Greetings fellow Star Wars fans. Welcome back. In this review, I'll be discussing Dark Horse's newest Star Wars tale, Darth Maul:Death Sentence. I'm sure the rest of you would agree with me that pretty much the only reason worth acknowledging the existence of The Phantom Menace is Darth Maul. Probably the greatest misstep of the prequel trilogy was killing him off after barely more than 10 mins of screen time. He had the potential to be this generation's Darth Vader. No doubt after grudgingly admitting this, Lucas and Co. resurrected him from the dead in the Clone Wars animated series. I don't particularly like that his new legs look identical to Grievous', but I guess beggars can't be choosers.
According to Dark Horse, Death Sentence takes place directly after the events seen in the latest episodes. Darth Maul and his brother Savage Opress seek the necessary funds to start their own army. But in their search they have attracted the attention of the Jedi and many others who would like nothing better than to see the brothers dead. The story begins with a weasel (I'm sure the character design was deliberate) named Zika ratting out the location of Maul and Savage to a group of bounty hunters. The scene is handled very well and given a nice mysterious vibe as neither of the brothers is mentioned by name until they are finally revealed. And when they are, boy oh boy does the shit ever hit the fan. Cut to Jedi Knight Salmara and her padawan, Dray. They're given a small throwaway scene mainly to explain how Maul survived (which to me felt a tad expository, and then it's back to the action. The brothers dispatch the bounty hunters without much effort, leaving the leader alive enough to interrogate regarding his employer, Ja'boag.
After a scene with the Jedi Masters discussing Salmara's mission to investigate how Ja'boag knows of the brothers' existence, we cut to a mining colony, where the brothers land their ship and take in the lay of the land. It seems that Ja'boag has a small army of his own. I don't want to ruin what happens next, but it's one of the most incredibly badass sequences I've ever seen in a comic. Maul and Savage then make their way into Ja'boag's complex. It would seem that Ja'boag doesn't have much longer to live, but as the issue comes to a close, the brothers receive an unexpected surprise that could potentially foul up their plans.
As you can tell, I really liked this issue. And as you may have also figured out, the only interesting parts of the issue are the ones featuring Darth Maul and Savage Opress. I understand that this was probably deliberately done to showcase the two main characters, but I really hope the others are given more due in future issues. The rest of the story moves along at a brisk pace that will more than likely have you reading it again once you've finished. I'm very interested to see where writer Tom Taylor takes the story from here. His characters all seem to have their own personalities, and it's refreshing to see the variety he's giving us. Bruno Redondo's art shines here as well. His characters and environments are very detailed and he has a great sense of motion. He really captures the ferocity of Maul and Savage. I can't wait to see what lies in store for them next month, and I hope the same is true for all of you. Until next time everyone, may the Force be with you.