Home / Graphic Novel Review: 300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

Graphic Novel Review: 300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

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The Battle of Thermopylae is one of history’s most important battles. In 481-480 B.C, the Spartan King Leonidas and his army of 300 met the huge army (more than 100,000 strong) of the Persian Emperor Xerxes, and were annihilated. Still, it gave the Greeks time to gather enough force to defeat the Persians. For three days those 300 men stood against that incredible army. How they managed it just defies imagination.

Frank Miller knows how to tell a hell of a story. While his account isn’t historically accurate, it’s a darned good tale and adds to the incredible story it already is. The art is astounding; the battle scenes are just the most intense, bloody and violent as only Frank Miller can make them. No one does blood and guts like Frank Miller.

In 300, Miller focuses on King Leonidas, the young foot soldier Stelios, and the storyteller Dilios. His portrayal of the Spartans makes them human, makes them so much more than just unbelievable historical shadow figures. His characters embody the strength they must have had to stand up against that massive army of Persians. Their faces are almost carved of stone, they are so chiseled, so rugged, so raw. The hands and fingers are almost square blocks and they are huge.

I love how Frank Miller’s sparse but deeply telling text accompanies his astounding art. His 300 will ignite a whole new group of people to research the history of the Battle of Thermopylae. How great is that? I see kids at the library asking about books on Sparta and I wonder – did you see 300? Did you read the graphic novel? What has you asking about it? I bet some of them are in there because of Frank Miller. Highly recommended but keep the younger kids away – this is graphically violent.

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About Gina Ruiz

  • Candide

    There was only 1 Spartan and he was the storyteller of the group. As the movie opens all of the other 300 Spartans are already dead! Dillios was the only one left alive and his king had told him to tell a “GRAND TALE”, so he did. He did not tell Herodotus’ tale because Herodotus had not even been born yet. Before books and movies, the storyteller was a very important person in any tribe. That is why we hear him narrating! I guess that the people who complained about the accuracy of the history did not really watch the movie.