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- 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. In The Big Fat Kill, he spouts his low opinion of modern country music while driving an injured Dwight to the hospital.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Marv is often considered stupid and insane, an opinion that he shares. He did poorly in school, has No Social Skills, gets "confused" a lot, and often has violent blackouts, although he has mentioned fighting in a war and suffering from traumatic symptoms. In his first story, he mentions that he has always been good at puzzles, implying that he's capable of solving complex mysteries. He was certainly intelligent enough to go up against a powerful crime family. He also cares a lot about his friends and family, is friendly towards complete strangers, and is something of an awkward gentleman with women. On the other hand, he often displays bizarre emotional responses, most prominently a near-sociopathic Lack of Empathy — there have been multiple instances of him remaining genuinely perfectly calm during moments of intense chaotic violence, and he's capable of cool, calculated cruelty and a complete lack of queasiness or discomfort while casually torturing people to death (not that his victims didn't deserve it).
Marv: I got a condition. It's bad to forget your medicine when you got a condition.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV. He generally doesn't start trouble with people who don't deserve it, and has shown selfless heroism on at least one occasion.
- 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. 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.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's jolly, jovial, loves combat and is a pretty bombastic guy when he's drinking.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- Face of a Thug: Marv is looks and sounds pretty damn intimidating, but is a fundamentally decent guy.
- "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.
- Gentle Giant: When not on the job.
Portrayed by: N/A
- 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.
- Rapunzel Hair: He has long black hair.
- 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.
- Would Hit a Girl: He does not share Marv's aversion to hurting women, as shown by his lethal actions toward female opponents.
- 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 Marcy 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.
- Decapitation Presentation: Senator Roark cuts Marcy's head off and throws it to him.
- Doomed Moral Victor: Though he is murdered by Senator Roark, he doesn't care, since he publicly humiliated him twice and showed that he's Not So Invincible After All.
- Face Death with Dignity: Accepts his fate before being killed by Senator Roark.
- 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 Marcy is killed.
- Idiot Ball: Liebowitz warns him to leave town after beating Senator Roark at poker and humiliating him in front of his allies, instead he tours the city with Marcy.
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself for Marcy's death.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Receives one from Senator Roark's men. And gives one to them too.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There's another main character named Johnny in the comics. And John Hartigan and "Iron Jack" (John) Rafferty.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "That blackjack of yours could split somebody's skull open."
- Professional Gambler: Considering his skill and success, he's probably one of these.
- Single Tear: He has one rolling down his face when Roark shoots him in the head.
- Son of a Whore: According to Senator Roark.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Every time she uses a bladed weapon, limbs come off. At one point in The Big Fat Kill, she casually shoved a sword through the roof of a car and into a guy's skull.
- Animal Motifs: In Family Values, Dwight likens her to a cat when she plays with her target before the kill.
- Dual Wielding: Miho prefers two katana blades when she goes into action.
- Flechette Storm: Both her regular shurikens and her big manji shuriken.
- Honor Before Reason: She briefly went against Old Town, her own employers, because Dwight saved her life and she owed him her allegiance.
- 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: Word of God is that she's literally this. Does seem more noble than usual though.
- Nonstandard Character Design: In her later appearances, Miho is always drawn as just an outline, with no shading whatsoever.
- One-Man Army: She is more than capable of taking down multiple gun-wielding mooks with a katana without breaking a sweat.
- Pinball Projectile: She uses her manji shuriken in this manner a few times.
- Professional Killer: Miho is very much an assassin.
- Psycho for Hire: One of the rare heroic examples of such.
- Sociopathic Hero: A lesser case, although she occasionally does things that make even the girls of Old Town squicked out at times.
- The Stoic: Miho has no expression on her face other than a deadly calm when she goes to work.
- Tsundere: In Family Values, her softer side is shown when she cuddles up and goes to sleep on Dwight's lap and seems to have a very comfortable demeanor around him, in contrast to her earlier depictions where she is moments away from slicing him in half. Whether or not there is romance is up for debate. It hasn't stopped fans from Shipping the two of them. It's also a nod to her being frequently described as "catlike" in her mercurial attitudes and casual cruelty.
- The Voiceless: She also never speaks.
"Do I take this cop down and risk it all?"
"Never let the monster out. Not for one second."
- Adaptational Modesty: In The Big Fat Kill, he's naked in Shelly's apartment. In the film, he's wearing slacks.
- Always Save the Girl: Shows big time during the end of The Big Fat Kill, in willing to surrender Old Town in exchange for Gail. Unfortunately for the bad guys this is just a distraction serving to buy time for the rest of the Old Town girls to show up and unleash hell.
- Anti-Hero: Type III without the Nominal Hero tendencies at the start of The Big Fat Kill. Though he was dangerously close to a Type IV when he considered shooting a cop without knowing whether he was clean or not. Generally, however, he's a normal guy who has been squicked out by the actions of both Marv and Miho.
- 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.
- Bald of Awesome: He fits this at first but he later grows his hair out.
