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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sin City Key Comics Part 1

This key issues series is done out of pure fandom. Frank Miller's Sin City comics was a great neo-noir style of comics that first made it's introduction back in 1991.

It was dark, gritty, brutal, and often times a funny but creepy look at the streets and corruption that brewed in the fictional world of Basin City. The comic series should be considered ground-breaking as the different yarns or stories often over-lapped and intertwined inside and outside of each other throughout the various stories within the Sin City series.

The Sin City comics as a whole reminded me of the type of films during the 90s like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and The Usual Suspects that played upon time and disregarded linear story telling. I was fortunate to have been an Aliens fan - well the first two films - and when Dark Horse picked up the license to publish Alien comics, I was all over that.

I was fortunate to have picked up the Sin City stories in the Dark Horse Presents title, but unfortunate to sell those comics a long with other great ones of the time to a comic shop when I needed scratch to buy a new cymbal for an upcoming gig. When I saw the first Sin City movie, I geeked out hard, and there were so many scenes from that movie that I remembered reading as a teen.

I must admit that there were some scenes I didn't remember as well. I recently picked up those comics again out of pure fandom.

Now, I know that many of these Sin City key issues aren't exactly the most valuable or sought-out or even rare, but this series is for fans of Frank Miller and the Sin City comics.

"Walk down the right back alley in Sin City, and you can find anything."

1st Sin City
1st appearance of Marv
1st appearance of Goldie

Episode 1 and welcome to the introduction of Sin City in comics. This issue has the first ever Sin City story told and that includes the first appearances of Marv and Goldie.

Just like the movie, Marv is a gritty, rough n tumble hoodlum from Basin City, nicknamed Sin City. He is eventually seduced by Goldie, a prostitute, in this debut issue.
This is the issue that kicks off the Sin City stories, and this first story arc was later named The Hard Goodbye. The story arc would continue in the Dark Horse Presents main titled series.
Marv is without a doubt my favorite character in the Sin City comics, but this isn't my favorite story in that universe. It's my 2nd favorite story, though. The first Sin City movie by Robert Rodriguez is definitely in my top ten comic book movies of all time as well.

Like the comics, I thought it was brilliant. The cast was perfect, the comic book style cinematography to mimic the original comic art was amazing, how it was shot and paced was just awesome, and basically the movie just rocked in my humble opinion.

Mickey Rourke played Marv and that casting choice was just money, brilliant. Perfect mug to play a brutish comic character. Goldie and Wendy was played by actress Jamie King.

For a pretty influential comic by an influential comic artist by the name Frank Miller, this is pretty over-looked currently in the market. A CGC 9.8 copy is around the $200 range over at mycomicshop at the time of this writing.

If you're a fan of Frank Miller and of Sin City, this comic is definitely a must-have. Last CGC 9.8 of this sucker sold on eBay for only $160 back in January of this year. Dark Horse Presents 5th Anniversary Special has the cover date of April, 1991.

Sin City begins in regular title
2nd Sin City issue
2nd appearance of Marv
1st Marv & Goldie cover 

This comic here holds the 2nd Sin City issue and appearance. It continues the story of Marv's quest to find Goldie's killer and enact his revenge. Dark Horse Presents #51 is also the issue that begins the Sin City feature in it's regular title format.

This issue continues from where Marv wakes up next to Goldie and finds her dead. The comic also shows the scene where the cops come to arrest Marv and he fights them off, finally ending by crashing his get away car into the ocean or water after his violent escape. This is the 2nd appearance of Marv as well if you wanna get all technical.

The Sin City feature would continue in the title through issue #62, and the comic noir style that Frank Miller created would become a classic in comic book history. Dark Horse Presents #51 is a Copper Age classic comic that I think is a must-have out of pure fandom, and this key issue comic has the cover date of June, 1991.

1st appearance of Lucille
3rd appearance of Marv

Carla Gugino as the character of Lucille in the first Sin City movie? Her introduction scene as Lucille in that get what I mean!

