Roark family

Roark family

The Roark family is a fictional dynasty from Frank Miller's graphic novel series "Sin City".

The family is made up of corrupt officials and landowners of Irish descent, who hold nearly absolute power in Basin City. They are main antagonists in the series, and are frequent catalysts to various plots and storylines. Several of their friends and associates also serve as villains within the stories.


The family first arrived in Basin City during Gold Rush, when a Roark ancestor brought with him a large number of foreign prostitutes. The prostitutes were quite popular, turning a small mining camp into a thriving city. The Roark family would eventually gain political power as a result, controlling the land via their methods of corruption. The prostitutes themselves eventually split from the family and formed their own district reserved specifically for prostitution; this section would later be known as Old Town.

In the time period of the comics, the Roark family is currently thriving, with family members in the United States Senate, an Attorney General and a Catholic Cardinal.

Family Members

Cardinal Roark

Patrick Henry Roark, ("A Man of the Cloth") otherwise known as Cardinal Roark, appears in "The Hard Goodbye" as the brother of Senator Roark and the uncle of Roark Junior. According to Marv, he was once a doctor and priest serving in the medical corps during either World War II or the Korean War. He earned significant praise as a result and later became a Cardinal, earning important political influence and extending the corruption within the state. Marv also stated that the Cardinal's influence is what allowed his brother to be become a United States Senator.

While serving the clergy, Cardinal Roark met Kevin, a cannibalistic serial killer who murdered and ate Old Town's prostitutes, believing he was inheriting their souls. Convinced that Kevin has been spoken to by God, Cardinal Roark shelters him at the Roark family farm, located at North Cross and Lennox. He also joins in on Kevin's crimes, consuming parts of his victims' bodies.

Prostitute Goldie learns of their crimes and prepares to inform the other prostitutes; she spends a night with Marv to gain protection, but Kevin nevertheless murders her and frames Marv for the crime. Marv then hunts down and kills members of the city's underworld to find Goldie's killer, eventually killing Kevin and then visiting Cardinal Roark. Cardinal Roark explains the story to Marv, who then proceeds to violently kill him, however it is never actually shown how Marv kills him, although it's implied he had his jugular vein severed.

In the 2005 film adaptation, Cardinal Roark was portrayed by Rutger Hauer. Hauer was one of the last actors to be cast, completing his role several months after Mickey Rourke, who portrayed Marv, had finished shooting. The only time they appear on-screen in the same shot is during their final confrontation, which was later edited in post-production utilizing both of their performances.


While not an actual member of the Roark family, Kevin nevertheless plays an important role in "The Hard Goodbye" as the apprentice of Cardinal Roark. An intentionally mute serial killer, Kevin kills and eats prostitutes in an attempt to "inherit" their souls. He confesses these crimes to the Cardinal, after which the Cardinal begins to join him in and believes that he is doing God's work. Goldie soon learns of their rituals and seeks safety with Marv, but Kevin is nevertheless able to kill her. When Marv goes on a violent quest for her killer, Kevin is one of his many casualties; Marv mutilates him, feeds most of him to a wolf, and finally beheads with a saw. Kevin does not utter a sound throughout the torture, dying with a serene smile on his face.

Kevin also makes a cameo appearance during the climax of "That Yellow Bastard", taking place four years before the events of "The Hard Goodbye". As John Hartigan murders Junior's guards, Kevin is seen reading a Bible on the side porch.

Kevin was portrayed by Elijah Wood in the film adaptation, who never met Mickey Rourke on-set during filming. As with Hauer, his shots were edited together with Rourke's.

enator Roark

Senator Roark is a rich, corrupt politician, who holds most of Basin City in his grip. These privileges are inherited by his son, Roark Junior. Senator Roark murdered his wife with a baseball bat, for which he was never arrested, even though (by his own admission) he left his fingerprints all over the crime scene. He also is the brother of Cardinal Roark; his other brother serves as an Attorney General (not featured).

Senator Roark hopes for his son to become President of the United States, but Junior presents a serious problem: he enjoys raping and murdering pre-pubescent girls. Senator Roark uses his police connections to cover up his son's crimes, but when Junior kidnaps 11 year-old Nancy Callahan, Detective John Hartigan shoots off Junior's ear, hand, and genitals.

