Sin City is Frank Miller's comic book foray into the film noir field. In style and content it is reminiscent of the "hard-boiled" detective stories popularized by Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. The comics are drawn in pure black and white, with little to no shading, and only occasional splashes of color (usually of a character's eyes, or for clothing, although in That Yellow Bastard it was used for skin tone).
The stories center on the town of Basin City, which is located somewhere in the midwest. We see cactus and trees, and there is a waterfront along the river, so it isn't in the desert per se. My initial guess placed it in southern Colorado, but the series Hell and Back makes the waterfront look like the ocean front, so Sin City might be somewhere in California (which makes sense considering the Gold Rush angle mentioned below) . Basin City is fairly large, with a university and it's own basketball team (the Basin City Blues). It is also incredibly corrupt (hence the nickname of "Sin" City).
During the Gold Rush, a large number of women were brought in to keep the miners happy. These women ended up forming the district of Old Town, where the prostitutes live. In addition, the people in charge of the city remained in charge, running it as they saw fit. As it stands now, Sin City is noted for having a bar on every corner and police who are mostly corrupt with little regard for the law.
The books themselves are an excellent resource of ideas for any DARK CHAMPIONS game master, since they are crammed with interesting heroes (or anti-heroes), villains, NPCs, locations, and plot threads. It should stated, however, the graphic content of the books might not be for everyone, and reader discretion is advised.
Sin City was released as a full-length feature film in April of 2005. Directed by Robert Rodriguez it is a film adaptation of The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard. The film duplicates with uncanny accuracy the look of the original stories, right down to the use of black and white with color highlights. In fact, Rodriguez lists Miller as co-director, since he worked so closely with the original comics, treating them as his story boards. In addition, Rodriguez has stated he intend to film all of the Sin City stories. At the time of this writing, Rodriguez is working on Sin City II, which is due out in 2009, and looks to follow the plot of A Dame To Kill For.
Little Saigon: Mentioned in A Dame To Kill For.
Old Town: This district is where the prostitutes live and work. The police are not welcome here, and will be driven off if they show up in uniform or in their cruisers—the girls of Old Town take care of their own. Any prostitute in Old Town is going to be well-armed and Uzi's seem to be a popular choice of weapon.
The Projects: The run-down and poor side of Sin City. It is a tangle of high-rise apartments where crime runs rampant. Marv was born in the Projects.
Sacred Oaks: This is where the rich and well-to-do live. There also happens to be a university of some sort located here.
Alamo: A brothel in Old Town.
Amigo: A homosexual bar in Old Town.
Club Pecos: A country bar.
Kadie's: A country bar frequented by Marv and several other characters in the series. Kadie's most notable dancer is Nancy, who is devastatingly beautiful.
Langer's: A bar and grill.
Luigi's Pontormo Bar: This bar appears in Family Values.
Magliozzi Mansion: Located in Sacred Oaks, this mansion is the home of Don Giacco Magliozzi. It gets raided by Dwight and the ladies of Old Town at the end of Family Values.
The Mission (a.k.a. "Fortress Roark"): Seen in Sin City, this building is the home for Cardinal Roark. Marv breaks in and kills the Cardinal.
Old Factory Complex: Located north of Basin City, this was where The Colonel ran Wallenquist's slavery and organ harvesting operation in Hell and Back.
Roark Family Farm (a.k.a. "The Farm"): Located at North Cross and Lennox, this farm shows up in several stories, including Sin City, That Yellow Bastard, and Hell And Back. It was the home for Kevin, who was a silent serial killer. Marv burns down one of the buildings, and the Farm is abandoned sometime after the initial Sin City storyline.
The Colonel: It is unknown what he does exactly, and he appears only rarely in any of he books (until Hell and Back). One of Wallenquist lieutenants, The Colonel might be British. Scenes seem to indicate he is in charge of assassinations for Wallenquist, and helps train The Kraut's cadre of assassins and killers. He is killed by Lieutenant Liebowitz at the end of Hell and Back.
The Ladies of Old Town: The prostitutes of Old Town have an uneasy truce with everyone. At the moment they have an agreement with the police, and have been able to keep the Mafia and other criminal groups out of their section of the city. Aside from the Mafia and the Colonel's interests, a Tong once tried to muscle their way in.
The Mafia: Formerly managed by Don Giacco Magliozzi, the local La Cosa Nostra ends up in disarray after Don Magliozzi and his top aides and bosses wind up dead at the conclusion of Family Values.
