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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on January 29, 2000
Let me start by saying I'm a big Frank Miller fan, and I absolutely love "Sin City."
If you have heard about how great "Sin City" is, and want to check it out, I'd recommend you read this one last. If you're going to skip one, this is the one.
Basically, there's nothing to it. It had my interest early on, but then it just turns into one absurd action scene after the next. While that may sound cool, it gets old real fast.
If you're a diehard "Sin City" fan, nothing I say will stop you from buying this. I don't think you'll hate it. I didn't. It's just mediocre when compared to the other "Sin City" stories.
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on February 7, 2003
Of all of Frank Miller's Sin City stories, this is the most compelling, scary, shocking, and original.
Miller's vision of/for Sin City is heavily influenced by film noir, the genre of pulp fiction, and the novels of Jim Thompson. But don't be fooled: Sin City works so well because the stories are strikingly original within the confines of the genre. The protagonists/anti-heroes are revenge-driven, doom-bound, and on the wrong side of the law. The bad guys tend to be the people that on the outside the public admires: senators, priests, cops, etc.
That Yellow Bastard works so well because it incorporates some of Sin City's best characters and plot twists. The artwork remains of Miller's incredible standard (though it can be argued that the first arc had the best realised pencils and inks). But I don't think anywhere else in Miller's enitre cannon is the dialogue so well-executed and sharp. The ending is as shocking as it is inevitable.
Though That Yellow Bastard can be read seperately from the other collections, it's not the Sin City storyline to start with (the original "Marv" storyline, A Dame To Kill For, and The Big Fat Kill should be read first). But definietely pick this up.
Frank Miller and Amazon make some money. You read a damn good story. Fair trade.
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This collection of the originally six-issue storyline "That Yellow Bastard" might just be the best volume the Sin City line has offered so far. Both art as storywise everything is top-notch. The choice Miller made to add the color yellow to the normally only black/white art, which is both finely detailed and mood-setting, is very functional and refreshing, and the storyline has enough plot-twists to keep the reader interested (not like for example in "The Big Fat Kill" which was a nice story but had pretty obvious plot-twists in my opinion).
The story is about a cop named Hartigan who has only an hour to go before he will go into early retirement, doctor's orders. There's just one loose end he really wants to tie up before he does. He wants to save an eleven year old girl out of the hands of a sadistic kid-killer/rapist who has shown before he can kill without remorse. Only problem is that the abductor is the son of the senator, and hardly touchable because of it. He tracks him down and THAT's when things start to happen from which we learn how corrupt Sin City in its entirety really is. Hartigan is in for a world of pain from there on, both psychically and mentally, with only one person in the world who still believes in him, that being the girl he was trying to save. But is that save for her ? Only time will tell, and the story has but just begun ...
My compliments go, again, to the art in which it shows that Miller was still incredible into this little project of his and also to a story which skilfully avoids becoming predictable anywhere. With that I can add that this is probably THE most violent and bizar volume of the series, with a very original ending that only gets reveiled in the last three pages.
Note with this book is that although people like Marv and Dwight (main-characters from other Sin City volumes) are mentioned and even minorly featured in it, they are in now way a factor in the story. This is a 100% self-contained storyline. Good pick if you're into police/noir stories. People who like Sin City story-wise are advised to also try out the titles "Astro City" and "Top Ten" sometimes. Not entirely the same but there's a good chance you'll like it.
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on August 10, 2001
It's hard to imagine what could have possessed Miller (a man I respect as a genius) to write this thing.
Family Values might as well have been called Family Matters; the plot to this story is about as deep as one that would be found on the old sitcom. I can remember when I first got this, I remember the sinking feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when I realized how atrocious it was, and the money I'd wasted. It's staggering to think that Frank had the option of taking this story in any direction he wished -- and he chose this one.
