Frank Miller Counts Backward from 300 to XERXES!

Dark Horse has announced a new lithograph from creator Frank Miller offering the first glimpse at his upcoming prequel to 300. And it is truly the king of kings. Well, if this were fifth century Persia. Still, a definite return to Miller's sweet spot. Behold the bedazzled glory of XERXES:

Aaaand my nipples ache just looking at it.

Known best for inventing the copy machine his rise to power in the late 400s BC, Xerxes figured prominently as the antagonist of Miller's 300 (as well as in the works of Herodotus). He was later played by forced-perspective and the guy who played Paulo on Lost. Given the title of this new sequel, it might well serve as the other side of the story, a much-needed counterpart to a tale where the Spartans functioned as underdogs to the flamboyant and demonic Persians. Either way, it's gonna be glam as all hell. This, after all, is the story of the artist formerly known as the Prince of Persia.

This new 24" x 36" lithograph arrives in two flavors, a standard $25 version and a limited autographed edition for $100. Either way, it's penciled by Frank Miller and features all the black and yellow you'll ever need from colorist Dave Stewart. 

Here's what Oregon has to say:

"Comics icon Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300, presents a stunning new lithograph: Xerxes. This 24" x 36" collector-quality, fine-art piece is presented on acid-free paper with two special types of coating to enhance golds and background color, and offers a first look at the subject of Miller’s upcoming comics prequel to his record-breaking 300. Xerxes rose to power in fifth-century-BC Persia and became known as “The King of Kings,” eventually raising and leading a massive army intent on ruthlessly destroying the hated Greeks who killed his father. Xerxes seeks nothing less than to become a god himself — and achieves his wish! The litho is colored by Eisner Award–winning colorist Dave Stewart and is sold exclusively through Dark Horse Comics."

The lithographs are available this October. The book? *shrugs*

Comments

  1. Does this look like a cash grab to anyone else ?

  2. @Art1318: Howso?

  3. Well there waen’t much of any talk about a prequel till 300 the film came out. And then based of the sucess of that movie all this chatter about a prequel came about. Plus Millers work as of late hasen’t lived up to his old stuff in my mind.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    But why would anyone want something so wretched as…money?

  5. I’ll buy it, I’ll read it and marvel at the Miller art, but personally, I’d rather have a litho of his Jurassic Park cover from IDW.

  6. I don’t care if it’s a cash grab (aren’t they all?). More Frank Miller 300 is a good thing.

  7. @Art1318: Nothing wrong with any of that.

  8. Thats true. But i’m just asking, has he been kicking this idea around for a while, or is it just based upon it’s popularity. Plus doesn’t he have a few other unfinished stories like All-Star Batman, plus Batman vs Al Qadea.

  9. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    He’s finishing All-Star Batman. 

    Does it matter if he just thought of it recently? Proximity to the original has no real bearing on the quality.  

  10. 300 is probably one of my five favorite works in comics of all time.

    I also have taught the comic every year for six or seven years . . .

    Can’t wait.

    The art reminds me of Mike Mignola art a bit. Am I crazy?

  11. Well did any of you actually like DK2. I thought that was a cool idea, and even though at some points it did lack. But it seemed like he actually wanted to tell that story. I think it took guts to go back to that story, and expand on it since it pertty much cemented his place amongest the comic book heavy weights. This doesn’t give me that feeling.

  12. I liked the second Dark Knight.

  13. @ScorpionMasada I liked it to, but the point i’m trying to make is that, that seemed like that was a story he wanted to tell. But this prequel doesn’t give me that vibe.And it’s cool if he wants to make some money of his own work he deserves to, he’s given us tons of good stories. I’m just not sure if i’m gonna shell out my money on something that i think is a cash grab. How many times have we read a sequel to a storyline, or seen a sequel to a movie , that was just made for finacial gain and damned be the story,

  14. @art just keep digging;)

  15. Yeah it sures feels like i’m arguing aganist the popular majority.

  16. You made me spill milk out of my nose good sir!

    I’m excited to see a prequel to 300, whenever Miller finishes it. Although I don’t think I will be buying this. Cause let’s be honest….that is too awkward of a picture to put anywhere in the house.

    Also, how the hell does Xerxes move with that much gold on?

  17. @art1318: isn’t that enough rope yet?

