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Sin City: That Yellow Bastard
Words by Frank Miller - Art by Frank Miller - Published by Dark Horse (US), Titan Books (UK) - First published 1997 - Originally published as Sin City: That Yellow Bastard 1-6
The fourth book in the Sin City series is also the third to be use in the movie. In it John Hartigan, an honest if brutal cop, decides to take on a murdering paedophile on the day of his retirement. Unfortunately, the criminal is also the son of a leading politician, with more than enough political clout to get the charges reversed and Hartigan framed for the paedophile's crimes.
This is the first of the Sin City series to use spot colour throughout the book - the yellow bastard of the title is literally coloured in yellow, standing out from the other characters in a unique way.
As with A Dame to Kill For, the plot in this book is a little more convoluted than The Big Fat Kill, with some surprising twists and turns that make for a superior read. Hartigan's good-guy character isn't as morally flawed as your run-of-the-mill Sin City protagonist, setting him up for even more problems than most as he suffers under the corrupt system.
Miller's art is wonderful. Hartigan is an aging giant, with weary shadows cast across his wrinkled, angular features and enormous battered frame. Contrasting with the slight, diseased body of the yellow character and the soft curves of the almost inevitable strip joint Hartigan finds himself in, the characters are noir clichés made flesh.
This is Miller back on form with the Sin City series - it's dark, gritty, great to look at and features a well crafted plot. What more could you ask for from a noir classic?
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