Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hard Boiled” as Want to Read:
Hard Boiled
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hard Boiled (Hard Boiled Complete)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,934 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Carl Seltz is a suburban insurance investigator, a loving husband, and devoted father. Nixon is a berserk, homicidal tax collector racking up mind-boggling body counts in a diseased urban slaughterhouse. Unit Four is the ultimate robot killing machine — and the last hope of the future's enslaved mechanical servants. And they're all the same psychotic entity.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Dark Horse Books (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hard Boiled, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hard Boiled

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Blade Runner + Heironymus Bosch + Where's Waldo pretty much equals Hard Boiled. This book may ostensibly have a plot, and Frank Miller may ostensibly have written the many onomatopoetic monosyllables induced by stab wounds and tractor trailer collisions, but the only reason to flip through these pages is to marvel at Geoff Darrow's unspeakably intricate and profane linework. Every single panel contains at least thousands, if not tens of thousands, of tiny little objects, most of them wrappers, n ...more
Gorab Jain
This stuff is crazy!
Plot is convoluted, disturbing, and not easy to grasp.

But the artwork is extreme! Each frame consists of thousands of objects, with each object very minutely portrayed. Its like peeking inside one's head! Subconscious head! Because consciously one cannot grasp that much.
Vehicles colliding - and you see every particle under the hood forming dents.
City streets - So many people indulging in different activities... Legal and illegal. And you can catch the expression of more than
Aug 22, 2011 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
WTF? The story here is bat-shit crazy, and not in a good way, but in a hard-to-follow, makes no sense kind of way. Really, the only thing keeping this from getting a single star is the gorgeous, extremely detailed Geoff Darrow art.
Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson
One of the most insane graphic novels I've ever read. The fast-paced story seems nonexistent at first glance, but it develops as the chaos escalates. Literally, it's chaos. Throughout the whole book, 'Carl' is battling a robot, causing a tremendous amount of anarchy and destruction as he rampages through the city looking for ways to stop his current target and also later on find out what's truth and what's lie. It's a strange, straightforward book, for sure, with lots of graphic ultraviolence an ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Fae rated it liked it
Shelves: comix, hard-copy
This is going to sound like a really strange complaint, but I struggled a bit with how detailed the artwork was. Geof Darrow has done some wonderfully intricate artwork here and I just think it didn't translate to such a small format. I found some of the scenes really hard to process everything that was going on, as it was just too small, considering how much was happening in it. I found that the pages with only one shot on or much less detail were much more enjoyable. My only other complaint ab ...more
Alex Cunningham
Jul 06, 2007 Alex Cunningham rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the detail-oriented
Though the books isn't exactly "hard boiled" in the traditional sense, it retains the feel of a good, rough detective novel is its ominous settings, femmes fatale, and misguided violence. The less said about Geoff Darrow's art, the better, so you can spend more time obsessively trying to decipher its intricacies. While the book is clearly an experiment, it is a beautiful, multifaceted one, displaying every suspicious, doubting, and brutish instinct Miller has through Darrow's mind-expanding illu ...more
Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow put the "graphic" in "graphic novel." I'm no prude, but there's precious little point to the violence and exploded bodies here. Without a direction, it just becomes gratuitous.

It feels like there's a good idea buried in here, duct-taped and struggling against its bonds trying to get out of the trunk of the speeding car, but it's obliterated by the explosions and excessive ultra-violence.

I don't know, maybe it's a metaphor about working-class identity and how we're
Jerry Jose
Did Frank Miller just dream of a violent electric sheep

Geoff Darrow's insanely detailed artwork looks a lot a fusion of Akira in Moebius'Incal panels.

Other than that this is a wacky, weird, adult, provocative, violent mess for a comic. So basically everything Frank Miller usually stands for, with borrowed vibes from Total Recall, Judge Dredd, Blade Runner and a lot more from his own.
Joe Young
Oct 07, 2014 Joe Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frank Miller - writer
Geof Darrow - illustrator

A dystopic fever-dream about a robotic tax-collector robot struggling to come to terms with it's own inhumanity. Superb art from Geof Darrow, bringing to mind the best and bloodiest of Juan Jose Ryp. In this reviewers opinion "Hard Boiled" does not make quite as profound a statement as Mr. Miller was aiming for; still, this volume is worthwhile for the amazing artwork alone.

Jason Smith
A brief story that can be summed up as a hyper-violent collision of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, Paul Verhoeven, and General Electric. This bizarre and entertaining yarn is lushly illustrated by the obviously obsessive compulsive Geoff Darrow to wonderful affect.
Sep 06, 2007 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This graphic novel is anything but subtle, thats for sure...I like the story of course, but its the brilliantly detailed artwork by Geoff Darrow that completely endeared me to the book as a whole...check it out folks...
Bryce Wilson
Aug 28, 2008 Bryce Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Oh Frank Miller how I love thee.

