Frank Miller returns to Ancient Greece with Xerxes

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More than a decade after 300 — the story of Leonidas' doomed stand against the Persian Empire at Thermopylae — the writer-artist reveals a first look at the prequel, Xerxes, named after the power-mad god-king.

Miller will release Xerxes as a the six-part through Dark Horse next year. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times' Geoff Boucher, Miller explained what Xerxes is about, and how it'll differ from 300:

"The story will be the same heft as 300 but it cover a much, much greater span of time — it's 10 years, not three days...This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in 300 were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it's a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.

"The time frame begins 10 years before 300 and the story starts with the Battle of Marathon, which was killer to draw, by the way, even if it was a lot of work.... The lead character is Themistocles, who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than 300 in that it involves Xerxes search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he well on his way to godhood by the end of the story.

"With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed 'The Subtle Serpent' and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly."