Maul Takes on Rathtars in Marvel’s Star Wars: Darth Maul #1

Written by Cullen Bunn

Art by Luke Ross


Bred on hate, fear, and anger. Steeped in the ways of darkness…trained to kill. Darth Maul’s time as an apprentice to Darth Sidious has long been cloaked in shadows, but at last we will reveal his tale of revenge. His master tells him to embrace his anger, but to stay hidden and bide his time. Maul has waited long enough – his patience growing ever thinner. His moment to step into the light has finally come. Prepare for a tale of unbridled rage as Darth Maul readies one of his first encounters with his mortal enemy…with the Jedi.




Since his inauspicious beginning in The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul went on to become one of the best developed characters in the Star Wars galaxy. He is featured in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, comic tie-in Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir and Star Wars: Rebels and his story isn’t over yet, though the end might be on the horizon. Now, Maul is the star of the new Marvel mini-series set prior The Phantom Menace and Palpatine’s fated encounter with the young boy from Tatooine.



As the story opens we find Darth Maul on the planet Twon Kette hunting rathtars. As you can imagine, Maul is a deadly hunter, but more interesting than his hunting prowess is his inner monologue comparing himself to the beasts. Both rathtars and Maul are vicious and relentless, but unlike tentacled monsters, Maul hunts alone. And, unlike rathtars, Maul isn’t free.



What Maul really wants is to unleash his bloodlust and his hatred on the enemy he was trained to eventually face – the Jedi. But, his master, Darth Sidious, firmly holds his leash, so Maul resorts to stalking the Jedi, feeding on the anticipation.



Needless to say, Darth Sidious, the man whose name is synonymous with the long game, isn’t very happy with his apprentice and the possibility of Maul endangering his plans as he is depending on absolute secrecy. Sidious, though, has a mission for Maul that will both advance his plans and quench Maul’s bloodlust for a time. He needs to go to the Kellux system to protect a secret mining project run by their allies, the Trade Federation, from a group of pirates.


Maul easily deals with the pirates and in the process learns about a Jedi padawan captured by the criminal cartel. The padawan will soon be auctioned to the highest bidder and Maul comes up with the plan that would offer him the opportunity to match his skills with someone who matches his station on the opposite side – Jedi padawan against Sith apprentice.



Naturally, that has to remain a secret from Sidious, so Maul quickly ends the Trade Federation representatives he came to help in the first place.


It is hard to judge a mini-series based on a single issue as it is to judge a book by a single chapter. It is especially hard to judge this one. We know so much more about Maul now that it is hard to go back to a time when he was much less complicated character. He is a ball of hatred and bloodlust; he strains against and tests the limitations put on him by Sidious. And that is pretty much it. Don’t get me wrong. It is powerful being in Maul’s head, but it can hold your interest for only so long. The announcement for the mini-series promises that Maul’s journey won’t be that smooth and that, perhaps, he will experience the temptation – of the Light. But, with this being the first, the setup issue, all that is still in the future. Additionally, except a brief appearance by Sidious, all other characters are transient, mainly there to be killed by Maul. Hopefully, the young padawan will be a good counterpoint for Maul, because Maul, as he is in this time period, cannot hold the story on his shoulders alone.


The art by Luke Ross matches the raw nature of the character; I especially liked the way he uses shadows. The art is also complimented well by Nolan Woodward’s colors. Also, could this be the first in-canon depiction of a Bothan (not counting that one sketch done by Sabine)?



The issue also contains a short comic by Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire called Probe Droid Problem. Happening during the events of The Phantom Menace on Tatooine, it is a story of a friendship between one of Maul’s probe droids and a small droid he accidentally helps. It’s cute and funny and I like these little stories that are happening parallel to galaxy changing events.



All in all, the first issue of Darth Maul is solid, but nothing to write home about. That could all change in…





A Jedi Padawan has been captured by sinister forces…and Darth Maul is determined to find her?! This early tale of the galaxy’s deadliest Zabrak continues!



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Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

Jelena Bidin (LadyMusashi)

Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

34 thoughts on “Maul Takes on Rathtars in Marvel’s Star Wars: Darth Maul #1

  • February 1, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Rathtars were probably the dumbest thing in TFA, aside from Death Star 3.

    • February 2, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Not much different from sarlaccs.

      • February 2, 2017 at 8:08 am

        Sarlaccs on wheels lol. Probably the dianoga would also be an appropriate comparison. Yeah Idk why but rathtars in episode 7 and Bor gullet from rogue one both seemed more lovecraft and less Star Wars. Hope the creature designs in 8 feel more beast-like in the vein of rancors and wampas.

    • February 2, 2017 at 1:47 am

      You’re wrong. The rathtars were great.

    • February 2, 2017 at 8:12 am

      I agree. What annoyed me the most is the fact that they were cgi. I personally don’t have a problem with CGI but they kept on religiously saying “real practical effects” (over and over again) throughout the marketing campaign and then do that. Aditionally, I hate the design of them.

      The seen also didnt feel like Star Wars it felt like something out of Star Trek (not that thats a bad thing). It really felt like someone said “we need a action scene”.

      • February 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        Lucasfilm stating that they were going to revisit practical effects didn’t mean that they were going to completely abandon CGI.

      • February 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm

        They never said there would be no CGI.

