After getting his ass handed to him in one of the very best episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Dark Horse gives us the story of what happens next to the only good thing to come out of Episode I. Is it good?
Star Wars: Darth Maul – Son of Dathomir #1 (Dark Horse)
Besides the obvious marketing possibilities, Sidious actually has a very good reason for keeping his former apprentice alive: To draw out Mother Talzin so that he can take care of her for good.
It also seems that Maul’s Mandalorian army still digs their Zabrack overlord enough to stage a daring prison break to free him.
“…and why the hell did they give me pants?”
This results in General Grievous being ordered to chase him down…which has an entire droid army facing down Maul and a bunch of Mandalorians…WHICH IS AWESOME…
…or it should be, at least. After some pretty great action scenes (coupled with some cartoonishly bad in-fight exposition) we get the much anticipated Maul vs. Grievous match for all of two panels before Robo-Sith screams in anger and bugs out.
By the end of the issue, Grievous is left with a decimated army and the same question the reader has: What the hell was the point of all that? Dooku responds with a cryptic reminder to buy the next issue if you want to find out.
“Fine…but we ARE NOT going zip lining again!”
Is It Good?
A reviewer’s typical lament is that they want to love an issue, bust just can’t. For me, however, Son of Dathomir is exactly the opposite: I want to hate it, but the fanboy joy it gave me just won’t allow it.
I know the series technically follows a cartoon, but the dialogue was hardly ever this bad. The in-fight exposition by Jeremy Barlow here is truly groan worthy. Couple that with the fact that the big show down that should have happened did not, and you should have a pretty lackluster issue.
On the other hand, the art by Juan Frigiri is great and the story actually seems to be going somewhere. I loved the Clone Wars episodes that led up to Maul fighting Sidious, but never understood why he was kept alive (aside from the Star Wars team not wanting to kill off such a great character again). Barlow has managed to make that decision actually seem reasonable.
At the end of the day, it all adds up to make it worth checking out issue #2…but seriously, if Maul and Grievous ever meet again, let’s hope their battle is as good as it should be.