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Frank Miller's '300' Sequel Will Twist Military History's Greatest Figure

No one reads Frank Miller’s 300 for an accurate history lesson on the Persian Wars. The sequel, Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander, is no different. This April, Miller returns to his mega-popular historical fanfic to tell the story of the Persian king Xerxes and his war against Alexander the Great, a fight that never happened in real life, because both men lived and died a century apart.

On Tuesday, comics publisher Dark Horse announced Xerxes, the long-awaited sequel to Miller’s 1998 stylish graphic novel 300 that served as the basis for the zeitgeist-seizing 2007 film from Zack Snyder. Set after the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, the five-issue Xerxes sees King Xerxes set out to conquer the known world until he crosses paths with the new kid on the war block, Alexander the Great. The first issue will be released on April 4.

In reality, Xerxes I never waged a battle against Alexander the Great. Xerxes I died in 465 BC, while Alexander, who conquered a vast empire that stretched from Greece to northern India, lived a short 32 years from 356 to 323 BC. Alexander also battled King Darius III, over whom he was victorious. So the book’s title isn’t wrong, per se, it’s just playing LEGO with the facts behind it.

Xerxes will also have nothing to do with 2014’s 300: Rise of an Empire, the cinematic sequel to the first movie, which was only partially based on Miller’s idea for Xerxes. Miller was still in the process of writing this new comic when work started and finished Rise of an Empire.

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A preview of 'Xerxes,' from Dark Horse Comics.

300 ranks among a class of genre work that liberally reinterprets history for thrills, joining Netflix’s Marco Polo, Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the Spike series Deadliest Warrior. This genre also never really went away, as the Snyder movie birthed so many popular memes of the MySpace era.

Miller’s comic, and later the Zack Snyder movie, undoubtedly helped a few bored high school freshmen get through history class back in the day. Published ten years after Miller won acclaim for his reinvention of Batman, the original 300 comic brought the Battle of Thermopylae to life with the same hyper-masculine energy that overwhelmed mainstream superhero comics in the ‘90s. 300 was like reading an army of Greek Batman clones, all with the same noir colors as Sin City. Twenty years later, Xerxes sounds like Batman v Superman, minus the capes, and way more death.

Miller is deep into the second act of his comic book career, with The Dark Knight III: The Master Race holding up better than most critics and even some fans feared. Hopefully Miller will keep up the momentum, as Xerxes will reunite Miller with his Dark Knight III colorist Alex Sinclair.

Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1 will be released on April 4.

'Star Wars: Episode IX' Leak Seemingly Confirmed by Official Set Photo

The Star Wars: Episode IX title is still a mystery, but on Friday, fans got their first official look at the new movie courtesy of director J.J. Abrams. The image, which shows Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in an emotional embrace is meant to mark the last day of filming for the latest Star Wars movie, but it might also confirm a pretty huge Episode 9 leak from earlier this week.

'Avengers: Endgame' Theory Says Thanos Snapped Himself in 'Infinity War'

Thanos may have snapped half of Earth’s population out of existence in Infinity War, but what if he also snapped himself? After all, the Mad Titan is transported to what looks like a different realm immediately following his snap, and brazen new theory claims he momentarily ended up in the Soul Stone universe before returning home in Avengers: Endgame.

'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere Is Missing One Very Important Character

Winter has arrived in Westeros, but the Night King may be missing in action when Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres this April. A full cast list of the first episode of the show’s final season leaked this week, and while it’s full of surprising characters we didn’t expect to see again, one major absence may be even more telling.

'Fortnite' Season 8 Map Changes Coming as Earthquakes Rip Up the Island

We could be looking at a whole new map very soon.

Rumbling deep below the surface of the Fortnite: Battle Royale island is the secret that could reshape the entire map before Season 8. There’s a lot more than just the Overtime challenges to keep us busy for the rest of the month.

Players have been reporting seismic activity in the form of in-game earthquakes in Fortnite for about a week already, and things began to get more dire Thursday and Friday as huge cracks began to emerge in the ground at various locations. The first seemingly formed Thursday southwest of Tomato Temple, a second formed north of Tomato Temple, and the third emerged overnight near Lazy Links.

'Alita: Battle Angel' Ending Cameo Was "Tough Casting" That Sets Up Sequel

There is a surprise waiting at the end of Alita: Battle Angel. The new sci-fi movie from Robert Rodriguez, based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga Gunnm, has a previously unannounced celebrity and former Marvel actor playing one of the movie’s biggest roles. But who? And, most importantly, why?

In interviews with director Robert Rodriguez, he revealed that the surprise casting is meant to lock in capable actors for big roles in future Alita sequels, which was a lot tougher to pull off than it looks. (Maybe not as tough as motorball, but still.)