Star Wars: Darth Maul (2017)
February 1, 2017
Book I, Part I
Bred on hate, fear, and anger…steeped in the ways of darkness…and trained to kill. Darth Maul’s time as apprentice to Darth Sidious has long been cloaked in shadows, but at last we will reveal his tale of revenge. From writer Cullen Bunn (DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, WOLVERINE) and artist Luke Ross (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, HERCULES) comes a tale of rage unleashed as Darth Maul prepares for his first encounter with the Jedi.
It has been 2 months and 17 days, since Star Wars: Darth Maul was announced to the most amazing people on earth; the Star Wars fans.
February 1st is here and being in the UK getting hold of this issue day one just didn’t happen (the daily struggle of a Star Wars fan), so I got it the following day and I can’t contain myself as I read the traditional ever epic scroll text. The level of excitement is overwhelming, so I read the scroll text about five times (please don’t judge me) I’m a slow reader so I spend about 5 minutes on the first page.
I have read Darth Maul (2000) by Ron Marz which is a four issue legends comic series and also Son of Dathomir (2014 Canon) by Jeremy Barlow, which is in timeline during the Clone Wars. I love both series, along with the art work – Shout out to Juan Frigeri (Son of Dathomir) and Jan Duursema (Darth Maul 2000) as a true Maul fan I appreciate the skills. With all the above said, I am more excited about the new series. There has never been more focus on Maul than ever before, we have the Clone Wars TV series and the current Rebels series to show for this, which makes me wonder (and this is Star Wars speciality) why are we getting this comic book now?
SPOILER ALERT If you are not up to date with Rebels season 3 please scroll down.
We’ve seen the recent events and the role Maul holds now, his eagerness to have Ezra as his apprentice, the possibility of his feud with Obi Wan Kenobi coming to an end and lets not forget how Dave Feloni has been tying things up with the past. This is truly exciting times.
The plot is set prior to Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, giving us an insight of Maul’s early days with his master Sith Lord Darth Sidious before coming out of the shadows and facing the Jedi, leading to his rivalry and hate towards Kenobi later on.
Maul is young, impatient and blood thirst, he is consistently reminded of his Jedi stalking habits and kept on a short leash by his master, who feeds him small tasks; hunting down crime lords to test him. Maul is vicious, restless and although he currently stays obedient he does not play fair.
The first issue I believe is a small intro of Maul to those who are currently following the TV series and perhaps a platform for what’s coming next. The next issue will be on March 22nd and I cannot wait to get hold of it.
Book I, Part II
Darth Maul’s moment of revenge against the Jedi is close at hand. Although, his Sith master – the mysterious Darth Sidious – has commanded Maul to be patient. But Maul’s seething rage cannot be contained, after learning of the whereabouts of a captured Jedi Padawan.
Our now deceased Sith, who is mostly known for delivering death to his enemies as a lone wolf finds himself a particular rather interesting team of bounty hunters led by the one and only CAD BANE. “BLAW-BLAW”
Our favorite (TCN Sith Temple’s) bounty hunter is back, along side the deadly Aurra Sing and two new characters to me; Vorhdeilo and a Troo-Tril-Tek called Tek-Tek.
Although it’s not new to us that the Sith tends to work with bounty hunters, I find this newly formed team (if we can call it that) slightly off-key due to Maul’s ways and ambitions, while Cad and his team have different motives in their activities. Yet I cannot help but enjoy this fragment passage of these deadly characters working together. It really feels like we got a bargain here, like 2 for 1 at Asda.
While embarked on his secret side gig, we’re also plugged into Maul’s past training and teachings with Sidious in Malachor. Part of Maul’s training is going through visions of what took place at the battle between the Jedi and the Sith in Malachor, we learn a new insight of it’s history and most importantly perhaps, the reason’s for Maul’s hate and rage that is orchestrated by the puppeteer master; Sidious. Through this Maul learns to meditate on these visions, resulting in tapping into the dark side further and escalating his hate.
With less action than the last issue, the second issue really just introduces us to the team and the whereabouts of Maul’s adventure in the universe (Nar Shaddaa and The Drazkel System), which seems to set up for the big action next issue. Meaning I’ll now be waiting two months before I see Maul in full action *thumbs down* and lets not forget this is only a five Issue rum and with the recent events (Rebels) it’s starting to seem that this run is being used as an excuse to have more content on his wookieepedia, instead of what I predicted in the first issue. 7/10.
Book I, Part III
Jedi Padawan Eldra Kaitis is the prisioner of the profiteering gangster Xev Xrexus, who has gathered the most dangerous crime bosses in the galaxy to participate in a nefarious auction to purchase the Padawan.
