|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics|
|Publication date||May – September 1998|
|No. of issues||5|
|Written by||Frank Miller|
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300 is a historically inspired 1998comic booklimited series written and illustrated by Frank Miller with painted colors by Lynn Varley.
The comic is a fictional retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae and the events leading up to it from the perspective of Leonidas of Sparta. 300 was particularly inspired by the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, a film Miller watched as a young boy. The work was adapted in 2006 to a film of the same name.
In 2018, Dark Horse published Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander, also written and drawn by Miller, acting as a prequel and sequel to the events of 300, depicting Xerxes I's rise to the throne, and the subsequent destruction of the Persian Empire under his descendant Darius III, by Alexander the Great.
Publication and awards
Each page of the novel is illustrated as a double-page spread. When the series was gathered into hardcover form, the individual pages were twice as wide as a normal comic. Miller's art style for this project was similar to his Sin City work, although the addition of consistent color is an obvious difference.
300 was initially published as a monthly five-issue comic booklimited series by Dark Horse Comics, the first issue published in May 1998. The issues were titled Honor, Duty, Glory, Combat and Victory. The series won three Eisner Awards in 1999: 'Best Limited Series', 'Best Writer/Artist' for Frank Miller and 'Best Colorist' for Lynn Varley. The work was collected as a hardcover volume in 1999.
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The popularity of the film has boosted sales of the trade paperback edition. The 10th printing had an announced print run of 40,000 copies, with an 11th printing to follow. This is in addition to the 88,000 copies already sold since the initial volume was released in 1999.
In 480 BC, King Leonidas of Sparta gathers 300 of his best men to fight the upcoming Persian invasion. In what is likely a suicide mission, they and their allies plan to stop King Xerxes' invasion of Greece at the narrow cliffs of the 'Hot Gates' (Thermopylae). The terrain prevents the Greeks from being overwhelmed by Xerxes' superior numbers (a military tactic usually called 'defeat in detail').
Before the battle starts, Ephialtes, a deformed Spartan, begs Leonidas to let him fight but is rejected due to his hunchbacked form, which prevents him from lifting his shield high enough to be of use for the phalanx. Ephialtes becomes so desperate by Leonidas' refusal that he throws himself off a cliff.
The Spartans and their allies successfully hold off the Persians for two days and nights. During a break in the fighting, Xerxes meets with Leonidas and offers wealth and power in exchange for his surrender. Leonidas declines, and battle continues. Meanwhile, Ephialtes awakes from his suicide attempt and decides to betray the Greeks by telling the Persians about the existence of a small pass that allows Xerxes to attack them from behind.
Learning of the Persian maneuvers the Greeks realize their position is indefensible, but the Spartans and a few others refuse to retreat. Before engaging the Persians for the last time, Leonidas orders one Spartan (Dilios) to return home so that he might survive to tell their story.
On the third day Xerxes has the Spartans surrounded, their remaining allies (Thespians) already dead. He gives Leonidas one final chance to surrender and kneel to him. After some hesitation, Leonidas finally complies and throws down his arms and kneels. This, however, is a trick by Leonidas, and signals Stelios, a loyal Spartan soldier, to jump from his back and kill a general. The Spartans fight. Leonidas throws his spear at Xerxes, intending to make the 'God-King' bleed, and succeeds. The Spartans are killed to the last man by a storm of arrows.
The story then shifts about a year later and ends as now-Captain Dilios relates the heroic sacrifice of Leonidas and his Spartan comrades to his troops before the historic Battle of Plataea.
Writer Alan Moore has criticized 300 as being historically inaccurate, with particular reference to the characters' attitudes towards homosexuality:
There was just one particular line in it where one of the Spartan soldiers—I'll remind you, this is Spartans that we're talking about—one of them was talking disparagingly about the Athenians, and said, ‘Those boy-lovers.' You know, I mean, read a book, Frank. The Spartans were famous for something other than holding the bridge at Thermopylae, they were quite famous for actually enforcing man-boy love amongst the ranks as a way of military bonding. That specific example probably says more about Frank's grasp of history than it does about his grasp of homosexuality, so I'm not impugning his moral situation there. I'm not saying it was homophobic; just wasn't very well researched.
