Sin City's Marv humiliates a DC hero in brutal blow

Sin City Malfoy has fought some tough guys in the past, but when the two faced off, a DC Comics hero didn't put up much of a fight.

Of all the adversaries Vice City antihero Marv has fought, DC Comics hero Deathblow, the Jim Lee character apparently inspired by Frank Miller's seminal noir comics, has been beaten particularly hard.

"Sin City" hit the comics world like an atomic bomb when it debuted in 1991. With its stark black-and-white renderings, Frank Miller's overheated film noir imagery would have looked different on the comic strips of the day. Meanwhile, superstar artist Jim Lee left Marvel to launch Image Comics with six other artists. Building on the success of his graphic release title WildC.A.T.S., Lee quickly established his own imprint, creating his own world of superheroes and shadowy government agents in what would become known as the Wildstorm universe. Lee's second major feature was Deathblow, which introduced Michael Cray, a government assassin who discovers he has superpowers after being misdiagnosed with brain cancer. Lee then sold Wildstorm to DC Comics in 1999, and when it was rebooted in 2011 as part of the "New 52" full-line plan, all Wildstorm characters officially became part of the DC Universe.

strong contrast between light and dark Values, Lee seems to have been influenced by Sin City when making Deathblow. Frank Miller must have noticed, because the writer/artist wasted no time in showing his feelings for the Jim Lee tribute on the pages of the comic book. In Sin City: Dame Who Killed for #1, readers are reintroduced to the series protagonist Groom at Josie's Bar, standing over the pile of bloody corpses, as Groom usually does. Take a closer look at the corpse lying beneath Marv, which is unmistakably Deathblow, with the hood, ammo belt, and unique face paint being deadly giveaways. In this case, it's pretty clear from this brief appearance that Miller isn't a fan of Wild Storm's fatal blow.

Sin City’s Marv Humiliates Deathblow

It's easy to see why Miller might be annoyed by Lee's work on Deathblow. Lee completely changed his style on the project, leaving the clean lines of his longtime inker Scott Williams for something rougher and rawer, playing with what Miller perfected over the course of Sin City. The harsh chiaroscuro style. While Lee's work is undoubtedly impressive, he seems to have learned all the wrong lessons from Miller's approach. In many ways, Miller's style in Sin City was All about simplification and subtraction. Miller keeps removing lines from the art in each subsequent Sin City "yarn," seeing how much he can get away with by further breaking down the imagery into abstract shapes. In contrast, Lee continually added lines to his images, swamping the composition with unnecessary detail. By adding striated muscle and excess lines to Marv's victims, Miller's critique of JIm Lee's Deathblow was right on the page.

Is Jim Lee’s Deathblow A Sin City Rip-Off?

Lee must have quickly lost interest in Deathblow, as he only created about 30 pages before handing over the work to other artists. There also appears to be no animosity between Lee and Miller, who would continue to work together on an all-star Batman and Robin roughly a decade later. Regardless, it's still an interesting fact that Vice City's Marv once fought against DC Comics' Deathblow.

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