Sin City
Occupation: Outlaw, club bouncer
Gender: Male
Comic Appearances: The Hard Goodbye
A Dame To Kill For
Just Another Saturday Night
Silent Night
Film Appearances: Sin City
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Affiliation(s): Dwight McCarthy
Nancy Callahan
Portrayed by: Mickey Rourke
Hell's waking up every goddamn day and not even knowing why you're here.
— Marv

Marv is hulking 7' 9" tall ex-convict who frequents Kadie's. He is violent and unstable, with a mental condition that causes hallucinations and paranoia, and he bears the scars of endless fighting. His dangerous tendencies are held in check only by medication and a strong sense of chivalry.

Raising Marv

Marv was born in The Projects and had a rough childhood. He was very protective of his doting mother, who eventually got sick, forcing them to move to a better part of town. The Projects had already toughened him up, and left with its residents as useful allies. In school, his only friend was Chuck, a retarded kid who thought Marv was genius. He also got a .45 Springfield Armory M1911A1 pistol from a dead kid, and he named it Gladys after one of the sisters in school. Once he went to camp, but since then he hated nature and trees. Trees and the creepy sounds of nature were the only things that scared him.

Some time after that Marv joined the army and went to an unnamed war (heavily implied to be Vietnam) where he probably developed his scars. He also would later suffer from a 'condition' (that might have been Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He took pills for it, which he got from Claire, Lucille's therapist girlfriend. He always had a respectful fear of his 'condition' fearing he would turn into 'what they always said I'd turn into: a psycho killer'. However he always trusted his instinctual "cold thing", a feeling like a snowball in his stomach, something above his perception that told him that something was wrong (for example, he felt it when he approached the Roark Farm).

He was homophobic in the past because he Once he suggested Lucille to get a treatment to "cure" her lesbianism, but she punched him. However given his chivalric nature he clearly seems to have obviously clearly likely overcome his homophobia.

A Legend of Sin City


Marv later made a name for himself on the streets by just doing what he did best: killing. A good guy at heart, he never had a problem beating in a few faces if they needed it. He made friends in low places this way and more than a couple enemies. Kadie of Kadie's Saloon gave him free beers whenever he needed them after he beat up some men who threatened her. He was also known to Kadie's patrons as Nancy Callahan's guardian angel after some guy tried to get fresh with her and he took care of him; allowing the petite dancer complete and utter safety when she danced. She also helped him out when he needed it[1] showing they had an understanding between them. Once he got himself rounded up and Lucille helped him as his parole officer.

Having no form of employment Marv still managed to get around. He went most places on foot, and stole the rest from other thugs. He also had a keen appreciation of trenchcoats, which he would take off his victims usually commenting 'That's one damn fine coat your wearing!'. He even asked one hitman, Stan, to remove the coat so he wouldn't bleed on it before interrogating him. (Similar to the way Dwight McCarthy complained about blood getting on the upholstery of a car he was stealing from some hitmen in [2]).

Silent Night

Marv in Silent Night.

(Note that
Silent Night has not given a place in the timeline; it could had happened at a later time)

In a cold winter night in Sin City (with snow replacing its iconic rain) Marv goes to a back alley sleaze joint, under the cover of being an ugly pervert wanting to partake in the ugly pleasures offered in this particular sleaze joint: pre-teen girls.

After getting inside he killed the roomful of bodyguards and the owner, rescuing the girl speaking the only line of dialog in the whole piece "Your momma's been asking after you Kimberly. Let's get you home." He then takes the girl home, once again presenting Marv's brand of justice in the depths of Sin City.

That Yellow Bastard and Just Another Saturday Night

On the night John Hartigan met back up with Nancy, Marv found himself on a highway overlooking The Projects, surrounded by dead young guys, unable to remember how he got there. He lights one of the dead guys' cigarettes and thinks back; since it is Saturday, he deduces he must have been at Kadie's watching Nancy dance.

