"300" is an absolutely stunning recounting of the
heroism of the ancient Spartans as they stood and fell before
the might of the largest armed force on the planet. This simple
tale of how one man refused to allow the glory of Greece to
fade before a barbarous horde is punctuated by breathtaking
battle scenes, glorious heroism, and base treachery.
does a fine job telling the famous story of the Battle of
Thermopylae, presenting not only the exhilarating military
confrontation between hundreds of thousands of Persians against
a tiny force of Greeks, but also incorporating the philosophical
and cultural underpinnings that separated these worlds. While
some of the dialogue used towards this aim is likely ahistorical,
Miller captures much of how the battle was seen in western
culture for generations to come. Indeed, several What If historical
essays have been written by noted historians imagining the
Persians strangling the concept of citizenship and polity
while still in the crib by winning that battle.
style will not appeal to everyone. It lacks the clean preciseness
of his City series. It is deliberately crude and unpolished
in some respects, the coloring often drab and dark. Miller's
trademark gritty-poetic style, and Lynn Varley's colors add
true, muted life to the pencilwork. As with most "adult-oriented"
graphic novels, 300 is full of gruesome, even sadistic violence.
A word must also be given to 300's landscape formatting, an
ideal opportunity for Miller to present an epic battle in
all its terror and beauty, which he does to its full effect.
the impending arrival of the film based on this work, doubtless
many eyes that otherwise would never have enjoyed 300 will
have the opportunity to gaze upon its pages. That is all to
the good. One can only hope that after recognizing the heights
that the form can reach, they will move on to other fine works.
Whether new to graphic novels or an old hand, 300 will surely
“No. Not Fear. Only a restlessness, a hightened sense
of things. the rocky soil beneath his feet. the salty breeze.
the snoring and shallow breathing of the three hundred boys
in his charge -- Ready to Die for him without a moment's pause,
every one of them.”
you're a fan of Frank Miller's Sin City series, this is a
short epic for you to enjoy. Beautifully engulfed with macho-warrior
angst, it is inspirational at it's very least for the war-wrapped
minds of the Spartans. My only qualm is its shear physical
size. But perhaps its to match its grandure and scale...
by Lokman B S