4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Frank Miller deserves a seat in Olympus as the god of sequential art,
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This review is from: 300 (Hardcover)
As a collection of the original comics, 300 is much better read in one sitting than reading the individual comics on a monthly schedule (which is what I did eight years ago). This book first achieved phenomenal success after its release as a single graphic novel (or hardcover trade, or whatever, I'm not going to argue terminology here) simply because after one issue you become so restless you just have to read the next one. That's why I enjoyed it much more in its current format; collecting the issues was a chore because Miller makes it so compulsively readable and the interim between issues killed me. The art is breathtaking, the writing appropriate, and the coloring by Liz Varley is brilliantly done. A lot of criticism has been directed toward this hardcover, chief among these being the fact that it is not historically accurate and that it is an excercise in racism while simultaneously objectifying women. Since I loved this comic, I respectfully disagree with all these arguments. Just look at the characterization of the Spartan Queen, done in only a handful of panels, which show that Miller did devote time and thought to what kind of people Spartan women were to survive in such a warlike society. This book is about soldiers, above all else, and during that time soldiers were men who protected their families at the cost of their own lives. The slave-oracle of the Ephors is a device Miller uses to highlight the lecherous and corrupt natures of these so-called holy men, but it is not intended to objectify women (and I meant no offense by calling the girl a 'device.') Miller definitely did not plan to espouse any racist views either; he simply conceived a cosmopolitan Persian army consisting of dozens of conquered nations and hundreds of tribes as a disorganized force unable to match the dicipline of the Spartans who received identical training in war. Authorial intent is what we must consider when reading 300 which uses Greece in 480 B.C as its setting, so it is not meant to comment on current issues in society, but issues that, according to historical speculation, were common at the time. I enjoyed this book because I was looking for a beautifully-drawn, action packed read, and this is exactly what I found. Recommended to all Frank Miller fans and artists starting out in the comics medium.