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Hell and Back – A Sin City Love Story

August 1, 2008

If you have never read any of Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels, you might have seen the 2005 movie. If not, then what are you still doing here? Go to your local DVD dealer! See it now and pick up a copy of the book while you’re at it. You are still here? Well then let’s get on with this review.

As you might recall I got Miller’s Hell and Back – A Sin City Love Story at the Contern Comic Festival and I finally got around to read it. It is one of several Sin City yarns, playing out independently, but still being part of the Basin City universe. The story follows Wallace, ex-military commander, as he coincidentally stumbles into a full-fledged conspiracy. It all starts out quit innocently, when he saves the life of Esther, a stunningly beautiful woman, who jumps off a cliff into the ocean in an attempt to kill herself. After the rescue, she realizes that she made a big mistake and falls in love with her hero. All seems well for the two, when suddenly they are assaulted and Wallace is shot with a tranquilizer. When he finally comes to, Esther is gone and he decides to track her down and find out what happened to her. The pursuit takes him into the belly of the beast, as he investigates the dark secrets of a powerful organization, not keen on losing any business over the rampage of a crazed lover.

Hell and Back is, as the title suggests, a love story. Wallace is obsessed with Esther and stops at nothing to find her. Miller uses his typical Black and White style that has made the Sin City books such a unique experience. The play with shadows is so well done, that you could call Miller the master of the comic noir (inspired by the film noir). Interesting about this book is especially the character of Wallace, who apparently will be in Sin City 2, the next movie adaptation. Rumors are that Johnny Depp might play his part. If you like stories with a shot of romance and a lot of violence then Hell and Back is for you!

Story                  7

Art                      8

Reread Value     7

Overall rating    7/10

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