Marv was rather depressed after seeing Nancy leave with Hartigan, as he'd always had an unrequited crush on her, so Josie gives him a bottle to drown his sorrow with. He gets drunk and steps outside, only to find some preppy college kids trying to burn drunks and winos to death. After one shoots him calling him "Bernini-boy" he immediately kills one of them and chases the rest to The Projects, where along the way he destroys a police patrol car and hijacks another vehicle. The boys are heading for Sacred Oaks but Marv stops them.

Killing the last of the brats.

At the Projects, it is clear that they are being watched, but Marv uses hand signals to identify himself and instruct his former neighbors to attack the kids, and they do so by firing arrows at them and providing Marv with a knife. After questioning the last surviving kid about him being called 'Bernini boy': it was the name of the brand of coat he was wearing; he then slits his throat. This done, he muses, "And one fine coat it is. Somebody must've spent a fortune on it. I wonder who?" But he cannot seem to remember where he got the coat or gloves.

He later would reference this event during his conversation with Lucille[3].

A Dame To Kill For

Dwight and Marv preparing to meet Damian Lord.

Dwight met him in Club Pecos where he had a date with Ava Lord. As her time was over, Manute came to take her back to the mansion of Damien Lord, and Marv offered Dwight his help to put the guy out, to which Dwight denied. As Ava left, Marv commented that she is "a Dame to kill for".

After told by Ava that her husband tortures him, Dwight sought out Marv to help him take down Lord; he met him at Kadie's as Marv and Josie are in the middle of a squabble with some out-of-town punks. One of them pulls a gun on Marv, who knocks him flat. Dwight convinces Marv to help him storm Damien's estate. They drink together and watch Nancy Callahan dance.

Not friends in the strictest sense, Dwight got him drunk to get him riled up, something he felt 'sick about'. He then stormed the Lord Mansion with Marv running interference. Marv specifically went after Manute and beat his face into the pavement, eventually taking his eye.

After Dwight got double crossed by Ava Lord and shot him out of the window, Marv managed to save him under Ava's gunshots. Marv did not mind to get back to Dwight's Mustang, but instead chose to steal Lord's Tucker.

Marv drove him to Old Town to get fixed up; on the way a biker cop tried to stop them for running, but Marv obliviously pushed him over the edge. Then a police chopper and squad cars were after them as they passed through Little Saigon, until making their way to Old Town. The girls collected him and Marv went back to Kadie's. This would be their last encounter.

Blue Eyes

Marv was sitting on the bar admiring Nancy once more, when Jim was trying to hide from a mysterious man. When Delia came behind Jim, he spilled his alcohol, to Marv's worry. As the couple talked and hugged, Marv envied Jim, and then decided to finish the man's bottle himself.

Shortly after that Marv got mixed up with Goldie.

Nancy's Last Dance

Having witnessed Nancy's downward spiral, Marv steps in and volunteers to help her kill Roarke. They are attacked by a motorcycle gang, who Marv kills, but he leaves their leader for Nancy to finish off. The pair mount an assault on Roarke's compound, and Marv brutally slaughters Roarke's bodyguards while Nancy picks off the guards with a crossbow. Marv is wounded, and Nancy continues on to confront Roarke by herself.

The Hard Goodbye

Marv as a rule avoided Old Town. He had nothing against prostitutes but he knew that none of the women there would trust him the way he looked. So it must have come as a surprise when a beauty like Goldie came strolling into Kadie's looking like a million bucks and took him to bed with her. The first time in a long time that a woman had slept with him, Marv fell in love. Too bad when he woke up three hours after, Goldie was dead and he didn't remember a thing.

The cops showed up alerting him to a set up, and he escaped, smashing a few cops up on the way. He swore revenge, swearing to Goldie that he would get the man who killed her and 'the hell I send him to will feel like heaven after what I've done to him'. He went to Lucille's to get bandaged up and for his pills. She tries to talk him down but he got riled up. He left for one final stop on his errands before his rampage, his mother's house to pick up Gladys. Then it was killing time. First, Marv went to Kadie's where he was picked up by some hit men. He tortured them for information, killed them after, and got another name. He worked his way up the food chain, killing and torturing, until someone fingered The Priest. The Priest names Patrick Henry Roark, but Marv doesn't believe him. After the priest directs him to a farm outside the city and disrespects Goldie, however, Marv kills him.

