Written by Luke Anthony
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.
The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Kidthulhu. Show them you appreciate their support of independent comics journalism by clicking this link.
We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.
Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
About the Author - LukeAnthony
Luke Anthony is the suburban rockstar you haven’t heard of yet. He responded to a call bellowing from the depths of Reddit. He’s writer and a reader. A husband & a craft-beer drinker. A father, and a dreamer. A musician and a thinker. Friendly and all-together weird, he cannot grow a beard, though he’s too old to have an excuse. He rhymes lousy words, making him sound absurd, and probably a little obtuse.
Luke loves comics & new friends, it’s a blessing and a curse. So make sure to find him on Facebook or the Twitterverse.
More articles from LukeAnthony