The Sith Apprentice Finally Gets What He Wants In Marvel's Darth Maul #4 - Star Wars News Net | Star Wars News Net
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The Sith Apprentice Finally Gets What He Wants In Marvel’s Darth Maul #4

marvelmaul4- cover

The Sith will never be accused of being impatient. They waited a millennia before Darth Sidious set his masterplan for revenge against the Jedi in motion. However, we have learned over the course of this comic series that Darth Maul has been itching to try out his double-bladed lightsaber against a worthy opponent, despite his master’s stern order of discretion. Looks like Life Day came early for Lord Maul. SPOILERS AHEAD….

 

 

marvelmaul4- crash landing

 

Maul’s thirst for a worthy opponent seems to have landed him in a very precarious spot, especially since his master wants the Sith to keep a low profile. Just as soon as Maul and his team of bounty hunters sprung Padawan Eldra Kaitis from the auction under Xev Xrexus, they were shot down over the desolate Moon of Drazkel. I have to say my response to this series so far has been tepid. I didn’t by any means think it was bad, just not hooked. The setup to this scenario of Maul and company stranded on a barren planet really perked my interest.

 

marvelmaul4- hunt is on

 

It’s not enough to leave a Sith Lord, the galaxy’s best bounty hunters, and a Padawn learner stranded, you better sic the hounds on them as well. Xev Xrexus is making lemonade out of the predicament of losing out on her captive Padawan. Instead of taking the time and resources to reclaim her prisoner and get retribution, she’ll charge the would-be buyers of her lost auction to take care of the situation. By appealing to their pride and desire to posses a Padawan, Xev Xrexus gets to line her coffers while emptying out theirs. I was pretty excited to see the scum that showed up for her auction unleashed, introducing a very dangerous and chaotic element to this already intense predicament Darth Maul ended up in.

 

marvelmaul4- say my name

 

As Maul and the bounty hunters regroup, they realize their crash may have been a contingency of Xreus’ all along. The hunters are on their way, and their prey agree that splitting up is the best way to defend themselves against the horde. Just before they break away, Maul informs Eldra that her death is inevitable, and has been since she began her training. Every time he tries to intimidate her he just makes himself seem more desperate to rush to the fight. Eldra seems to sense it and does not seem nervous or fearful of the Sith. The Padawan seems very much in control of herself.

 

marvelmaul4- no escape part 2

 

The hunters are not messing around and they quickly arrive on the moon to start their search for the Padawan. The grittiness of Luke Ross’ art really suits the tone of this series. It feels like everything is about to be torn apart throughout this issue, as well as the preceding ones. I like the little details of each group of hunters. I wasn’t crazy about Ross’ art at first, but it’s really grown on me.

 

marvelmaul4- mission statement

 

Talk about a one-track mind. Maul has a moment of clarity, looking within himself, and seeing that it is vengeance that pushes him forward. Every breath of air brings serves to bring him to his destiny of destroying the Jedi Order. This is a much different Maul than the one we saw in The Phantom MenaceClone Wars, and Rebels. Each of those iterations of the character exists in this raw form, as if they were just waiting to get out at each turn Maul’s life took. Here we get a look at why Maul was so damaged after The Phantom Menace:  vengeance was his will to live, his only battle to fight. Once his purpose as a Sith, fighting some sort of crusade against the Jedi, was taken from him, Maul broke. We can see that house of cards inside his soul being built here.

 

marvelmaul4- aurra shoots

 

Eventually the prize seeking hunters stumble upon the two parties. Maul hands Eldra back her lightsaber and the two of them dispatch the cluster of hunters that descend upon them. As each hunter is taken down, Maul spends more time sizing Eldra up, deciding eventually that she is a worthy opponent. Aurra Sing and Cad Bane pick their hunters off quickly. I’m very happy to see these two doing what they do best. If there’s a silver lining in Marvel backtracking their storytelling to Prequel-era timelines, it’s folks like these that show up.

 

marvelmaul4- no fear

 

Maul can feel Eldra’s strength. She proposes that they work together instead of fighting. When Maul rejects the proposal, she taunts him saying that she only proposed it to give him one last chance. They have reached the end of whatever strange team they made, and Darth Maul is about to get his wish. It will be his first test, and I think we are about to Eldra’s last lightsaber fight.

 

 

Solid issue in a series that is definitely picking up steam. Darth Maul touches on a character that has been shown to fans as an incredibly complicated one. It will be interesting to see the repercussions from Eldra’s anticipated death. I really like the dynamic writer Cullen Bunn created between Eldra and Maul. I’d like to know more of her story, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed we will get a few frames in the fifth, and final, issue. If you are a Maul fan, this series is essential for you. The first issue might not grab you, but once you get to this issue, you’ll not worry whether or not your money was well spent. I imagine the fifth issue will round out this intriguing story about a moment in the life of an iconic Star Wars character.

 

 

 

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. Rey don’t need no Lo.

 

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