Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Bruno Redondo
Colors By: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering By: Michael Heisler
Cover Art By: Dave Dorman
After watching the new trailer for “The Clone Wars” season 5 that made it’s debut at Celebration VI, my excitement to watch the new season went through the roof! In particular, learning more about Darth Maul’s story throughout the Clone Wars. Well thankfully, the new Darth Maul comic series “Death Sentence,” is proving to be a nice way to hold my excitement over until the new season of “The Clone Wars” starts in September. And with issue #2 of “Death Sentence,” not only does the action take a turn for the better, but the story does as well.
Issue #2 picks up right where issue #1 left off, as we see Darth Maul and Savage Opress about to take on the three Jedi that were in search of them, and the comic kicks off with a great action sequence between the two Sith Lords and the three Jedi. While the action sequences with Maul and Opress were great in issue #1, seeing them both in a lightsaber duel against three Jedi and an army of soldiers, made for an even better action sequence here in issue #2. Writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo do a great job with this opening sequence by giving us a really cool Jedi VS. Sith battle. Maul’s strength with the force and his acrobatic skills were on full display in this battle, as he and Savage start the fight off by pushing a bunch of the soldiers away with a massive force push, similar to something you would see in “The Force Unleashed” game. In addition to some cool lightsaber action and great dialogue between Jedi Master Judd and Maul (it’s nice to know there are other witty Jedi out there besides Obi Wan and Anakin) we also see Maul use his new legs to his advantage by breaking the arm of Judd, as well as seeing some cool use of Carbon freezing, which changes the tide of the battle.
As I was reading through this opening sequence, I was wondering just how this battle was going to end , as it looked like Maul and Savage had this fight well under control. But it wouldn’t be much of a story if Maul and Savage won the battle in the first few pages of issue #2, so I did end up enjoying how the battle ended, as we end up seeing the tide turn from the Sith to the Jedi. This happens when Savage ends up being frozen in carbonite by one of the Jedi, (which looked really cool on the comic pages) and then Maul is forced to leave him behind as Jedi Padawan Dray catches him off guard and stabs him in the torso of his robotic body. But before Maul makes his escape, he makes sure the Padawan pays for his attack on him, by cutting off both hands of the Padawan in true Sith fashion. I was glad Maul made that one last attack, as I didn’t want to see him just run away after being wounded, but wanted to see him get a small amount of revenge like a true Sith would, which he thankfully does.
While the first half of issue #2 delivered on the action front, the second half of the issue delivered on the story front, which was something that I thought was lacking in the first issue. After Maul retreats from the battle, we see him collapse from his injury on the planet’s desert surface, where he then goes into a dream where he confronts himself, and Obi Wan! This was probably my favorite part of the issue, as this dream sequence featured some beautiful art, and played out very nicely like other force dreams we’re familiar with. It reminded me a little bit of both Luke’s confrontation with Vader in the cave on Dagobah, as well as the dream Ahsoka had on Mortis, where she sees her future self. In Maul’s dream, we find out that it doesn’t look like Mother Talzin took away all of the madness inside his head, as Maul confronts his himself in the state he was in when Savage found him in the episode “Brothers.” But what I really liked in this dream sequence, was how when Maul tells his insane self that he killed him, we then see the insane Maul turn into Obi Wan, and tells Maul, “No, I killed you. Remember.” This just makes Maul furious, and begins choking the life out of Obi Wan, but then hears him beg, which is when he wakes up to find himself choking one of the planet’s inhabitants who took him in to recover. This was just a great sequence that gave us a look inside Darth Maul’s head, which I just wished lasted a little longer.
After Maul wakes up from his dream, the story takes what I thought was an interesting turn, as Maul finds out the planet’s inhabitants look to him as their savoir. They believe he is the one who will help them take back their home from Ja’Boag, who drove them away because of his mining operation, all because one of the planet’s inhabitants named Trisjon had a vision of a warrior who would save his people from the “Day of three Suns”. A day that will bring destruction to the planet’s people if they don’t take back their homes in the mines. Maul agrees to help these people, knowing that having an army with him will make rescuing Savage a lot easier, and that trying to form an army was his and Savage’s main goal in the first place. But knowing that Maul is no savior, I’m definitely interested in seeing how this alliance plays out by the time this series ends. How much will Darth Maul try to disguise himself as a savoir to these people? Will he corrupt the planet’s inhabitants into his own evil army that will follow him no matter who is? Or will he simply wipe them all out after they served their purpose for him in rescuing Savage? I ‘m guessing the latter is more likely to take place, but I’m glad the story has taken a more interesting turn than just having Maul take out someone who put a bounty on his head.
In the end, I thought “Darth Maul: Death Sentence” #2 was a step up from issue #1 in every way. The action was more intense with a Jedi VS. Sith battle, I thought the artwork for issue #2 was better, especially during Maul’s dream sequence, and the story, while nothing groundbreaking for the Star Wars universe, thankfully took a more interesting turn for Darth Maul, which I’m definitely looking forward to seeing play out in the upcoming issues