Nancy Callahan

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Nancy Callahan
Sin City character
Nancy callahan.jpg
Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan in the 2005 movie Sin City
First appearance The Hard Goodbye
Created by Frank Miller
Portrayed by Jessica Alba
Makenzie Vega (age 11)
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
Information
Full name Nancy Callahan
Gender Female
Affiliation(s) John Hartigan
Marv

Nancy Callahan is a fictional character from the graphic novel series Sin City, created by Frank Miller.[1][2] She first appeared in "The Hard Goodbye" before becoming a more prominent character in later stories, most notably That Yellow Bastard.

Nancy is an exotic dancer working at Kadie's Bar, a popular Basin City tavern populated by several key characters. She is depicted as a sensitive, strong willed, caring woman who occasionally becomes involved in the town's criminal underworld. Her full history is explained in That Yellow Bastard, in which she is rescued from Roark Junior by John Hartigan, and becomes a target of the corrupt Roark family.

Background[edit]

Makenzie Vega as Nancy at 11

At the age of 11, Nancy is kidnapped by Roark Junior, a serial killer of young girls who has already claimed three victims. Hartigan, a police officer one day from retirement, defies his corrupt partner, Bob, and pursues Junior.

Hartigan successfully defeats Junior's bodyguards before pursuing him to the town docks, where he shoots Junior in the ear, hand, and genitals, sending him into a coma. Suddenly, Bob appears and shoots Hartigan several times in the back, moments before the police arrive; during this time, Nancy comforts Hartigan and subsequently visits him in the hospital. Unfortunately, Junior's father, a powerful Senator, blackmails Hartigan, threatening to murder his family and any significant others should he expose Junior to the media. As a result, Hartigan warns Nancy (who is forbidden from testifying) to stay away, although she promises to write him weekly letters.

Hartigan is charged with Junior's crimes and imprisoned for eight years, but Nancy remains true to her promise, writing him one letter per week. Over the years, Nancy matures into a young woman, attempting to fall in love but unable to deny her true feelings for Hartigan. She is eventually hired at Kadie's Bar, where she works as an exotic dancer while attending law school. Hartigan, believing Nancy has been captured by Senator Roark as a result of faked evidence, confesses to Junior's crimes and is immediately set free. Hartigan then discovers Nancy at Kadie's Bar, only to realize Junior, hideously deformed after being revived by treatments outside of modern medicine, has followed him, having simply made Hartigan think that Nancy had been discovered so that he could lead them to her. Nancy forces herself onto Hartigan, repeatedly kissing him until he warns her of Junior's presence.

They flee the bar, but Junior appears and attempts to shoot them. Hartigan defeats him, however, believing him to be dead. Upon arriving at Mimi's Motel, Nancy confesses her love to Hartigan and continues kissing him, although he strongly disapproves of her actions due to the distinct age gap between them, commenting that he's old enough to be her grandfather. Junior, having been merely wounded in the incident, reappears; he strips and binds Hartigan, leaving him to die from hanging. He plans to take Nancy to the Roark family's farmhouse, where he will finally achieve revenge by torturing, raping, and killing her.

Junior departs with Nancy, taking her to the farm; although they are briefly delayed by engine trouble, they nevertheless arrive well before Hartigan, who has escaped his bindings and is currently nearing the farm. Once there, Junior begins whipping Nancy, who refuses to scream. As Junior flies into a rage, Nancy realizes that he is impotent unless his victims are screaming in fear. She mocks him, making him even angrier. Just then, Hartigan arrives, defeats Junior's bodyguards and corners Junior, who momentarily appears to gain the upper hand; however, Hartigan stabs him in the chest, castrates him once again, and finally beats him to death.

Following Junior's death, Hartigan informs Nancy of his plans to arrest Senator Roark. After she leaves, however, Hartigan commits suicide to protect Nancy from the Senator's wrath. He feared that had he stayed alive, he would only lead Nancy into even more danger as he had the time he was released from jail.

Other appearances[edit]

Nancy briefly appears in a number of other Sin City stories, usually as a background character in Kadie's Bar. She appears dancing in A Dame to Kill For, and again in Just Another Saturday Night, where she appears with Hartigan in a flashback to That Yellow Bastard. She also appears twice in The Hard Goodbye, once performing her exotic dance and again towards the novel's conclusion; local misfit Marv asks her to drive Wendy, an Old Town prostitute, to the local airport. Chronologically, this scene happens after the events of That Yellow Bastard.

In other media[edit]

Nancy is portrayed as an adult and child by Jessica Alba and Makenzie Vega respectively in the 2005 film adaptation.[3] Alba reprised the role in the 2014 sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and has a larger role in "Nancy's Last Dance", one of the four separate stories in the film. In the sequel sees her still dancing at Kadie's but she has matured and changed drastically after Hartigan's death; she is tired of being mistreated and has taken to drinking. Still emotionally distraught at Hartigan's death she seeks to avenge him by killing the corrupt Senator Roark, enlisting Marv's aid. Throughout this Hartigan's ghost attempts to watch over her and discourage her from vengeance, but he is unable to directly connect with her.

References[edit]