbye—in which we see her back on stage, fully restored to her former glory.
  • Blithe Spirit: She acts as this, not only to Marv and Hartigan, but to the series as a whole.
  • Break the Cutie: Averted. She refuses to scream for Junior. Played straight with Hartigan's suicide. She becomes an alcoholic, for example.
  • Broken Bird: In Nancy's Last Dance, she's still working at Kadie's, having been in a deep depression since Hartigan's death, obsessed with getting revenge on Senator Roark and is drinking heavily.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Lampshaded by her in Nancy's Last Dance, after she cuts her own face and pretends Senator Roark did it, so Marv will join her on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Facial Horror: In the film version of A Dame to Kill For, Nancy's insanity drives her to start cutting her own face and stitching it back up.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: When Junior takes her to his Torture Cellar, planning to torment her before he rapes her, he puts her in some revealing nightwear first.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: It's hard to tell because the comics are largely black and white, but she's canonically blonde and is always depicted as such in colorized versions. Nancy is a young woman working herself through law school by working as a topless exotic dancer off hours, and is probably the kindest and most innocent character in the comics (invokedWord of God calls her "an angel" living in a Wretched Hive). She's acquainted with a lot of the major characters, who protect her from abusive or downright evil men out to hurt her.
  • Hearing Voices: In Nancy's Last Dance She can hear Detective Hartigan's voice, and it's unclear at first if he's actually haunting her literally as well as figuratively until Roark sees him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: She practices at the range just before work every night, and can shoot a bottle out of a man's hand.
  • Important Haircut: When she finally resolves to make a plan and kill Roark, she furiously cuts away at her hair, making a hackjob of it. She evens it out and dyes it a bit later.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Her last name is a reference to "Dirty" Harry Callahan, the Cowboy Cop that her savior Hartigan is based on.
  • 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. Although in "Nancy's Last Dance", she drops this as her life goes to hell.
  • 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, as well as having come to see her as a something of surrogate daughter during his time in prison. He turns down her offer, but has to take a cold shower afterward.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Hartigan commits suicide to prevent Roark from going after her, she takes several levels of asskicking before assaulting Roark's mansion and killing everyone inside.
  • She Is All Grown Up:
    Hartigan: Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up. She filled out.
  • 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.
  • Take Up My Sword: After Hartigan's death, in Nancy's Last Dance she somehow manages to get her hands on his old revolver and trains with it daily. She eventually uses it to kill Senator Roark.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of all the characters, she is perhaps the only one who can be considered straight up good.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Nancy's Last Dance, she takes up Hartigan's handgun, cuts her hair, intentionally scars her face to convince Marv that Roark was responsible, and they eventually manage to kill Senator Roark and every single person in his mansion in revenge for Hartigan's death.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: She's presented as this, even in a setting where nearly every woman is a Ms. Fanservice. Entire crowds fall silent while watching her perform, and Hartigan is absolutely stunned when he realizes that the grown-up Nancy is the same little girl he saved all those years ago.

Portrayed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • Anti-Hero: He is a Guile Hero and overall has a cocky personality.
  • 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 Marcie has nothing to do 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.
  • Cruel Mercy: Roark spares his life after he beats him at cards, but leaves him ruined, penniless, friendless and forgotten, with implicit intention of making sure he stays that way for the rest of his life. The second time, Roark just personally executes him.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Senator Roark cuts Marcie'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.
  • Fingore: Roark has the fingers of his right hand badly broken, and the back-alley doc he gets to fix them doesn't use anesthesia.
  • The Gambler: He has an uncanny affinity with slot machines, as seen when taking a look at each slot machine at Kadie's before playing with one, resulting to winning. He has a similar affinity in handling cards, being able to shuffle a deck with a single hand, and always winning.
  • Guile Hero: He bluffs Senator Roark into going all in by tricking him into thinking that he doesn't have the winning hand. It works twice.
  • Heroic Bastard: He is actually Senator Roark's bastard son.
  • Heroic BSoD: After Marcie 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 Marcie.
  • It's All My Fault: Blames himself for Marcie's death.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Receives one from Senator Roark's men. And gives one to them too.
  • Oh, Crap!: He's shuffling down the street, thinking about how there's nothing else Roark can take, but then he remembers Marcie...
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There's another main character named Johnny in the comics. And John Hartigan and "Iron Jack" (John) Rafferty.
  • The Power of Legacy: Johnny tells Senator Roark that by beating Roark at cards twice, he's made a story that will spread like wildfire and outlive anyone at the table, no matter what happens to him. Roark shoots him in the head, adding a reminder to the story of what happens when people cross him.
  • 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.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: According to Senator Roark, this is how he knew Johnny was one of his kids. He also says Johnny favors his mother.

    Dwight McCarthy
"Do I take this cop down and risk it all?"
"Never let the monster out. Not for one second."
Portrayed by: Clive Owen, Josh Brolin

  • Accidental Murder: Dwight, after hearing many horrific stories about how Damien Lord is abusing his wife Ava (Dwight's old flame) breaks into the Lord mansion to confront Damien and tell him Ava will be his prisoner no longer. Damen is startled, but tells Dwight that Ava's pathological, which Dwight refuses to hear. Then, Damien reaches for his desk drawer (over Dwight's warnings), pulls a gun and shoots, barely grazing Dwight. Dwight's always-simmering temper boils over and he proceeds to beat Damien to death—just like Ava was planning for him to do.
  • Adaptational Modesty: In The Big Fat Kill, he's naked in Shellie's apartment. In the film, he's wearing slacks.
  • Always Save the Girl: As Gail notes, sex makes him stupid, although less directly, he's a sucker for pretty faces.
    • In the opening of A Dame to Kill For, he's on the roof of a building taking pictures of a prostitute and her john for the client's wife. When the john pulls out a shotgun to kill her so his wife can't get his money in a divorce, Dwight sighs ("Oh, my aching back...") in weary resignation, busts through the skylight directly onto the guy and knocks him out.
    • 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.
  • The Alcoholic: In his youth he was a bad one, and with his Hot-Blooded nature and Thrill Seeker ways he ended up causing a lot of trouble. He's more measured now.
  • Anti-Hero: Type III with a few Nominal Hero tendencies in general. He can get invokedsquicked out by the actions of both Marv and Miho.
    • In The Big Fat Kill. he came 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 tries to do what's right.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ava Lord, his ex who tries to manipulate him into killing her husband.
  • 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.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Dwight has this with Gail. One minute they're madly in love, the other she's ready to blow his brains out if he does something stupid.
  • Berserk Button: His calm demeanor breaks with confronted with misogyny and homophobia.
  • 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.
  • Character Development: Although he tried to change his life before by giving up on alcohol and thoroughly denying his thrill-seeking side, as Dwight recovers from Ava Lord's betrayal he develops more of a sense of moderation and becomes better at controlling his temper.
  • The Chessmaster: Demonstrated in how he outwits Ava in A Dame to Kill For and Manute in The Big Fat Kill
  • Chick Magnet: The ladies just can't get enough of this guy, due in no small part to being played by two very handsome and charismatic actors.
  • Creepy Monotone: Though, this is mostly based on Clive Owen's performance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has quite a dry sense of humor, as befits being played by Clive Owen.
  • Determinator: After Ava betrays him and pumps him full of lead, he tells Marv to take him to Old Town because he has friends there. Marv says they don't have time to get to Old Town and suggests a closer place for help. Dwight says he has too many things to settle before he dies. Between Marv's driving and The Power of Hate, they make it.
  • 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.
  • The Everyman: Miller described him as such. Rather than an Anti-Hero like Marv or a folk hero like John Hartigan, Dwight is simply someone who tries to do the right thing and find his place in the world.
  • Expy:
    • Of Mike Hammer, though he lacks some of Hammer's more deranged tendencies.
    • In explaining the character to Owen, Miller described him as a modern iteration of Philip Marlowe.
  • Facial Horror: Between Maute's fists and Ava's gunfire, his face takes a lot of punishment. So he gets a new one.
  • Fatal Flaw: At the start of A Dame to Kill For, these would be his inability to resist a pretty face (particularly if she needs help), and a Hot-Blooded nature that he struggles to control. Following Ava's betrayal, he tones these down somewhat. Although Gail says he still has bad taste in women, but then she would.
  • 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 skilled with twin Springfield Armory 1911s and carries a pair frequently; he is jokingly referred to as The Shadow in Family Values because of this.
  • Hero's Classic Car: In the movie, he drives a red 1959 Cadillac, however it is unclear which model. He currently drives a classic 1953 Cadillac Eldorado, which he acquired from Vito in Family Values.
  • 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.
  • Hot-Blooded: In the first part of A Dame to Kill For, he's constantly trying to keep his violent temper under control. After the events of the first part, though, he calms down quite a bit.
  • Intrepid Reporter: It's implied. He mentions working for a place called The Times at one point, with an editor saying something he'd done (photojournalism?) was easily worth a Pulitzer. In any case, his wild lifestyle and rough temper apparently ended up wrecking that job somehow.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Unfortunately the Eyes Never Lie and Manute recognises him instantly.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He kills Damien Lord this way, after being told of the torturous abuses he was committing upon Ava. Psyche! It was all a trick on Ava's part to get Damien's money!
  • Noodle Incident: Dwight's described as having a pretty wild life before his attempt to settle down, and he himself alluded to have been shot at least once beforehand. These capers have yet to be revealed.
  • 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.
  • The Power of Hate: Your lover manipulates you into killing her allegedly abusive husband, then "thanks" you for letting her get his money and fills you fill of lead, including a shot to the face. You're in the back of your friend's stolen car, bleeding out everywhere. What is the only thing keeping you alive?
  • Relationship Revolving Door: He and Gail have a thing. He dates other women sometimes, and she's a doxy...but they can't seem to get away from each other.
  • Starting a New Life: He gets to do this a couple of times, actually.
    • At the start of A Dame to Kill For, he's put away the bottle and all the sleazy sex and pointless brawls it led to in an effort to become a legitimate photographer.
    • After Eva's betrayal, his old friend Marv took him to Old Town and Dwight convinced the girls to put his broken body back together and give him a new face. He's calmed down considerably from his old days, but is in their debt pretty much forever, and "Dwight McCarthy" is legally dead and wanted for murder if he somehow turns up.
  • Straw Nihilist: Has a very nihilistic view early on in the comics.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He often tries to de-escalate conflicts so no one dies, but that's not always an option.
  • Thrill Seeker: After cleaning up his life and living between the lines as much as possible, Dwight at the start of A Dame to Kill For is just looking for an excuse to cut loose and go crazy like he used to. No matter how he tries to repress it, he's an adrenaline junkie. Then Ava Lord calls.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: He was a crazy barfly, Ava was a refined lady who hated the smell of cigarettes and never drank hard liquor. It was a spectacular trainwreck that kept burning afterward for years on Dwight's part, even after she married another man for his money.
  • 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).