Say what you will about the man but there's no such thing as a half assed Frank Miller Book. He writes for one man and that one man is Frank Miller. He swings for the fences every...God damn....time.

And this time he sends it straight out of the park.
Dec 18, 2007 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fuck a coherent story when you have art this amazing.
Hone Haapu
So I bring up my century of books with a graphic novel by the incomparable Frank Miller. Which is fitting, owing to the fact that I have hit this mark on the back of a lot of comics! But after 2016 I feel I can consider myself a bit of a graphic novel connoisseur.

I am pleased to award Hard Boiled with the auspicious honour of marking my "would-recommend-graphic-novles" list. It is debauched, dirty, overtly complicated, and depressing, a cynical take on Miller's dystopian future. Gratuitous sex a
Mar 16, 2014 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Komixová řežba nejvyššího kalibru. Miller posouvá klasický příběh o probuzení androidího vědomí a nedovolí hrdinovi zvítězit nad sebou samým, ačkoli fantaskním obludáriem fikčního světa se probíjí s brutální razancí a na jeho cestě jej nic nedokáže zastavit. Pofidérní, vždy krvavá a ničivá vítězství nakonec ztrácí i jakýkoli smysl nutné oběti nebo vysoké ceny za možnost osvobození. Rostoucí hromady mrtvol a rozmlácených auťáků tak namísto hrůznosti nebo tragiky nabývají až komického významu, což ...more
Michael Mus
Dec 25, 2009 Michael Mus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard Boiled came to me as a gift for Christmas, from the same friend who originally turned me on to Frank Miller w/ Batman The Dark Knight Returns.

A little more background: I LOVED The Dark Knight Returns, and quickly read Ronin after that. In other words, reader-beware; I am a Frank Miller fanboy. So far, I've been more and more impressed with him, page after page.

Anyway, another reviewer said it best - Frank never releases anything half-assed. That being said, I'd like to point out that this
Dec 06, 2010 Madeleine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Hard Boiled is your typical Frank Miller story, pretty much - not that that's a complaint from me. Neo-noir, cyberpunk/futuristic, tale of a dystopian world with lots of violence and, of course, nazi symbolism. (As a side note: I remember when Sin City came out in theaters and multiple people gasped at Miho's swastika ninja "star" and, at the time, I would correct them about how it's a symbol used in many cultures, one of them being Japanese culture. I say at the time, because at the time all I ...more
May 23, 2013 Radu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comicbooks
This is not a comic book to be read, but a comic book to be scanned page by page, panel by panel, reading the text just to keep in touch with the overall story. Not that it makes any sense overall, because it looks like the arc of the story has no beginning or end, no climax and almost no point to exist. It is just a pretext for the fabulous art that makes you question your sanity or acuity at some point.

It is, and I am not exactly sure if I can describe it with words, a fuzziness of frozen dyna
John Shaw
Mar 22, 2016 John Shaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in the long ago year of 1990
this is a look at what America MIGHT turn into
It is a depressing landscape borrowing heavily
from Judge Dredd and lending itself
to later works like Fifth Element and Transmetropolitan

Darrow's art work is stunning in the ability to
cram as much into a panel as possible
(the only other artist better than him is Sergio Aragones)
Making the sense of a metropolis that spiraled
out of control a long time ago.
Think Manhattan on meth and acid.

The ultra violence of thi
Jan 02, 2013 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best comic book ever made, the one that brought superstar illustrator Geoff Darrow to the attention of the Wachowski siblings, resulting in the production design of the movie "The Matrix," as well as "The Second Renaissance" (which was animated based on Geoff Darrow's drawings).

Every page is full of amazingly-detailed sprawling, oversized technical-quality illustrations of a future world gone violently insane. Most of the characters in the book are sociopaths to different degrees, a
Apr 20, 2015 Archer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the other reviewers are fools! This book presents to you a WORLD to be INHABITED not some mere picture-book story to be read. The guy finds out he's a fucking robot! That's HARSH.

Part of the reason this book takes me so long to read is because I can dwell on each panel for twenty minutes. I like to fully inhabit the scene, examine every piece, look at every color, every texture, and NOBODY does this like Darrow does in this book. Yes it's gory and violent, but that's Frank Miller, and that'
Stephen Arnott
A shocking maelstrom of death, blood and guts (with sexy bits) that's also gripping and, in places, quite funny and poignant.

The artwork is like a cross between Herge (the Tintin guy) and Hieronymus Bosch. It's incredibly detailed and precise, but often shows you more than you really wanted to see.

The story is difficult to describe as there doesn't seem to be much of a coherent narrative. It's as if you're being given extracts from a much larger story and asked to fill in the details yourself. E
Dec 20, 2013 Nicolas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Je gardais de cette histoire un très vague souvenir, pour l'avoir lue chez un libraire (donc trop rapidement) il y a des décennies. Je me souvenais toutefois d'un graphisme tellement tranchant et détaillé qu'il me faisait découpait littéralement les images dans la rétine. Douloureux, mais agréable.
cette relecture tardive confirme le grand bien que je pense de cette histoire (malgré son côté 18+ incontestable). Il y est question de robots qui se prennent pour des humains, de dommages collatéraux
Jan 28, 2016 Emilio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-au, comic
Dios mío ¿Esto qué es?
Un comic magnífico ilustrado magníficamente. Una experiencia visual nunca vista desde Cody Starbuck de Howard Chaykin.
Y ya.
Creo que no hay guión, sólo excusas para mostrar páginas y páginas rellenas de expectaculares viñetas repletas de detalles en un viaje de tiros y sangre. Una ambientación distópica con casquillos que caen y violencia gratuita en medio de un caos de detallitos que hacen que te olvides de qué estás viendo.
Requeterrecomendado como cómic para el estreñimien
Chris Neumann
Aug 04, 2013 Chris Neumann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Frank Miller's lesser known projects - and one of his best. Miller only writes here, with hyper-realist Darrow taking on the art duties this go around. What we get is a futuristic action movie done in comic form. The art takes center stage in this comic, with Miller's writing at its most minimal. Every panel is filled with things to look at - at some points I spent several minutes on a single page. The story was ahead of its time when it came out in the early 90s (think Philip K. Dick mee ...more
A wild, in your face, mind blowing summer action movie of a sci-fi story. If Michael Bay and Philip K. Dick had gotten together.

Beautiful, jammed with wildly detailed art and a fairly clever story combine in the tale of Nixon, a regular guy who lives in a surreal future city and may not be quite what he seems.
Not to be taken too seriously or over analyzed. Just enjoy the amazing, over the top violence of the action scenes, chuckle at all the bits of satire and product placement and occasionally
Jan 20, 2017 Sylvester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand all the hate for Hard Boiled (possibly for the ending?), it is a well drawn epic comic in its own right. The story concerns a conspiracy involving robots, a tax collector/insurance investigator got involved and must make a decision which could change the fate of many.

Originally released in 3 issues, each issue contains violent, grotesque artwork similar to the ones found in Juan Giménez's works. The use of the panel was excellent, every little panel was used without waste. It
Dr. Barrett  Dylan Brown, Phd
The detailed background illustrations are enough to justify this whole 3 book series, though the plot is deep with concepts to keep any healthy mind occupied.
First read as a pre-teen, this Series, along with "Psycho," and "The Books of Magick," changed my character forever.
Now, 20+ years, later i still feel the Pathos of "Carl Selz's" situation, and finished the series in tears. Way ahead of it's time, Hard Boiled helped to shape my world view and I heartily recommend it to anyone, any age, an
Richard Knight
May 03, 2015 Richard Knight rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this "book" in about ten minutes, and I want my ten minutes back. I could read it so quickly because I'd say about 80% of the "story" is nothing but pictures. Thankfully, the pictures are pretty cool looking, as there's a lot of detail in every panel. But I can't believe they were able to sell such a short narrative. it's pretty much Blade Runner meets...Heavy Metal? I guess that's the comparison I'll make. it's Blade Runner meets Heavy Metal, and it fails at being both. A complete waste ...more
Jason Morgado
Jan 14, 2015 Jason Morgado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story is great and the dialogue is out of sync with the art in the funniest discordant way. However, you don't really read this one for the story. I know this is a literary site but Geoff Darrow really deserves top billing. The writing is more a poignant counterpoint to the hectic and richly story-laden illustrations by Darrow. Come for an Isaac Asimov themed Noir detective story, stay for the super fun, meticulously detailed hell-scape that would leave Hieronymus Bosch liberally dealing out ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Dreamer
  • Mort Cinder
  • The Collected Fantasies, Vol. 2: Arzach and Other Fantasy Stories (The Collected Fantasies of Jean Giraud, #2)
  • L'Incal Lumière (The Incal, #2)
  • Lovecraft
  • 30 Days of Night, Vol. 6: Spreading the Disease
  • The Ballad of Halo Jones
  • 30 Days of Night, Vol. 7: Eben and Stella
  • Why I Hate Saturn
  • Son of Celluloid
  • Akira, Vol. 3
  • 30 Days of Night, Vol. 8: Red Snow
  • The House on the Borderland
  • 100%
Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the
More about Frank Miller...

Other Books in the Series

Hard Boiled (3 books)
  • Hard boiled, tome 1
  • Hard Boiled, #2
  • Hard Boiled, volumen 3 de 3 (Hard-Boiled, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »