Spartans Face Huge Challenge

Article excerpt

Remember the rules. I have not seen final versions of these comic books nor do I own stock in any of their parent companies. What follows is a synopsis provided by Diamond Comic Book Distributors, a reason why you should buy the book and a random thought pattern that may or may not be relevant. So here's


1. 300, No. 1 (Dark Horse Comics, $2.95) - A force of men is assembled, so massive it shakes the earth with its march - an army, vast beyond imagining, poised to devour tiny Greece, to snuff out the world's one hope for reason and justice. Only 300 brave souls block its path. But they are more than men, they are Spartans. This five-part series details the awesome fight between a small band of vicious soldiers against a Persian army of tens of thousand during the Persian-Greco war. Prepare to defend yourself against 32 pages of double-spreaded, sword-wielding, watercolor action.

Why should I (the consumer) care? Two words - Frank Miller. The man who resurrected the career of Batman (The Dark Knight, 1986) and the hard-boiled detective genre (Sin City, 1993) has returned with a mighty roar. Offering a fairly accurate interpretation of an important historical event, Mr. Miller reunites with Electra Lives Again collaborator, painter Lynn Varley, to offer a story of sacrifice and human perseverance. I have seen and conquered the first two issues and found them beautiful but shocking due to the vicious reality of the Spartans' lifestyle.

The personal endorsement: Spartan King Leonidas was so mean he once pushed a Persian ambassador down a well after asking for a drink. In 480 B.C., Spartans were some of the toughest hombres in the galaxy. They wore red capes, sported long hair and trained women for battle as hard as the men. Imagine Klingons with jock itch. March to the nearest comic book store and put the order in. Tell em' Zadzookeus of Cheddar sent you.

2. The Lost Cause: John Wesley Hardin, The Taylor-Sutton Feud, and Reconstruction Texas, graphic novel (Kitchen Sink Press, $16.95) - The most famous and violent gunfighter ever to ride across the sweeping Texas landscape is now the subject of a sequential art book. Hardin is a mythical figure, reputed to have killed 23 men, a hero to some and the darkest villain to others. Hardin rode across post-Civil War Texas, killing carpetbaggers, federal soldiers and Indians, and participated in the bloodiest feud ever to flare in Texas, the Taylor Sutton battles of the 1870s. Mosey on up to 168 pages of black and white hostility, pardner.

Why should I (the consumer) care? Underground comics pioneer, Jack Jackson, returns with his first graphic novel in a decade, presenting his unique take on the Wild West. …