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Sin City Volume 4: That Yellow Bastard (3rd Edition) Paperback – November 2, 2010
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If Sin City ever produced an honest-to-god hero, it is Hartigan. He's not a thug like Marv, and he's not a criminal like Dwight. His faults aren't faults at all, but obstacles placed before him because of his greatest strengths. He suffers immeasurably for wanting to help someone. He suffers even more for wanting to help her again.
If Dwight is the one that gets away, it's because he is no better than the world he inhabits. Hartigan is the one that pays, because the world can not endure a hero as pure as Hartigan. That Yellow Bastard is the proof that Frank Miller gives as to why the enduring heroes in Sin City such as Marv, Dwight, and Miho aren't heroes at all, but merely grim reflections of the city that they live in. They have made the necessary adaptations to exist in an ugly place like Sin City. They aren't necessarily bad people, but they do bad things. Sin City isn't necessarily a bad town, but bad things happen there. But Hartigan is a good person that does good things. Sin City is not a place for a man like Hartigan to exist on the same terms as a man like Dwight. It is not fair, but it is the truth.
That Yellow Bastard is the greatest of the Sin City books because in it we see Sin City in all of its awful glory; a place where hope doesn't come in its simple, most beautiful form, but instead as a hideous mutation that is disarming and unpleasant.Read more ›
Enter John Hartigan, a gruff, well-built, old-timer who suffers from angina and carries a big-ass revolver, relevant to Bruce Campbell's "boomstick". Hartigan is a man on a mission. His mission: to save Nancy Callahan, age 11, before he retires. She has been kidnapped by sicko rapist/killer, Junior who, unfortunately is a son of a very powerful senator, who is corrupt like most in Sin City. Hartigan goes in guns blazing, knocking-out his partner and suffering a sudden heart-attack along the way. He doesn't know that he's made the biggest mistake of his carrer. But that's why we like Hartigan because he manages to do good while risking his own life. He is the most noble character in the whole series.
Hartigan puts Junior in a coma, but in the process is shot-up pretty bad and put in a coma too. He is then framed for raping Nancy (even though she was saved) and put in solitary confinement. Life is basically over for Hartigan, but while in prison he gets letters from Nancy, who has changed her name because she is still in danger. But when Hartigan stops getting letters, he goes mad.
After eight long years, Hartigan is let out've prison and goes to look for Nancy, who is being stalked by a yellow-skinned creature that distinctly resembles Junior!Read more ›
And Miller has created some wonderful characters to inhabit his nest of vipers. Generally, the "Sin City" stories involve clashes between anti-heroes and villains . . . heroes are hard to come by, and the most likely candidates are either murderous hookers with hearts of gold, or berserkers like Marv who may be killers, but are killers with hearts of gold (deep, deep down, of course).
Finally, in "That Yellow Bastard," Miller gives Sin City a hero in true sense of the word. Hartigan is the lone good cop in the nation's most corrupt police force in the nation's most corrupt town. He's on his last night before retirement, but he knows that an eleven year-old girl has been kidnapped and is doomed to die most horribly.
And Hartigan can't let a little thing like the rest of his life stand in the way of her salvation.
What could have been a single night of bloodshed turns into a decade of misery, torture, hope, vengeance and love for Hartigan, his beloved damsel in distress Nancy, and the Yellow Bastard.
For the Yellow Bastard is more than a sadistic murdering rapist . . . he's the only son of Senator Roark, the leading light in the ruling family of Sin City. The rules are simple, even for a cop -- you cross Roark, you get destroyed. Roark doesn't just kill you . . . he exacts vengeance like Kaiser Soze.
Miller's artistic nihilism has never been better, as the cold solitude of Hartigan's lost world comes through on every page. And the well-publicized use of yellow to depict the Yellow Bastard couldn't be a better choice.Read more ›