Old Town

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 shoves two swords through the roof of a car into two guys' skulls. And then does the same to the guy in the front passenger seat.
    • Special mention goes to her manji shuriken, about the size of a hand with spread fingers, which she can throw to dismember her target or cut their head straight in half.
  • Animal Motifs: In Family Values, Dwight likens her to a cat when she plays with her target before the kill.
  • Anti-Hero: An inhumanly skilled assassin with a fearsome temper, yet so far she's only killed people who were a danger to Old Town or the few people she seems to like.
  • Badass Adorable: In Family Values, she curls asleep on Dwight's lap, yet still manages to intimidate a mobster.
  • Berserk Button: Insulting her Asian heritage is a very good way to put her into Tranquil Fury mode, and your death will be slow and painful if this happens.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: She never speaks a word and is possibly the most dangerous character in the series.
  • 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.
  • Bully Hunter: Get rough with a painted lady in Old Town and...just look at the other tropes and don't do it, alright?
  • 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.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: When she's in a good mood she kills her targets quickly. If they piss her off, she "plays" with them. In The Big Fat Kill everyone in the car but Jack, who pulled a gun on Becky, gets killed relatively quickly. Jack (who also called Miho "a scrawny Jap whore") gets his hand cut off, then Miho maneuvers him so he slips on his own hand and plants his ass on the manji shuriken which severed it, then she tosses a throwing stick directly into Jack's gun barrel and when Jack naturally fires it after Dwight tells him not to the gun explodes, destroying his hand and embedding the barrel in his brain. This does not kill the confused Jack, who starts talking about how he can't see or hear anything until the horrified Dwight and Gail ask her to finish him off—yes, she was going to keep going on with this—whereupon she slices Jack's throat.
  • Cop Killer: In The Big Fat Kill, she causes a whole bunch of trouble by killing Jackie-Boy, who is revealed to be a hero cop, though she didn't know that in the time. In Family Values, she prepares to kill a female cop who hits on Dwight, prompting to panic because of what went down the last time she killed a cop.
  • 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.
  • Dark Action Girl: An incredibly talented female fighter, who tortures her enemies when the make her angry.
  • Dual Wielding: Miho prefers two katana blades when she goes into action.
  • Death Glare: She gives Dwight one when he seemed like he was going to interfere while she "played" with Jack. He got the message.
  • Dodge the Bullet: When Jack points a gun at her, Miho begins moving around so quickly that Jack can't target her while staying in point-blank range. Does making herself impossible to shoot while staying in front of someone count?
  • Flechette Storm: With her regular shuriken. Her big manji shuriken is mainly for severing limbs.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It's bad enough that she'll kill you for threatening an Old Town girl, she nearly kills one woman for flirting with Dwight.
  • Honor Before Reason: She briefly went against Old Town, her own employers, because Dwight saved her life and she owed him her allegiance.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • She can throw her Manji shuriken through someone's limb from a fair distance.
    • She can shoot an arrow into someone's throat from outside a building and through a window.
  • I Owe You My Life: She owes a life debt of honor to Dwight for saving her life, and subsequently he
is the only male character she is ever shown to have any non-lethal interaction with, even taking orders from him at one point.
  • 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: invokedWord of God is that she's this, literally. 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.
  • Our Demons Are Different: According to Frank Miller, she and Kevin are two genuinely supernatural figures in Basin City, with her being the "good demon" to Kevin's "evil demon." They share many similarities: they both never speak and are not even seen with their mouths open. They are the most skilled characters in martial arts (though they never fought Wallace), and never show any sign of pain.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's barely five feet tall and is one of the most lethal characters in the series. Dwight even calls her "Deadly Little Miho".
  • Pinball Projectile: She uses her manji shuriken in this manner a few times.
  • Professional Killer: Miho is very much an assassin.
  • Protectorate:
    • For reasons unknown she protects Old Town and its ladies.
    • She protects Dwight because he saved her life...and she seems genuinely fond of him, as well.
  • 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, it's only by her actions that you can tell her mood.
  • 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.


Portrayed by: Rosario Dawson

  • Adaptational Modesty: Gail is naked when Manute kidnaps her in The Big Fat Kill, but is wearing clothing in the film.
  • Anti-Hero: She's crass, violent and sadistic but ultimately a good person who wants to protect the women of Old Town.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: She cares enough to let the wounded Dwight stay in Old Town away from the pursuing cops, for one thing.
  • 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.
  • Dark Action Girl: She particularly stands out due to her love for all things violence.
  • Dominatrix: This seems to be her main job as a prostitute, judging by the fetishistic outfits she wears and her knowledge with ropes.
  • 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 Lancer: She serves Old Town as the main enforcer taking orders from Goldie and Wendy, but will talk them out of something if it concerns Dwight.
  • Man Bites Man: She bites Becky in the neck for betraying Old Town to the mob.
  • A Mother to Her Men: She's the somewhat matriarchal leader of the Girls of Old Town. She even tells Becky to wear a coat so she doesn't catch cold.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's a dominatrix with the outfit to match and played by the gorgeous Rosario Dawson. Yeah, it's fair to say she qualifies as this.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: According to Dwight, she "lets out with a string of curses that'd kill the Pope".
  • Number Two: She seems to be of high rank among the girls of Old Town, with her word being good enough to get Dwight life-saving surgery and later being influential (along with a couple of good deeds he'd done for the ladies of Old Town and Miho) in getting him the medical care to get back on his feet and a new face.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Gail and Dwight have a thing. He dates other women sometimes, and she's a scarlet lady...but they can't seem to get away from each other. She says he's the only man she'll ever love.
  • Sociopathic Hero: She clearly delights in violence, telling Wendy to hit Marv harder while she's pistol-whipping him, for example.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Averted, as she's a good person, but her work gear has a lot of spikes on it.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Has this attitude towards Becky upon learning she's The Mole.

