My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am a fan of Miller’s 300. The thing I liked about Miller’s book is the same thing I appreciate about THREE. Not that it’s about Spartans, war, or is historically accurate. It’s a story about self-mastery, courage, and sacrifice. Both stories deliver in that regard.
THREE flips the coin and makes the Spartans of Miller’s epic the “Persians” of this tale and three Helot slaves it’s champions. It is readily apparent that Gillen researched the Sparta’s historical mistreatment of their slaves and the Spartans inevitable fall from glory. There are a lot of other things in the book that are deliberately reminiscent of 300 as well. Gillen isn’t mirroring these things in an attempt to ride Miller’s coattails, he is deliberately showing them from the much different perspective of a Helot slave. Gillen does a great job in developing the three main characters throughout the story, revealing bits and pieces of their past as it moves along. The ending and the final fate of the “three” was also especially satisfying for me.
Kelly’s art was also well suited for the story and appropriately bloody where necessary. Overall he did a good job.
Whether or not it was Gillen was giving Miller the bird with this story or not doesn’t really matter much to me. The Spartans, like EVERY country in the world, had moments of renowned triumph and shameful infamy. I like THREE because it exalts bravery and sacrifice and condemns subjugation. All while telling a memorable story.