Writer-artist Frank Miller and colorist Lynn Varley retell the battle of Thermopylae in the exciting and moving graphic novel 300. They focus on King Leonidas, the young foot soldier Stelios, and the storyteller Dilios to highlight the Spartans' awe-inspiring toughness and valor. Miller and Varley's art is terrific, as always; the combat scenes are especially powerful. And Miller's writing is his best in years. Read it.
Do not, however, read 300 expecting a strictly accurate history. The Phocians did not "scatter," as Miller describes. His Spartans are mildly homophobic, which is goofy in such a gay society. Miller doesn't say how many Greeks remained for the climactic battle--you'd think 300 Spartans and maybe a dozen others, when there were between 700 and 1,100 Greeks. Herodotus's Histories does not identify the traitor Ephialtes as ugly and hunchbacked, or even as Spartan. 300 establishes a believable connection between Ephialtes's affliction and behavior, but his monstrous appearance, King Xerxes's effeminacy, and the Persians' inexplicable pierced-GenX-African looks make for an eyebrow-raising choice of villain imagery. Nonetheless, 300 is a brilliant dramatization.
For the full story of the failed invasion, read Herodotus's Histories or, for a concise, graphic-novel retelling, Larry Gonick's great Cartoon History of the Universe: Volumes 1-7, From the Big Bang to Alexander the Great. For a lighthearted look at post-invasion Athens and a very young Alexander the Great, check out William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth's witty and gorgeous graphic novels, Epicurus the Sage Vol. I and Vol. II. --Cynthia Ward
It's an awsome graphic novel, one of the best works of Frank Miller.
This 13 year old loved the book when we gave it to him and we hope he will have a fantastic time reading it at pleasure back home in Florida.
The art work and imagery is amazing as is to be expected from Frank Miller, and the story is awe-inspiring.
Great graphic novel to add to the collection - had to have it after seeing the movie 300 and taking a graphic novel class in college.Published 25 days ago by Teresa
I've had this book for over a year and I finally got around to reading it. It was neat seeing where the inspiration for the film came from (much of it is a direct adaptation) and I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bryan Desmond
Its good sometimes how the artwork is hard to see whats going on but good to a devoted fanPublished 2 months ago by Eric Bean
Frank Miller may be a talented comic book artist, but it should be understood that to align oneself with the Spartans in such a celebratory and narrow way as he has done is to be... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Miroku Nemeth
Amazing amazing work here. Unfortunately the movie followed it perfectly so if you have seen the movie you wont find anything new here.Published 3 months ago by nicholas j klein