Yep, that scene in the film pretty much played out like it did in this comic here. As most of us know, Lucille is Marv's parole officer, and a friend to Marv for the most part.
In this issue Marv is on the move shortly after his escape from the police and ends up at Lucille's apartment. Lucille is worried since Marv just fought a buncha cops and Marv goes off about how there's no other way to square things except for good ole fashion brawling and wrecking up a storm.

In the bathroom, Marv tells Lucille that he's onto something big and then leaves to get his gun Gladys at his mom's house. Marv's mother is in this comic, and the end of this story didn't make it to the movie.

I'm not all that upset they decided to cut that part out in the movie, but I'm sure some fan did. Dark Horse Presents #52 has the cover date of July, 1991.

1st appearance of Nancy Callahan
1st cameo of Shellie
4th appearance of Marv

Nancy Callahan all grown up. Actually, in the Sin City comics, she first appears as a young woman and dancer at Kadie's in this very issue. Her story with John Hartigan would be in a later Sin City comic series.

Disregarding cameo or how many panels she's in, we first see the character of Nancy in this issue, and she is also named by Marv. Well, her first name is given in this issue.

Then again, the story in this anthology comic is only 8 pages. Nancy only shows up in three panels and on two pages near the end of the story.
Shellie, the waitress, who messes around with Dwight McCarthy and has bit of a larger role in The Big Fat Kill, makes a one panel cameo appearance at the end of the story. The character was played by Brittany Murphy (R.I.P.).
An origin type story for Nancy Callahan would be presented in the comic series or 4th Sin City series, Sin City: That Yellow Bastard.

That will be featured later on this list. Dark Horse Presents #53 has the cover date of August, 1991.

1st cameo appearance of Wendy
5th appearance of Marv
1st official appearance of Next Men

I just threw in the Next Men notation for fans of the comic group or John Byrne. However, this is key comic issues series is about Sin City comics.

So this issue has the 5th appearance of Marv, the main protagonist in the first Sin City story arc. In this issue, Wendy shows up in the last panel of the issue.
Her identity isn't revealed though, and it is that scene where Wendy says she's going to make Marv pay for what he did to her. Kinda strange since she isn't Goldie, and even I had no idea what she meant by saying this. Her character shows up a bit more in issue #56.

Wendy is the identical twin sister of Goldie, and her identity isn't revealed until a later Dark Horse Presents issue. Dark Horse Presents #54 has the cover date of September, 1991.

Now don't get me wrong here. These are key issues in the Sin City universe. Not saying they're great comic investments or anything.

Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special is getting noticed in the market. Not in a big bad way, but getting noticed.

I'm doing this list more out of fandom, and, well, just to talk about a comic that I really liked back in the day.

Unfortunately, most of the Sin City comics I had did not make it in my collection of today. Either that comic dealer plucked 'em out when I sold part of my collection in order to buy a cymbal for an upcoming gig back in the 90s or they were lost in transition when I shipped my comic collection from Tennessee back to Cali.

One short box was jacked a long the way that had whatever Sin City comics I had left. So, I had to repurchase them recently, but it was fun rereading them again.

More Sin City key comic books in Part 2 of this series.


  1. Way cool! Anyone know if the second Sin City movie was worth a dime? Nr. 1 was awesome for sure. My DHP Anniversary Edition is even signed by the Miller Man!
    What could that mean moneywise? It' s perhaps a 9.0 to 9.4 grade...


    1. I didn't really like Sin City A Dame to Kill For, both the movie and the actual comic series. Out of the Hard Goodbye, Big Fat Kill and Yellow Bastard, A Dame to Kill For was my least favorite series concerning the early stuff. Didn't much care for the rest of the stories that were in the sequel.

    2. Sorry, not sure about DHP 5th Anniversary Special with a Frank Miller sig. Could definitely bump up the value, but not sure about exact dollars n cents.