Miller, in the letters page of the series, replied to accusations of homophobia from a reader regarding the phrase 'Those boy-lovers':
If I allowed my characters to express only my own attitudes and beliefs, my work would be pretty darn boring. If I wrote to please grievance groups, my work would be propaganda.
For the record: being a warrior class, the Spartans almost certainly did practice homosexuality. There's also evidence they tended to lie about it. It's not a big leap to postulate that they ridiculed their hedonistic Athenian rivals for something they themselves did. 'Hypocrisy' is, after all, a word we got from the Greeks. What's next? A letter claiming that, since the Spartans owned slaves and beat their young, I do the same?
The times we live in.
Writer David Brin has also criticized 300 as being historically inaccurate, with particular reference to the bravery and efficacy of the non-Spartan Greeks:
That Athenian triumph deserves a movie! And believe me, it weighed heavily on the real life Leonidas, ten years later. 300 author Frank Miller portrays the Spartans' preening arrogance in the best possible light, as a kind of endearing tribal machismo. Miller never hints at the underlying reason for Leonidas's rant, a deep current of smoldering shame over how Sparta sat out Marathon, leaving it to Athenian amateurs, like the playwright Aeschylus, to save all of Greece. The 'shopkeepers' whom Leonidas outrageously and ungratefully despises in the film.
During the Battle of Marathon, ten years previous to Thermopylae, the Spartans had been obligated to honor the Carnea, a religious festival during which military engagements were forbidden. Once the religious prohibition was lifted, the Spartan troops covered the 220 kilometers (140 mi) to Athens in a quick three days and arrived only one day after the battle had taken place. The Spartans toured the battlefield at Marathon, and agreed that the Athenians had won a great victory. Xerxes' invasion happened to coincide yet again with the celebration of the Carnea. This time, however, the Spartans chose not to hold back their entire army in deference to the festival, but instead sent an advance force of 300 men under Leonidas, who were to be reinforced by a full contingent of Spartan warriors after the festival concluded. It is impossible to know for certain whether this change in policy regarding the Carnea was based in shame about missing Marathon (as Brin suggests) or merely marked a reinterpretation of the military threat posed by the invading Persians. All Herodotus tells us is that the Spartan officials did not think that the engagement at Thermopylae would be decided so quickly and intended the main part of their force to arrive before the fighting broke out.
References in other works
There are references to the Battle at Thermopylae in several of Frank Miller's other comic books. In Sin City: The Big Fat Kill, Dwight McCarthy considers Leonidas' choice of 'where to fight' and manages to loosely recreate the Spartan defense tactics by cornering the enemy gang in a tight alley; they then annihilate them with heavy gunfire and explosives. Also in Hell and Back when Wallace is drugged he sees his friend as Leonidas with a machine gun. In The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Miller's 'omega' Batman stories, there are references to a character named 'Hot Gates' (the literal translation of Thermopylae), an adult film star who first makes a version of Snow White, and then declares herself Dictator of Ohio.
In the Emmy Award-winning episode 'Jack and the Spartans' of the cartoon Samurai Jack, Jack meets a group of Spartan warriors fighting Aku's minions. This episode was partially inspired by Miller's comics.
In 2007, Zack Snyder directed a film adaptation of 300 with Frank Miller serving as executive producer to adapt his work for film. It used greenscreen technology to capture the comic book feel; the film is in fact notable for remaining extremely faithful to its source material as a result. It was released in both conventional cinemas and IMAX in 2007. In 2014, a sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, was made, which is based on Frank Miller's mini-series Xerxes.
Video game adaptation
A video game based on the movie and the graphic novel was released in 2007.
In the afterword for 300, Frank Miller recommends the following books:
- The Histories, by Herodotus
- The Hot Gates, by William Golding
- Thermopylae: The Battle for the West, by Ernle Bradford
- The Western Way of War by Victor Davis Hanson
- ISBN1-56971-402-9 Hardcover, 88 pages, Dark Horse Comics
- ^Frank Miller, 300 #3 (July 1998),'Slings & Arrows' letters page, Dark Horse Comics
- ^ abIto, Robert (November 26, 2006). 'The Gore of Greece, Torn From a Comic'. The New York Times.