I hope it doesn't come off as sexist of me to say it would have been better if Dwight had done all of the killing, alone. That might have been slightly thrilling, if unimaginative. The direction that Miller took in this story, however, is beyond unimaginative: it's stupid and insulting. This train-wreck of a graphic novel goes great lengths toward undermining the credibility of Sin City, as Family Values is essentially a super-hero story. That is tragic.
I would implore you to buy ALL of the other Sin City graphic novels, but not this one. Just pretend it doesn't exist. Send Frank a message: "We love Sin City, Miller, stop disgracing it."
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on July 4, 1999
If Dirty Harry worked out of Sin City, he would be Hartigan. The strict moral code, the unorthodox way of handling things, the utmost respect for the law and the utmost disrespect for anyone who tries to break it; it's all there. But Dirty Harry never worked in Sin City, and Dirty Harry always had the law on his side.
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.
Frank Miller reinvented the quintessential comic book superheroes Batman and Daredevil, and he even created the enduring character Elektra in the Daredevil books. But Hartigan is his greatest invention, because Hartigan is everything that makes superheroes great, placed inside a man with no special powers, but just a relentless determination to do what he feels is right.
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on January 10, 2000
I love Frank Miller's Sin City series. Even though I lost interest in comics as a teenager, my interest in the Sin City stories has stayed strong. But "Family Values" is a real disappointment. It starts off promising, brutal killings, great dialogue, a mafia theme, but it gets pretty far-fetched before long. I found myself cringing at the action sequences. Spectacular deaths, yeah, but freakin' CHEESY! The art work looks rushed.. sure, it's looked rushed before in other Sin City volumes, but the stories always made up for it. This story wasn't very impressive. The ending just fizzles. I would recommend this for hardcore fans and Sin City completists, but for anyone else, you'd be better off whipping out your old Sin City issues and reading 'em again.
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on November 8, 2002
This is not the best Sin City book I have read,... in fact it is probably the worst, but it is still a fun little read and supports my theory that Frank Miller really is one of those few masters like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman who simply can't write bad work. As for the art, some of it seems a little hurried, but anyone who is simply looking for a little thrill will enjoy this immensely. Granted it isn't shere comic-book brilliance like the rest of the series, but it is fun and I think that's all Mr. Miller wanted it to be; but who knows. I enjoyed it, and as long as you're not some soap-box comic-snob who refuses to read anything other than Watchmen and Marvels, than you probably will too. :)
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on May 26, 2004
This story grabbed by the throat and dragged me, page by page, to it's surprising end.
I wasn't struggling. This is a very well-done revenge story in the classic style, but built with modern pieces. The art captured the tone beautifully: harsh black and white, with the emphasis on the black. Every page is drawn in jagged, bleak contrast. Only Miho stands out, a ghostly white with draw with delicate line, and an interesting addition to the usual noir cast of characters.
This is a keeper. Every time I open it, its mood grabs me all over again.
Oh, and when I finished the story, I had an uncontrollable urge to watch Bogart or Cagney.
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on March 19, 2004
I find myself confused as to why most people dislike Family Values so much. I found it to be extremely refeshing, and is one my favorite Dwight story. To give a few plot points, one of the girls of Old Town has been killed, and so they send Dwight and Miho out for revenge. The rest of the book covers Dwight's investigation and the inevitable retribution. The art is much looser than Miller's previous outings, but I like it. Family Values does not reach the level of the first Sin City, or That Yellow Bastard, but it is a very entertaining piece of pulp dealing with the value of family, and all the different ways that word is used.
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on July 6, 2000
Just when you think Frank Miller's back, he hits another slump.
The Old Town Sin City stories have always been the weakest of the bunch, yet Miller returns to the formula yet again here. This time, the prostitutes of Old Town are caught in a Mafia gangwar. The plot is fairly incomprehensible as it marches on to its blood-soaked resolution, the artwork is definitely rushed and passionless, and the writing is pedestrian.
Miller must have had some bills come due to justify putting this one out. If you need this to complete your Miller/Sin City collection, do yourself a favor and pick it up last.
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