The Big Fat Kill

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The Big Fat Kill
Cover to Sin City: The Big Fat Kill #2. Art by Frank Miller. The characters Dwight and Gail
Publication information
Publisher Legend (Dark Horse Comics)
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Genre
Publication date November 1994 - March 1995
Number of issues 5
Creative team
Writer(s) Frank Miller
Artist(s) Frank Miller
Letterer(s) Frank Miller
Creator(s) Frank Miller
Editor(s) Bob Schreck
Collected editions
The Big Fat Kill ISBN 1-59307-295-3

The Big Fat Kill is a five-issue comic book limited series published by Dark Horse Comics in November 1994–March 1995.

Plot[edit]

The story opens in Shellie's apartment, where a drunken former fling is furiously rapping on her door, demanding to be let in. Shellie is obviously scared, but is comforted by Dwight who has since gotten a new face (see A Dame To Kill For). Dwight tells the barmaid to let the man and his ensuing entourage in, expressing confidence in his ability to 'handle them'. When the man outside threatens to break down her door, Shellie reluctantly opens it while Dwight hides in the bathroom.

The drunken man, named Jack, talks about his plans to barhop and insists Shellie call in some of her co-workers to come along. Shellie refuses and Jack hits her. He goes to the bathroom where Dwight is hiding in the shower stall. Getting the jump on him, Dwight holds a straight razor to his eye and tells him to stop bothering Shellie. When Jack scoffs at the threat Dwight dunks his head into the toilet (where Jack had been urinating the minute before) until his body goes limp.

Jack awakens a few seconds later and storms out, demanding that his group not mention these events. Shellie investigates the apartment and finds Dwight on the ledge outside the building. After ensuring her safety, Dwight becomes worried that Jack will cause more trouble and must be stopped somehow. He jumps off the building, ignoring Shellie's muffled yell that sounds like "Stop!".

As Dwight races after Jack's car, his speeding catches the attention of the police. A police car follows them both, but stops and turns around once the cars enter Old Town, the area of Sin City full of and run by the prostitutes of the area. Jack spots a young girl named Becky walking alone in a dark alley, he follows beside her, asking coyly for her services and constantly being rejected. Dwight follows close behind and is then caught off guard by Gail, one of Old Town's most experienced hookers and guardians. She advises Dwight to stay put and let the girls handle Jack themselves. As Dwight spots Miho on the roof, he uncomfortably agrees and watches as the alley is closed off.

Meanwhile, Jack continues to pester Becky, escalating to outright anger at the egging on of his friends. He finally pulls out a handgun and aims it at her. Instead of being scared or surprised, Becky is instead filled with pity, proclaiming that he has just done the dumbest thing in his life. Miho throws a Manji-shaped projectile that cuts off Jack's hand, then descends on the car and quickly kills every man but Jack.

During the attack, Dwight has an impending sense that something is wrong but can't place his finger on it. Miho and Jack get in a standoff. As Dwight tries to make Jack quit his foolish game, Miho sabotages his gun by throwing a plug into the barrel. When Jack tries to shoot the intervening Dwight his gun backfires, sending the slide into his forehead. Miho finishes him off by slicing his neck, making "a Pez dispenser out of him".

Cover to Sin City: The Big Fat Kill #4. Art by Frank Miller. The assassin Miho.

As the girls loot the corpses, Dwight searches Jack's body and finds a police badge revealing him to be Detective Lieutenant "Iron" Jack Rafferty. Then he realizes that Shellie was screaming "COP!". Jack's death is bad for all of Old Town, as the shaky truce between the police and the girls will be all but shattered. Gail starts proclaiming they'll fight anyone who tries to take them out while Dwight tries to recommend disposing the bodies before anyone suspects anything. Finally, after a tense argument between Gail and Dwight, the girls agree to hide the bodies in the Pits as Dwight recommended.