The return of "Goldie".

When he left the church he was attacked by Wendy, Goldie's twin sister, who he obviously mistakes for his lost love. She ran him over with her car and left him for dead, with Marv attributing the encounter to his condition kicking up. Afterwards, he heads for the Farm where he is ambushed by Kevin.

After being knocked out with a sledgehammer, Marv is tossed into the basement, where he finds Lucille who was brought in earlier. She tells him everything about Kevin, such as his killer dog and collection of women's heads on the wall, but even more disturbing, about how he ate her hand and made her watch. After she calms down, Marv busts them out once Kevin leaves and they head for the woods when the police show up. Lucille knocked Marv out thinking the cops will help and Marv would try something stupid, but after she surrenders to the alleged police they gun her down. Marv goes wild and kills them all, but takes his time on the leader Painted Cop impersonator who confirms that Roark had Goldie killed, and Kevin was the assassin. Now with a name and someone new to kill, Marv gets himself ready to take on the Roarks. But suddenly he is struck by doubt: What if all of this bloody business was something he just made up, and that he finally had gone crazy?

He headed to Old Town to clear it up, having learned from Lucille that Goldie was a prostitute. After drawing enough attention to himself by asking around for Goldie, Wendy comes by and knocks him out, intending to kill him for the murder of her sister. Gail tied him up and Wendy wailed on him with the butt of a pistol until Marv tells them he knows who killed Goldie and he's out to kill him. After a show of faith Wendy believes him and goes along with him to The Farm with a kit of supplies: surgical tubing, razor wire, special gloves, handcuffs, and a can of gasoline. Marv covers the woods with razor wire, then tosses the flaming gas-can into the house to get Kevin's attention. They fight, Kevin's supernatural agility giving him the advantage until he gets close enough for Marv to cuff him to himself, where Marv knocks him out with one punch. Wendy then shows up with a gun, telling Marv to let her finish it. Marv knocks her out, feeling bad about it but says what he's going to do to Kevin will give her nightmares. He then proceeds to saw off Kevin's arms and legs, using the surgical tubing as tourniquets. Then Kevin's pet wolf, having caught the smell of blood in the air, ate him alive. Marv sawed off his head to take with him but was unsatisfied with the kill seeing as Kevin didn't scream during the whole proceedings. After dropping Wendy off at Nancy's place, Marv went to Roark's compound and killed his way through the guards.

When he got to Roark, he presented Kevin's head, to which Roark showed great sorrow. He waxed nostalgic about how he took the boy in, about his fascination with his cannibalism, and how he eventually joined in. He also mentioned how Goldie had gotten suspicious when the girls started disappearing from Old Town and got scared when she found out how high it went. So Roark had her killed and that was that. He then asked Marv whether killing an old defenseless man would give him satisfaction. Marv famously replied "The killing, no. Everything up to the killing. Well that'll be a gas." He then proceeded to torture Roark to death, unintentionally continuing John Hartigan's hope of the Roark family dying, until the police arrived and shot him.

They didn't kill him though, they gave him surgery to fix him up for the trial. They tried to get him to confess to the killing of Roark, the prostitutes, and Goldie but no matter how much they beat him up he didn't confess until the District Attorney threatened to kill his mother. Marv broke the DA's arm in three places and signed the confession. The night before his execution he got one last surprise. Wendy visited his cell to thank him for getting her revenge. He got confused and called her Goldie to which she replied 'you can call me Goldie if you like'. She spent the night with him, giving Marv one last glorious day on earth. They put him in the electric chair and electrocuted him. It took two consecutive charges to finally put down the legend of Sin City.

Sin City (films)

Marv in the first film.

