Written by Luke Anthony
and Frank Miller
on Friday, November 15 2013 and posted in Reviews
Three isn't 300. It's 300 against Three.
Source: Image Comics
My first thought after issue #1 of Three was, “THIS. IS. SPARTA!!! all over again. Wasn’t 300 enough? As if I need my wife drooling over another fictional character.” But it’s not 300 again, it’s an inversion of it. With the story by Kieron Gillen (Phonogram, Iron Man), a video game & music journalist, I should have expected that he would do his research. I didn’t, but he did research Sparta well. Apparently there’s something called The Center for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies. Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve spelled Peloponnesian. He also gives special thanks to The University of Nottingham Classics Department, Professor Stephen Hodgkinson and Lynn Fotheringham. Which y’know, they sound like super smart. I mean no-one with the last name Fotheringham sounds like an Ephialtes wannabe. Hunchbacked assistance or not, you can tell by issue 2 that the language, history, dynamics and so on were researched. Certainly more research than Bruno Mars did for his song about making love like gorillas.
In Sparta, there are two classes of people. The Helots and the Krypteians. The Krypteians think themselves the mightiest warriors, to them the Helots are dogs. And you thought high school cliques were bad, listen to this: We learned in issue #1 that the Helots strongest get purged from existence every year as a rite of passage. They kill them for fun. These tools don’t mess around with their claims to hierarchy. So what becomes clear in issue #2 is that the premise of the story will not be 300 Spartan men against a massive Persian army, rather 300 Spartan men searching for three lowly Helots who have killed a few important Spartans. One silver tongued farmer, one special lady, and one gimp warrior. A small group of people hiding from an entire army, I’ve seen that plenty of times and it typically makes a great story. Saga, for instance, is already doing that incredibly well. But I understand in a way how they’re outrunning a war in that story, they have the whole galaxy. But these three characters running from 300 Spartans really sounds unlikely. The Spartan army is Kick. Ass. They don’t mess around as I’m sure you already knew, but their detective skills probably aren’t the best, so I guess they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.
The art is by Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire is the lovely colorist. Together, the gritty art & blood & bone colors fit the genre perfectly. It’s not what ‘drew’ me to the issue, but it is certainly befitting of the style & when the fighting gets nasty, it’s all done at a pace that makes sense for the reader. A sense of action is kept intact.
Where issue #1 failed to kick things off with a bang, issue #2 makes it interesting. Now we know the full premise of the series & where Gillen takes it from here will be interesting. As hesitant as I was after reading the first few pages of issue #1, I’m totally on board now. So for those interested in blood, war, death, disgrace, disdain, and stories of an exiled few, you're a sadistic freak. But I'm in the same boat with you, because like me, you will totally enjoy the crap out of this. For you ladies, there are some very exposed male parts that will make you....cringe most likely, they're quite shriveled even when it's a 3/4 page spread. THIS. IS. AWKWARDDDD!!! Negligable peni; no wonder Spartans were so angry. I keep joking, but I have to say Image
is just kicking so much ass
anyway, they really are having a hard time doing anything wrong lately.
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About the Author - LukeAnthony
When Luke isn't writing reviews, he's writing manuals (occupation), original comics (vocation), children's books, or music (recreation). As a lover of all things high-concept, sci-fi, and/or philosophical, comics found their way into his life only a few years ago, at the ripe age of 26. It was V for Vendetta & Watchmen that led to his pathological media consumption rebirth of 2012. Ever since then, he found himself happier, more child-like, a tad bit smarter, and a much better liar. True to Outhouser gospel, he believes humor, like water, must be present in all things. If it's not, it's too dry & sucks the life out. Sarcasm, the salty demeanor of the South, frightened this idealist in youth, but is now the occasional spice used in his well seasoned personality. He sold all he had to leave his old world behind (cars, house, belongings) & become a full-time traveler across the US of A, a decision that altered his inner world as much as his outer one. If it has humor, depth, spiritual significance, and/or technicality and in that order, then consider it on this briny dude's shelf and up for review. Favorite on-going series include Black Science and Saga. This light, but deep fellow can be found on Facebook and/or Twitter.
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