After acquiring a car, slicing up all the bodies to stuff in the back trunk and leaving Jack in the front seat due to lack of space, Dwight begins the rainy drive to the Pits. On the way there, Dwight begins to hallucinate that Jack is egging him on. Although Dwight knows he is hallucinating, he cannot quiet the gibbering corpse. With his mind not completely focused, his driving suffers, attracting police attention again. As he contemplates whether or not to kill the cop, he brakes hard. Jack's body slumps forward, hiding the neck wound and the gun slide lodged in his head. The cop looks through Dwight's window and notices the corpse, believing it to be an unconscious, drunken friend. Dwight tells the cop he's the designated driver. The cop then notifies Dwight that he's driving with a broken taillight, and lets him off with a warning.

At the Tar Pits, Dwight is attacked by Irish mercenaries. One fires a bullet at his heart, and Dwight falls, appearing to be dead. While the mercenaries are arguing about how good America is, one finds Jackie Boy's badge, which has the sniper's bullet lodged in it. Dwight pounces and quickly disposes of four of them, but is knocked out by a grenade that ignites the T-Bird's gas-tank, is sent flying, and falls into one of the pits along with the car. One of the mercenaries decapitates Jackie Boy's corpse, taking the head and leaving Dwight for dead, slowly sinking into the pits. Miho rescues him and Dwight begins to figure out that there is a snitch in Old Town who informed the mob that a cop was murdered by the Old Town prostitutes. Along with Miho and her driver, Dallas, he takes off in pursuit of the remaining mercenaries.

Back at Old Town, Gail has been ambushed and kidnapped by Manute, who has survived the previous assaults of Dwight and Miho. Gail is tortured but refuses to "facilitate" the process of surrendering Old Town. It becomes clear that Becky had sold out Old Town for money and her mother's safety. Gail bites and rips a chunk off of Becky's neck in anger, vowing that she deserves worse.

Dwight recalls the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas was able to defeat his enemies by drawing them int oa narrow trap (a story of which Miller would three years later tell as 300) Dallas and Miho realize they must recover Jackie Boy's head. They cut through backroads to reach the Projects, where they catch up with their targets. Dallas rams the car into the mercenaries' and she ends up being gunned down by one of them. After dodging some grenades, Dwight corners Brian, the last mercenary, in the sewers. Dwight is caught off guard by more grenades and is about to be cut up until Miho arrives to finish Brian off. With the head in tow they go off to rescue Gail and Old Town.

As the gangsters prepare to further torture Gail, and kill Becky, an arrow shoots through one of the henchmen with a note prompting a trade: Jack's head for Gail's life.

As Dwight stands alone in an alley outside the gangsters' building with the head, outnumbered and outgunned. Dwight then triggers the grenades stolen from the last mercenary, exploding the head.

Just as King Leonidas trapped the Persians at Thermopylae, the gangsters now realize they are in a trap as the girls of Old Town reveal themselves heavily armed on the roof. They and Dwight open fire upon the gangsters until, in Dwight's words, "the things we're pumping bullets into are nothing but twisted toppling screaming smudges of movement."

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been collected into a trade paperback (ISBN 1593072953).

Awards[edit]

  • 1996:[1]
    • Won "Best Limited Series" Eisner Award
    • Frank Miller nominated for "Best Cover Artist" Eisner Award, for The Big Fat Kill

Film adaptation[edit]

The story is one of three from Sin City related in the film Sin City. In the film, Clive Owen plays Dwight, Brittany Murphy plays Shellie, Benicio del Toro plays Jack, Rosario Dawson plays Gail, Devon Aoki plays Miho, Alexis Bledel plays Becky, and Michael Clarke Duncan plays Manute.

A notable difference from the comic version is that Becky survives the final gunfight by hiding in a nook in the alley, leaving her alive for the final "epilogue" scene of the movie which ends when she meets The Salesman from The Customer is Always Right, who had been introduced in the movie's prologue. He then offers her a cigarette just like he did in The Customer is Always Right, and Becky seems to sense why he's there and tells her mother she loves her before hanging up. There is also a deleted/extended scene from the movie, where Manute and two thugs actually escape the gunfight, bloodied and battered, only to be cornered by Miho in the alley. Miho then tosses the sword right through the two thugs, and finally and definitely kills Manute by bisecting him with a scythe.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]