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on March 21, 2005
This is Frank Miller's second Sin City story. While it doesn't quite match The Hard Goodbye, it's a damn fine example of comics noir in it's own right. The lead character this time around is Dwight, but fans of Marv will be pleased to know that he shows up here in a supporting role. This story takes place prior to, and concurrently with, "The Hard Goodbye". In fact, you can see Marv enacting some scenes from "The Hard Goodbye" in the background of panels here. Anyway, the story is about how Dwight's ex-girlfriend Ava comes and asks him for help. I don't want to give away the story, but it may seem a bit familiar to fans of film noir. Despite what may seem like a predictable storyline, I loved it because it is so well told and the art is beautiful. This is not one of the stories that is being adapted for the Sin City motion picture, but the sequel to this book, The Big Fat Kill is in the movie.
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on January 22, 2005
Simpler than other volumes in the series, "A Dame To Kill For" is still a cool, dark slice of comic book noir -- imagine Eisner's "Spirit" onscreen, as directed by the Coens in a more serious mood.

This may be my favorite of the books (though trying to pick a favorite "Sin City" yarn is like trying to select a favorite Beatles album). It encapsulates everything I like about Miller's work: beautiful black-and-white illustrations with an emphasis on venetian blinds; cigarette smoke; shattered glass and dangerous curves; twisty storylines that pop in on one another; hot mamas and serious ultraviolence.

Plus, it contains my favorite moment in the entire series: Dwight, shot and seriously wounded by the murderous harlot he loved, is being raced away from a crime scene by Marv (who has a nice supporting role here). Marv says Dwight won't survive unless they get to the nearest hospital; Dwight, a bloody mess, insists on being taken somewhere further away and delivers the line of dialogue that best sums up the ethos of "Sin City" : "I'll make it. I won't die. I've got too much I have to do to let myself die." Sweet.
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on April 10, 2005
Sin City may be black ink on white paper, but it's nothing without the grey. The characters in this book are grey--all over.

A Dame to Kill For is the story of Dwight. Dwight is a good guy with 2 bad habits--booze & broads. But he's sober now. He's taking great pictures of husbands doing nasty things to women who aren't their wives in order to make a living as a private-eye. Dwight is damaged, but on the mend--until Ava shows up. Then it all gets messy. Really messy.

This is the 2nd tale of Sin City and about mid-way through the story Marv, the star of the first book, makes a guest appearance. This book stands completely on its own from book 1 (The Hard Goodbye). However, Marv's story in The Hard Goodbye begins to intertwine with Dwight's and Miller throws in a few cameos for those who read The Hard Goodbye.

This is probably my favorite Sin City yarn. I love them all, but in my opinion creator Frank Miller found his stride in book 1 then ran with it in spades with this book.

And for those folks delving into the world of Sin City because of the 2005 film, this book will be a special treat cuz it's the prequel to Dwight's story in The Big Fat Kill, in which Clive Owen, Michael Clarke Duncan & Rosario Dawson starred in the 2005 film. Do yourself a favor and throw down the cash for this book now. Trust me, $12 is peanuts for the all entertainment packed in these pages.
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VINE VOICEon April 27, 2000
In 1986, Frank Miller ushered in a new age in comic writing and illustration with his landmark "Batman: The Dark Night Returns." A couple of years later, he reinvented the form again with his gritty return to Daredevil. To almost no one's surprise, Miller completely retooled the medium with his take on film noir in "Sin City".
How radical was this alteration in Miller's artistic vision?
In a world of garish, computer-derived colors, Miller constructed a world of broad swaths of black ink. In a medium dominated increasingly by splash pages linked by plots beneath the sophistication level of your average porno movie, Miller delivered a compelling satire of modern urban existence. In an industry increasingly convinced of its own sociological significance, Miller crafts a tale so over-the-top in its violent imagery as to eradicate any claim to stature amongst the Starbucks set.
How do you follow up the outstanding statement that was "Sin City"?
You don't.
"A Dame to Kill For" finds Miller clearly less infatuated with the vision that fairly screamed from his pen in the prior tale. The art, while still visually stunning in places and always crafted with a cinematic flair, seems somehow rushed here, as though the languid love affair he previously had with his imagery has cooled to a Thursday night quickie.
The plot involves a sleazy photographer whose past returns to haunt him in horrific fashion. As in the best film noir, nothing is as it initially seems, motives are rarely clear, and the hero takes a terrific beating along the way to both body and sensibility. Unfortunately, Miller's portrayal of the villain here is less nuanced than his past work, detracting from the psychological reality he is apparently trying to convey.
This is an eminently forgivable sin in the noir world. Did anyone truly believe that Bogart's Spade really wouldn't pack Mary Astor off to the big house at the end of "The Maltese Falcon"? Did anyone not find the melodramatic finale to "D.O.A." to ultimately ring hollow? Not likely, but neither did this diminish these films' stature as classics of the noir genre; after all, the noir world is in the final analysis a distorted vision of our own painted solely from the duskier hues of the palette.
While not a story to die for as was "Sin City", "A Dame to Kill For" is still a story well worth your time.
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on August 23, 2014
The Dark Horse comics that came out in the 90s were really awesome back then. Reading this story line was instant nostalgia. The 90s, specifically around 1992 saw the emergence of creator owned comic book titles. Image comics had all the attention, but Dark Horse was already established. While the other publishers where trying to emulate Marvel and DC, Dark Horse published comics like Miller's Sin City. Many of these story line s were on sale here on Amazon, and I said "why not?". It was on sale and I really really enjoyed it.
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Before seeing the first movie (Sin City) I knew nothing about Frank Miller’s graphic novels. After seeing Sin City at the theater a few years ago, I liked it so much I purchased the DVD. I have not seen the latest movie (A dame to kill for) yet, but decided to start reading some of his graphic comics and graphic novels.

