With the first book in the Sin City series, Frank Miller is finding his feet, experimenting with a hard-hitting black and white graphic style, alongside a noir thriller storyline designed to entertain and shock. It has the babes, the guns, the fisticuffs and the school of hard knocks attitude of the later Sin City books, but some of the styling, especially in the artwork, retains an experimental feel.
The story is a straightforward thriller, but is laden with more twists than the average mainstream comic work of the time. Without giving too much away, main character Marv gets into a lot of trouble over a girl. Marv can handle a lot of trouble though, and also dish out his fair share. Anything he can’t handle he has to take, and the result is a brutal series of violent set pieces, choreographed to perfection.
As an initiation to the Sin City books, there’s a little history revealed in this volume, though skipping it shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the later work. However, if you haven’t sampled any Sin City, this is as good a place to start as any. And as long as you can take guts with your action you won’t be disappointed, especially with the prospect of even better to come.