- Batman Gambit: His plans often include a lot of manipulation but go off without a hitch.
- 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.
- The Chessmaster: Demonstrated in how he outwits Ava in A Dame to Kill For and Manute in The Big Fat Kill
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.
- Big Brother Instinct: Goldie has been murdered; Wendy is not pleased...
- The Cameo: They both have one in A Dame to Kill For.
- Dark Action Girl: An anti-heroic version. Wendy even moreso than Goldie.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Marv has this for Goldie.
- 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.
- Pistol-Whipping: Wendy does this to Marv during his interrogation, and gets lectured on proper techniques by Marv.
- 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.
- 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.
- You Killed My Father: Wendy initially thinks Marv has killed Goldie, but then turns it towards Kevin when she learns of Marv's innocence.
- Afraid of Blood: She requests an early leave after Jackie Boy's death, claiming that blood was too much for 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 Colonel 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.
- 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 - including her work as a prostitute.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: She casually refers to the Amigo, a homosexual bar, as a "fag joint".
- Spared By Adaptation: Downplayed. She survives the assault by the girls of Old Town, only to be shot in an arm and later make an appointment with the Colonel. The film ends with her being confronted by The Salesman, apparently meant to end in her murder.
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
- Anti-Hero: Type II with some treading into Type IV territory while killing Junior.
- Arch-Enemy: Roark Junior, whom he mutilated for raping children and eventually escapes from prison to take 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.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When he gets his hands on Rourke Jr, the results are... messy.
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- 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 the subhuman garbage who tried to rape Nancy twice, no 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.
- Taking the Heat: Goes to prison so that Nancy can live.
- 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: 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He's a short fat man in the comics. In the films, he's played by Michael Madsen and Jeremy Piven.
- Boom Head Shot: Gets shot in the head Mort after calling Eva a whore one too many times.
- Cassandra Truth: Unlike Mort, Bob sees through Eva's act in A Dame to Kill For and becomes suspicious that she was the one to kill her husband. Mort refuses to believe him.
- Death by Irony: Gets killed by Mort after trying to get him to do the right thing. Quite similar to how Bob betrayed Hartigan.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Evil Mentor: Sometime in the past, Cardinal Roark was approached by Kevin, a cannibal who murdered and dined on Old Town's prostitutes, believing he was devouring their souls. Convinced that Kevin was being spoken to by God, Cardinal Roark assuaged the boy's pangs of guilt and stashed him at the Roark family farm.
- Expecting Someone Taller: When Marv finally meets him face-to-face, he says that Patrick is a lot smaller than he thought he'd be.
- Face Death with Dignity: Like Kevin, Cardinal Roark refuses to give Marv the satisfaction of seeing him show fear. Subverted in the end though, as Marv describes the way he screams and gurgles and cries as he dies as "beautiful" and extremely satisfying.
- 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.
- Villain with Good Publicity: It's said he could've been president but chose to spend his life serving God instead. Even so, he's still influential and well-loved enough by the populace to get his brother elected senator.
- You Monster!: He calls Marv a monster after he shows him Kevin's head. Marv's blase reply is "At least I don't eat people."
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He's a Fat Bastard in the comics. In the film, he's played by 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Heir Club for Men: He's obsessed with creating a legacy for himself through his son and descendants. The reason he's so vengeful towards Hartigan is because the old cop dashed his dreams of having Junior become President and nearly ended the Roark family line by shooting off Junior's genitals. These dreams permanently come to an end with his wife dead and Junior killed by Hartigan.
- I Want Grandkids: The only reason he helped his son get his genitals back. Hartigan kills Junior, and tears out his genitals in case he could survive before he could rape Nancy, thus ruining his chances of getting grandkids from her or anyone Junior would choose to keep.
- Karma Houdini: By the end of Hartigan's story. However, Hartigan notes that the Senator's plans for a legacy are dashed, and nobody left to fill his role in Sin City. And he'll be joining his brother and his son in Hell very soon. In the second movie, A Dame to Kill For, he's killed by Nancy at the end of "Nancy's Last Dance", a story penned by Miller.
- Mad Eye: In the comics, his left eye is drawn without a retina, and seems to be permanently wide open.
- Named by the Adaptation: The film version of A Dame to Kill For reveals his son's name to be Ethan. Since he's Roark Junior, it is undoubtedly his first name, too.
- Offing the Offspring: In the second film, he knowingly murders his bastard son, Johnny, after Johnny humiliates him twice at cards. He even makes a joke about it afterwards.
- Overarching Villain: 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Body Horror: Gets his ear and his balls blown off by Hartigan. The process to rebuild his body involves witchcraft, genetic engineering and god knows what else, leaving his body unable to process waste. As a result, he turns yellow and smells awful.
- Bright Is Not Good: His yellow skin provides a Splash of Color in the comic, and he is a thoughly disgusting and revolting human being.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Hartigan rips his balls off with his bare hands before viciously beating him to death.
