Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Women in Comic Books who are more than Skin deep: #1. Deadly Little Miho.

Women in Comic Books who are more than Skin deep: #1.

Name: Miho.

Creator: Frank Miller

Appearances: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Big fat Kill, Family Values, And Behind Door Number Three.

Occupation: Protector.

Quote: None, never ever speaks.

Miho a falling leaf.

All my friends know I love deadly Little Miho, and none of them will be surprised to see her on the top of this list. But I am not her biggest fan. The number one Miho fan-boy would be none other than her creator, Frank Miller. When someone like Quinton Tarantino says you have a fetish like relationship with your character, maybe you should back away from you work for a bit.  But that love which Miller pours into her is what makes her such a great character.

                Miho is the protector of the ‘girls of Old-town’ in Sin City. She herself however is never portrayed as a prostitute, only their protector. This is important because she is the only female character in Sin City whose primary characteristic isn’t her sexuality. Even Marv’s aged mother’s is primarily defined by the fact that she is a mother.

One reason for her asexual-ness, in a hyper-sexually charged title might be that she is not of this Earth.  Miller has explained that she and Kevin, the other mute assassin are actually demons, or Kami (Japanese spirits/minor gods).  He calls Miho a ‘good demon’. This is kind of surprising because there is not a lot of the supernatural in Sin City. But in hindsight, it explains things, like why she is a protector, why she remains silent all the time, her preternatural combat skills. And her harsh code of vengeance.

Her silence is also important in the light that Frank Miller, is in my opinion not only the best dialogist in comics, but also the best living dialogist in the English speaking world. Sin City is built on its gruff and gritty words as much as it built on scantily clad, submachine gun wielding women. That Miho and Kevin both never say a word is obviously important. Yes Cardinal Roark says Kevin speaks to him, but the audience never hears a word from him, even when Marv is torturing him. This makes them different form all the others in the yarns, and also gives them an unearthly vibe.

The closest male in her life Dwight, comments on how cat like she is. Her balance, how she plays with her victims and how she takes quick short naps. He seems to take this in stride, but I get the sense Dwight knows that there is more to her than meets the eyes. I think this is Miller giving us clues to the fact that she is not human.

Miho taking a cat nap in family values.

Miho taking a cat nap in family values.

Miho is also very loyal. The closest thing that Sin City has to a true partnership is Miho and every man/wanted murder on the run Dwight. She owes him a debt of honor because he saved her from an ambush by Chinese gang members. She even chose him over usual masters Wendy and Goldie the leaders of the gals from Old Town, much to the twin blonde’s surprise. In Basin City you can’t trust anyone. Cops literally shoot each other in the back, but despite that Miho and Dwight, know that count on each other when things start hitting the fan.

Devon Aoki in Sin City

Devon Aoki in Sin City

Most comic books do not translate well into movies. Sin City is the exception to this. Devon Aoki nailed the part of Miho perfectly. Just as she didn’t know how to drive until she got  a part on 2Fast 2Furious, Devon didn’t know anything about martial arts or sword fighting, before this movie. She was moved by Frank Miller impassioned description of his creation to her, that she put her whole heart into it. She did it so well that, after filming was wrapped up, Frank Miller gave her Miho’s samurai sword. (Rumor has it he stole it out of Quinton Tarantino’s garage, since it was also used in Kill Bill). If they finally get around to doing Sin City 2, it will probably be Jamie Chung playing Miho since Aoki is having her second child. And though I will miss Devon after seeing Chung in Sucker Punch I think she is a good second choice.

For saying so much without speaking a single word. For being enticing without trying to be sexy. And being one of the most deadly forces in Basin City without carrying a gun. Miho is the number one woman of comics who is more than Skin deep.

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8 comments on “Women in Comic Books who are more than Skin deep: #1. Deadly Little Miho.

  1. mrsnox
    December 10, 2013

    Oh wow, what an interesting character! I’m really going to have to watch this movie now. So you’d recommend the “Sin City” comics then? What is another of Frank Miller’s best works that you would recommend?

    • davekheath
      December 10, 2013

      the cool thing about Sin City the movie is they cut up the comics and used it as the storyboard. So it is extremely faithful. warning though it is very graphic, and you have to have a stomach for violence.

      The most literate of the Sin City Yarns is A Dame to Kill for. My favorite though is The Big fat Kill.

      Frank Miller also did Dark Knight Returns, and Batman:Year One which pretty much took Batman from being an Adam West clone to the dark brooding vigilante of today.

      • mrsnox
        December 11, 2013

        No worries, I’ve seen Kill Bill 1 and 2. 0_0

      • davekheath
        December 11, 2013

        Then you should have no problems it does have things like a child molesters but believe me he get his in the end.

  2. Distinguished Malcontent
    December 11, 2013

    I love this choice for #1, but I have to say that since you are a Frank Miller fan I’m surprised not to see Elektra on this list. I know you said you tried to avoid Marvel and DC, but no exception for Elektra? Are there any other characters who ALMOST made the list?

    • davekheath
      December 11, 2013

      I will say that Frank Miller did give Elektra a lot of depth I would say she probably make a top 15.More than likely it is my Indy bias that kept her out of the running

      And three Warren Ellis characters almost made it

      Miranda Zero from Global Frequency. – But at the last minute got edged out by Amanda Waller..

      Both the filthy assistants from Transmapalitian.

      And Jennifer Blood, who I like Ellis’ first 6 story run but after he left, it just fell apart.

      I will probably do a post just on those three and Ellis

      And after I finished the post I thought about Jenny Everywhere the worlds first open source superhero.

  3. Cian Beirdd
    March 10, 2014

    Reblogged this on Cian Beirdd and commented:
    Psychopath more like, but definitely some depth

  4. davekheath
    March 10, 2014

    I love how Miller gives her depth without words.

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