Star Wars / Darth Maul : 3 of 5

Even though I’ve pretty much ignored the huge amount of Star Wars comics that have been published in recent years, I couldn’t resist getting this graphic novel (which collects an original four-issue series) when I noticed it was available on PaperBack Swap! I’ve always thought Darth Maul was pretty cool, even though he’s far more menacing than most characters I get into, and like other fans I’ve always wanted more than his few awesome fights (and sparse lines) in The Phantom Menace. This story takes place just before Episode I while Darth Sidious is preparing to start the blockade that opens the movie, but first Darth Maul needs to take out a mafia-style crime organization called Black Sun, just in case they get in Sidious’ way. I enjoyed the moment when Sidious gives Maul the Sith Interceptor (I’ve always liked that ship), along with his speeder bike and probe droids that we’ve seen him use. Most of the book is filled with extended fight scenes, with all the hands and heads (as well as bodies being cut in half) that you would expect from Darth Maul! The artwork is exceptional (Maul really looks like Ray Park, who played him in the film), and I was impressed with the use of so many cool Star Wars species (I spotted lots of cantina aliens and even an Ugnaught). Unfortunately, this story reads rather quickly, and by the time it’s over I hadn’t learned anything new about Darth Maul. More insight into his character (vile as it may be!) would have been nice, and I recommend the interesting Star Wars Journals: Darth Maul as an example. But putting that complaint aside, this was still a fun way to get into some recent Star Wars comics, and I really enjoyed all the Sith action!