Sin City
The Hard Goodbye
Sin City I.jpg

Written by

Frank Miller


April 1991 – May 1992


Graphic Novel

Number Of Titles


Preceded By


Suceeded By

A Dame To Kill For

The Hard Goodbye is the first of the comic books in the Sin City series written by Frank Miller. It introduces many of the familiar people and places in Sin City including Marv, Nancy, the Girls of Old Town, and the Roarks. Originally intended only to be a short story, Miller just kept going, blaming Marv in an interview.


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 Kadies looking like a million bucks and took him to bed with her at the beginning of the events of The Hard Goodbye. The first time in a long time that a woman had slept with him, Marv fell in love. Too bad when he woke up the next morning 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 Kadie's where he was picked up by some hit men. He killed them, tortured them first, 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 and kills him. When he left the church he was attacked by Wendy, Goldie's twin sister, who he obviously mistakens for his lost love. She leaves him for dead and Marv writes it off as his condition kicking up.

Instead he heads for The Roark Family Farm where he is attacked 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 about Kevin; about his killer dog, about his collection of woman's heads on the wall, about how he ate her hand and made her watch. After she calms down Marv busts them out and heads 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 police they gun her down. Marv goes wild and kills them all, but takes his time on the leader The Painted Cop 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, Lucille having told him that Goldie was a prostitute. After making a commotion Wendy come 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 where he 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 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. Then they threatened to kill his mother. He broke the lawyer'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 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