Friday, July 25, 2014

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3 Review

First a few tidbits from San Diego Comic-Con. The trailer for the live-action Halo: Nightfall arrived, and a novel about Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos is coming from Del Rey Star Wars.

Son of Dathomir #3 also dropped last week, and it's my favorite issue so far. Look below for the review, but beware - it does contain spoilers.

Issue #3 shows more of Darth Maul's personality than the comic previously had done, both matching and building upon the little characterization he possessed in Episode I. He is showy and impulsive, and while he seems to be fully antagonistic toward Darth Sidious, the petulance in his dialogue makes it sound like part of him wants his old teacher to be impressed. Maul might have captured some of the most powerful men in the galaxy just to show Sidious how well he's doing.

Maul acts toward Sidious like a child trying to impress a parent, who at the same time wants to appear standoffish and independent. This foster parentage plays out alongside the biggest reveal in the book - the fact that Talzin says Maul is her biological child.

To me, this begs the question of his father's identity and how he feels about his lost parentage. It's just as interesting, though, if he simply doesn't care. That would be quite the parallel to Luke's reaction to Darth Vader's dramatic reveal. Maul has put no stock in his parentage; instead, he's primarily concerned with Sidious.

And briefly, he's concerned with Jedi, the first real good guys to appear in the series. Aayla Secura, Obi-Wan, and Tiplee are a nice surprise, especially since I thought that Tiplee would be used largely as an accessory to the Order 66 arc in season six of The Clone Wars and not appear again. She dies in the comic, and I'm of two minds about that - dramatically it's almost a nice idea that she would rejoin her sister in an afterlife, but she's also the only character in the scene whom we don't see in Order 66, so picking her off feels, if not inevitable, too easy.

Aayla's appearance is notable in that it is her first canon appearance outside of films or The Clone Wars. Her role neither confirms nor denies her now "Legends"-status traits such as her attachment to Kit Fisto or her apprenticeship to Quinlan Vos. Maul's lieutenant Kast continues to have a quiet but significant role nearly identical to that of her male counterpart, Saxon. The death of one female character doesn't sting quite so much when there are two others still fighting.

In my last review I spoke about the fight scenes being short, but the eight-way battle in #3 feels like the payoff for those teases. The art has become more notable as well, with some great, dynamic poses, including Grievous bringing his foot down on a prison guard and, sadly, Tiplee's death.

The establishment of Maul's new, canon relationship to Talzin and his interactions with a nonplussed Sidious make #3 the most re-readable, character-driven issue of the series. Combine that with the fannish thrill of seeing the Prequel Trilogy's Sith stars fighting all in one place, and Son of Dathomir #3 is a very enjoyable Star Wars comic.


  1. Aayla Secura's first canon appearance occurs towards the end of Attack of the Clones.

  2. And she is seen being killed in Revenge of the Sith.