- ^'Sales skyrocket for Miller's 300 graphic novel'. Newsarama.com. Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- ^Furey, Emmett (2007-07-19). 'Homosexuality in Comics: Part IV'. Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- ^Frank Miller, 300 #4 (August 1998), 'Combat' letters page, Dark Horse Comics
- ^Brin, David (2011-11-13). 'Move over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street Kids are Better than the #$%! Spartans'. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- ^Holland, pp. 187–190
- ^Herodotus VI, 120
- ^Herodotus VII, 206
- ^'Samurai Jack: XXV: Jack And The Spartans – TV.com'. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- Frank Miller`s Sin city & 300 & Spirit – Database articles, images and other files about Frank Miller and his comics.
The Simpson family[changechange source]
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- Homer J. Simpson, the father, who is overweight, lazy and works at a nuclear power plant and likes doughnuts:)
- Marge Simpson(née Bouvier), the mother, a housewife, who is very tolerant (understanding) of her family.
- Bart Simpson, the 10-year-old son, who gets in trouble.
- Lisa Simpson, the 8-year-old daughter, who is very smart.
- Maggie Simpson, the baby girl, who can not talk. She talks once and never speaks again. She is always doing mischief.
- 'Grandpa' Abe Simpson, the father of Homer Simpson. He lives in an old folk's home.
- Patty and Selma Bouvier, Marge's sisters, who have rough voices and often smoke cigarettes. Note that in one episode, Patty is revealed to be a lesbian. Selma has been married several times.
- Mona Simpson, the deceased mother of Homer Simpson; wife of Abe Simpson.
- Santa's Little Helper, the family dog, a former racing greyhound.
- Snowballs (I-V) and Coltrane, pet cats. All have died at one point in the series. The current cat is Snowball V (though she is called Snowball II)
- Ling Bouvier, The adopted daughter of Patty and Selma
- Amos Simpson, He is the oldest Simpsons relative known he is probably born in the 1500s or 1600s.
- Jacqueline Bouvier, Marge's mother.
- Clancy Bouvier, Marge's deceased father.
Other characters[changechange source]
Some of the many different characters who appeared on the show include:
- Montgomery Burns, Homer's greedy, evil boss
- Waylon Smithers, Montgomery Burns' assistant
- Moe Szyslak, a grumpy bartender
- Barney Gumble, one of Homer's friends, a gifted alcoholic
- Kent Brockman, a television newsjournalist
- Mayor Quimby, the corrupt mayor of Springfield
- Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson, two of Homer's coworkers.
- Krusty The Clown, TV star and host of a popular Children's/Comedy/Variety show who smokes and drinks a lot
- Doctor Hibbert, the Simpsons' family doctor
- Ned Flanders, the Simpsons' religiousdevout neighbor he has two shy children and his wife Maude died in season 11.
- Rod and Todd Flanders, Ned's children.
- Maude, Ned's dead wife.
- Kang and Kodos, two aliens that appear in every treehouse of horror their other sibling roger doesn't appear in any other treehouse of horror except the first
- Milhouse Van Houten, Bart's nerdy best friend his parents are Kirk and Luann
- Sherri and Terri, they’re two twins there's not munch known about them
- Nelson Muntz, school bully
- Comic Book Guy, comic book store owner
- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, convenience store owner his wife is Manjula he has eight infant children. There have been protests that he is a raciststereotype of South Asian people.
- Martin Prince, he is the bully's target besides Milhouse and he is also very smart.
- Seymour Skinner, principal of the school
- Chief Wiggum, incompetent chief of police who's son is Ralph.
- Ralph Wiggum, the weird son of Chief Wiggum.
- Jasper Beardly, friend of Grandpa's.
- Captain McCallister, sea captain.
- Otto Mann, bus driver.
- Bumblebee Man, Spanish-speaking TV actor.
- Itchy and Scratchy, cartoon cat and mouse who are a different more violent version of Tom and Jerry.
- Jimbo Jones, leader of the bullies when Nelson is not around and strongest of the bullies.
