This comic is special, folks. It has the distinction of being the first comic or book published to officially be a part of the new canon. Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir with a script by Jeremy Barlow and pencils by Juan Frigeri takes one of the unused story ideas from The Clone Wars’ unfinished Sixth Season and brings it to life on paper but does it work? Read on to find out!
Darth Maul’s plans to conqueror the galaxy were halted when his former master decides to chop them right in half before he could get very far with his Mandalorian and Underworld army. Held captive in a secret prison, Maul’s efforts seem to have found their end. Sidious’s plotting, on the other hand, is just beginning. He believes that Mother Talzin survived the invasion of Dathomir and he’s willing use Maul as bait to lure the Nightsister back out.
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir is definitely off to a good start even if it doesn’t top my personal list for recent Star Wars comics. Although it’s hard to judge based entirely upon one issue, so far the book seems to be more about Sidious and his manipulations of apprentices (former and current) to have events occur as he wishes. And that’s not a bad thing nor does it mean that Maul is barely in it. There’s plenty of Maul to keep his fans more than satisfied. It just includes some of that excellent manipulating on the side.
Jeremy Barlow has a pretty good grasp on how to write post-diced and sliced Maul who is, to put it frankly, slightly less all mentally together than before he met Padawan Kenobi. Barlow has the right mix of anger and raw determination to write Maul. He also writes a good General Grievous who fits in very nicely with the Grievous we saw on The Clone Wars although he does seem to be slightly more competent. At least here he’s losing the battle on purpose. I’m particularly intrigued to see how he further handles writing Count Dooku and (potentially) Mother Talzin.
Artistically speaking, Juan Frigeri’s work is fairly standard for Star Wars comics. He draws a fairly dynamic action scene and I definitely enjoy his Mandalorian armor. I also liked that he continued in the theme of the Prequel Trilogy films and mostly showed Sidious hooded and even included a panel of Sidious from the nose downward. Frigeri seems to be a good fit for the book.
I give Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir a 3.5/5 thus far and recommend it to fans of both Darth Maul and of The Clone Wars series.