Senator Roark then visits Hartigan in the hospital, explaining that he actually has no intention of killing him. Instead, he plans to finance Hartigan's medical treatment to keep him alive; his ultimate plan is to frame Hartigan for Junior's crimes while Junior recovers from surgery. He then says that he will kill anyone to whom Hartigan tells the truth. Hartigan serves eight years in prison until he confesses to Junior's crimes, with the Senator personally appearing at his parole hearing. During these years, the Senator had recourse to alternative medicines and "Witch doctors" in order to heal his son and restore his reproductive organs and eventually obtain an heir for his dynasty.

By the end of the story, Hartigan kills Junior; he then commits suicide, rendering Senator Roark unable to have revenge. In his final narration, Hartigan mentions that the Roark family line is ended, the Senator's plans for a legacy now destroyed.

Senator Roark was portrayed by Powers Boothe in the movie. The role was also offered to Christopher Walken and Willem Dafoe, who both turned it down.

Roark Junior

Roark Junior, also known as the Yellow Bastard, is the son of Senator Roark and the nephew of Cardinal Roark. His public profile is that of a handsome, young playboy; he is in fact a sadistic pedophile with a particular interest in raping and murdering pre-pubescent girls. These atrocities are covered up by his father and the Basin City police, but Detective John Hartigan is nevertheless determined to bring him to justice. After kidnapping 11-year-old Nancy Callahan, Junior is pursued by Hartigan, who ends up killing Junior's guards before shooting Junior, blowing off his arm below the elbow, his ear, and his genitals, an act that leaves him in a coma.

As Junior undergoes years of surgeries to repair his limbs and genitals, Hartigan is blamed for Junior's crimes and serves eight years in prison. The surgeries leave Junior horribly disfigured; he now has bright yellow skin and emits a disgusting stench. When Hartigan is freed from prison, Junior follows him to Kadie's Bar, where a 19-year-old Nancy is working as a stripper. Hartigan shoots him in the throat as he follows them in a high speed chase to a local motel, but he nevertheless arrives, kidnaps Nancy and leaves Hartigan to die from hanging.

Junior takes Nancy to the Roark family farm and begins whipping her, hoping to rape and kill her afterwards. When Nancy refuses to scream during the torture, however, she realizes that Junior is impotent unless he hears his victims' cries of pain. Just then, Hartigan arrives, defeats Junior's guards and then stabs him in the chest before removing his genitals a second time and beating his head into a messy yellow pulp.

In the film, Junior was played by Nick Stahl

The Farm

The Roark family's farm (a.k.a. simply "The Farm") is located on the corner of North Cross and Lennox, in an area of open farmland bordered by heavy woods; it appears in several stories, including "The Hard Goodbye", "That Yellow Bastard", "The Babe Wore Red" and "Hell And Back". As well as many previous generations of the family, it was also home to Kevin since at least four years before the events of "The Hard Goodbye"; he is seen living there during the climax of "That Yellow Bastard". It is suggested by Hartigan that the deviant behaviour of Junior and Kevin has been going on at the Farm for generations, as every cop in Basin City knows better than to stray too close to it.

The Farm consists of the following buildings and areas:-

*Farmhouse - the main building, containing the living quarters. The basement contains a tiled room where Kevin kept the heads of his female victims mounted on the wall. This part of the farm was partially destroyed when Marv threw a petrol bomb through the window to smoke out Kevin.
*Barn - An old wooden barn with a hayloft and sliding doors. This is where Hartigan and Junior have their final confrontation in "That Yellow Bastard", and where Wallace finds a nude and partially brainwashed Esther at the conclusion of "Hell and Back".
*A grain silo.
*A workshed.
*A deserted farmyard. There is no obvious evidence of any traditional agriculture occurring here in what has to have been years, despite the presence of a tractor. There is also a wood pile and chopping block with a hatchet embedded there, which Marv later takes as a weapon (see below).

*The Woods - Heavy woodland that borders the Farm and the roads leading up to it. The trees here are gnarled and twisted and the atmosphere is unsettling. Both Marv (in "The Hard Goodbye") and Hartigan (in "That Yellow Bastard") sneak up to the Farm through the Woods, having driven up to a short distance from the road entrance, and Dwight defeats Fat Man and Little Boy here during "The Babe Wore Red". When Marv first passed through the Woods he found them very disturbing, and his instincts told him at once that bad things had gone on at the Farm; by his second and final time at the Farm, however, he was no longer afraid and proceeded to use the Woods to his physical and tactical advantage during his duel with Kevin. When Hartigan passes through, during heavy snow, he suffers what he thinks is another bout of angina, even though he was supposed to be cured of it.


