Darth Maul #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Luke Ross
Cover Artist: Rod Reis
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed By: Luis Lobo
So after Disney bought both Marvel Comics and Star Wars, we had a few Star Wars titles published by Marvel comics. When they announced that they would release a series exploring Darth Maul, I freaked out. Before the announcement, the only Sith lord being covered was Vader, with the occasional Sidious popping up. It looks like Marvel is giving a bit of love to a certain Dathomerian. If you’re a fan sith lords, then this series will be definitely for you. Viewer discretion is advised, not suitable for young children. Eh, who cares. Let’s get hateful now.
The story takes place several years before the events of The Phantom Menace, where we see a group of bounty hunters on the planet of Twon Ketee, hired to hunt something down. They soon feel as they are being the ones hunted, when all of a sudden a Rathtar ambushes them. As the hunting party is being slaughtered, a dark horned figure is seen lurking in the branches. SURPRISE, its Maul, sent in to test his skills on a Rathtar. We see his skills as a Sith assassin when he severs and mutilates the creature, while looking at how he sees himself similar to it. As soon as he kills his prey, two more Rathtars show up. It doesn’t take long for him to kill both, thinking to himself how his bloodlust wont be satisfied with this test.
We later find the setting taking place on Coruscant. Two Jedi are walking through the capital, when they feel a disturbance, as if they were being watched. Maul, in the alley next to them is contemplating on how easily he could kill them. He endured great torment during his training only to be denied the right to kill them.
Later Maul meets with Palpatine aka Sidious, who is annoyed that his apprentice is pushing his boundaries by getting near the Jedi when told not to. Sidious then says that Mauls anxiousness means nothing to him or his plans, and that if he endangers his plans by getting near the Jedi, it wont be them who will cut him down. SAVAGE!!! Maul is then given a mission to secure a separatist droid command ship that was hijacked by pirates.
Fast forward and we find ourselves over the planet Kellux, with pirates fighting separatist vulture droids. As the pirates finish off the rest of the vulture droids, they soon find themselves being assaulted by Maul. A dog fight commences with Maul deploying mines to destroy majority of the fleet. After picking of the rest, he boards the base and proceeds to slaughter the remaining pirates on board. As he calmly Murders the gang, he thinks to himself how he was trained to be ruthless, to give in to his passion, his unease, only to be put on a leash and told to wait. As Maul is about to kill the last pirate, he stops when he tells Maul that he has intel on a cartel mistress who happed to capture a Jedi padawan. The mistress plans to bid the young Jedi onto slavery, which interest Maul. When asked about the exact location of the auction, the pirate says that he doesn’t know the details, so Maul kills him via kick. Rule # 345 of Space Pirates: Lie to live. So Maul just saved the crew of the Droid Base, only to kill them all, making it looks as if the pirates had done it. We finally see Maul leave, planning to get to the padawan before the rest of the Jedi stage a rescue.
All in all this was a great starting issue to one my favorite Star Wars characters of all time. The artwork was fantastic, giving the tone of anger, rage, and bloodlust. The storytelling is phenomenal, exploring the mind of a killer who is forced on a leash and told to wait, only wanting to fulfill his one purpose; the slaughter of Jedi. I recommend this issue to fans of Darth Maul and Star Wars in general.