Darth Maul: Death Sentence #3
Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Bruno Redondo
Colors By: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering By: Michael Heisler
Cover Art By: Dave Dorman
*Spoilers to follow*
When we first saw Darth Maul in “The Phantom Menace,” I don’t think anyone ever thought we would later see him become a liberator of an enslaved species. But in the third issue of “Darth Maul: Death Sentence,” that is exactly what we do see, and it made for a great comic!
The issue opens up with Maul training his new army, which are the planets natives the Moorjhoni, who still believe he will help them take back their home from Ja’Boag before the “Day of Three Suns” burns up the planet. Right off the bat, I loved how writer Tom Taylor wrote this training sequence, as he perfectly showed that Maul’s training methods are that of a Sith lord, while at the same time, not causing too much concern amongst those he training, as he still plays the part of liberator convincingly to the Moorjhoni. They just believe he is pushing them to their limit so they can be assured of victory in taking back their homeland, but all Maul really cares about is rescuing his brother, and killing Ja’Boag.
The things we see Maul do to some of these people, in order to get them to fight the way that he wants them to, are exactly things you would expect a Sith Lord to do, and it made for some great moments in the comic. One moment in particular that is a great example of this, is how Maul secretly caused the death of the village elder, and used his death to inspire the other Moorjhoni to kill their enemies, as some were having doubts about taking another life. But while Maul was certainly doing things that caused physical harm to the Moorjhoni in their training, it was the words he was using to inspire them that really showed his true Sith nature. It really reminded me of how Palpatine would speak to Anakin, and corrupt him by telling him what he would want to hear, but it was all just to deceive him for Palpatine’s own personal gain. This is exactly what Maul was doing to these people, and it kind of made you feel bad for the Moorjhoni, because all they want is to take back their homeland with Maul as their leader, but as you read through the issue, Maul has no plans on having these people survive the coming battle.
As Maul and the Moorjhoni are about to make their attack on Ja’Boag, the Jedi who battled Maul and Opress in the previous issue have made contact with the Jedi council to update them on the situation, and the council then decides to send Obi Wan and a battalion of Clone Troopers to the planet to assist the Jedi there, as well as to get the Moorjhoni to safety before the “Day of Three Suns.” While I really enjoyed seeing Maul’s training methods in the beginning of the issue, the ending sequence was the real highlight of issue #3 for me. It raised the stakes of the story much higher from where it began in issue #1, and it just made for a great cliffhanger ending.
We see in the finale of issue #3 that Maul and the Moorjhoni have begun their assault on Ja’Boag and his soldiers, and thanks to Maul’s training, are winning the battle. But what Maul and the Moorjhoni didn’t expect, was for Obi Wan and the Clones to show up in the middle of their battle. The Moorjhoni don’t attack Obi Wan and his troops right away, as Obi Wan tries to resolve the matter peacefully, but Maul tells them more lies and deceit, and decides to take matters into his own hands to make the Moorjhoni fight against Obi Wan and his troops. Obi Wan tells his troops to hold their fire, but Maul takes a spear and throws it directly into a Clone Troopers helmet, causing the rest of the Clones to open fire on the Moorjhoni without Obi Wan’s approval, and becomes the perfect distraction that Maul needs to infiltrate Ja’Boag’s base and rescue his brother. Being a big fan of the Clones, I hated seeing a Clone get a spear thrown right into his face, but I loved how the rest of troopers immediately began to open fire without an order from Obi Wan, showing they’re not just going to stand there and do nothing as one of their brothers is killed in cold blood. I also loved that this was how this issue concluded, as the last page shows a barrage of blaster fire being shot by the Clones onto the Moorjhoni, as well as Darth Maul entering Ja’Boag’s base just as the “Day of Three Suns”is about to take place on the planet. I thought it was just a great cliffhanger ending to the issue, to the point where I cant wait to see how this story wraps up for all these characters.
“Darth Maul: Death Sentence” continues to get better and better with every issue, and issue #3 raised the stakes even higher with a battle between the Republic and the Moorjhoni, where the latter believes they are fighting for their homeland, but are actually just being used as pawns for a Sith Lord. The only real complaint I have with this issue, was with how Obi Wan was drawn. Instead of him looking like he does in “The Clone Wars” T.V. series with his short hair, he instead looks like he just came out of “Attack of the Clones,” with his hair being long like it was in Episode II. It’s a small complaint, but one that I found to be a little distracting every time Obi Wan appeared in the comic. But even with that small complaint, it does not take away from what was a great and exciting issue, where the ending sets up whats sure to be an epic conclusion to this great series in issue #4.