I began with Frank Miller’s Sin City a dame to kill for volume 1.
Like all his work, he focuses on the dark side of life in his material. The characters in this graphic comic are typical of the “Sin City” genre. They are dark, brooding, lustful, twisted, and in most cases psychopathic in nature.
I will be interested in seeing the new movie that just came out (Sin City: A dame to kill for) which is based upon this particular story (Vol. 1 0f 6).

If you are a Frank Miller fan you may want to check out this comic book series.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Season of the Warrior: A tribute to warriors).
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"A Dame to Kill For," which is Book 2 in Frank Miller's "Sin City" series, is now going to be known as the only one of the first four books that was not part of the "Sin City" movie. Given the options it was a smart move because this one tells the story of what happened that made Dwight get a new mug and "The Big Fat Kill" is the better tale of the two if you are going to do one Dwight story and if you want to do a story in two parts "That Yellow Bastard" is a better choice as well.

Dwight is reduced by circumstances, most notably an attempt to stay sober, to spying on men cheating on their wives with prostitutes so that he can take their photographs. What he desperately wants is one clear chance to wipe the slate clean and get his life together. Four years earlier Ava left Dwight for another man and he knows that seeing her again is nothing but bad news above the fold even without the banner headline. He should just kill her or at least walk away, but when she begs him for help none of the cold harsh realities of what she has done and what sort of woman she really is matters to Dwight. He is going to need all the help he can get to deal with Ava, because being sober is not making Dwight smart enough to avoid making one big mistake.

In terms of the "Sin City" chronology, "A Dame to Kill For" comes before "The Hard Goodbye." We know because Marv is not only in the bar where Nancy is dancing as Dwight comes by for a visit, he helps his pal out when the hero of this story finds the man mountain named Manute to be insurmountable. This ends up working against this story in a couple of ways. You had to agree that it is hard to think of Marv as just a sidekick given how strong of a character that he is, and the fact that Dwight cannot handle Manute makes him a lesser hero. After all, it is Marv who labels Ava with the titular appellation. I knew that he was going to get his act together in the end, given what happens in the next book, but for most of this one Dwight is getting beat up, thrown through a window, and shot a whole bunch of times. Clearly Miller is making a point about the healing power of a burning desire for revenge

Overall, the black & white artwork (or, I should say, white on black artwork) is less experimental in Book 2 and if anything looks like it was drawn with white ink on black paper rather than the other way around. For me the sequence that stands out is in Chapter 2 when Dwight heads to a bar to meet with Ava and all of the panels have smoke drifting through them, although some of Miller's panels where the blinds on the windows make for alternative parallel lines of light and darkness are interesting (there are others that are just overkill). For the most part Miller is laying out the story so that it looks more like a conventional comic book than Book 1, so there is not the sense of boldness from before. But then the story is less ambitious as Dwight comes across as just another guy who made the mistake of thinking with some other part of his anatomy besides what is between his ears.

In 1995 "A Dame to Kill For" won Will Eisner's Best Limited Series Award so it is not like it is a book to skip. If you make it to Book 2 in the "Sin City" series you should be in for the long haul and more of those hot nights, dry and windless, that are the kind that make people do sweaty, secret things.
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on May 4, 2005
I definately thought the hard goodbye was great, but a dame to kill for wasn't the best. The story is about a guy named Dwight who is trying to forget his past. Until he meets Ava again, she is an old girlfriend who left him for a richer man. This is where the story got a little too mushy. Dwight starts loving her again and starts trying to save her when she tells him her husbands abusive gaurd named Manute beats her and tortures her. You'll find Marv is also in this story because this story takes place before and during the hard goodbye. Although this book does have a very good twist to it i just wasn't interested in Dwight's love life. it is still a good book though.
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on May 12, 2005
After the horrific ending in Sin City 1, I wasn't sure I could handle another in the series. Enter Sin City 2, "A Dame to Kill For," and photographer Dwight McCarthy. Not the coolest guy in the world, but, then I guess it fits the genre. His life is ugly and boring. He'd like to make some changes, but then Ava returns from his past. Sleazy Dwight falls hard, again, and the result is violent, sadistic and infatuating.

Don't know how many of these I can take, but I am hooked on the visual, comic book imagery Miller creates. I'd definitely not recommend this book for teenagers (my 13-year-old is my sample) or for the faint-of-heart.
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on April 25, 2016
Read 'em in order if you can. The prequel - sequel thing combined with the each story's flashbacks keeps you deliciously confused and... surprised! If you're new to Frank Miller, welcome to some cool a#$ Sh#@.
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