Script: Jeremy Barlow
Pencils: Juan Frigeri
Inks: Mauro Vargas
Colors: Wes Dzioba
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Chris Scalf
Darth Maul has a won a major victory after turning the tides and capturing Count Dooku and General Grievous. He now holds them both hostage in an effort to exact revenge for himself and Mother Talzin. Has Darth Maul managed to out maneuver his old master Darth Sidious, and the evil Count Dooku?
The Jedi finally make their first appearances in this chapter of Darth Maul’s return, struggling to piece together what has happened. In the wake of the battle, Darth Maul and his Shadow Collective have scrubbed the battlefield clean of clues. The Jedi clearly know that something major has happened however, because they have sent their A team to go investigate, Mace Windu, Aayla Secura, Obi-wan Kenobi and Master Tiplee. The Jedi could be accused of underestimating many threats in the Clone Wars and prequel era, so it’s refreshing to see them take this one seriously. The addition of Tiplee is a nice effort to make her more than just a one and done character.
Sidious may hate the Jedi, but he’s never one to throw away something useful to him, so of course he let’s the Jedi know what rock Maul is literally hiding under.
Darth Maul shows himself to be blinded by his arrogance and need for vengeance against Sidious. He makes such an obvious mistake by attempting to ransom Dooku and Grievous, it seems he has forgotten that Sidious has the potential to call in two armies down upon Maul’s horned head. It’s such a rookie mistake to make, of course it all could be part of his plan. It’s so hard to tell with these Sith and their never ending labyrinths of plans, feints and counter moves.
Darth Maul’s return is amongst the darkest and most violent chapters of the Clone Wars era, and this issue is no different. I believe this may be the first time we see actual red blood in the Clone Wars as well. General Grievous gets one of his rare opportunities to be an actual viable threat as he makes his way through the battle. Everything culminates in a battle between the Jedi led forces of the Republic against Maul’s forces with Dooku and Grievous being wild cards in the mix, unsure of which direction they will go.
The great writing and art of the previous issues continues. The artists have done a great job keeping up when the bar was so set incredibly high with the level of animation on the show.
Advanced Review Copy (ARC) courtesy of Dark Horse. All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.