While out walking on a cool summer night, ex-Navy Seal and artist Wallace saves the beautiful Esther from committing suicide. They go for drinks, Wallace shows Esther his art, she asks all the right questions, and just as he’s falling for her, Esther is kidnapped, and Wallace begins his quiet deliberate rescue attempt.
Hell and Back is a return to the long story format, which, for my money, remains the best of what Sin City offers. However, compared to Marv and Hardigan, this character Wallace and the plot itself feel less exciting and nuanced, or maybe just a repeat of previous volumes. Queue the fighter protagonist, damsel in distress, extreme violence, fast cars, sexy naked women, Old Town prostitutes, corrupt cops, etc. This story moves a little slower than the rest, but fear not dear reader, a massive action sequence with big guns and violent deaths await you.
One sequence is particularly good, and redeems the predictable plot somewhat. Wallace is forcibly given drugs and proceeds to hallucinate (in full color) as he continues his mission to save Esther. Every panel is a fun jolt of colorful pop culture reference, which lightens the dark and serious Sin City mood.
Recommended for completionists or super fans of the Sin City universe.