    Goldie and Wendy
Portrayed by: Jaime King

  • Always Identical Twins: Marv notes that they "even smell the same." Then again, Marv is crazy enough that he mistakes one for the other... even while knowing full well that one of them is dead.
  • Backup Twin: Wendy serves as her twin sister for Marv, who is set on avenging the latter twin by hunting down her killer, Kevin. Marv's mental problems mean he keeps mixing up Wendy with her sister.
  • Batman Gambit: Goldie seduced Marv so that she would have someone to protect her... or at least avenge her death.
  • The Cameo: They both have one in A Dame to Kill For.
  • Car Fu: Wendy hits Marv with a car twice, and then shoots him. She was quite upset with him at the time.
  • Dark Action Girl: An anti-heroic version. Wendy even moreso than Goldie.
  • Drives Like Crazy: In the comic at least, Wendy speeds, passes on single-dash lanes, and nearly hits other cars several times.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Marv has this for Goldie.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Lucille describes Goldie as "high class stuff" and notes that she must have shown Marv quite a time, while Nancy refers to Wendy as a babe.
  • Femme Fatalons: They lead the prostitutes of Old Town, so of course!
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Though Goldie fits this more. Marv even refers to her as 'the nice one'.
  • Lady in Red: Goldie, when she seduces Marv.
  • The Leader: They both share the position, being rulers of Old Town.
  • Nice Girl: Although Wendy points out to Marv that Goldie likely only hooked up with him for protection, he says that she was kind to him and feels that her ability to see beyond his fearsome looks and share her body with him unlike every other woman he had met was a gift worthy of his devotion.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Wendy does this to Marv during his interrogation, and gets lectured on proper techniques by Marv.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Downplayed. In flashbacks, Goldie's shown to be the more compassionate and less aggressive one. Wendy, whom we get to know better, is much less outwardly kind and even a bit cruel. Unfortunately we don't get more than one scene with the both of them alive, let alone in the same room.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Played with. After Marv has killed Kevin and the Cardinal, at once sparing many future prostitutes horrible fates at their hands and avenging her sister, and is going to the electric chair for the crimes of the men he punished, Wendy visits him in prison, and offers herself to him as a reward out of gratitude. When his disoriented mind mixes her up with her sister again, she outright tells him he can even call her Goldie if he wants. This is after the dramatic climax... but before the end of Marv's life.
  • She Knows Too Much: Goldie was killed by Cardinal Roark for discovering his cannibalistic secret, but then again she probably knows this fate beforehand - hence the reason why she sought the protection of Marv.
  • Siblings Share the Throne: In A Dame to Kill For, they're where the buck stops in Old Town.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Wendy's as tough as nails and ready to gun-tote, while Goldie uses a little more persuasive means of getting help.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Later stories show that Wendy starts wearing Marv's cross necklace after he's executed.
  • You Killed My Father: Wendy initially thinks Marv has killed Goldie, but then turns it towards Kevin when she learns of Marv's innocence.

Portrayed by Alexis Bledel

  • Afraid of Blood: She requests an early leave after Jackie Boy's death, claiming that blood was too much for her.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the comic, she's gunned down with Manute and the gangsters by the Old Town girls and Dwight. In the movie, she survives the assault by the girls of Old Town, only being shot in the arm. However, the film ends with her being confronted by the Salesman, who was apparently hired to kill her.
  • Don't Tell Mama: One of the factors that led to Becky's betrayal of the girls of Old Town was her refusal to have her mother moved to Old Town for protection, which would have meant letting her know that her daughter was a "god damn whore".
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the ending of the first film, she is aware that the Salesman is there to kill her.
  • The Fake Cutie: Acts sweet and innocent towards Jackie Boy and his goons to lure them into a trap.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: She explains to Gail that she sold everyone out to the Mob because they threatened to kill her mother. The truth was that they offered her money and a way out of the prostitution business.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: In the first film, they are her defining feature that portrays her innocence which she uses to her advantage.
  • Man Bites Man: Gail bites her in the throat for selling out Old Town.
  • The Mole: Served as one for Manute to infiltrate the prostitutes of Old Town.
  • Momma's Girl: She calls her mother, keeping tabs on everything - except her work as a prostitute.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: She casually refers to the Amigo, a homosexual bar, as a "fag joint".
  • Secret Sex Worker: Becky is an Old Town Girl who lives with her mother, but keeps her job as a prostitute hidden from her. This is one of the reasons why Becky ends up betraying Old Town, as she refused to move her mother to Old Town for protection, because it would expose her secret.

    The Old Town Girls 
  • Anti-Hero: 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.
  • 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

    John Hartigan
Portrayed by: Bruce Willis
Dubbed by: Patrick Poivey (European French)

  • Anti-Hero: Type II with some treading into Type IV territory while killing Junior.
  • Arch-Enemy: He spent years pursuing Roark Junior, even having his car blown up at one point by Senator Roark. Ultimately, he mutilates Junior for raping children and eventually escapes from prison to take him down for good.
  • Badass and Child Duo: With Nancy when she's younger.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wears a standard film noir-style trenchcoat which is pretty useful for concealing his Hand Cannon.
  • Being Good Sucks: Being a kind-hearted and heroic person who wants to do good in this setting end up ruining his life, leaving him imprisoned as a paedophile and shunned by almost everyone he once knew.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When he gets his hands on Roark Jr, the results are... messy.
  • Blatant Lies: He reassures Nancy that he can ensure that Senator Roark is convicted, but then mentally notes that no prosecutor would go after Roark, and if he were able to pull off that miracle, he'd "punch out God" next.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: 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.
  • Cool Old Guy: John is nearly sixty at the start of the story and pushing seventy by the end but the years haven't slowed him down
  • 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.
  • Driven to Suicide: He shoots himself in the forehead with his gun to help Nancy. See Heroic Sacrifice below.
  • Expy: Of Dirty Harry. Specifically created because Frank Miller was disappointed with The Dead Pool and felt 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.
  • Frame-Up: 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.
  • Friend to All Children: John has a soft spot for kids, comforting Nancy after rescuing her.
  • Hand Cannon: His weapon 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.
    Hartigan: An old man dies. A young woman lives. Fair trade. I love you, Nancy.
  • Hero's Classic Car: He's seen driving a silver 1955 Buick Century while heading to the docks to save Nancy from Roark Junior.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: As a result of Roark's manipulations, he is made to take the fall for Junior's crimes and imprisoned, abandoned by everyone but Nancy and later Bob.
  • Honor Before Reason: The definitive example in this franchise. John will always do the right thing and protect others, no matter how much it hurts him.
  • I Shall Taunt You: After having shot Junior in the hand and groin, John is shot three times from behind by his partner Bob, who recognizes that Roark would kill them all if Junior died. John, realizing that Bob would probably shoot young Nancy Callahan, starts taunting him, mocking his weight and slowness and saying he can kick Bob's ass. It's when John moves toward him that Bob shoots him several more times. By then, however, the backup has arrived, so Bob can't shoot Nancy.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: His reaction to finding out that his wife re-married and had two kids is acceptance and hoping that she's happy.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Hartigan purposefully destroys his marriage for this reason.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: John nurses few illusions about the setting he's in but still tries to do what good he can, no matter the cost to himself.
  • Made of Iron: He possesses a seemingly indomitable will, able to withstand multiple bullet wounds without collapsing, and most notably being capable of willing himself back to life after being hanged.
  • 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 raping her by the scumbag's even worse father and spending eight long years in prison.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Has this dynamic with Roark Jr. They repeatedly point out each other's ages in a condescending fashion.
  • Old Soldier: Old Cop, actually but being in his sixties with a heart condition, doesn't mean he can't still put a world of hurt on guys half his age.
  • 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.
  • Papa Wolf: He'll plow through armies of men, let himself get shot dozen times and hospitalised, let his reputation get ruined, spend years in prison and risk the wrath of a senator all to make sure Nancy is okay and happy. Then there's what Hartigan did to the subhuman garbage who tried to rape Nancy twice. Extreme Mêlée Revenge is putting it too gently, Hartigan just kept punching the Yellow Barstard's skull until he was just "pounding wet chunks into the floorboards". Hartigan even kills himself to make sure Nancy goes free, a "fair trade" in his own words.
  • Scars Are Forever: He has a distinguishing cross-shaped scar on his forehead, the cause of which is undisclosed.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Senator Roark threatens everyone he loves if he tells the truth about Junior's crimes, so he's forced to take the rap. He never confesses to the crime during the trial, but he doesn't say a word concerning Junior's guilt and allows himself to be convicted as a child rapist.
  • Super-Toughness: He takes three magnum shots to the back and not only doesn't pass out, but also (much to his own surprise) stays standing.
  • Taking the Heat: Goes to prison so that Nancy can live.
  • Token Good Cop: He's the only cop in the Basin City Police Department who isn't in on the payroll of mobsters and/or Corrupt Politicians, demonstrated by his pursuit of Roark Jr., a serial pedophile rapist, who is "normally" protected from legal consequences by his father, Senator Roark.
  • Token Good Teammate: He's one of the few, if not the only, incorruptible cops who have a sense of justice and duty.
  • Tragic Hero: He risks his own safety and reputation to achieve safety for those he cares about, but this dedication eventually destroys his life.
  • "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 Shellie.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Loses a hand to Miho when he pulls a gun on Becky.
  • Asshole Victim: An abusive, drunken, smarmy scumbag of a crooked cop who gets he deserves.
  • 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 Shellie had a brief relationship which she broke off due to his douchebaggery as well as being married, 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 Abuse: In at least one instance he gave Shellie two black eyes, and he punches her again after he and his friends barge into her apartment. Shellie also outright admits he's an adulterer who hid the fact regularly cheated on his wife with her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's a scumbag through and through, but was offended when Shellie tried to anger him by implying she was having an "African Love Nest" in her apartment, stating he was no racist.
  • Fallen Hero: He really 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can make with the false charm when he has to but it takes very little for his true awful colors to come out.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jackie Boy's hallucination points out that Dwight is in deep trouble now that he is in a car full of dead bodies, is almost out of gas and has a cop that wants to pull him over. For all Dwight hates Jackie Boy, he can't deny he has a point.
  • 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...
  • Playing Hard to Get: He thinks Shellie's frim refusal and vicious putdowns are her doing this. She clarifies that she is impossible-to-get.
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He tries to fire his gun despite being warned it will backfire, which results in a part of the gun flying backward and embedding itself in his skull.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's revered as a heroic police officer by the press when he's really a vile, corrupt scumbag.
  • Would Hit a Girl: "I have never hit a woman in my life." Yeah right.