- Dirty Coward: If he isn't running away from a fight, he's sneaking around, planning to strike when Hartigan least expects it.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 or a threat.
- 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.
- Loves To Hear Them Scream: In fact, it's deconstructed by Nancy. He's unable to rape her because he might be impotent without it, thus she refuses to do so when he starts whipping her.
- Named by the Adaptation: The second film names him, and presumably his father, as Ethan Roark.
- Nightmare Fetishist: "He likes to hear them scream."
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His death involves Hartigan literally pummeling his head into mush.
- Obviously Evil: His new form as the "yellow bastard" finally shows him as rotten and disgusting on the outside as he already was on the inside. In the second film, Roark even lampshades this.
- 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.
- Red Right Hand: He's literally yellow.
- Sadist: He can only get it up if the girls scream.
- 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.
- 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.
- Would Hurt a Child: His crimes consisted of nothing but raping and killing children.
- 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.
- Arch-Enemy: Is this to Marv, as he killed a hooker the man loved.
- 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.
- Dodge the Bullet: Does this against Marv.
- 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.
- Drop the Hammer: In his first fight with Marv, he knocks him out with a sledgehammer. He doesn't have it the next time, and Marv manages to last longer.
- 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.
- Enemy Mime: He is mute which only makes him more creepy.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Word of God is Kevin hates Roark Jr. and thinks he's an abomination. He briefly appears in the story and apparently ignores Hartigan as he goes to finish off Roark Jr 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: Word of God is that he's this to Miho.
- 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.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Provides the page image.
- 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.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: He confessed to his crimes out of apparent guilt, but unfortunately the clergyman who took the confession was Cardinal Roark, who convinced him to keep doing what he was doing because he genuinely believed that Kevin really was being spoken to by God.
- Holy Hitman: Kevin is very devout (overlooking or ignoring that his habits are in direct opposition to the Sixth Commandment; "You shall not murder"), in his insanity he believes his murderous tendencies are instructions from God. The Roarks use him as an assassin from time-to-time.
- 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.
- Laser-Guided Karma / 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; he finishes him by cutting off his head.
- 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.
- Slasher Smile: The only expression he ever makes.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Though he is never heard speaking, Cardinal Roark describes his voice as "that of an angel". Then again, Cardinal Roark may be insane, so this is questionable.
- Special Person, Normal Name: He's a cannibalistic serial killer who never makes a sound, even when being tortured to death. He's so dangerous that he could take out Marv without getting a scratch. He might even literally be a demon. You can call him Kevin.
- Stealth Expert: He can move without making a sound, and Marv is shocked that he was able to sneak up on him.
- The 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
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Shlubb is the big guy to Klump's little guy.
- Butt Monkeys: They're usually on the receiving end of humiliation from the protagonist of the story they appear in. Hartigan beats them silly twice, Dwight kneecaps them and they get blown up by a bomb wrapped in carpet.
- Delusions of Eloquence: The original Trope Namers.
Basin City Mob
Herr Wallenquist (aka Mob Boss Wallenquist)
- Expy: Given his tendency to wear single-color suits (usually white), his immense size, and his baldness, it's possible that he's basically a German version of Daredevil villain Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin. It's notable that Frank 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 organzation.
- 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.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: He is probably the only male that does not give in to Ava Lord's advances.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- Card-Carrying Villain: She openly brags about being pure evil, saying that society throws around the word madness in an attempt to justify evil people's actions rather than admitting evil people do exist.
- 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-defence, 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.
- Distressed Damsel: Pleads with Dwight to save her from her abusive husband. Very subverted.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Faux Affably Evil: While he acts polite and complimentary, it's clear Manute's pretty much devoid of any redeemable qualities.
- Glass Eye: Has a fake gold eye as a the result of Marv ripping out the original eye during A Dame to Kill For.
- The Heavy: In The Big Fat Kill, while he is under orders from Wallenquist, he is the dominant bad guy in the story. Also, as big as he is, he's probably pretty heavy as well.
- I Lied: He apparently told Becky that he would let her live. He lied.
- Iron Butt Monkey: He gives Dwight a good beating in his first appearance in A Dame to Kill For before quickly becoming something of a punching bag in the Sin City universe.
- Made of Iron: He takes six bullets to the chest towards the end of A Dame To Kill For and it doesnt 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.
- Nice Hat: When working as a butler and chauffeur for Ava, he wears a chauffeur hat as part of his uniform. When Dwight brings Marv along to take him on, Marv steals it and wears it during the getaway.
- No Kill Like Overkill: When Manute finally goes down in The Big Fat Kill, it's under a positively withering hail of bullets courtesy of the girls of Old Town. A Deleted Scene from the first film has Miho slice him in half.
- Recurring Character: Again, one of the few bad guys who keeps showing up. Even after he dies, thanks to the non-linear timeline.
- Scary Black Man: There's a reason Dwight had to call in Marv to help take this guy down. After Dwight had his face rearranged by this guy, he knew he couldn't take this guy alone.