‘Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #4’ - Advance Comic Book Review

Issue four of Xerxes shifts the narrative from being a prequel to Miller’s 300 to now being a sequel. Xerxes has finally been assassinated, and his successor, the new Persian king and pharaoh of Egypt, is Darius III. Harking back to issue one of Xerxes, issue four is light on dialogue and heavy on combat as it portrays The Battle of Issus in 333 BC, where Alexander the Great defeated Darius’ and his Persian army. The vast majority of pages are dialogue and narrative free, as they show the Persians on the move, traversing canyons only to be met head on by Alexander’s men. The violence is particularly brutal and darkly comedic at the same time. In one moment, Alexander’s men are bursting from the water, impaling Persian soldiers in a gruesome fashion with their spears, and the next moment they exchange banter about their nagging wives as they mercy kill the fatally injured Persians that carpet the ground.


Unlike the depiction of the battle sequences in issue one, Miller continues the trend from the prior issue of having each page be a double spread. As in issue three, the double page spread works to the story’s advantage. For example, Darius’ Persian army looks almost mountainous as they march, nay, flood the page to meet Alexander. On the other hand, Alexander’s men look invincible, as they advance forward, with a golden, setting sun on their backs. Their invincibility is confirmed that upon a closer look at pages only shows a few instances of causalities of Alexander’s men as compared to the mounds of Persian casualties.

With one issue left of the series, it seems fitting to anticipate that Miller will conclude the Xerxes series by portraying the Battle of Gaugamela and the end of Darius.


Creative Team: Frank Miller (writer and artist), Alex Sinclair (colorist)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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