Frank Miller breathes new life into 300 comics

Frank Miller breathes new life into 300 comics

0 comments 📅12 May 2018, 16:03

Twenty years after the first 300 comic book series was released, Frank Miller returned with the second instalment titled Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and The Rise of Alexander. Written and illustrated by Miller with colours by Alex Sinclair, it’s a five-issue monthly series. All the stories are formatted horizontally like the original series for that epic cinematic feel.

Miller’s new work is a prequel that sets up the events that lead up to the story in 300. It centres on the king of the Persian Empire, Xerxes, who was the main antagonist in the original series. It also focuses on his successors who have to deal with the famed Greek conqueror, Alexander the Great, as he was born decades after Xerxes’ reign. For Miller, the Battle of Thermopylae is memorable but a mere respite in an epic conflict that would decide the fate of humanity. He says, “300 was an interlude in the great story of the Persian Wars. The battle of 300 represented one episode in a much greater series of wars.”

Vulture notes that Miller’s fascination with the history of the power struggle between the Western and Eastern civilizations brought him back to the world of 300. He remarks that, “Much of what’s going on, particularly with the Middle East and the Eastern-Western conflicts that persist, is rooted in those eras. The same issues do exist.”

While 300 is thematically about defying great odds at the risk of your own life, Miller’s new series has a lot more on its mind than spectacular battles. The veteran comic book creator aims to make a commentary on the outcome of wars between different civilizations, as well as the course they set for the rest of the world. This all sounds like heavy stuff to reflect on but it also appears that Miller is not forgetting the imagery that made 300 popular.

Miller’s widescreen and the two-page spread storytelling style in 300 helped capture the attention of readers. IGN ranks it as one of the ‘Top 10 Frank Miller Books’, and his imagery didn’t simply preserve the Battle of Thermopylae for posterity. He took it further and made the battle legendary with powerful symbolism evocative of the era. This quality can still be seen more than a decade since the book was published, thanks in part to different projects that followed which can be associated with Miller’s work. At the forefront is Zack Snyder’s film adaptation, which was commended because it employed a visual style that was faithful to the original art. Then there’s the 300 Shields slot game on Foxy Bingo, which uses images of Spartans similar to the ones depicted in the film.

That’s the thing about 300, whether it be the books, movies, games, or the actual battle itself, their story helped Spartans become a cultural phenomenon that shows no real sign of letting up at all. Even if the focus of Miller’s new work is on Persia, King Leonidas and his men can still be considered scene-stealers.

Issues one and two of Xerxes are out now. The third issue is slated to be released on 6 June 2018. 

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.