Portrayed by: Jude Ciccollela

  • Anti-Villain: To some small extent. He's as corrupt of a cop as any other and beats up Hartigan for not not signing a false confession. Despite this, he is a devoted family man and is willing to turn on the Colonel, going so far as to kill him. In that instance, he's probably the only sympathetic villain in the entire series.
    • In the the second film, Liebowitz goes out of his way to warn Johnny to leave the city after he beats Roark in a poker game.
  • 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.
    • In the sequel film, he's visibly horrified when Roark murders Johnny for simply beating him at Poker.
  • 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

Portrayed by: Christopher Meloni

  • Above the Influence: At first. Ava sinks her claws into him relatively easily.
  • Adapted Out: He's replaced by Bob in the film adaptation of The Yellow Bastard as the person who drives Hartigan back to Basin City after he makes parole.
  • Ate His Gun: He does this in a My God, What Have I Done? moment after he kills Bob in A Dame to Kill For.
  • Driven to Suicide: After he kills Bob, he realises what he's done and blows his own brains out in guilt.
  • Foil: For Dwight. Like Dwight, he's fallen in love with Ava Lord. Unlike Dwight, he was a family man with a respectable job and a clean life. Having less to lose and being more morally-flexible helped Dwight rebuild some kind of life from scratch even after killing an innocent man, Mort couldn't handle what he'd done and what he'd lost.
  • 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.

Portrayed by: Michael Madsen, Jeremy Piven (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For)

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He's a short fat man in the comics. In the films, he's played by Michael Madsen and Jeremy Piven.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Having him pick up Hartigan out of prison in place of Mort gives him a moment of redemption in the film that his comic counterpart lacked.
  • Boom Head Shot: Gets shot in the head by 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.
  • Decomposite Character: In the film of That Yellow Bastard, he also fills Mort's role as the cop who meets Hartigan when he gets out of prison.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: He gives John a lift from prison and sympathizes with him about Arlene remarrying.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Especially in the film, where he replaces Mort as Hartigan's driver back to Basin City.

Roark Family and Associates

    Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark
Portrayed by: Rutger Hauer

  • Arc Villain: Of The Hard Goodbye, where he has been using his farm to shelter Kevin and let him devour prostitutes, which leads to Goldie's death and Marv's suffering. Despite being the "brains" of the operation, the real threat throughout the arc is Kevin, while Roark is more of a danger beause of his public power.
  • Bald of Evil: He doesn't have a hair on his head and is one of the main villains of the story.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: As a child, Kevin came to him, begging for help with his homicidal and cannibalistic urges, in which he claimed that he was taking his victims' souls into himself, an act which filled him with holy light and love for all. Roark tried to persuade him to stop, but Kevin kept doing the deed. Over time, as Kevin grew into a man, his voice (according to Roark) grew ever more beautiful, certain and strong. Roark gradually became convinced that Kevin really was a divine figure, and ultimately the desire to join him in his holy feast proved too much to resist.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He seems to sincerely love Kevin and is distraught when Marv presents him with Kevin's head.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Although he was just as corrupt as any Roark, when Kevin confessed to his murderous urges, claiming that he felt his murders and cannibalism filled him with holy light, Patrick was horrified and tried to persuade him to stop. That didn't last.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: While "good" is stretching it for someone like Marv, Cardinal Roark is utterly baffled as to why Marv spent so much blood and sweat trying to take him down to avenge Goldie, whom he sees as little more than a disposable prostitute.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's in his later years and is played by a sixty-year old actor and is a depraved cannibal.
  • 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. Although at first the horrified priest tried to counsel Kevin away from his madness, eventually as Kevin grew Patrick felt that Kevin was growing more certain, his voice more beautiful and heavenly, until little by little he began to sway, ultimately becoming unable to resist the rapture he saw in Kevin. Joining him in his cannibalism and murder, he set up the Roark family farm as Kevin's lair.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: His brother is the Big Bad for most of the series but Marv notes that the Senator is all but useless and all his influence comes from the Cardinal.
  • 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.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Earlier in his life, he was a war hero with the Medical Corps and became a philanthropist and Cardinal. Although he was also a corrupt kingmaker, he was still horrified when a young boy came to confession and told him he'd been killing and eating prostitutes because eating them filled him with white light and love for every living being, as though he were touched by the hand of God. As mentioned above, he tried to stop the insane boy's murders until he became convinced that Kevin really was a holy being. And then he became an insane cannibal as well.
  • 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 and both use their clout to cover for Junior's crimes.
  • 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."