  18. Ok i’m gonna shut up now. I just hope this turns out as good as you guys think. I mean if it actually ever comes out.

  19. @Art1318: I’m actually not making any judgments on the project (other than the above piece of art, which is grea). I don’t know if it will be great or if it’ll suck.

  20. No doubt that lithograph is awesome. I’m just worried about the story is all. It’s just that it’s been a while since Miller has dellivered a top notch story. I mean his last work to my knowledge has been All-Star Batman, and we have seen how that’s gone.

  21. High five guys! we crushed he’s spirit

  22. Not quite. But at least there can be more than one opinon, besides just blindly worshipng every thing Miller does. How the Spirit work out for ya?

     

  23. So I guessed since they’re divorced, Lynn Varley won’t be coloring his stuff anymore? Damn.

  24. Didn’t watch the Spirit, but I could use some more Sin City in both comic and movie form.

  25. @Art1318: I enjoyed THE SPIRIT and I was enjoying ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN back when it was actually coming out.

  26. Conor and Joe Keatinge are the only 2 people on earth who liked the Spirit.

  27. We’ve got t-shirts.

  28. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I liked Stana Katic and Eva Mendes in The Spirit. 

  29. Oh, and Kyle Baker liked it.

  30. @PaulMontgomery C’mon who doesn’t like Eva Mendes.

  31. I watched the Spirit with one of my housemates. i was embrassessed so i made fun of how he doesn;t have a girlfriend to make myself feel better – it worked

  32. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Art1218 – Let me take you back to NYCC 2008. It was an unseasonably balmy day…

  33. @edward Finally a little common ground.

  34. @Paul Montgomery Some guys just get all the luck. I was lucky enough to see her at SDCC when she was promoting the spirit, Evevn though i was like a football feild away she’s still stunning.

  35. JFernandes (@jdfernandes) says:

    I dug the Spirit movie.  Granted, the slow parts were REALLY slow, but overall I thought it was fun.

    Stana Katic (Morgenstern) was my favorite part.

  36. @Art1318: really? have you meet my housemate? he’s pretty hopeless with the ladies

  37. Pretty girls are not a reason to defend any movie.

    Except From Dusk Til Dawn.

    Salma Hayek

  38. dude, eve mandes is increadible. well, worth watching

  39. You know, i really hate when people complain about other people trying to make money. Frank Miller is a professional writer/artist. Why shouldn’t marketability and demand be factored into what projects he works on? If this is what he does to make a living, he should be allowed to try to make as much money as he can. 

  40. Awww yeah!!! MOAR MILLER PLOX!

    Seriously though Frank Miller is one of those guys who would put something down on the table and make me beg for more. He’s one of the few people whom I wouldn’t mind pitching ideas to (mr. miller next do a story about a comic fanatic who frequents the web alot, has a full time job and is a full time student) too much?

  41. I’m glad to see Miller back in the saddle, and as much as I love 300, I just don’t feel all that jazzed by the project.  Something about a prequel to a seminal project that focuses on the character that I wanted to die in the original project just doesn’t get my juices going.  That art is pretty sensational though.

  42. Frank Millers run on Daredevil is one of my favorite things ever so it’s a shame that I have to say that I loss all respect for the guy with his crazy political rants and shitty recent writing.

     

    Who am I kidding? I’ll probably buy this.

  43. I love this idea that Frank Miller is doing a "cash grab"…a professional comics artist makes a lithograph and sells it for $25 and it’s a "cash grab"…

    And while I’ll agree that DK2 sucked, only a blind fool would deny that Frank Miller is one of the greatest and most influential comics creators of our time, period, even if he never puts out a good book again.  Dark Knight Returns.  Bat Man Year One.  Elektra: Assasin.  Sin City.  300.  I rest my case.

    And yea, I thought ASB&R was awesome too.

    I swear, I think some people hold Dark Knight Returns against him, like they’re disappointed that not every book he puts out isn’t the greatest book of the decade (along with Watchmen). 

  44. What did he write shittily recently? All-Star Batman & Robin, while clearly not for everyone, is/was awesome; The Spirit wasn’t totally shitty, just nothing to write home about; and the only weak thing about Dark Knight Strikes Again was the art.

