Canon Comic Review: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2

Son of Dathomir #2

 – Spoiler Review –

With the first issue setting up lots of potential big moments with characters The Clone Wars either breathed new life into or brought to everyone’s attention, it falls on the second issue to pay some of the setup off while continuing to move the plot along. For Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2, it has payoffs in spades and even bigger setups than I could’ve possibly imagined. It definitely makes me wish even more so that these episodes of The Clone Wars got to be part of the ‘Lost Missions’ (Season 6), but I’m just immensely happy we’re seeing it in one form or another.

Count Dooku and Mother Talzin TCW MassacreMaul is seemingly licking his wounds in the beginning of this issue, thanks to the beating Grievous handed him and his Shadow Collective army, and does exactly what Sidious wants him to do: contact Mother Talzin. I’ve got to say one of my favorite images and moments out of all of TCW and Star Wars was Mother Talzin’s spectral form ripping out of Count Dooku’s body in TCW Season 4’s “Massacre” (see image) and she uses the creepy and unique technique to communicate with Maul here. In a galaxy famous for holograms, it’s nice to see she’s still using dial-up.

While she proves wise to Sidious’ machinations and decides to remain hidden, her boasting that Maul and her shall win reminds me of Luke’s assertion that the Emperor’s overconfidence would be his undoing. While we know that particular prediction comes true, we still don’t know Talzin’s fate but it surely isn’t going to be her coming out on top here. Even if she does lose, there’s always the chance she could still be floating around and bursting out of people’s stomach for a long, long time. No matter the outcome, her fate is definitely intriguing to fans and is one the many reasons to be picking up the Son of Dathomir series.

Maul regroups at Ord Mantell, where a much more sizeable chunk of the Shadow Collective awaits his arrival. Talzin sends Maul reinforcements in the form of the Nightbrothers with Brother Viscus as their leader, first seen in more detail in TCW Season 3 episodes “Monster” and “Witches of the Mist.” However, these reinforcements tip off Dooku and Grievous and they prepare an all out assault to once and for all wipe out Maul’s Shadow Collective and bring forth the elusive Talzin.

Son of Dathomir #2 panelWhat follows is movie-sized action as an all out war ensues not only on Ord Mantell’s surface, but also with impressive space battle action. Lots of pawns are moving in the battles with the action swift and easy to follow, almost making you read the sequence at a faster rate. It’s exhilarating stuff, especially when the Nightbrothers face off against Count Dooku and Maul decides to board Grievious’ flagship. And much like Mother Talzin’s overconfidence will likely get the better of her soon, Dooku’s and Grievous’ own overconfidence gets the better of them here.

We end this issue with the surprising capture of both Dooku and Grievous, raising the stakes even higher for Sidious and his ultimate designs for galaxy-wide domination. And while we already know these two won’t stay prisoners for long, it goes without saying how they’ll be freed could be one for the history books: I’m thinking we’re in for another visit from duel wielding Sidious before this series ends.

Here are a few other things:

  • What I found very interesting is Dooku ends up revealing to Grievous that Talzin and Sidious were once allies, making one wonder what kind of tricks she taught him…and what he taught her. Now what I’d give for a comic/novel about that training session!
  • Seeing as this is Ord Mantell’s first canon appearance, we get treated to a few short looks at what a city on the planet might look like. Had this been produced into an episode we’d have likely gotten longer shots, so while it’s a shame we get so little here, at least the art is so well done.
  • I thought the Separatists had learned from the error of their ways in The Phantom Menace and stopped using droids linked to specific command ships, so it was rather jarring, odd, and bit disappointing to suddenly see it being used again here.
  • If these last two things were my biggest complaints, though they are very small issues, then that’s telling you how good and how much fun Son of Dathomir #2 is.
  • UPDATE 7/9/16: Maul not only lives through this comic series, but he’s alive by the time of Star Wars Rebels, appearing in its second season finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice.” Didn’t see that one coming.

Like I said at the beginning of the first issue’s review, the path Darth Maul’s return has taken is so full of twists and surprising turns that it’s hard to ever imagine being put-off by the idea of his return in the first place. With both Talzin and Maul seemingly on top at the end of #2, and the only two characters whose fates are known imprisoned, the big player is destined to come out in play in the final issues of Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.

+ Big action

+ Dooku and Grievous’ capture

+ Talzin ripping through bodies

 Command Center battle droids à la Ep. I

Medium doesn’t allow for lots of Ord Mantell vista shots

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth.

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