Wallenquist (a.k.a. "The Kraut"): This huge man appears only rarely in the series, but is often mentioned by name. He and the Mafia do not get along and are at war in a quiet fashion.
Agamemnon: A "friend" of Dwight's, Agamemnon is a professional photographer. He is short, fat, and ugly (COM 6). He eats constantly.
Amy: Young woman who lures their men to their deaths at the hands of her "Daddy."
Andrea Vittoria Magliozzi: Niece of Don Giacco Magliozzi. Her death at the hands of Bruno sets off a years long quest for revenge.
Angie: An agent of Don Magliozzi's. She's the one that gets the goods on Bruno.
Ava Lord: Former lover to Dwight McCarthy. She left him to marry Damien Lord. Ava is very beautiful (COM of 18-22), and is the dame in A Dame To Kill For. She is evil through and through and carefully engineers Damien's death at the hands of Dwight. Apparently she destroys men for fun and profit, and Manute calls her "the goddess." She is killed by Dwight at the end of A Dame To Kill For.
Becky: An Old Town prostitute. She is working for the Colonel, mainly due to the fact the Colonel holds her mother hostage. Killed at the end of The Big Fat Kill.
Benny: Thug guarding Nancy Callahan. Killed by John Hartigan
Bernard G. Zimmer: A private investigator killed by Burt Schlubb.
Bibi: A highly-attractive model.
Bob: John Hartigan's partner in That Yellow Bastard. Killed by Mort in A Dame To Kill For.
Boogaard: Thug employed by Ava Lord.
Brian: IRA terrorist killed by Miho.
Bruno: A "low-rent killer" that Wallenquist turned into a "high-rent killer." He is gunned down by Vito the day before Family Values starts, killed in revenge for his killing of Andrea Vittoria Magliozzi, niece of Don Giacco Magliozzi.
Bruno's Chauffeur: Gunned down along with Bruno. The chauffeur carried twin revolvers (probably magnums).
Bundy: A Basin City police officer.
Burt Schlubb: See "Fat Man and Little Boy."
Burton: A friend of Hannah Liebowitz.
Captain: Ex-military, the Captain is a huge man with long hair surrounding a bald spot. I presume he's a former SEAL, as he calls Wallace "Commander." He is killed by Gordo roughly mid-way through Hell and Back.
Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark: A Catholic priest, Roark uses Kevin as his personal assassin. He feels that Kevin can speak with the voice of an angel and that eating Kevin's kills helps him reach religious ecstasy. Marv kills him towards the end of Sin City.
Carmen An Old Town prostitute. Her death at the hands of Bruno sets off the events detailed in Family Values.
Claire: Lucille's lover. She's a psychiatrist.
The Colonel: Shadowy crime boss seen only occasionally. He seems to be involved in everything, including assassination, vice, kidnapping, and smuggling. He works for Wallenquist, and is killed by Leibowitz at the end of Hell And Back.
Connely: The "money man." Killed by Marv.
Corporal Rivera: A Sin City police officer. Killed by Marv while Marv was breaking into The Mission.
Daddy: Amy's lover and a psychopathic killer.
Daisy: Carmen's lover and the woman who guns down Don Magliozzi and his "Board of Directors" at the end of Family Values.
Dallas: An Old Town prostitute. Drives a 1940 Ford coupe (fully restored) and packs twin revolvers. She is gunned down by IRA terrorists.
Damien Lord: Multimillionaire (15 points of Wealth), married to Ava Lord. He is beaten to death by Dwight McCarthy.
Davis: Torturer for the Colonel. Gunned down at the end of The Big Fat Kill.
Delia: Beautiful and nymphomaniac female assassin for the Colonel. Goes by the code name "Blue Eyes." As per her name, her eyes are always colored blue (as is some of her clothing). According to Maxine, the only two things she likes to do with men is make love to them and kill them. She is killed by Wallace in Hell And Back.
Detective Leibowitz: A crooked cop, Leibowitz tries to beat a confession out of John Hartigan in That Yellow Bastard. He then appears in Hell and Back as Lieutenant Liebowitz, where he ends up killing The Colonel for threatening his family.
Detective Lieutenant Jack Rafferty: Better known as "Iron Jack" in the papers. Jack is Shellie's former (abusive) boyfriend. Miho kills him and his four buddies after they threaten Becky with a gun. It is his death, and Dwight's attempts to dispose of the bodies, that sets up The Big Fat Kill.
Denise: An Old Town prostitute captured by Manuel's gang.
