J.G. Keely's Reviews > 300

300 by Frank Miller
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May 13, 2007

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bookshelves: comics, reviewed
Read in March, 2006

Fun and exciting. A worthwhile story to be told, though the omission of the Thespians and other abuses of artistic license mark the fault of Miller's sensationalism. Like the four-color comics before him, Miller takes archetypes and symbols and drives them full throttle to the epic, gun-blazing climax. Unfortunately, character and emotion suffer. This is not quite the liability that it could have been, as the Epic tradition is often purposefully guilty of the same and 300 fits into this tradition (or the modern swords & sandals permutation).

However, when Miller is forced to give up some of his control, the improvement of realistic emotion shows how good his work can be. In The Dark Knight Returns, he had to keep much of the character's past and could not transform him entirely into an unfeeling, heroic killing machine. Likewise, in the film adaptation of 300, the actors and director helped to infuse the characters with more emotion and depth.

All in all, 300 isn't a long enough read for Miller's drawbacks to really hurt it, and he picked a fittingly manly story to showcase his histrionic machismo.

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