- Snake (Jailbird), robber and criminal.
- Old Gil Gunderson, a salesman who has bad luck.
- Sideshow Bob (Robert Terwilliger), was Krusty the Clown's assistant before he was jailed after framing Krusty for armed robbery.
- He was married to Selma once, has tried to kill Bart several times, and has gone to prison.
- Fat Tony, the town's chief gangster who has a group of mobsters, including Legs and Louie, and occasionally Icepick and Johnny Tightlips. He died in Season 22 and was replaced by his slimmer cousin.
- Sideshow Cecil (Cecil Terwilliger), Sideshow Bob's somewhat evil brother, who was also once a clown.
- Janey, Lisa's best friend.
- Ranier Wolfcastle, The Arnold Schwarzenegger-like Hollywood action hero of Springfield who is in a lot of movies in Springfield.
- Mr. Largo, the Springfield Elementary music teacher.
- Tobias, the stereotypical Australian boy telephoned by Bart in the 'Simpson's in Australia' episode.
- Superintendent Chalmers, The superintendent of all Springfield elementary schools who does not like Principal Skinner.
- Agnes Skinner, The mean mother of Principal Skinner.
- Mrs. Krabappel and Ms. Hoover, Bart and Lisa's teachers, who both do not want to teach because they do not have relationships.
- Groundskeeper Willie, janitor at Springfield Elementary School.
- Cletus, the hillbilly of Springfield, has a wife named Brandine and have about 30 children.
- Hans Moleman, a man who drinks and says he's only 31 years old, while he looks old.
- Sideshow Mel, Krusty's second assistant who replaced Bob after going to prison for trying to frame Krusty for armed robbery. He does not say much on the Krusty show (talks with a whistle) and once tried to get gum out of his hair with a bone ....it just made matters worse.
- Dolph Starbeam youngest of the bully trio
- Professor Frink He is the nerd of the show.
- Kearney Zzyzwick Toughest of the bullies.
- Yes Guy Recurring character that answers everything with a strung out Y-y-y-y-e-e-e-e-s-s-s?
- Squeaky Voice Teen, recurring character that has a squeaky voice and is known to have a job advertising burgers.
- Wendell Borton, a kid that usually would throw up.
- Troy McClure, an actor in TV, Radio and films he once almost married Selma.
- Lionel Hutz, an incompetent lawyer.
- Judge Snyder, the main judge in Springfield's court.
- Lou and Eddie, police cops of Springfield.
- Legs and Louie, Mafia members.
- Reverend Lovejoy, reverend of the church.
- Helen Lovejoy, wife of the reverend.
- Uter, German exchange student who eats chocolate.
- Database, smartest of all the children in school.
- Manjula, Apu's wife.
- Kirk and Luann, Milhouse's parents.
- Old Jewish man, one of Abe's friends.
- Allison Taylor, one of Lisa's only friends.
- Arnie Pye, Brockman's rival.
- Blue Haired Lawyer, Burns lawyer.
- Richard and Lewis, one of Bart's friends.
- Marvin Monroe, psychologist.
- Rich Texan, crazy Texan.
- Drederick Tatum, boxer.
- Wiseguy, has jobs everywhere.
- Sanjay, Apu's brother.
- Sam and Larry, barflies at Moe's.
- Bernice, Hibbert's wife.
- Mrs. Glick, Retirement castle resident.
- Disco Stu, loves disco.
- Hyman Krustofski, Krusty's father.
- Lindsey Naegle, business woman.
- Sophie Krustofsky, Krusty's daughter.
- Martin Prince Sr., Martin's dad.
- Martha Prince, Martin's mom.
- Brandine Spuckler, Cletus's wife.
- Luigi, Italian chef.
- Radioactive man, Comic book character.
- Duffman, mascot of duff.
- Doris Freedman, Lunchlady and mother of Squeaky Voiced Teen.
- Cookie Kwan, one of Marge's friend.
- Benjamin, Doug and Gary, nerds at Springfield University.
- Akira, Asian guy who works at the Happy Sumo.
- Artie Ziff, Marge's prom date.
- Arthur Crandall and Gabbo, ventriloquist and puppet.