Doctor Fredric: Medical doctor who worked for The Colonel in Hell and Back. A homosexual, he was killed by Mariah to keep him quiet.
Don Giacco Magliozzi: Local Mafia Don. He orders the death of Bruno after discovering he was the one that killed his beloved niece Andrea Vittoria Magliozzi. Since the hit resulted in the death of Carmen, an Old Town girl, the girls of Old Town enlist Dwight in order to get revenge. The Don is eventually gunned down by Daisy.
Donna: Phil's ex-wife. He killed her.
Douglas Clump: See "Fat Man and Little Boy."
Dwight McCarthy: See his character sheet for more information.
Eddie DuBois: A thief who Delia is to kill.
Eileen Hartigan: John Hartigan's wife.
Esther: An attractive black woman with a perfect figure, Esther is a struggling actress kidnapped by the Colonel to be remade (via surgery) into a wife for a man overseas. She is rescued by Wallace, and the two of them leave Basin City at the end of Hell and Back.
"Fat Man and Little Boy": Burt Schlubb and Douglas Clump. Two low-rent thugs with delusions of grandeur. Schlubb is of average height, very heavy and fairly ugly (COM 6), with a distinct goblinish cast to his features. He is also pierced in multiple areas, especially in his ears and eyebrows. Clump is much shorter, thin and fairly plain looking. The both of them are highly eloquent, and will gladly use four words were one would do fine.
Fargo: A former dealer who is killed by Burt Schlubb.
Gabriel: Star player for the Basin City Blues basketball team.
Gail: Six feet tall, Gail is the closest thing to a "boss" the girls of Old Town have (at least in The Big Fat Kill). She is attractive (COM 16-18) with a good PRE and EGO, and has a love/hate relationship with Dwight McCarthy. Oh, knot-tying is her specialty, and she likes to smoke Russian cigarettes and drink European-styled coffee.
Gillerman: Editor of the Basin City Times. He is probably the same character as Gilleran.
Gilleran: Editor of the Basin City Gazette.
Gloria Canelli: Joey Canelli's wife.
Golda Liebowitz: Wife of Lieutenant Liebowitz.
Goldie: An Old Town prostitute. Her death at the opening of Sin City kicks off the whole series.
Gordo: A huge thug of the Colonel's. He is as strong as he is stupid. Killed by Wallace in Hell And Back.
Hannah Liebowitz: Lieutenant Liebowitz's daughter.
Hildy: Lieutenant Liebowitz's secretary.
Jacoby: Thug employed by Ava Lord.
Jenna: A friend of Hannah Liebowitz.
Jerry: The Captain's lover. Also an ex-military man, he has a scarred face and is quite skilled with certain weapons—like a TOW missile.
Jim: Man killed by Delia in order to become an assassin for the Colonel.
Joey Canelli: Man who tries to kill Sally at the start of A Dame To Kill For. His wife is Gloria.
John Hartigan: John is a Basin City cop, and an honest Basin City cop at that (a rarity to be sure). He is pushing 60 at the start of That Yellow Bastard and nearing retirement. John suffers from angina (a heart condition), has a wife named Eileen, and makes the mistake of rescuing 11-year-old Nancy Callahan from the clutches of Roark Jr. He ends up spending close to 9 years in prison for his trouble and dies at the end of That Yellow Bastard.
Josh Liebowitz: Lieutenant Liebowitz's son.
Johnny: Man suckered into trying to win Amy in Daddy's Little Girl. Daddy kills him.
Josie: A bartender at Kadie's.
Kadie: Manager of Kadie's. Marv describes her as a "sweet old transsexual." Kadie also gives Marv all his drinks for free in payment for the many favors he's done for her. She may be the same character as "Josie."
Kelley: An Old Town prostitute captured by Manuel's gang.
Kimberly: A little girl that Marv rescues in the short story Silent Night.
Koonz: Some thug.
Koontz: A guard employed by Damien Lord. The same as Koonz?
Lenny: Thug guarding Nancy Callahan. Killed by John Hartigan
Lucca: A Mafia thug. Dwight has Vito shoot him.
Lucille: Defense Attorney for John Hartigan and Marv's Parole Officer. She is very beautiful (COM of 18-20), fairly strong (STR 13-15) and a lesbian (Her lover's name is Claire.). She is gunned down in Sin City.
Maeve: IRA terrorist killed by Dwight.
Manson: Basin City police officer. Nine years ago he was a woman, now he's just a large and angry man with marriage problems. The Captain ends up killing him to save Wallace.