    Senator Roark

Portrayed by: Powers Boothe

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the comics, he's a Fat Bastard with a deeply pockmarked face, a bulbous and crooked gin-blossom of a nose, and a popped, staring left eye that bulges so much it could be mistaken for a cheap prosthetic. In the film, he's played by the suave and handsome Powers Boothe.
  • Arch-Enemy: In the movies, he serves as this to Nancy Callahan, due to ruining her hero John Hartigan's life and driving him to suicide.
  • Archnemesis Dad: To his illegitimate son Johnny, whom he refuses to acknowledge, brutalizes, and ultimately murders for crossing him.
  • Avenging the Villain: Wants to kill Nancy for his deceased son Ethan so he can "hear [her] scream" in the afterlife, despite acknowledging that the psycho's personality made him ultimately useless to the senator's plan to have his son become president.
  • Batter Up!: The reason he can't produce more heirs is because he beat his previous wife to death with a bat.
  • Big Bad: Of the comic and film series.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He openly admits that he killed his wife and gloats that there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it.
  • Child Hater: He refers to Nancy as a "little brat" and is willing to cover up his son's paedophilia.
  • Corrupt Politician: At the least, he's hiding the crimes of his pedophiliac serial killer son. The very least, considering the power and influence he wields.
  • 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, even while also expressing disgust at his actions.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even he admits that his pedophile rapist son was a freak and doesn't blame Nancy for being glad he's dead.
  • Fatal Flaw: Like his son, his sadism is a big one. He could've easily had John killed at any time but he couldn't resist destroying his life and forcing him to suffer through being disgraced, allowing John to live long enough to stop Junior, ruining Roark Senior's dreams of having a legacy.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's all smiles and good manners while talking to John and he has Powers Boothe's natural charisma but it does nothing to mask what a monster he is.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: That Yellow Bastard deals with Hartigan stopping his son from raping and killing Nancy and while the senator is largely uninvolved in their personal quarrel, his resources are what make Junior so dangerous and his plan to have the psychopath one day run for president is threatening on a whole other scale than what his deranged son could plan up on his own. Additionally, Roark uses his position as senator to let corruption fester in Sin City, affecting many arcs even if he's not directly involved. His obsession with securing power and crafting a legacy have led him to do much damage to Sin City, such as covering up Junior's tracks and refusing to acknowledge his illegitimate son, Johnny, make him a very personal foe to many characters.
  • 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.
  • Irony: Roark's greatest wish is a legacy but it's clear that Junior is an Inadequate Inheritor despite all of Roark's efforts and love. His bastard son Johnny, on the other hand, is everything he could hope for in an heir: handsome, intelligent, and ambitious. When faced with a son who could potentially surpass him, Roark ends up hating him and eventually killing him, ending his own bloodline out of pettiness.
  • 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's left to fill his role in Sin City. And he'll be joining his his son in Hell very soon to wait for his brother to join them both.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: 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.
  • Last of His Kind: With the death of his brother and son, he's the last of the Roark family and his vision of them as a dynasty on par with the Kennedys dies as well, much to his fury.
  • Mad Eye: In the comics, his left eye is drawn without an iris, 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.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His son is dead at the end of the first film while he is still alive.
  • Papa Wolf: He will do anything for his son, ruining John's life for how he deformed Junior, and later trying to kill Nancy in revenge.
  • Porn Stache: Wears one in the first film; it's shaven off by the second.
  • Sadist: A prominent characteristic of Senator Roark is his love of physically and psychologically torturing his enemies. He frames Hartigan as a child molester and pays for the surgery he needs to stay alive and is upset when the ex-cop kills himself, ending his torment. With Johnny, after he's beaten at poker, he steals back the money he lost, breaks his right hand, shoots him in the leg and dismembers his girl but only kills him when he becomes so blindingly enraged that he's pushed to do it. Throughout the series, Roark displays very little interest in actually killing anyone and finds them much more fun to be hurt while still living.
  • 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.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: As far as the rest of the world is concerned, he's a respected Senator and brother to a servant of God, and he takes pleasure in knowing full well the advantages his public persona gives him. In fact, he's untouchable enough that anybody who learns the truth about what a despicable bastard he really is either dies or is immediately cowed into silence; if he'd decided to kill Hartigan in his hospital bed, everyone there would've covered the murder up before he even asked them to, something he rubs in the cop's face:
    "Power doesn't come from a badge or a gun. Power comes outta LYING and lying BIG and getting the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you got 'em trapped."

    Ethan Roark "Jr." aka The Yellow Bastard

Portrayed by: Nick Stahl

  • Adaptational Modesty: He's naked when torturing Nancy near the end of his story. He was given shorts in the film.
  • Alien Blood: He has yellow blood, though this is more of a stylistic choice than an indication of alien-ness. Either that, or it's because of the large number of medical procedures done on him after his castration messed with his body's ability to get rid of waste — the blood, given its color and smell, is a direct result of that.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: He gained the nickname of "That Yellow Bastard" due to his bright yellow skin, which he developed as a side-effect of experimental medical procedures that regenerated his genitals and right hand after Detective John Hartigan shot them off.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Hartigan, whom he's obsessed with wreaking revenge on.
  • Arc Villain: Of his titular arc, where his attempts to rape Nancy force Hartigan to come after Junior to defend her.
  • Asshole Victim: He sure deserved his fate at Hartigan's hands, having been an absolutely revolting excuse for a human being.
  • Ax-Crazy: Junior is a frothing, sadistic loon who gets off on killing young girls, having racked up a body count of hundreds by his own estimation. Even his own father sees him as a nut.
  • Beauty to Beast: While inside he was always a 'Beast', his outward appearance was quite pleasant. Then after his Karmic Transformation he looks every bit as grotesque on the outside as he does on the inside!
  • Bald of Evil: He loses all his hair as part of the side effects of his surgeries.
  • Beauty Inversion: Nick Stahl is quite good-looking as the opening scene shows while The Yellow Bastard looks more like a hideous demon than a man, fitting his vile personality.
  • Berserk Button: Defying him really pisses him off as Nancy refusing to give him the satisfaction of screaming shows. He also doesn't like having it pointed out how he can only enjoy what he does when he hears the girls scream.
  • Body Horror: First, he gets his left ear, right hand, and groin blown off by Hartigan, mutilating him and sending him into a coma from shock. Second, while his other extremities are reattached, he undergoes a long series of experimental processes to regrow his testicles; the treatment involves "homeopathic witch doctors", genetic engineering and God knows what else, with many side effects. The end result is a grotesque, pot-bellied, misshapen runt who — through what's implied to be excess bile in his system — now stinks like hot garbage and has turned completely yellow, from his skin down to his blood.
  • Bright Is Not Good: His yellow skin provides a Splash of Color in the comic, and he is a thoroughly disgusting and revolting human being.
  • Cowardly Yellow: The Yellow Bastard is a Serial Killer whose attempts to undo his Crippling Castration by John Hartigan have made him unable to process waste properly, turning his blood and skin yellow. He's also a Dirty Coward and a Sadist who fights by sneaking around and is impotent unless he hears the sound of his victims screaming in fear.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: In the movie, he had a fairly normal and slightly deep voice prior to his transformation, but it's now high-pitched and nasal.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Hartigan rips his balls off with his bare hands before viciously beating him to death. It's safe to say he deserved every second of his agonizing demise.
  • Dirty Coward: If he isn't running away from a fight, he's sneaking around, planning to strike when Hartigan least expects it, and makes a point of targeting young girls he has a considerable physical advantage over. He also only acts the way he does due to knowing his father's connections will let him get away with it. When faced with a direct threat, he is reduced to a pathetic mess.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Yes, even this piece of shit has people who care about him with his father going on the war path in response to his death. While this is at least partially due to his own ego and fury at losing his legacy, it's also shown that he did genuinely love Junior as a son, even if he was repulsed by his actions.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: He used to be a dashing young man when he originally kidnapped Nancy, but after his surgeries he looks like some sort of yellow goblin.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Hartigan notes how he smells like rotting meat. He picks up on his presence purely by the stench, in fact.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: He was quite handsome, pretty even, before his transformation but was still just as sadistic and depraved.
  • Fan Disservice: He spends his last moments in nothing but his underwear with his body fully on display in all it's yellow, sagging glory. That would be bad enough even if the context of the scenes weren't him torturing and trying to murder Nancy.
  • Fatal Flaw: His sadism. He is incapable of getting aroused if his victims don't scream and Nancy's refusal to do so gives Hartigan the time he needs to rescue her and kill Junior. He also couldn't resist killing John in an undignified manner and making it look like a suicide, giving him the chance to escape.
  • Faux Affably Evil: His first scene has him talking softly to Nancy and reassuring her she has nothing to fear. Even after his transformation, he has a few moments of mocking politeness to Hartigan.
  • Gonk: He's positively hideous with his goblin-like features, yellow skin and sunken eyes. That's in addition to smelling absolutely awful.
  • Groin Attack: Hartigan does this to him both times he fights him. The second time is a lot more graphic than the first.
  • Hate Sink: And in this setting it's saying a lot! Unlike the other villains who are either too cool to hate or have troubled backgrounds, Roark is just a repulsive pedophile and a petty coward with no likable qualities whatsoever and it really is nothing short of cathartic when Hartigan finally beats him to death. Hell, a scene even shows Kevin noticing John sneak around but leaving him to finish Junior off and invokedWord of God says it's because Kevin hates Junior as much as anyone else. When a cannibalistic serial killer is disgusted by you, you're very definitely this trope.
  • Healing Factor: His pop paid for a lot of crazy scientific and even mystical procedures to jury-rig Junior's jilted junk and besides the obvious side effects this yellow bastard seems to have gained a degree of regeneration, as seen when Hartigan shoots him in the throat and the wound is mended a few scenes later with no apparent care. It's not strong enough to help when his head's smashed to bits, though.
  • 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.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Well, he was much less ugly before Hartigan met him, being played by the boyishly handsome Nick Stahl. Now, he looks more like a hideous goblin than a man.
  • Jerkass: Putting aside that he's a pedophile and serial killer, he is a far cry from the "very nice man" that his goons call him. Every other thing out of his mouth is a taunt, a threat or a petulant demand and he is constantly ill-tempered and unpleasant to be around, with even his own father not liking him very much.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He gets away with his crimes for years until Hartigan delivers his long overdue and gloriously satisfying comeuppance.
  • Kick the Dog: Roark Junior is a dog-kicking machine, raping and murdering hundreds of little girls for his own jollies. In fact, he's physically incapable of getting hard without children screaming.
  • Lack of Empathy: Junior is completely incapable of empathy, remorse, compassion, mercy or kindness. It's kind of a requirement for someone who has raped and killed hundreds of little girls for his own pleasure.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Twice, no less! As a rapist, it seemed awfully deserving that Hartigan first took away his weapon — both of them — with a gunshot, then did the same thing with his bare hands when he got it back. Of course, the second time around, he doesn't get to live without his weapon.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He was this at the beginning of the story before John got to him. Now...not so much.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: He rapes and murders little girls and loves to hear them scream. As Nancy Callahan reveals during her Cold-Blooded Torture at his hands eight years after his first attempt on her is foiled by Hartigan, the screams of his victims are the only way that Junior can receive any kind of sexual gratification, to the point of being practically impotent without it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: He doesn't seem too bothered by Hartigan's bullet grazing the side of his neck, even though it spills a lot of his blood, and later gets patched up at the farm.
  • Mutants: Despite Sin City being more realistic than most comic series, the Yellow Bastard could still very easily be considered a mutate. He underwent gene therapy in order to reattach his lost body parts and repair his damaged brain, turning into a yellow freak in the process. It's heavily implied that his yellow color and trademark stench is due to organ damage caused by the process, leading to his body filling with bile as it basically rots while he's still alive.
  • 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 pummeling his head into mush.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Zigzagged. He shoots Hartigan in sneak attacks and chases him and Nancy in his car, exchanging gunfire all the while, but he still relies on his henchmen to do all the heavy work and the finale shows that in a straight fight even against a heavily wounded Hartigan, now ten years older and with a serious heart condition, Junior still has no chance and he gets absolutely demolished.
  • 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.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He's much younger than Hartigan, who he even calls "old man" derisively.
  • Pædo Hunt: A particularly disturbing example of one of these, in that he likes to slash his victims to ribbons once he's done raping them, and he Loves the Sound of Screaming. It's quite telling that when he gets his hands on Nancy again, he says that she's "too old for him", despite her being nineteen years old at this point, before saying he'll make an exception this once.
  • Parental Favoritism: Roark has a lot of bastard kids, but Ethan is legit, and the only one he gives a damn about.
  • President Evil: His father's original plan was for him to become POTUS. However, eventually even he acknowledged that Junior would more likely end up in a nuthouse than the Oval Office.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's pretty immature, often throwing tantrums and bossing people around because of his father's power and generally acting like a brat. The "psychopathic" part is made repeatedly clear in his horrific actions.
  • Red Right Hand: He's literally yellow.
  • Sadist: He can only get it up if the girls scream and spends hours torturing them before killing them.
  • Sanity Slippage: Heavily downplayed at most. While Senator Roark states that Junior was "brain-damaged" after Hartigan got through with him the first time, his coma and the treatments he underwent have done little, if anything, to make him any more of a sadistic monster; the story just showcases his immature personality and his mood swings because he's more in focus and nursing a serious grudge against Hartigan.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He shamelessly uses his family name to carry out his crimes and get away with it.
  • 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 "a little old for his tastes" but is willing to forgive that.
  • 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.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Hartigan notes that Junior hits hard, with one punch knocking the tough detective unconscious. As Junior wasn't exactly a physical villain beforehand and isn't muscular or even healthy-looking, this could be the result of his alterations.
  • Torture Technician: He uses torture to get girls to scream, as it could possibly be the only way he can get it up.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even after his dad saved his life and recovered his "equipment" with expensive surgeries, he still doesn't think that much of him.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: As part of the Roark family, he's seen as a respectable young man rather than the depraved sadist he really is. His father even arranges it so that Hartigan was the one who abducted Nancy and Junior saved her, the opposite of what really happened.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His crimes consisted of nothing but raping and killing children.
  • Your Head A-Splode: His death consists of Hartigan punching his face in until it's nothing but a pile of wet yellow goo.