    As far as it being a "cash grab"…duh. Comic book creators/publishers aren’t charities. Everything they publish is to make money. And there’s no reason to expect Xerxes won’t be just as good as 300. Miller’s insane, sure, but he doesn’t half-ass things.

  45. Yes, a very irrelevant theme for a book right now.  If we were in the middle of a conflict between Eastern and Western cultures, then maybe this would seem less like crass commercialism.  Besides, there’s nothing important to learn from classical history.  Silly idea for a book.

  46. I need a shirt from Conor and Joe. And I don’t mind admitting this is one of the most anticipated comics of 2011 for me now.

  47. @ScorpionMasada:  Dusk Till Dawn is a friggen American masterwork! 

  48. It is right up there with Con Air and that ensemble cast.

  49. I hated the movie adaptation of The Spirit, and hated lots of other Frank Miller projects.  I loved several others.  Regardless, I’m not passing judgment on the 300 Prequel because it /isn’t/ /out/ /yet/.  I don’t understand why anyone would start rabble-rousing the moment a project is barely announced.  o_O

  50. Whores!

  51. Out of curiosity, when you’re a professional and you’re doing your work, isn’t that always a cash grab? I mean he doesn’t work for charity. I can’t wait to see what he does. When he’s on the ball, he’s the best. That art at the top is amazing. 

  52. Do the wingie things in the back remind anyone else of the Wonder Woman symbol?  Just me?  Figured.

  53. Yes!  I can’t wait until 2013

  54. I’m going to buy this after I walk out of the theater seeing THE HOBBIT

  55. First time I read DK2 I also thought it wasn’t that great – especially after reading Dark Knight Returns a few years earlier, loving it, and then having high expectations for DK2 – though ppl told me it was horrible.

    However, after purchasing the Absolute Dark Knight and reading both, back to back the same day – DK2 really stands up and I enjoyed it throughly. Although not as good as the original it does deserve it’s place next to it.

    When you take away all the bs politics and fanboy garbage (expectations, time frame, etc.) I think you’d find it’s a damn great comic.  

  56. So, Miller has two of his properties made into successfull movies, with more on the way. Sitting several month on the drawing table hardly seem like a good idea to "cash grab".

  57. @Luthor I was thinking the same thing and I don’t know why but Miller’s style here reminds me of Romita Jr.

    Is this a "cash grab"? Certainly, but lets take away that and call it a feasibility study.  After the release of the 300 movie the graphic novel sales spiked. The same thing happened when the Watchmen movie came out.  If they didn’t think it would get good sales then the book would not be produced.  That said, it shouldn’t have any bearing on the quality of the material.  It could be good or bad, we’ll have to wait until the material is out to judge for ourselves.

  58. That image is probably my favorite piece of Miller art for quite some time. Nobody uses silhouette like FM. At first I thought Lynn Varley’s absence would hurt the book, but it looks like Dave Stewart might do a nice job of replicating her colors.

    It’s interesting. I must admit to rolling my eyes when I heard about what was originally being called a sequel to 300. It wasn’t until I heard it was gonna be based on an upcoming prequel comic by Miller himself. Now I’m looking forward to both. It’s sad but true that a lot of noobs only judge Miller by his modern campy stuff like The Spirit and ASB&R (both of which I enjoyed). Not saying anyone here is a noob. It just makes me feel old when I have the instinct to shout, "Show some goddamn respect! He’s goddamn Frank Miller!"

  59. I just remembered that I never saw the Spirit when it came out. AND I LOVE EVA MENDES! Adding to the netflix queu now.

     

  60. Oh and thats a beautiful peice of art. I still wouldn’t mind if it was only a series of Miller Lithographs. More Miller art is never a bad thing.

  61. I have to admit I’m more surprised by the lack of people questioning whether this will actually happen.  How many projects has he been attached to in recent years, and yet the last time we saw real sequential Miller comic art was when? DK2?  He was meant to do a Sin City 40s story, then the sequel material which was meant to fuel the second movie, then the Batman Terrorist book, yet none of it seems to actually materialise…

  62. I never thought I’d say this, but Dave Stewart on colors has me less jazzed than it should. I thought Varley’s colors made 300 and gave it it’s unique look. No doubt Stewart’s colors will be stunning as they always are, but I can’t help but think it’ll feel off.

  63. @Josh I also liked the Spirit.