Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Ahem. Let me try again:
Dwight, like just about every Sin City character you’d care to name, has problems. The love of his life left him years ago for a rich man, he lost his job as an award-winning photographer for Alcohol-Related Reasons that aren’t elaborated in the book, and he’s now reduced to sneaking around, taking pictures of husbands behaving badly for a hilariously sleazy private detective.
Then a blast (no, make that the blast) from the past, Ava, shows up. She makes noises about her life being in danger. And she’s being shadowed by a huge (and I mean huge) motherfucker who’s allegedly her husband’s chauffeur.
Dwight has two weaknesses: booze and dames. One weakness feeds off the other. But Ava isn’t a weakness for Dwight so much as she is his San Andreas Fault: when he sticks around her long enough, catastrophic things happen, and vital chunks of himself threaten to tear free from the mainland.
Wow, check out that analogy I just made. That’s, like, deep, man.
Anyway, complications arise. Complications involving blood, and lots of it. And Dwight goes on a rampage, first with the help of your favorite delusional thug and mine, Marv, then with the help of the working girls in Old Town.
This story starts out slower than The Hard Goodbye, but once it got going, I couldn’t put it down. One of the neat things about the story is that it happens concurrently with The Hard Goodbye and you get to see little vignettes from the last book interspersed in this novel, often as background action. The stories stand alone very well, but it’s a lot of fun looking at the scenes from different perspectives, and figuring out the timeline for various events relative to the timeline of The Hard Goodbye.
The characters in this one are every bit as fascinating as the characters in the first book. Dwight is hot. Have I mentioned that? No? H-O-T. Hot. He’s quixotic and gallant, the way Marv is, but unlike Marv, he’s not confused, and he’ll hurt a woman if presented with enough provocation.
I’m not normally into pain, but let me say this: Dwight can hurt me any time.
This book also introduces the prostitutes of Old Town, including one of my favorites, deadly little Miho and her array of sharp objects.
For those of you who liked the movie* and were wondering why Dwight needed plastic surgery, this story explains it all.
My only complaint, minor as it is, is that Dwight is a lot less hawt after his plastic surgery, largely because of his gay-ass haircut. What the hell? I mean, fine, he couldn’t be hot and bald any more because hot and bald is a pretty distinct look, and the point of extensive reconstructive plastic surgery is to disguise your look, but DEAR GOD couldn’t Frank Miller have given him a better haircut? That floppy center part should only be sported by sissy-boy Hong Kong pop singers, not tough-as-fuck characters for a noir graphic novel.
Other than that, this book was a blast to read. Go. Read. And revel in the hotness that is Dwight.
*An observation about the movie sparked after reading this: man, Clive Owen doesn’t do Dwight justice in the movie. Not even close. Yes, he’s yummy, and yes, gallantry oozes from his pores the way oil does from mine after a meal at Popeye’s, but he doesn’t have the raw sexuality and crazy edge that Dwight exudes in the book. Plus the way he struggled with the American accent was distracting. I think Christian Bale would’ve done a better job, because Lord knows he’s proven himself capable of playing psychos, both amiable and not-so-amiable. Plus he’s hawt, and built—I mean, seriously, Dwight in the book is BUILT, yo.