Portrayed by: Elijah Wood

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the comic, he was a pudgy, middle-aged man with a five o' clock shadow and receding hairline. He ended up being played by Elijah Wood in the film. However, this probably makes him even eerier, since it's quite an inversion of how this is usually played.
  • Age Lift: He's a middle-aged man in the comics, yet a man in his twenties in the film.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Roark says he speaks with a beautiful, even divine, voice. However, neither the reading nor viewing audience is treated to said voice, so who knows?
  • Arch-Enemy: Is this to Marv, as he killed a hooker the man loved. Said hooker was also the sister of a woman named Wendy, who also wants Kevin dead.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: He fights with flips, kicks, and his absurdly sharp fingernails.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: He never speaks a word and is an impossibly fast cannibalistic serial killer.
  • Challenge Seeker: Implied. Kevin leaves Goldie behind next to Marv (as if taunting him) instead of taking her to the farm, per his usual M.O. and at several points during their fights, seems to be smiling when he's otherwise expressionless. Did he sense a Worthy Opponent?
  • Combat Parkour: Kevin's fighting style consists of many jumps, flips and kicks, and he's nimble enough to dodge pretty almost everything Marv throws at him.
  • Compelling Voice: Cardinal Roark describes the one he had this way — a voice that grew deeper, richer and ever more confident in his "ecstasy" as the years went on, to the point that just hearing him speak about it was intoxicating, and too irresistable for Roark not to join him. Given that he was "just a boy" when the visits started, it's heavily implied that, if Kevin even did speak like that, it was because he went through puberty and slowly became more assured in his psychotic delusions, and Roark's own insanity filled in the blanks.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Does this against Marv.
  • Defiant to the End: Even as Marv has sliced off his limbs and is feeding him to his wolf, Kevin does little but sneer at the man as he dies, much to the former's frustration.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Kevin is a supreme combatant and a relentless psychopath, killing and devouring Marv's love and confronting him while Cardinal Roark does little more than apparently issue him the orders.
  • Dying Smirk: 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. Kevin just smiles. It's intensely creepy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: invokedWord of God is Kevin hates Roark Jr. and thinks he's an abomination. He briefly appears in "That Yellow Bastard" and apparently ignores Hartigan as he goes to finish off Roark Jr and doesn't come to rescue him. 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: invokedWord of God is that he's this to Miho, and it's easy to see their similarities. Both of them are silent characters who are incredibly good at fighting and killing people, and work on behalf of a specific person.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He never cries or begs for his life and dies smiling and without saying a word to Marv.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: In the film only, where he's played by the youthful-looking Elijah Wood. He's a cannibal Serial Killer in both versions, but his comicbook counterpart was a slightly pudgy middle-aged guy with a receding hairline.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He manages to be this without even saying anything with his demeanor and body language having a mockingly polite tone. He even dies with a smile on his face.
  • Femme Fatalons: Gender-Inverted Trope. Kevin is shown to have long and sharp fingernails that he uses to scratch Marv's face and forearm during their fights.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Where do we begin?
  • Fragile Speedster: He's quick, nimble and dishes out a lot of punishment against Marv but ends up being KOed by a single blow. Then again, this is Marv we're talking about.
  • Holy Hitman: Kevin is very devout (overlooking or ignoring that his habits are in direct opposition to the Fifth/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.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: He's even more horrific than most cannibals. Not only does he eat prostitutes, he eats them slowly and makes sure they're alive and conscious for as long as possible.
  • Improvised Weapon: 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.
  • Karmic Death: He cuts up and eats prostitutes. He also leaves their heads on display. Marv cuts him up and lets his dog eat him and finishes him by cutting off his head.
  • Kick the Dog: Kevin loves forcing his future victims to watch him eat the ones he's already killed, and locked Marv's parole officer in his basement with their severed heads.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: In the movie, Kevin is a young man in his twenties, compared to the significantly older Marv.
  • Our Demons Are Different: According to Frank Miller, he and Miho are two genuinely supernatural figures in Basin City, with Kevin being the "evil demon" to Miho's "good demon." They share many similarities: they both never speak and are not even seen with their mouths open. They are the most skilled characters in martial arts (though they never fought Wallace), and never show any sign of pain.
  • Pet the Dog: The fact that he allows Hartigan to go after Roark Jr. indicates that despite his tendency to capture and eat anyone who intrudes on his farm, Kevin hates the latter enough to allow Hartigan to trespass this one time so that Roark Jr. can get what's coming to him.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's played by the 5'4 Elijah Wood and is much smaller than the hulking Marv but still dishes out considerable damage, using just his speed and agility as well as his surprising combat skills.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Implied. While Kevin is known for abducting and chowing down on anyone who trespasses on the farm he lives on, he does not interfere with Roark Jr's attempts to break Nancy Callaghan, even though he does it on his property. Considering how much protective Senator Roark is of his kid, it's probably for the best.
  • 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.
  • Serial Killer: And how! He kills random people to cannibalize them, sometimes while they're still alive and keeps the heads of the ones he fancies.
  • Silent Antagonist: He is mute which only makes him more creepy.
  • 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 be an actual 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, not even realizing he's there until he starts charging at him from behind.
  • The Stoic: He only smiles once and even then it's creepy. He doesn't even scream as his pet wolf rips his genitals off and eats them, all he does is jerk his head back.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whole Costume Reference: His sweater has the same zig-zag pattern as Charlie Brown's.
  • Wolverine Claws: Kevin's nails are sharpened in order to act as deadly claws.

