| Marv is the main character of the very first Sin City comics/graphic novel. This was originally entitled Sin City but Frank Miller has since added the subtitle The Hard Goodbye. He also makes brief appearances in other stories. Below is a spoiler-filled outline of the original story to help illustrate the character of Marv.|
Sin City - Graphic Novel
Marv grew up with his mother and went to a Catholic school. There is no information about his father. At school he enjoyed doing puzzles, as had a mentally handicapped friend called Chuck who would consider him a genius for this. He also met Gladys, who was, in his own words "the toughest nun in school". Later in life, he would name his M1911 Pistol after her. Marv has been to prison several times, and according to his parole officer Lucille, it was "hell for him". Marv has a condition, and therefore needs medication, which is often kept by Lucille. Marv is good friends with Dwight McCarthy, and that has to do with the fact that Manute has only one eye when they attacked Damien Lord's house. He drove a severely wounded Dwight till Old Town to get him help.
One night, in a bar, Marv met a woman. She came on to him and gave him the night of his life. She had blond hair and Marv referred to her as an angel and a goddess. She told him that her name is Goldie. When Marv woke up the next morning, Goldie was murdered, without a mark on her. He vowed revenge, and set out to find out who killed her.
Police were already on the way to arrest Marv, who realized he'd been set up. Since there is no time to hide and he knew that they wanted him dead, he decided that there is no point in playing good or quiet so he just played it his way. Smashing through the motel room door, he managed to evade the police, jumping through a window and landing on some trash in an alley. Marv then commandeered a police car by smashing through the windscreen. He then drove it into the ocean, and swam into a sewer pipe until he resurfaced in another alley. Needing medication, he visited Lucille.
After explaining to Lucille what has happened to him, Marv visited his blind mother to pick up his gun, Gladys, which he had once stole from a killer. Marv's mother told him there were people asking after him, and that they weren't police. Marv told her he got a new job, working the night shift. He cared enough for his mother to hide the awful truth from her.
Marv then headed to Kadie's Club Pecos, looking for Weevil. After incapacitating the new bouncer, Marv headed inside, where he saw Nancy Callahan dancing onstage. Locating Weevil, Marv told him to spread the word that he has been hitting the bars, crying his ass off over some hot babe, name of Goldie. Marv let Weevil go, then ordered a shot and a brew from the barmaid, Shellie.
Two hitmen walked in and put a gun to Marv's back. One told him "Show's over, dickwad. Drink up". They went to the back alley, and Marv pretended to trip, grabbed one of the hitmen's guns and shot the other. Marv killed one by repeatedly slamming his head into the wall. He told the other to take off his coat, as it's a quality coat and he's bleeding all over it. The hitman begged Marv not to kill him, but Marv told him he's already dead, but he can choose to have Marv make it quick or slow and painful. The hitman told Marv what he knew, and Marv shot him in the head. He killed his way to the truth, torturing people until they gave him a name. He enjoyed the whole thing. Eventually, Marv talked to a priest in a confession box. When Marv asked for a name, the priest told him that Roark was behind it. Marv doesn't believe him, stating "it can't be that big", since the Roarks are a strong family in Basin City. The priest informed him to go to the Roark family farm, and while he's at it, to "think about whether that corpse of a slut is worth dying for". Marv killed him for this, and took the keys to his car. Once outside, Marv was attacked by a woman driving a car, who appears to be Goldie. She hit him with the car several times and shot at him before driving away. Blaming his confusion entirely on not taking his medication for a while, Marv drives out to the Roark family farm.
Upon reaching the farm, Marv was attacked by a dog but he knocked it out. Out of nowhere, he is attacked from behind and can't believe that he was surprised like that since no one can sneak up on him. The attacker temporarily blinded him and then knocked Marv out with a sledge hammer. Marv woke up in a cold basement where there were the heads of female murder victims displayed on the wall. But he was not alone, Lucille was also there. She was in shock uttering "He keeps the heads, he eats the rest!!". A car pulled up outside and someone called for Kevin to get in. Marv memorised the name and escaped with Lucile. Marv and Lucile were hiding in the forest when Police arrive. Marv cocked his gun but Lucile hit him with a log "You're not going to get us killed Marv". She walked out to turn him in but was shot to death. Marv picked up a hatchet and killed all the policemen. Lucile's murderer was the last one alive, Marv walked up to him and said "Now that's one damn fine looking coat you got there". Marv walked away from the last policeman's corpse wearing his coat.
He stared at a statue of Cardinal Roark in the rain, trying to figure out what's going on. He summed up, jumping to the conclusion that Goldie knew that someone wanted her dead. She hit on him because she was scared and wanted a "big lug" to protect her. He realized that he might be wrong so he asked around for more information.
He reached Basin City a little while later. He was attacked by a woman who looks a lot like Goldie and passes out. He woke up tied to a chair in a room filled with hookers. The one who looks like Goldie started hitting him with the back of her revolver, blaming him for Goldie's death, along with six others. She is Goldie's identical twin sister, Wendy. Marv convinced them he is not the killer and they decided to help him to get revenge.
He needed to shop for some equipment (rubber tubing, gasoline, saw, gloves, cuffs, razor wire, hatchet, "Gladys" and of course his "mitts") and Wendy is willing to pay the bill. They reached the farm and Marv readied his trap for Kevin. He coaxed him out to fight, Marv noted that he can take the pain inflicted by Kevin handcuffed himself to Kevin stating "now let's see you hop around", then proceeded to knock him unconscious. Wendy tried to interfere and Marv slapped her unconcious. Marv felt bad because that was the first time he hit a woman. He took her to the car and returned finish the job. He chopped Kevin's arms and legs off letting the dog eat his remains while still alive. Kevin never screamed, Marv cut the head off and left.
He dropped Wendy off at Nancy's place and headed to Cardinal Roark's house. He easily passed the guards and found his way to Roark's room. He delivered him Kevin's head and killed him in a slow and painful way. In answer to Roark's question if killing him will satisfy him, "The killing, no. No satisfaction. But everything up until the killing will be a gas". Roark's security broke in having been alerted by the screams. They emptied their clips into Marv. Marv survived and found himself hospitalized.
Several months passed by and he was back on his feet, but not for long. He was found guilty of not just the people he had actually killed but also of the hookers that Kevin had murdered, and even of Goldie's death. They demanded that Marv sign a prepared confession. He kept refusing and spitting blood on the fresh copies of the confession until they threatened to kill his mother. After breaking the Attorney's arm in three different points, he reluctantly signed the confession.
Wendy visited him on death row to thank him for everything he had done. She was his only visitor in 18 months.
Sitting in the electric chair with his head shaved, Marv tells them to get on with it, as he "doesn't have all night". He survives their first attempt (highlighting his resistance and durability), and insults them. However, after a second attempt, he dies.
Sin City - Movie adaption Marv is protrayed by Mickey Rourke in the movie Sin City released in 2005. Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Roasario Dawson, Jessica Alba and Benicio Del Toro also star. It is an anthology movie collecting together four stories from the Sin City Comics. The movie rendition is very faithful to the original comics.