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Sin City

It was during the "Born Again" arc on Daredevil or Give Me Liberty (whichever came earlier) that I first became aware how often Frank Miller re-used certain themes or devices. The violent, yet weirdly sympathetic, pill-popping psychopathic killer obsessed with a beautiful woman whose head we inhabit while he goes on an inevitably tragic journey is a character he's used in various forms on Daredevil's "Born Again" (twice), the DD Marvel graphic novel "Love and War", Ronin, Dark Knight Returns and others. Sometimes not all of these traits are there of course, but usually most of them are.

And so, Sin City, from a story telling point of view, is nothing new for Miller. Marv talks to himself and the reader, is delusional, pops pills, gets obsessed with the hooker Goldie, uses his almost superhuman combat abilities to take on a system and antagonists even more corrupt and violent than him, then dies for love.

However, visually Sin City has a kinetic chiaroscuro energy quite unlike any of Miller's previous artwork. The sense of design, the balletic combat captured in mid-motion, was always there of course, but softened by (usually) Lyn Varley's gorgeous palletes. Here, in a volume ironically dedicated to Varley, the panels assault you like acid rain, like truncheons. Is it possible that Miller's style is better suited to black and white than colour?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 28, 2004 7:04 PM.

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