Disney/Lucasfilm do seem intent on completely fleshing out Darth Maul’s history. Through the Clone Wars and Rebels TV shows we’ve seen a lot of what Sidious’s pupil experienced post bisection. We might even see a rematch!
But what of Maul before The Phantom Menace? With Darth Maul #1, that’s being covered too! I’m a bit torn on the whole thing to be honest. Much like Boba Fett in the Original Trilogy, the general feeling was that there wasn’t enough Maul and that he was taken out before he could do more. Fett may have got some cool parts in other stories but my abiding memory of more Fett is an annoying kid shouting “GET HIM DAD. FIRE!” Ugh.
How does Maul fare? Based on #1 I’d say it’s a mixed bag.
I’ve got one overall problem with the story and it’s that Maul himself just comes across as a squinny. For people who live outside of my home town, a squinny is someone who moans or whines. Maul is a squinny and he needs to stop squinnying. When the story is told from his perspective with near constant narration this becomes a pretty big stumbling point. Rather than want to find out what he’s going to do next I find it all quite pointless. We know he won’t encounter a Jedi until he’s on Naboo. We also know it doesn’t go well. So his pining for Jedi fisticuffs is doomed. Knowing the future doesn’t help this story at all, unless what we’re after is a sense of foreboding for a villain.
The artwork is much better. Maul looks suitably stern and mysterious whilst we get a nice moment with a creature we meet a long time later in The Force Awakens. It’s decent if not mind-blowing work that accurately depicts the world and Maul. The covers however are awesome as they depict different versions of Maul from different mediums.
Will I buy the next issue? Probably not. I was excited to give Darth Maul #1 a try but it hasn’t done anything really grab my attention. I don’t know anything I didn’t already know. Apart from him being a squinny.