- Gerald, Maggie's enemy.
- Bill and Marty, radio hosts of KBBL.
- Billy, Troy McClure's assistant.
- Birch Barlow, works at the radio.
- Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lisa's saxophone teacher and idol.
- Blinky, mutated fish with three eyes.
- Booberella, vampire actor of children's television.
- Brunella Pommelhorst, gym teacher.
- Capitol City Goofball, mascot of Capitol City.
- Lance Murdock, daredevil.
- Charlie, works at the Nuclear Plant.
- Kumiko, married wife of Comic Book Guy.
- Chase/Pyro, Luann's boyfriend.
- Lugash, gym teacher.
- Corporal Punishment, character in The Krusty The Clown show. H e never speaks.
- Crazy Cat Lady, old lady who owns a lot of cats.
- Crusher and Lowblow, Burn's goons.
- Dave Shutton, reporter.
- Declan Desmond, documentary maker.
- Doctor Colossus, blue, evil, crazy guy.
- Fallout boy, Radioactive man's sidekick.
- Francesca Terwilliger, Sideshow Bob's wife.
- Frankie The Squealer, target of the mafia.
- Gino, Sideshow Bob's son.
- Gloria, Snake's girlfriend.
- God, the all mighty.
- Grady and Julio, two gay men.
- Greta, Wolfcastle's daughter.
- Gunter and Ernst, two tiger tamers.
- Anastasia, tiger pet of Gunter and Ernst.
- Happy Little Elves, one of Lisa's favorite cartoons.
- Jack Marley, former Nuclear Plant worker.
- Jay Sherman, film critic.
- Jebediah Springfield, founder of Springfield.
- Johnny Tightlips, mafia member.
- Joey, another mafia member who temporarily joined the Callibricis goons then appears in the mafia again.
- Jub - Jub, Selma's pet.
- Constance Harm, strict judge.
- Just Stamp the Ticket man, angry and sarcastic man.
- J. Loren Pryor, psychologist.
- Kearney Zzyzwicz Jr., Kearney's son.
- Leopold, Chalmer's assistant.
- Lois Pennycandy, Krusty's attractive assistant.
- Lucius Sweet, Tatum's boxing manager.
- Lurleen Lumpkin, country singer.
- Martha Prince, Mayor's wife.
- Mary Bailey, governor.
- Mary Spuckler, Bart's ex.
- Mayor Quimby's Body Guards, Body Guards.
- Ms. Albright, Sunday school teacher.
- Miss Springfield, Mayor's girlfriend.
- Mr. Costington, owner of Costington's.
- Mr. Teeny, Krusty's monkey.
- Mrs. Muntz, Nelson's mom.
- Octuplets, Apu and Manjula's babies.
- Jake, barber.
- Opal, TV star of the Opal Show.
- Patches and Poor Violet, orphans.
- Plopper, Homer's pet pig.
- Poochie, former dog character in the Itchy and Scratchy Show.
- Princess Kashmir, belly dancer.
- Principal Dondelinger, Homer and Marge's former principal.
- Rachel Jordan, Christian singer.
- Roger Meyers Jr., boss of the Itchy and Scratchy crew.
- Ruth Powers, Marge's criminal and drunken friend.
- Sarah Wiggum, Wiggum's wife.
- Scott Christian, former news reporter.
- Shauna, Jimbo's ex.
- Stampy, Bart's former elephant pet.
- State Comptroller Atkins, State Comptroller.
- Tina Ballerina, character in the Krusty The Clown show.
- The Warden, warden of Juvie.
- Vanderbilts, rich couple.
- Weasels, Nelson two twin cronies.
- Mr. Winfield, former neighbor of The Simpsons.
- Sylvia Winfield, former neighbor of The Simpsons.
- Hank Scorpio, evil guy who befriends Homer.
- Frank Grimes, former employee of the Nuclear Plant
- Frank Grimes Jr., Frank Grime's son.
- Shary Bobbins, Magic babysitter.
- Trent Steel, Business man that inspires Homer to change his name to 'Max Power'
Other websites[changechange source]
- Characters index on the WikiSimpsons fan site