Manuel: Ran a white slavery ring with his four brothers. Dwight "dealt" with him.
Marcie: Woman who works at the Alamo.
Mariah: One of the Colonel's assassins. She has orange-tinted hair and clothing, and quite skilled with a variety of hand-to-hand weapons. Delia calls her a slob with regards to her methods. Wallace breaks her nose towards the end of Hell and Back.
"Mary": The woman in the red dress that Dwight rescues from being killed by Fat Man and Little Boy.
Maxine: The Colonel's pet "chemist," who is part of his slavery ring in Hell and Back. She drugs Wallace, and helps in brainwashing people captured to serve as slaves. Wallace ends up killing her.
Molly: An Old Town prostitute/doctor who saves Dwight McCarthy from dying in A Dame To Kill For.
Morales: A stoolie.
Mort: Another honest cop (or so it seems). He runs afoul of Ava in A Dame to Kill For and ends up killing Bob, his partner, before killing himself.
Mrs. Mendoza: Wallace's landlady. A retired nurse, she carries a .38 snub-nosed revolver, and almost certainly knows how to use it.
Muffin: Ava Lord's Burmese cat. Probably a fictional animal.
Murphy: IRA terrorist killed by Dwight.
Nancy Callahan: The dancer to see at Kadie's, Nancy is young and very beautiful (COM of 22-24). Her dancing is superb (PS: Exotic Dancer 16-). As Marv is very fond of her, no one is dumb enough to lay a finger on her. According to John Hartigan all she does is study, read, and write, so she would seem to be highly intelligent as well.
Nisha: High school student Josh Liebowitz tires to go on a date with.
Orrin: Fredric's male lover. Killed by Mariah.
Otto: Bartender at Luigi's Pontormo Bar. Notable for the sheer size of his nose.
Peggy: An aging barfly and alcoholic who frequents Luigi's Pontormo Bar. Dwight plies her with drinks in Family Values.
Phil: Used-car salesman killed by Delia. It turns out he had recently killed his wife, Donna.
Poppa: Owner of the restaurant where Bruno was killed. He broke his nose and took a slug in the rear during the hit.
Purvis: A men's magazine publisher.
Roark Jr.: Young Roark Jr. is the son of Senator Roark. He handsome, young, and rich. He's also a demented sociopath who preys on young girls, killing them to get his sexual kicks. His father wants to make him president. After John Hartigan gets though with him, he spends some time in a coma. Once he "recovers," he is yellow-skinned, bald, and ugly. Hartigan likens his smell to that of rotten meat. However, Roark Jr. is very strong and is capable of laying a man out with single punch. Roark Jr. dies a much deserved death towards the end of That Yellow Bastard.
Ronnie: IRA terrorist killed by Miho.
Sally: An Old Town prostitute. She is almost killed by Joey at the start of A Dame To Kill For.
Sam: A friend of Hannah Liebowitz.
Sandy: An Old Town prostitute captured by Manuel's gang.
Sarah: An Old Town prostitute.
Senator Roark: Senator Roark is a very, very corrupt politician. In That Yellow Bastard he brags how the Roark's can commit any crime they want and people will fall all over themselves to either take the blame, or make sure that no one sees anything. He has enormous political and financial power, and can easily destroy anyone he chooses. The Senator's brother is Cardinal Roark.
Shellie: A waitress at Kadie's. She is Dwight McCarthy's occasional girlfriend.
Spinelli: A Mafia thug. Miho kills him.
Stan: A hit-man killed by Marv. He is noted for wearing "one fine coat."
Stuka: Leather-wearing thug of the Colonel's. He is bald and has a swastika written on his forehead. Miho puts an arrow though his chest and a second one through his neck.
Tammy: An Old Town prostitute with medical training.
Telly Stern: He "runs the tables over at the Triple Ace Club." Odds are he ends up dead at Marv's hands.
Tommy: Marv drowns him in a toilet.
Vincent (Vinnie): A fairly ugly Mafia thug (COM 8). He makes the mistake of insulting Miho and of thinking he can carve her up with his knife. She kills him... eventually.
Vito: The man who gunned down Bruno. Nephew to Don Magliozzi. Killed by Daisy.
Wallenquist: Also known as "The Kraut", Wallenquist is a crime lord who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Marvel Comic's character the Kingpin.
Weevil: A stoolie found at Kadie's. He bears a remarkable resemblance to Wolverine of X-Men fame.
Wendy: Goldie's twin sister.
Yuengling: A lawyer.
Zep: An "old hop-head."
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