In the films, he is portrayed by Mickey Rourke.


  • Marv is a major character first appearing in The Hard Goodbye. With his iconic profile, Marv may be the most easily recognizable character in Sin City, possibly only second to Nancy Callahan.
  • He was portrayed by Mickey Rourke in the movie. Rourke reprised his role in the sequel, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
  • Marv's appearance was actually somewhat different in the book than in the films. In the book, he is much larger than his film counterpart, and he usually wears his trench coat strapped closed. His clothing in the book were nearly ripped to shreds by the end of the story and he didn't wear his shirt under the coat at all after the basement scene. His injuries in the book were also far more severe in the books than in the movie. Marv was almost unrecognizable after the fight with Kevin. His whole body was hacked to shreds after the fight. Marv suffered serious injuries in the film, but those were just deep slashes at his face and body after the fight.
  • Marv possesses an abnormal amount of physical strength and endurance, having survived several gunshot wounds, lacerations, being hit by moving vehicles, and even a jolt in the electric chair. Throughout the series, he has been shown breaking apart doors and ripping open window bars (The Hard Goodbye), effortlessly crushing a henchman's skull with his bare hands and dual-wielding two shotguns with no signs of fatigue (Nancy's Last Dance). He even managed to overpower the equally-imposing Manute, resulting in the loss of the latter's right eye (A Dame To Kill For).
  • Marv also possesses a military background similar to Wallace, giving him a slight advantage over his opponents.
    • This could also be where he learned his escape artistry, shown when he removed his ropes following Wendy's interrogation in The Hard Goodbye.

Marv, According to Dwight

Probably the best description of Marv came from a monologue Dwight[4].

Most people think Marv is crazy, but I don't believe that. I'm no shrink and I'm not saying I've got Marv all figured out or anything, but "crazy" just doesn't explain him. Not to me. Sometimes I think he's retarded, a big, brutal kid who never learned the ground rules about how people are supposed to act around each other. But that doesn't have the right ring to it either. No, it's more like there's nothing wrong with Marv, nothing at all--except that he had the rotten luck of being born at the wrong time in history. He'd have been okay if he'd been born a couple of thousand years ago. He'd be right at home on some ancient battlefield, swinging an ax into somebody's face. Or in a Roman Arena, taking a sword to other gladiators like him. They'd have tossed him girls like Nancy, back then.



Sin City (film)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For


  1. The Hard Goodbye
  2. Family Values
  3. The Hard Goodbye
  4. A Dame to Kill For, which is being released on October 4th, 2013.
Sin City
Films Sin City - Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Main Characters Miho - Dwight McCarthy - Gail - Marv - Ava Lord - Wendy - Goldie - Johnny - John Hartigan - Nancy Callahan - Bob - Mort - Marcie - Sally - Joey Canelli - Becky - The Colonel - Customer - Lucille - Manute - Shellie - Senator Roark - Wallenquist - Dallas - Delia - Wallace
Groups Girls of Old Town - Basin City Police Department - Roark family - Irish mercenaries - Magliozzi Family - The Bikers - Wallenquist Organization
Locations Basin City - Old Town - Sacred Oaks - The Projects - The Pits - Kadie's - The Docks - Mimi's - Farm
Music Sin City (soundtrack) - Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (soundtrack)
Comics The Hard Goodbye - A Dame To Kill For - The Babe Wore Red and Other Stories - The Big Fat Kill - Silent Night - That Yellow Bastard - Daddy's Little Girl - Lost, Lonely & Lethal - Sex & Violence - Just Another Saturday Night - Family Values - Booze, Broads, & Bullets - Hell And Back
Short Stories And Behind Door Number Three? - The Customer is Always Right - The Babe Wore Red - Fat Man and Little Boy - Blue Eyes - Rats - Wrong Turn - Wrong Track
Original Yarns The Long Bad Night - Nancy's Last Dance
Important Articles Chronology - Fan Art - Sin City - Sin City Comics to Film Differences - The Truce - Yarns