After the death of Xerxes, Darius III takes over the Persian Empire, continuing the war between the Persians and the Greeks. Keeping the image of the God King, Darius III leads with brute force and ensures his rule through theatrics and fear. During this time, Alexander the Great has been leading the Greek army into Persian territory and spreading celebrations of his victories. Alexander has defend the shores of Greece and has taken the battle across the sea to Persian controlled lands. But during this time, Darius III has a united army that seeks to stop Alexander’s forces and turn back the tides to Persia’s favor. As Alexander achieves victories in battles, what will be Darius III’s next move?
Issue four does a time jump to quickly introduce Darius III as the new king and figure for the Darius title. Speculations about Xerxes death was hinted at in the previous issue; he was killed in combat with Greek soldiers, poisoned by his servants or silenced by unknown assassins. Xerxes’ imaginary was too great to die with one man, and his heir Darius III, continues the outlandish persona and remorseless show of power.
This issue has a heavy focus on artwork, with very minimal text for later panels. There is great use of the double page spread with the art by Frank Miller and Alex Sinclair, showing off big dramatic scenes. Readers will be awed by the visuals where no text is required to understand the scenery. Once Alexander the Great’s armies fight Darius III’s forces, the use of the big panels give great detail as sword and spear meet flesh and blood. While this series follows historical facts very loosely, it stays within the bounds of the changes of the Persian Empire and the conquest of Alexander the Great. As Alexander begins his campaign in Asia Minor, next month’s issue will show his true might.
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #4 will be on sale July 4th 2018.