Star Wars: Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir #2. Jeremy Barlow (writer), Juan Frigeri (artist), Mauro Vargas (inker), Wes Dzioba (colorist), Chris Scalf (cover artist). June 18, 2014. 40 pages.
Having escaped with his life, Darth Maul’s story continues after his defeat on Zanbar. He contacts Mother Talzin and she appears to him to provide guidance. The powerful witch is fully aware that Darth Sidious is attempting to lure her out and destroy her once and for all. Adhering to Talzin’s instructions and sending her own reinforcements, Maul and his Shadow Collective devise a plan to capture Count Dooku and General Grievous. Successfully turning the table on Darth Sidious, Maul lures the two into a trap, trusting that it will force his previous master into the fight.
The second issue reintroduces one of the most powerful characters in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Mother Talzin. Her appearance puts into question a particular detail originally expressed in the animated series. In the comic, Maul tells her, “I have done as you wished. The power I amassed lured your enemy, Sidious. He captured me, but I escaped his grasp.” The series, however, portrayed Maul as establishing and amassing his own power. There was no implication that Mother Talzin was behind the events that led up to Maul taking over Mandalore. She never appeared to him or to Savage Opress about attracting Sidious’ attention for her own benefit. As much as I am excited that this particular arc exists in comic book form, I can’t help but imagine what subtle details were lost in adapting a script into a 40-page comic. In this particular instance, there is an added detail that evokes confusion given what transpired in the series.
In season five, Darth Maul was done serving others, but in the comic, he obeyed Mother Talzin without hesitation or questioning. Perhaps the interaction could be attributed to the fact that Talzin revived him (or gave “birth” to him in the sense that she gave him a new life) and he feels that connection. I believe the best way to describe it is that they have an understanding between each other–an understanding that trickles down to the Nightbrothers sent to aid Maul in his attempt to capture the Separatist leaders. Though, I wish we could have seen more interactions between Maul and the brothers, who instantly reminded me of Savage.
As for other characters currently present in the comic, I was surprised and intrigued to see both Rook Kast and Gar Saxon with their helmets off, but disappointed by the lack of facial details and close-ups. I could only imagine how spectacular both Mandalorians would have looked on the screen (cosplayers would have started production on the armor by the time the episode would have ended). It is with great hope that we get to see more of Kast, since she shares the same surname as Jodo Kast, a character from the Expanded Universe (now called Star Wars Legends). Having mentioned seeing characters on screen, another scene that was executed well in the comic, but would have been doubly amazing if animated, was the fight between Count Dooku and the Nightbrothers. We were awed by the fight between Dooku, Obi-Wan Kebobi, and Anakin Skywalker in the sixth season, so this particular encounter in the comic could have been more captivating in animated form.
Overall, the second issue carried the story through instead of letting the events from the first issue fall flat. I look forward to how Sidious will react and handle the situation. Will he and Mother Talzin have an ultimate face off? One can only hope. The third issue of the four-part mini-series will be released on July 16, 2014.