        • February 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

          My annoyance comes from the fact that they kept mentioning using practical effects (clearly a dig at the prequels). As I stated I have no problem with using CGI (puppets may look physically there but often lack the microexpressions which cgi can produce). The only difference between the use of cgi in the prequels and that of these newer films is that CGI has improved significantly you can hardly tell it apart from reality now.

          • February 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

            You took it to mean a dig at the prequels, but many of the people working on this movie WORKED ON THE PREQUELS. Including the people who did the practical effects. It’s a slight that you are choosing to see.

      • February 2, 2017 at 8:10 pm

        Agreed. Poorly designed. Poorly implemented. Weakest scene in TFA. Would have been a nice breath catcher and build a bit more on the state of the galaxy and Han… the past etc.

        Oh well… it doesn’t ruin the movie. Just a silly side event.

      • February 3, 2017 at 1:48 am

        Would you rather they catch and train REAL Rathtars?

      • February 3, 2017 at 7:05 am

        I loved the Design, but they could have done a practical version, with a more ‘Alien’ style of shooting, where you don’t see it that much.

        But i will say.. I hated the Bor Gullet in Rogue One. saw it again today for the fifth time… I really hate that scene XD

  • February 2, 2017 at 12:17 am

    I loved this first issue. It reminded me on how Maul was depicted in the book Shadowhunter. That’s Maul at his best.

    • February 2, 2017 at 3:01 am

      It was basically a rip off of it.

  • February 2, 2017 at 1:08 am

    He’s a great character, but am I the only one who’s feeling a bit “Maul-ed out”?

    Would love some of the same kind of love given to Qui Gon, the other arguably great original prequel character.

    • February 2, 2017 at 1:38 am

      I want a General Grievous comic

      • February 2, 2017 at 1:55 am

        I’d like to see the canon explanation for Grievous’ cough.

      • February 2, 2017 at 8:07 am

        I hope they continue these “solo” 5-issue runs for alot of characters. I understand Disney wanting to sell chewbacca, han , leia and lando first but I hope this Darth Maul series is successful to show them there is interest in Prequel characters.

        A grievous story would be great to show him converting to a cyborg.
        I would also love a Ventress comics (something which focus to the flashbacks we see in the nightsster arc, from a padawan to joing in Dooku)
        I also think a Plo Koon comic focusing on his finding of Ahsoka would be great. I don’t know if they had planned to actually make that story for the clone wars but it sounded interesting.
        Finally I think an Ahsoka comic is bound to happen. There is something like 12 years between the end of her Novel and her appearance on Rebels. Or additionally they could follow her see what she did offscreen during Rebels season 2

        • February 2, 2017 at 9:41 am

          a Dooku comic would be cool 2

    • February 2, 2017 at 3:15 am

      I wouldn’t even call him a great character. He looks cool. That’s it.

      • February 2, 2017 at 3:21 am

        Not sure I agree with that given how the animated shows have fleshed him out (albeit I would concede that the initial interest in him was indeed fgor the reason you say).

        • February 2, 2017 at 3:24 am

          He hasn’t done anything except he wants revenge. He’s very one dementional.

          • February 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

            thats a lot of characters.

    • February 2, 2017 at 4:53 am

      I’m sort of starting to feel that way. Maul was cool enough in E1 despite his very limited role. I wasn’t too crazy about his appearing in Clone Wars, but once I watched those episodes and saw the direction they were taking him, he really started to grow on me. He’s hardly the flat character some seem to cast him as. But yeah, I’m starting to tire of him.

    • February 2, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      While I loved Maul’s brief existence in the PT (I mean he’s badass!) I was never really into the whole… surviving being cut in half after falling an incredible height. So right off the bat I was a little off put by it. Now he’s constantly around and I don’t find him all that interesting.

      The plus side is… if Maul can survive all that nonsense… it should be a cake walk for Fett to stroll right out of that Sarlacc 😛

      • February 3, 2017 at 1:39 am

        He lacks the Force.

    • February 3, 2017 at 3:30 am

      My thoughts exactly, and same goes for most of MARVEL lineup so far. Nothing to write home about for the exception of stellar Kanan. Sometimes the artwork is decent but I can’t imagine who’s coming up with these silly ideas. I just finished Han Solo books and the story left me blank faced.

  • February 2, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Well I was vocal about this being a bad idea from the start due to the fact that there really isn’t anything to do with the character. Maul is always angry and wangs Revenge or to kill. That’s it. There’s no reason to tell this story. Still 3 issues to go but I have no faith that you can do anything else with this character.

  • February 2, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Damn already blending things from the ST to the old. I love it!

  • February 2, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I was very impressed by this comic. Nice to see that the conflict between Palpatine and Maul occurred before the start of the Phantom Menace.

  • February 3, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I enjoyed it, and I actually got the 1-in-25 Variant 😉

    HOWEVER…. i have some bones to pick with Marvel.

    1. Why did they (just this month) stop giving digital copies with their issues!?! Instead, they now give you a few digital copies of some back-issues. I already had one of them too… Ugh… I will still get Darth Maul in single issues, but after that, im returning to TPBs ONLY.

    2. $5? I know it is the first issue, but it didn’t contain any extra pages, that lil droid thing doesn’t count…. at least they are returning to $3.99 for the remainder

    3. It built a solid base, but i got slightly annoyed with Maul’s repetitive inner-monologue and the overuse of the word ‘Bloodlust’ lol

    Eager to see the next issues. Especially since Cad Bane and Aurra Sing will be in it 🙂

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