Family Values differs from other Sin City stories in that is wasn't previously presented in installment, it is an original graphic novel presented in its entirety. Hence, there are no chapters, it reads as one sustained narrative. The narrative begins with Dwight McCarthy returning to the scene of a mob-style hit. Miho, from A Dame to Kill For is with him, and he fears she will kill the female cop that is hitting on him. He is doing a job, and Miho will not tolerate police intervention.
After cleverly persuading for the police woman to move along, Dwight goes to a nearby bar looking for information about the hit that had taken place. A barfly gives him (and the reader) the lowdown on the situation. A councilman in Boss Wallenquist's "employ" at one time was a hit man himself. In the course of one he inadvertently causes the death of the niece of "Don" Magliozzi, who swears revenge. Years later, he finds out the councilman was the murderer, and orders him killed.
The background story leads into the events of Family Values. The destruction Dwight observes at the beginning of the story is the reminder of the previous night's violence. The story is told to him by a woman who is past her prime, too many nights of "good times" have taken their toll. She has no illusions about her looks, or her appeal to men. Dwight empathizes. He feels bad about buying her drinks and using her for information. He gives her some of his time as a return for her story. It's a wistful moment.
We get the sense that something or someone was hurt because of the reckless nature of the gunman. Did someone get hurt? Killed? Why is Dwight looking for the gunman, and why is Miho with him?
The family comes under scrutiny in a lot of different ways in this story. The killed councilman ran on a "family values" platform, while having a murderous past and keeping a mistress. Magliozzi's desire for revenge for the death of a family member causes innocent deaths. Dwight's search for the gunman is fueled by the ties he feels to the girls of "Old Town", feelings of family, perhaps? Perhaps the line, "It's a great big world out there...with all kinds of families in it." You said it, Frank.
Text (c) LCB 2000
AMAZON.COM is the registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc.