Marv was born in the projects, the poorest and most dangerous neighbourhoods in Basin City. He was raised by his mother and attended a Catholic school run by nuns. The toughest of these nuns was Sister Gladys, the namesake of his prized gun (he feels it’s almost lived up to its name). When his mother started to become ill and lose her sight, he moved them out of the projects. Through his inner monolog it’s implied that he fought in a war (possibly Vietnam). This could be the reason for his violent tendencies. Whenever he is about to kill someone he comments on how nice their coat is, then after he kills them he takes it.
Just Another Saturday Night
The earliest we encounter Marv is during the night That Yellow Bastard took place. He is watching Nancy Callaghan dancing when she stops dancing and kisses John Hartigan. Depressed, he wanders into a back ally with a bottle of booze when he smells something burning. A bunch of rich university kids are terrorizing and burning defenceless hobos in the back ally. He menaces them and they shoot him in the arm. One of them calls him “beanie boy” His memory goes fuzzy and picks up where he’s chasing them down the road in a stolen police car and forcing them into the projects. Through using a system of hand signals he calls on his old neighbours to kill all the boys. When the last one is left Marv asks him why he called him “beanie boy”. He says that beanie is the brand of coat he’s wearing. Marv thanks him then cuts his throat.
Gun he named Gladys