All images are © 2014 Dark Horse Books / Frank Miller, All opinions are my own.
Previously, we covered Part 1 and 2 of The Hard Goodbye. Now, we have a continuation with Part 3. Life has handed me the brass knuckles and I’ve been short of time. This post only covers one part, Part 3, albeit an important one, where we learn the ruffian’s name and meet some people and relatives close to him.
WARNING: This book most certainly is NSFW and only for adults. I will do my best to leave the vulgarities out of it so that everyone can enjoy. Although, if you can stomach the madness to achieve the full effect, a proper purchase of the source materials is recommended.
Big Damn Sin City: The Hard Goodbye: Part 3
Finding himself in the sewers, after running from the cops the ruffian has bad things to say. He hopes they choke on their breath while they wait for him to surface, however he is coughing himself in the waste. He resurfaces out of the sewers and mentions a person named Lucille, that she has what he needs:
Close call. Ruffian almost gets spotted by a copper walking through. He jumps to hang off the building in a marvelous comic frame:
Now, the scene switches to a female inside, presumably woken up and startled by a noise. She gets out of bed, grabs her gun and realizes it’s just the ruffian, nothing to be alarmed about except he has a swath of small bandages all over his body. He tells Lucille that it’s nothing to be worried about. He had simply gotten “grazed”. Ruffian asks Lucille for a beer and she shrugs it off, knowing that isn’t why he arrived.
Lucille and the ruffian are now in the bathroom and he confirms that ( the alcohol ) isn’t why he arrived with a solid “no”. Lucille throws his a bottle of pills. He eats one immediately. She tells him he is better with pills and he thanks her.
We learn that Lucille is a “dyke”, but with her figure she could have any man she wants. Lucille gets the ruffian pills from her girlfriend that is a shrink; Lucille’s girlfriend attempted to analyze the ruffian, but got too frightened.
Ruffian tells Lucille that he had to fight the police and she makes sure he didn’t off any of them. Ruffian thinks not, but they know what hit ’em. Then, Lucille questions him about how she will even the situation out, but he tells her no need and “not a chance”.
“This isn’t some barroom brawl or some creep with a gas can looking to torch some wino. This is big and I’m right in the middle of it and there’s no place I’d rather be. There’s no settling down. It’s going to be blood for blood and by the gallons. It’s the old days. The bad days. The all-or-nothing days. They’re back. There’s no choices left and I’m ready for war.”—Frank Miller as unknown male ruffian from The Big Damn Sin City.
The ruffian seems to have excited himself and grabs Lucille by the shoulders.
Lucille attempts to talk him out of his trajectory by bringing up prison, saying it was “hell” for him. But, he deflects and justifies it with defining what hell is. He says something to the effect that hell is not knowing your purpose and he isn’t like that because he knows exactly what his purpose is. He also tells her that someone close to him was killed in prison and that is how he got out. Lucille looks startled at how the ruffian is handling her.
He leaves Lucille’s apartment by, yet again jumping out of the window. While doing some theatrics and hanging off a building rooftop, he mentions “sweet Gladys“, but he will have to sneak past Mom and her hearing has improved since she went blind. He arrives at his Mom’s house, removes his shoes to sneak into his old bedroom. It’s unsettling for him, makes him cry. The memories. No mind because Gladys is here.
We learn that Gladys is his gun.
He takes time to bond with the gun and explains the situation with Goldie to Gladys. He stole Gladys, the gun from the strongest guy in school, but he levels with himself, justifying taking the gun because it’s previous owner, the strong man was dead when he took it. He named the gun after “one of his sisters from school”.
Mom pokes in the doorway of the bedroom while he is bonding with his gun. Mom calls the ruffian Marvin and he apologizes for awaking her. Mom tells Marvin that people came looking for him that were’nt coppers. Marvin tells Mom about his “new night job”.
Mom questions Marvin and he tells her about Goldie, but no specifics such as her death. And, that ends Part 3 of The Hard Goodbye in Frank Miller’s Big Damn Sin City. See below for thoughts and character bios.
Let’s talk about being a product of your environment. Do you think Marvin might be a product of his environment? I mean, he is doing a ton of questionable things, but I haven’t seen malice in his actions. Yes, he knocked down the cops. Yes, he took pills. Yes, he is busting into his parole officer’s apartment but, it looks like she accepts that, like he needs her.
Here’s another subject to think about: codependency. Is Lucille enabling Marvin by giving him pills? We have indication that he is better on the pills by her word. Should he learn how to deal with life without the pills? Maybe. We don’t really know how he is off of them, but that is possibly weak justification. Who knows? We don’t even know what kind of pills they are. They could be antipsychotics.
Do you feel like you want to judge Marvin? What kinds of judgements have you made about him? Seriously. It seems like the lines between what is good and bad here are blurry to say the least.
And then, here begs another question: would Marvin be actually be better off to surrender his fight and roll with the punches so-to-speak? No one knows that answer for a fact, but for the stories sake I think not! I want to see this guy win. We don’t know what lead up to this. He is obviously scarred from the past. All we have is what is presented in the story with context clues and diluted dialog.
He seems to bond with women most easily and that’s apparent here in Part 3, where he leans on his parole officer and mother. He got rough with Lucille, which I didn’t like. Thankfully, he didn’t violate her. She seems to know what to expect from him and is acceptant of his behavior when he barges into her apartment.
And, Marvin’s mother and his interaction with her is pleasant. He speaks to her like a son should, although it’s questionable about leaving out details in his story, but I’m guessing his justification for doing that is to not worry her. Poor mom probably worries enough as it is . . .
There’s a lot of detail in these black and white frames. I like the art style. Things pop out at me like the shower curtain not up on the rail in Lucille’s bathroom. Is she paranoid, possibly induced by her environment?
One thing that Marv is redeeming himself on, I can say for sure is using his resources, unlike what I thought about him when Goldie died. Even so, it still makes me wondering if he is operating on a hunch or no about her death. Something is awry.
See you next time,
Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.