The cover: Darth Sidious has arrived on the scene and is sending Force lightning into Darth Maul and, the apparently reanimated form of, Mother Talzin. Chris Scalf has created a nice image with some really beautiful colors for a fairly intense scene. The lightning is a real scene stealer, with the whites, yellows, and purples looking very sweet. Maul’s double bladed lightsaber is a little too short for me, and I really wanted to see Talzin dominate more of the cover, since she’s the reason for this mini-series. I do like Sidious being done in profile like this. I really don’t think his face should be revealed until confronted by the three Jedi in Revenge of the Sith. A good closing image for this series. Overall grade: A-
The story: Maul and his Mandos have captured Count Dooku, but two of his allies, the Pykes and the Black Sun, are not thrilled with their loses. The once split Sith apprentice placates them with credits. Soon they arrive on Dathomir where preparations are being made for Dooku and a procedure. Within a cavern is an ancient temple that was the heart of Talzin’s power and her spirit manifests before the Count, with things going badly for him. The scripter on this issue is Jeremy Barlow and things are wrapped up very quickly. The cover reveals who eventually joins this party, but there is also another player whom I was very happy to see join in. There’s a device employed on Page 5 that I don’t remember ever being in any Star Wars story, and would be more at home in a Star Trek tale. It’s used quickly, but it was odd to see included. Page 10 ends with a truly great twist that doesn’t last long enough. Page 14 was unsurprising, though true to each individual’s character. I was a little disappointed with the tiny dialogue on 18 simply because this is typical of a Clone Wars story: certain characters escape to battle on a later day because of the necessity to follow the continuity of the films. I was hoping for a grand exit for this character, as Dark Horse is finishing out its run on Star Wars, but it was not meant to be. Not a fantastic ending, but a decent one with several fun moments. Overall grade: B
The art: Juan Frigeri provides this issue’s pencils and Mauro Vargas provides the inks. The art is satisfactory. Maul, Dooku, and Sidious look the best in this issue. Frigeri and Vargas really know how to make Maul snarl well, with 10 having an exceptionally well done close-up. The entrance of a character on Page 13 is also really well done. The other characters, such as Maul’s mando attaché is too cartoony, more so than one would expect from the Clone Wars. I wasn’t thrilled with the action sequences. I would have rather had more pages devoted to these sequences as they were too quick and lose a lot of their impact in the process. The large panel on 20 is solid and was the right amount of payoff for this storyline. This issue is like the art: decent, not fantastic. Overall grade: B-
The colors: Excellent work by Wes Dzioba on this issue. The characters communicating via hologram look good in blue and Dathomir’s exteriors look great with rosy reds that match the skin of the majority of males. When Talzin’s spirit is released Dzioba uses a perfectly eerie green that’s reminiscent of the colors used on the television series whenever Sith witches were around. When lightsabers and lightning get used the colors pop just as you’d want them to. Dzioba is hitting all his marks. Overall grade: A
The letters: Communications dialogue, regular dialogue, and several key sounds are created by Michael Heisler. The sounds are especially sweet on Pages 11 – 20. I was so happy to get some sounds during these sequences on this penultimate Dark Horse issue. Overall grade: A
The final line: Closes out like a typical episode of the series with fun moments but key characters ready to battle again. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.