Little does Xrexus know, Sith apprentice Darth Maul has infiltrated the auction along side bounty haunters – Cad Bane and Aurra Sing.
The 3rd issue is here and weeks has gone by since I begun reading my favourite Sith. With a new crew now formed between the young apprentice and Cad Bane’s crew, the focus is yet again on Maul and his Jedi prize.
Surrounded by pirates, gangs and killers the team gets to work on extracting Eldra, as the bidding for her head begins. All while we’re still given Maul’s thoughts, desires and feelings towards the whole agenda he set himself on.
On the other hand Bane’s skills and leadership comes into play and although he bends the knee to Maul’s higher rank, he is no fool and plays his cards right. Always fun to see him in action.
The moment I have been waiting for is here; Maul in action! Not what I expected but It’s cool to see a different side of of his fighting approach, since we’re so used to his lightsaber and athletic abilities.
Despite his efforts in not showcasing his true nature, it is not enough to escape a criminals one and with that a new bid is set in place not only for the Padawan but also for the unknown sith.
Book I, Part IV
Upon the successful infiltration Maul plans to kidnap and kill the Padawan, but soon is baited by Eldra who claims to be his equal demanding a fair fight. Their potential duel is cut short when Xrexus, having discovered Maul’s plans, has the vessel shot down and begins a new auction to hunt them for sport.
Crashed on The Moon of Drazkel, the hunt for Bane’s crew and the force users sets the paste and a plan is quickly put in motion. While Bane and Aurra Sing play cowboys with the hunters, Maul finds himself back-t0-back with Eldra.
Lightsabers and blasters, the prelim battle before the main event. In this issue we’re given something new but perhaps not so new (if you follow the cartoon series). This is probably the first time Maul had to join forces with the other side in order to achieve his objectives. Still keeping in mind who is exposed to his identity and if you are exposed then you are not walking out alive.
Too much talking and not enough action. The hunt is on both sides, yet we only get two pages of lightsabers swinging and few blasters fired and to be honest this was quite a disappointing issue, as it’s supposed to build up the tension for the final fight next issue. Not much is to be said as we’re not given much and this repeated pattern is now too late for this short run to be something spectacular as i wanted. Perhaps next issue the battle between The Sith and the Jedi makes it up for the last four issues.. not that I am counting on it.
See you next month.
Book I, Part V
Having split off from the group Maul and Eldra combine their forces to overcome their pursuers. Despite working together, they bait each other until finally, their lightsabers clash..
We’re finally here. The reason you’d want to pick up this little (not short) run, the reason you’d think to yourself (like I did) what’s in store for Maul? What can they give us that we haven’t seen yet? But as the months went by while Maul was being dropped int he comic book shelves and online, a lot has changed. My reasons for the existence of this comic has completely changed due to the last episode of Rebels and now I have a new question “Why give us this run?” but before all that, let’s dig in this last issue. Enjoy.
Despite his disobedience towards his master Darth Sidious and the purpuse towards his training, Maul understands that his rage has been honed into a weapon serving one purpose; to kill Jedi.
The time has come and the lightsabers have been drawn. We get seven pages of battle between the dark and the light, the most we get to see in the whole five months. Pretty cool moves as expected from both opponents and few blunders by the apprentice, after all Maul is not as complete as we see him in Episode 1. The same goes for the Padawan, which we get to witness an amateur fight. None of the less still a good fight.
Being so caught up on what’s next for Maul I forgot about his master, who as always is ahead of the game pulling the strings. Meh.
As for Bane this was just another day at the office, a stealth mission with a couple of bad guys to shoot at.
Despite looking forward every month for a new issue, this run is quite disappointing for me. Maul is one of those SW characters so much is owned to and yet perhaps the only cannon comic to date that he has, it’s a five issue run with very little to give us. The only thing I’m taking away from here is seeing him siding with Cad Bane along Aurra Sing, who are awesome characters in Star Wars Clone Wars. So the credit to this comic doesn’t even go 100% towards Maul, it is divided and once again denied his limelight. I get the feeling this is who Maul is, the guy who had it all but not enough to be up there.
To buy or Not to buy?
No! Unless you want to understand Darth Maul’s reasons and emotions, leave this alone and move on to Clone Wars and Rebels where you get a lot more from him.
Reviewed by Raven
- Insight into Maul's training days
- Maul's tattoo work
- Cad Bane & Aurra Sing
- Smart fighting tacticts
- Not much action
- Is this Maul's or Bane's comic?
- Battles cut short
- No ties to Episode 1
- Nothing new on Maul