Sunday, August 23, 2015

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence

Darth Maul is one of those rare Star Wars characters that saw very little screen time but quickly became a fan favorite.  Darth Maul was introduced as the apprentice to Darth Sidious in The Phantom Menace and was ordered to pursuit Queen Amidala.  Later in the movie, he would catch up to the queen and her two Jedi escorts, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, on Naboo.  There he would kill Qui-Gon, only to be killed in turn by Obi-Wan.  Except he did not die... 13 years after we saw Darth Maul bisected and killed, he was resurrected in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series.  At the end of Season 4 in early 2012, we would learn that Darth Maul was not killed, but instead survived.

Unfortunately for Dark Horse Comics, Darth Maul's demise in the movie limited the number of comics they would publish with the character.  There was the 4-issue The Phantom Menace movie adaptation, a 4-issue limited series titled Darth Maul in 1999, a few appearances in the Star Wars Tales title one of which saw Maul square off with Darth Vader, and a story in Star Wars Visionaries.  It was until his return in 2012 that we saw another Darth Maul comic, the 4-issue limited series, Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence.

Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2012)
Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence #2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 2012)
Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence #3a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (September 2012)
Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (October 2012)
The Clone Wars animated series gave Darth Maul a background and a new pair of mechanical legs.  The other character that is the same species as Maul on the cover of the comics is Darth Maul's brother, Savage Opress.

Dark Horse Comics would publish one more Darth Maul mini-series in 2014, Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir.  Unlike the other comics published by Dark Horse, this last mini-series is part of the new Star Wars canon.

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