Synopses & Reviews
The epic tale of the original marathon runner—just in time for the 2012 Olympic Games
It was a turning point in ancient history.
It inspires men to greatness.
It was the foundation of one of the greatest and most prevailing global peace efforts of the 20th century.
It was the greatest feat—and the tragic death—of a man whose legacy will never be forgotten.
In 490BC, an Athenian messenger named Eucles ran 153 miles from Sparta to Athens, and in so doing preserved ancient Greek civilization from subjugation to the Persian Empire.
This graphic novel from screenwriter Boaz Yakin and artist Joe Infurnari tells his story.
"This graphic novel opens with the first triumph of the legendary Greek courier (in this case renamed Eucles) over the tyrant king Hippias' own son, the death of his parents at Hippias' hands, and the tyrant's exile a decade later. With that bit of backstory nimbly taken care of in the first few pages, the tale jump-cuts ahead to the day before the legendary battle, the Persian army ready to land at Greek shores, with Hippias at its side. If this is familiar to readers (or viewers) of 300, it should be, since the setup is essentially the same. But Yakim and Infurnari take a distinctly different angle, casting the Persians as worthy opponents for the Greeks to engage in battle. The focus is on strategy, which allows heroics to come out of the characters' wits and will, rather than displays of rippling muscle. However, this focus on character is damaged by a sketchlike visual aesthetic that renders the characters' faces looking nearly identical. This is frustrating early in the book, when the action focuses more heavily on the efforts of the army than on Eucles. As the book progresses, and Eucles takes center stage, the book rights itself, and by the end, it is easy to feel oneself racing alongside him toward Athens. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Boaz Yakin is an American screenwriter and film director based in New York City. Yakin studied filmmaking at New York City College and New York University. He has written and/or directed many major Hollywood movies such as The Punisher, The Rookie, A Price Above Rubies, and Remember The Titans. Joe Infurnari is an acclaimed comics writer and illustrator living in Brooklyn. His work has been recognized with multiple Eisner nominations, numerous publications, and membership in the prestigious web comics collective, Act-i-vate. He is the illustrator of First Second's "Mush!"
Reading Group Guide
Marathon is a graphic novel, a story told in words and pictures. How do you think this story would be told differently if it was a novel, with only words? How would it be different if it was a movie, with just pictures?
Eucles saves his country, but ends up dying in the process. What makes him so passionate about Athens? Do you feel similarly strongly about your country?
The Spartans refuse to come to the aid of the Athenians because of a religious festival. Think about what you know about the Greek gods. How might missing a religious festival have different results - or be thought about differently - in their society than it would in yours today?
Eucles and Antigonos start out the book with an antagonistic relationship, but come to respect each other at the end. After Antigonos final sacrifice, what do you think about Eucles treatment of him throughout the book?
There are three different military powers in Marathon: Athens, Sparta, and the Persian Empire. Think about their similarities and differences. How would things change in ancient Greece if one of them conquered the others?
Eucles was formerly a slave. How does this affect the way he sees his world? Was slavery in ancient Greece different from slavery in the United States? Does this affect your concept of Eucles life?
What do you think about Datis actions throughout the book? The attack on Athens is clearly very personal for him; do you think that influences his judgment and his military strategy?
Eucles is given an almost impossible task in running from Athens to Sparta to Marathon and back to Athens. How does his strategy for dealing with this great challenge match up with your own methods for facing difficult things?
Basically every single person in Athens musters up to fight the Persians, whether in Marathon or when the Persians come to Athens. How would war today be different if a countrys involvement was that complete?