Twenty three years of Dark Horse’s run as purveyors of Star Wars comics has ended. All of the ongoing series concluded in August and all there’s left to do is put out the trade paperbacks before the license expires in December.
The only books I was reading was Brian Wood’s monthly and “Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.” (The others failed to get my interest.) Wood’s monthly—set between ANH and TESB–started off on a decent foot in January 2013. It wasn’t bad and it sold pretty well with nostalgic fanboys. But the art never got beyond just okay and Wood’s stories for the most part were all right, though I did like the short Darth Vader arc. I also enjoyed most of the covers. The low point for me was the ridiculous arc about Leia marrying some guy to bring his planet into the Alliance and score a base for the Rebels. The issue wasn’t Leia agreeing to an arranged marriage to help the Alliance. My problem was that it was going to be a big splashy royal wedding, which makes no sense for people trying to hide from the Empire. Plus there was the extra creep factor of Luke’s ragey jealousy. He was more ticked about it than Han was! Sure, Luke Lannister didn’t know Leia was his sister yet but WE know she is his sister. The last arc wasn’t too bad though. What’s strange is Marvel’s first big project is a monthly exactly like this one, just with different writers. Hmm.
“Son of Dathomir” on the other hand was awesome! No matter what you might think of Darth Maul’s resurrection from the dead on Clone Wars, this was one heck of a story. Based on a script written for the show but never aired (curse you, whoever canceled Clone Wars), Darth Maul, the rogue Mandalorians, and his new friends cause lots of trouble. Maul is captured and tortured, then he escapes. After a brief team-up, Maul ends up in a battle royale that involves every significant villain of the prequel trilogy but Jango Fett. This would have been one epic, ratings-grabbing episode had it aired on t.v.! It is revealed that Mother Talzin is Maul’s mother and she had sacrificed much of her own corporeal existence to bring him back to life. In order to fully restore herself she needed to take the life energy of another and Maul sets up Dooku to fit that bill. But you’ll be surprised at who puts a stop to those plans. No, it’s not Jar Jar though that would be extremely surprising. While it was odd to see Clone Wars characters depicted differently and while no one can draw Darth Maul the way Jan Duursema can, the art was really good. “Son of Dathomir” serves to remind you of how much creative strength was left in Clone Wars. If it was this exciting to read, it would have been even better as an animated show. What a shame.