Book Review: Sin City (Volume 6) – Booze, Broads & Bullets by Frank Miller

TL;DR – Ever wondered what the characters of Sin City do in their spare time? This volume will present a smorgasbord of Sin City’s finest.

Summary (warning: spoilers)

Go to my book reviews page to read reviews of previous volumes of this Eisner award winning series.

A collection of short stories that cover the many characters explored in previous volumes of Sin City.

Review

Sin City (Volume 6) – Booze, Broads & Bullets is an eclectic collection of yarns that taps into the crime noir with varying emotion and dark humour. If you have read the previous volumes, then you’ll obtain a greater sense of satisfaction as characters featured previously are each given the limelight for a brief number of pages in this volume.

As with any short story collection, some pack a punch while others only tickle, and like any creative work, readers will enjoy some more than others.

For example, “Just Another Saturday Night” and “Silent Night” both star Marv (probably my favourite character in the entire Sin City series).

“Just Another Saturday Night” tells the story of Marv on the night John Hartigan comes into the bar to reunite with Nancy from Sin City (Volume 4) – That Yellow Bastard. It’s a straightforward telling that doesn’t do much to expand on Marv’s character. His desire to hunt down a bunch of teenagers dousing drunks in petrol and setting them alight is in line with Marv’s sense of duty to defend the weak. The extreme punishment dished out to the teenagers by Marv is nothing shocking if you have read Sin City (Volume 1) – The Hard Goodbye.

Likewise, “Silent Night” sees Marv hunting down a bunch of bad people involved in child prostitution and in the process saving a young girl named Kimberley. Marv dishes out his punishment with extreme prejudice as you would expect.

However, “Silent Night” is a far greater piece of work in my eyes than “Just Another Saturday Night”. The first thing that stands out is that “Silent Night” has almost no dialogue. Miller’s brilliant black and white illustrations tell the tale, and the panels showing Marv walking with his trench coat, hunched over, through a blizzard is truly breathtaking. “Silent Night” packs a punch to the gut that you will feel at night before you go to sleep, while “Just Another Saturday Night” is more like a slap to the shoulder that is easily forgotten.

Other colourful characters that make an appearance in their own telling include:

  • Fat Man and Little Boy in an explosive affair that imitates something you’d see out of a Looney Tunes cartoon.
  • Dwight McCarthy who investigates the death of his friend, Fargo, who was working with a private eye on a drug trafficking exposé.
  • The Colonel who takes on a hitwoman named Delia. Several short stories within this volume follow Delia.

Overall, Sin City (Volume 6) – Booze, Broads & Bullets is a satisfactory dive in getting a glimpse into the denizens of Sin City, but if you want to experience a greater roller coaster, Frank Miller’s previous volumes are the ones you should pick up first.

3 out of 5.

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