    Burt "Fatman" Shlubb & Douglas "Little Boy" Klump
Portrayed by: Nick Offerman & Rick Gomez

Basin City Mob

    Herr Wallenquist (aka Mob Boss Wallenquist)
Portrayed by: Stacy Keach

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Since he's implied to be the wordless Nazi Hunter in "Rats". Since his motive is unknown, it's possible that Wallenquist is actually a German Jew.
  • 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 (and was responsible for The Kingpin becoming better known as a Daredevil villain, rather than a Spider-Man villain, which is where he originated).
  • 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.
  • Gonk: He's so fat his jowls dwarf every other part of his head.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In Hell and Back. The human trafficking and organ harvesting that take place are run by the Colonel but they are branches of Wallenquist's organization.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: He is probably the only male that does not give in to Ava Lord's advances.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Only in It for the Money: 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.
  • Opaque Lenses: They're pure white, which contrasts well against his silhouetted figure.
  • 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 Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives Ava Lord a much-needed one, as he sees through her schtick in an instant and points out that she is ultimately an amateur and not as smart as she thinks she is.
    Herr Wallenquist: I'll warn you once and once only, Mrs. Lord - Do not flirt with me. I have no use for your charms. You're an amateur in a game best left to professionals. You've enjoyed an amateur's luck. But the two policemen - that was an embarrassing blunder. You need this case settled. You need Dwight McCarthy's corpse and a suicide note in which he confesses to the murder of Damien Lord. I will provide these things. My price for doing so will be far higher than the rather obvious one you seem so fond of paying.

    The Colonel/The Salesman
Portrayed by: Josh Hartnett

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: His film version, while still a cold-blooded hitman, is actually not nearly as bad as his comic book version, as the stories covering his Murder, Inc. organization and Human Trafficking ring were not adapted into either film.
  • Age Lift: Inverted with Josh Hartnett's portrayal. The Colonel in the comics is clearly middle-aged, but the movie casts him roughly as late 20s.
  • Arc Villain: In Hell and Back. He is the boss of Mariah and Delia and runs the day-to-day operations of the human trafficking ring that starts Wallace's crusade.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Colonel is so confident in his position that he demeans and threatens Liebowitz, a police commissioner and an important partner in his operation. This backfires when Liebowitz, fed up with this treatment and wanting to protect his family, shut down said operation and kills the Colonel.
  • Characterization Marches On: In The Customer is Always Right, which marks his first appearance, he acts gentle and affectionate to the Customer but only because it's what the Customer asked of him (See Even Evil Has Standards and Pet the Dog). The weird part comes from his inner monologue which shows him to be a romantic man, genuinely stricken by the Customer, adding a human side to him. In all his other stories however, he is portrayed as an emotionless sociopath who treats people as objects to be transformed for a given purpose, regardless of their individuality. Whether or not some character development took place between these stories is never shown.
    The Colonel (in The Customer is Always Right): She's soft and warm and almost weightless. Her perfume is a sweet promise that brings tears to my eyes.
    The Colonel (in Hell and Back): That's your new hairstyle. It's quite flattering. So much about you is going to change. You're a very lucky young woman. Few who live get a second chance. A second life. A life free from painful choices. A life in which you will never be alone. You will be remade. Improved. Body and soul. By the time we're finished with you, you'll have a new name — a new history — and no memory of any moment my people will not have created for you. Your figure requires no enhancement. Nature crafted it to perfection. But we will have to touch up your face a bit. Make it a tad less ethnic. A tad more marketable.
  • The Dragon: To Wallenquist, one of a few and the only one shown.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Downplayed. He treats the Customer in a gentle and affectionate way but it's because it was what he was hired for. He also expresses distaste with the idea of Delia sleeping with her targets but only because it's not professional. All in all he is more concerned with efficiency than with morality.
  • Evil Brit: When Wallace hears him talk on the phone, he notes that there is a trace of a british accent in his voice.
  • Evil Mentor: For Delia, presumably Mariah, and maybe even others would-be assassins before them.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Seems to hold this belief. He says to Esther that she should be glad she is going to be turned into a Sex Slave as she will live "a life free from painful choices".
  • Face on a Milk Carton: His fate at the end of Hell and Back. He's shot point-blank in the face by Liebowitz, who orders his men to "make a missing person out of the fucker".
  • Foil: To Wallace, who he acts as an arch-enemy towards in Hell and Back. Wallace is a former Navy SEAL and a formidable hand-to-hand fighter, while he is a veteran professional hitman who performs his only on-screen kill with a firearm and has a nickname that evokes the Colonel Badass trope. Wallace performs most of his kills himself with help from his friends while The Colonel relies on the assassins he employs after having indoctrinated them. Wallace holds the spot of being one of the most altruistic and good-hearted characters in the comics where the Colonel is one of the most vile antagonists based in Sin City, having no empathy and no redeeming quality whatsoever. Interestingly enough, and unlike other arch-enemies in the franchise like Marv and Kevin or Hartigan and Roark Jr, Wallace doesn't kill the Colonel, with him instead dying by Liebowitz's hand.
  • Insistent Terminology: Refers to a group of female athletes as "material", tipping off Dirty Cop Liebowitz that he's in over his head.
  • Lack of Empathy: Being a sociopath, it's shown multiple times he looks at people as objects to be mold into efficient slaves and not as human beings. Case in point, when in the presence of a group of cheerleaders, he notes to Liebowitz that they're a "waste", as he judges that they would be better used as brainwashed prostitutes' and/or assassins.
    The Colonel: Such purposeless, pointless lives. Such a waste of material.
  • No Name Given: Only known by his nickname.
  • One Last Smoke: Offers a cigarette to the Customer in the short story before he kills her. He also offers one to Becky at the (chronological) end of the first film. This is used to imply that he's going to kill her as the viewer is not treated to her death.
  • Pet the Dog: The way he treats the Customer. This is the only kill we see him perform directly and he takes the time to comfort her before and during her death. However, giving that the Customer ordered the kill, it might have had more to with professionalism than with moral standards.
  • 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.
  • The Sociopath: Faux-charming, utterly ruthless and barely shows any emotions, he definitely qualifies. Which is probably why Wallenquist put him in charge of the human trafficking and organ harvesting branches of his organization. The Colonel is so detached from other people that he sees them as objects to be used for one purpose or the other.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: His film counterpart encounters Becky after the events of The Big Fat Kill. In the comic that story took place after Hell and Back (which neither film adapted), where he was killed.
  • The Stoic: On par with Kevin, which makes him just as creepy despite not being completely silent like the cannibal. He oversees brainwashing, organ harvesting and forced prostitution without a hint of being moved by what he does. He finally show emotions, anger in this case, when Liebowitz has him at gunpoint after shutting down his operations.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Downplayed in that he shows his first (and only) genuine emotion outwardly just before he is shot in the head.
    The Colonel: Liebowitz. You bloody fool. You're making a terrible mistake.

