You cut a guy in half and you’d think that’d be the end of it, but if Darth Maul has proven anything over the past 7 years, it’ll take a helluva lot more to put him down. While we’re currently exploring his extended fate in Star Wars Rebels’ 3rd season, next year we’ll be treated to a comic series exploring his past pre-The Phantom Menace. While there isn’t enough information yet for me to really feel one way or another regarding Darth Maul, check out the details released so far below the cut.
Written by Cullen Bunn and art by Luke Ross, Star Wars: Darth Maul is a 5-issue miniseries which follows the titular character hunting riff-raff in the underworld (possibly Coruscant) to vent his considerable rage due to Darth Sidious’ hold on Jedi-slaying. But Maul ends up finding a Jedi target and chooses to ignore his Master’s orders, as he goes after a Jedi Padawan, Eldra Kaitis, currently being held by a crime lord. According to Bunn, “(A) big part of the story is Darth Maul’s descent to the dark side and almost being tempted away from it,” which is an interesting concept to explore with the character, but it remains to be seen if they’ll deliver a compelling enough tale to show that. So far, minus one or two miniseries, Marvel’s comics have all managed to be pretty enjoyable and important pieces to the Star Wars story, so I’m cautiously optimistic for Maul at this point. Some of the basics of DM‘s story sound eerily familiar to Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, a Legends tale I haven’t read in nearly a decade but really enjoyed, like Maul hunting a Jedi Padawan in the underworld and Sidious keeping a tight leash on his animalistic apprentice.
I’ve enjoyed Maul more since his resurrection, both in The Clone Wars and Rebels, as he’s shown his more calculating side, making him even more dangerous than just his physical prowess alone. Bunn promises we’ll see some of that Maul as well, so that’s a good thing for any fan who’s grown to like him more now that he’s emerged as something other than just that cool tattooed guy with the sick lightsaber skills. But for a series based on Maul, I’m honestly a little surprised they chose to go back in time, considering there’s probably some interesting things Maul got up to in the intervening years from the Clone Wars to his time in Rebels, like maybe the tale of how he got to Malachor in the first place. However, I’m very happy to see Marvel isn’t neglecting the prequel-era (heck they’re going pre-prequel!), as this was one of the things I expressed concern about in my 2015 comics year-in-review. Beyond possibly just an intriguing Sith-ly tale, I’ll be curious to see if any of Darth Maul‘s story finds some relevance to events in Rebels, specifically if it shows Maul learning about holocron merging or anything else he’s going to be messing around with in the rest of the season.
As for the new Jedi character Eldra, she’ll have, “…a huge impact on Maul’s life going forward,” but since we know the Jedi don’t learn about the Sith until The Phantom Menace, her fate certainly seems to be sealed but as Ahsoka (and even Maul) have proven, death isn’t always the answer. As for that impact, could whatever happens between her and Maul lay the groundwork for how he ends up treating/trying to manipulate Ezra? But the more important questions are: where’s her Master? And will they or another Jedi come looking for her? Or is the absence of a Master part of Sidious’ doing, as I wouldn’t be shocked he manipulated events to get this Padawan into Maul’s sights to see what his apprentice would do, all as part of a test for what’s to come in TPM.
I’ve read the first issue of The Force Awakens comic adaptation and was less than impressed with what I’ve saw from artist Luke Ross. Our other writer, Chris, was a little less hard on the art in his review of the first two issues, but needless to say the common consensus has been that Ross’ art is not going to be winning anyone over on the idea of this new series. But considering DM isn’t an adaptation of a film, Ross will have a lot more freedom afforded to him in how he depicts what the script demands, so there’s a chance his work so far isn’t a proper representation of his skills.
Here are a few other things:
- This is not Maul’s first trip to canon comics, as Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir was adapted from unproduced scripts from one of his final arcs in The Clone Wars series. If you’re excited for this new series, SoD is well-worth a read, but it might not be the easiest series to find on the cheap these days (the TPB is going for $249 as of this writing…yikes!!). The prices are hiked right now because Dark Horse is the original printer of the series and they aren’t going to be printing any more copies so let’s hope Marvel decides to reprint SoD soon as to capitalize on Maul‘s release.
- I’d find it funny, but I’d love to have this series bookended by scenes of Maul telling this tale to Ezra.
Look for more info about Darth Maul and our reviews of the series in February 2017! UPDATE: Reviews for all 5 issues are here!
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CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)
Aphra (#1-6) | And the Enormous Profit (#9-12)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Rebels in the Wild (#33-36) | Annual: #1 | #2
The Screaming Citadel (crossover of Doctor Aphra and Star Wars on-goings)
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14-16) | War Stories (#17-19)
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Rogue One (adaptation)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)