The following battles have also occurred at the Farm.

*Hartigan vs. Armed Cops/Guards - "That Yellow Bastard" (Hartigan is armed with a switchblade, a Robocop-style Beretta, a silenced Colt and a revolver. He steathily kills two of them with the switchblade and the other two with the Beretta and the Colt.)
*Hartigan vs. Yellow Bastard/Roark Junior - "That Yellow Bastard" (Hartigan, whilst suffering a fake heart-attack, staggers into the barn where he is confronted and mocked by Junior. He then collapses and as Junior moves in on him, pulls out a switchblade and stabs him. He then castrates him with his bare hands before pounding his head into the floorboards, finally killing him.

*Wallace and Jerry vs. Enemy Helicopter - "Hell and Back" (Wallace is prepared for this by wearing a kevlar vest which shields him and Esther, whom he arrived to rescue. The helicopter is shot out of the sky by Jerry, armed with a TOW missile.)

*Marv vs. Kevin - "The Hard Goodbye" (Despite Marv's brute strength and durability, Kevin gets the drop on him and disarms/blinds him with his sharp fingernails before knocking him out with a sledgehammer.)
*Marv vs. Armed Cops - "The Hard Goodbye" (Marv manages to wipe out a whole squad of heavily armed cops whilst armed only with a hatchet.)
*Marv vs. Kevin II - "The Hard Goodbye" (Marv manages to trap Kevin, handcuff himself to him and knock him out with one punch, before proceeding to methodically dismember Kevin with a hacksaw.)

*Dwight vs. Fat Man and Little Boy - "The Babe Wore Red" (Dwight and the 'babe' are chased to the farm, where, upon being cornered, Dwight subdues them by hand and feet, before shooting them in the legs.)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roark — is a name which may refer to:People* Roark Critchlow (born 1963), Canadian actor * James Roark (1946? 1995), the pseudonym of James Barnas, a Pulitzer Prize nominated photographer * William Marshall Roark (1943 1965), a United States fighter… …   Wikipedia

  • Roark Gourley — is an American painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist. He is best known for his 2.5 Dimensional wall sculptures that depict humorous subject matter. He has been working in Laguna Beach, California, for over thirty years.One of his most notable …   Wikipedia

  • Roark — This distinguished surname belonged to one of Ireland s great princely families who held territory in Breffny (now Cavan and West Leitrim). The prefix O means grandson or male descendant. Rourke is an Anglicization of the Gaelic personal name… …   Surnames reference

  • Magliozzi Crime Family — The fictional Magliozzi Crime Family control the Cosa Nostra in the comic book series Sin City. Led by Don Giacco Magliozzi and based at the Magliozzi Mansion (located in Sacred Oaks), they were wiped out in Family Values. Known members Vito, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles W. Roark — Charles Wickliffe Roark (January 22, 1887 April 5, 1929) was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky. Born in Greenville, Kentucky, Roark attended the public schools and the Greenville Seminary. Founder and president of the Greenville Milling Co.. He …   Wikipedia

  • List of Sin City yarns — These are the individual stories, usually referred to as yarns , set in Frank Miller s Sin City universe. They are listed here in order of publication. The chronology of Sin City is described below.The Hard GoodbyeFirst published as Sin City in… …   Wikipedia

  • List of characters in Sin City — Sin City is the title for a series of stories by Frank Miller, told in comic book form in a film noir like style.Listed below are the major and minor characters.Male Protagonists*Marv, a tough, violent, big bruiser of a man, who has an uncanny… …   Wikipedia

  • Sin City — is the title for a series of comics by Frank Miller, told in a film noir like style (now known as Neo noir). The first story originally appeared in Dark Horse s Fifth Anniversary Special (April, 1991), and continued in Dark Horse Presents #51 62… …   Wikipedia

  • Sin City (film) — Infobox Film name = Sin City director = Frank Miller Robert Rodriguez Special Guest Director: Quentin Tarantino producer = Elizabeth Avellan Frank Miller Robert Rodriguez writer = Frank Miller starring = Bruce Willis Mickey Rourke Clive Owen… …   Wikipedia

  • John Hartigan — SinCityCharacter character name =John Hartigan caption = comic color=background:#000 publisher = Dark Horse Comics debut = That Yellow Bastard creators = Frank Miller full name = John Hartigan affiliation = Nancy Callahan status = Deceased… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.