    Delia aka Blue Eyes

Portrayed by: N/A

  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Her nickname comes from her striking blue eyes and she has many pieces of her clothes coloured this way on the panels. This is used to differentiate her from Mariah, her rival, who has red hair and a red one-piece suit.
  • 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: Serves as this to the Colonel with Mariah taking over her position after her death.
  • Improbable Weapon User: She kills a man by throwing her heel into his eyeball.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: She gets away with murdering several people but she finally gets her due when Wallace paralyzes her and then shot her as an act of mercy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Well, see for yourself.
  • Neck Snap: She does this twice to off her targets.
  • 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.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Presumably thanks to her training to become an assassin, she's a lot stronger than what her small physique lets on. Among her displays of strength are: knocking out a man with a single punch (snapping his neck when doing so), being able to carry a grown man on her shoulder, and pinning a man against a wall with one leg and crushing his throat at the same time.
  • The Vamp: She frequently seduces men and sleeps with the targets she "likes." Her boss even gets irritated by it, considering it unprofessional.
  • 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: N/A

Independent Villains

    Ava Lord
Portrayed by: Eva Green

  • Adaptational Villainy: She is much more of a Card-Carrying Villain in the movie, making none of the Blatant Lies she makes in the ending of the comic to weasel her way out and instead entices Dwight to be evil with her.
  • Arc Villain: Of A Dame to Kill For, in which she tries to manipulate Dwight, leading to all the trouble he faces.
  • Arch-Enemy: Is this to Dwight McCarthy, whom she used to date and later tries to manipulate into murdering her husband.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She pretends to be the helpless victim to get men to do what she wants.
  • Blatant Lies: When Dwight finally has her cornered with no way out she spins a desperate story about how Manute used ancient mysticism to enthrall Damian and herself into becoming his slaves, and how he was responsible for everything she's done. Dwight gives her a kiss and shoots her.
  • 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 that truly evil people do exist.
  • The Chessmaster: Her plan is to manipulate Dwight into killing her husband whom she claims is abusive towards her. Once Dwight does so, she reveals it was only so she could inherit his wealth and tries to kill Dwight as well and makes it look like self-defense, manipulating the police into thinking he has been stalking her for years to the point he killed her husband out of obsession.
  • Consummate Liar: Lies effortlessly, incredibly often, and is disturbingly good at manipulating people through them.
  • The Corrupter: It's what she does.
    • As mentioned a few times, she managed to manipulate Dwight into killing an innocent man.
    • Mort was one of the least dirty cops in Sin City, with a wife and kids. That was before Ava got her hooks into him. Eventually he leaves his family for her, attempts to use his authority to hunt down and kill Dwight because Ava's convinced him that Dwight's a abusive lunatic who's coming to kill her (which is only half-right), and shoots his partner Bob in the head when Bob tries once again to convince him that something's not right with Ava and he needs to break things off. Then Mort shoots himself in horror.
    • Manute says she has had dozens of victims.
  • Damsel in Distress: Pleads with Dwight to save her from her abusive husband. Very subverted.
  • Didn't See That Coming: She made Mort into her plaything much like she did Dwight, but she didn't count on him wigging out and shooting his partner Bob for trying to convince him that Ava was dangerous, and then being mortified at what he'd done and shooting himself. Wallenquist points this out as an example of how she's not as smart as she thinks she is.
  • Does Not Like Men: Despite making a life of manipulating men, she absolutely hates having to use sex to get what she wants out of them. Her ultimate goal is to be secure as to never have to use those methods again.
  • Domestic Abuse: Falsely claimed to be a victim of this via Manute with her husband watching and getting off as Manute tortured her and being imprisoned within the mansion. She even set up situations which seemed to support her story.
  • Evil Gloating: If she'd just shot Dwight in the back, he might never have realized she'd betrayed him, at least not for a while. But she had to gloat and monologue, and so Dwight got to see what she was really like, and he got a reason to go on living. Namely, HATE.
  • Evil Plan: Ava Lord manipulates her ex into killing her husband for money.
  • 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 Old Town pause.
  • Hate Sink: There's really nothing here to like. Well, personality-wise, anyway.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A self-admitted bad shot. When Dwight's less than ten feet away from her she unloads a pistol into him and while she does severe damage, she never manages to hit center mass. Even when she tries to line up a headshot, she just hits him in the side of the face. Usually, Manute's the one who does the killing for her.
  • Karmic Death: Ultimately killed by Dwight, one of the men who she had so easily manipulated into killing for her, after her lies finally come apart entirely.
  • 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 skinny dipping. She uses her looks to manipulate any man to do her bidding. The fact that she's played by Eva Green certainly helps sell her status as a femme fatale.
  • 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, and she screws that up.
  • Paper Tiger: Her main trick is reading men, getting them to sympathize with her by playing the damsel in distress, and using that to manipulate them into doing things for her, generally with sex. It doesn't work so well when the man is smart enough to recognize what she's trying to do (Wallenquist) or managed to escape getting killed by Manute (unlike all the other men who fell for it) by virtue of having a bigger badder guy for a friend and therefore knows she ain't no damsel (Dwight). She can't even shoot straight as a back-up skill.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Her last story ("Manute used ancient mysticism to hypnotize me!") smacks of Darkest Africa stereotypes.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The courtesy of Eva Green.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: Ava spends a large amount of her time swimming or bathing. Dwight once jokingly referred to her as a mermaid, and she shares their ability to manipulate any man to go their unwitting deaths.
  • Smug Snake: Despite her having a near-supernatural affinity to lying, the sheer amount of confidence she possesses is enough that she makes several critical mistakes as the story goes, which ultimately kills her in the end. Wallenquist even gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech pointing out that she isn't as clever as she thinks she is after she makes a failed pass at him, but she doesn't learn anything from it.
  • 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.

Dubbed by: Paul Borne (European French, A Dame to Kill For)

  • Above the Influence: When Gail tries to seduce him, he sees straight through it, and tells her not to try to trick him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: A little. In the comics, there's a dedicated torturer who performs his art upon Gail when she's captured. In the movies, Manute does the torture of Gail himself, making Eva's story about him being a skilled torturer actually true.
  • Arch-Nemesis: He and Dwight butt heads many times.
  • Battle Butler: He could also be considered a Badass Driver since he's a chauffeur, but he rarely drives. He's nigh-unbeatable in a fight, and has personally dispatched dozens of Ava Lord's victims.
  • Bald of Evil: He's a crazy fundamentalist who worships at the feet of Ava Lord, and is willing to harm or kill anyone she tells him to.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed: Gail tries to seduce him at one point, and this is her comment after she gets a feel. Apparently he's "hung like a brontosaurus", although she may be flattering him to win him over.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Subverted when he rejects Dwight's claims that he's in love with Ava Lord. He follows her out of fear. He still holds her in quite high regard, calling her the "Goddess", and is pissed enough at her death to help Wallenquist take vengeance upon the girls of Old Town in The Big Fat Kill.
  • The Brute: Manute is strong enough to backhand Gail across the room, and can even trade punches with Marv.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Evil Plan: In "The Big Fat Kill," Manute seeks to destroy Old Town when the prostitutes there killed one of his organization's Dirty Cops.
  • Eye Scream: Marv ripped out his eye.
  • Faux Affably Evil: While he acts polite and complimentary, it's clear Manute's pretty much devoid of any redeemable qualities.
  • The Fundamentalist: He truly believes, after having seen her seduce dozens of men into giving her what she wants and dying afterward, that Ava is an immortal goddess who sees into the hearts of men and destroys them at her whim rather than a particularly perceptive and manipulative sociopath. Dwight realizes that he's as crazy as Ava is. After Dwight kills Ava, Manute's religious zeal for her does not wane, he merely decides to make Dwight pay for murdering his goddess while denying him the honor of dying alongside her.
  • Glass Eye: Has a fake gold eye as a the result of Marv ripping out the original eye during A Dame to Kill For.
  • Happiness in Slavery: More of less. He does Ava's dirty work because he sees her as a goddess (or as close as possible) and worships her from a position of fear and godly love. He later serves Wallenquist, although he's not certain if he feels similarly toward the crime boss or just wants to get the chance to kill Dwight.
  • 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.
  • Made of Iron: He takes six bullets to the chest towards the end of A Dame To Kill For and it doesn’t even slow him down. Granted, they were only .25 calibre rounds, but a subsequent .45 to the shoulder leaves him with no long term damage. Averted at the end of The Big Fat Kill, when it just takes More Dakka to finish the job.
  • 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.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Dwight finds out that punching him is like punching a vault door. Marv does not.
  • 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.
  • Super-Strength: Downplayed. He doesn't lift cars or anything, but his punch is described as a wrecking ball and one of them sends Dwight flying out a window and some distance into the street.
  • Wicked Cultured: Speaks eloquently and loquaciously, but is as crazy as his goddess if not more. At least Ava doesn't think she's a deity.
  • The Worf Effect: As badass as he is, he is sometimes a measuring stick to show how badass other heroes are.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When he realizes he and his men walked right into a trap set up by Dwight and the Girls, the normally stoic and monotone Manute yells at the top of his lungs.
    Manute: McCarthy, YOU SHIIIIT!