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An old man dies. A little girl lives. Fair trade.
~ Hartigan's most famous line

John Hartigan is a main character and one of the main protagonists of the Sin City franchise by Frank Miller. A former cop, he was framed and unjustly imprisoned by the corrupt Senator Roark after gravely wounding his son, serial child murderer Ethan Roark Jr.

He is portrayed by Bruce Willis, who also portrayed John McClane in the Die Hard franchise, Butch Coolidge in Pulp Fiction, Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element, Joe Hallenbeck in The Last Boy Scout, Harry Stamper in Armageddon, David Dunn in the Unbreakable Trilogy, A.K. Waters in Tears of the Sun, Art Jeffries in Mercury Rising, Mr. Church in The Expendables, Paul Kersey in Death Wish, and Frank Moses in Red and Red 2.


John Hartigan is an exceptionally brave and loyal man. In a city where almost everyone is corrupt, Hartigan is a symbol of virtue. He spent most of his time doing his duty and protecting innocents, even if it involves corrupt gangsters and politicians under heavy protection. Though Hartigan was used to follow the code, Hartigan was also very relentless while facing depraved scum such as the Yellow Bastard.

Hartigan was also extremely strong-willed, and promised himself to never abandon Nancy despite the fact that he was imprisoned and under the pressure of Roark.


Hartigan's backstory is unknown. At some point, he joined the Basin City Police Department, where he became a well-known cop.

He dedicates himself to protect a nine year old girl named Nancy Callahan from a sadistic pedophile named Roark Junior. When Nancy was kidnapped by Junior, Hartigan shot Junior repeatedly in the genitals, and saved Nancy, injuring himself in the process.

Senator Roark than used his influence to to frame Hartigan for Junior's crimes. Hartigan allowed himself to be framed and imprisoned, knowing that Senator Roark would kill everyone he holds dear if he reveals the truth. Eight years later, Hartigan discovered that Nancy, now a stripper, was kidnapped again by Junior, who was revived under his father's orders and was now a disfigured yellow skinned freak.

Hartigan tried to save Nancy, but was almost killed by Junior in the process. He then follows Junior and Nancy to the Roark family barn and kills Junior, keeping Nancy safe again. After sharing a kiss with Nancy, Hartigan commits suicide fearing that Junior's father, Senator Roark, will go after Nancy so that he can get revenge on him for his son's death.

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