Age of Republic comic: Darth Maul: "Ash" by Jody Houser

"Age of Republic: Darth Maul: Ash" written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Luke Ross and Java Tartaglia
     A fine issue that could have done with some more explanation, but everything was there to allow the reader to figure things out on their own. Canon connections can be found in Maul referencing his first Jedi kill which was super cool. I quite liked this issue and thought it brought something new and unique to the table.
     Okay, weird start because the Kaitis cartel is mentioned and the first Jedi Maul ever killed was the Twi'lek Eldra Kaitis (found in the Darth Maul Marvel short-run series that came out awhile back and that takes place before this one-shot)...hmmm...and connection!! we find out that it's Maul who has taken on the mantle of the Kaitis cartel, naming his "group" after the Padawan he killed! Brilliant connection!
     Why do Maul's teeth have to look so stinking gross (pictured below)?? Yuck! Are they really rotten or is that just what nightbrother teeth look like? And later, during his vision, there's a few pictures of his teeth and they look normal...hmmm...
     So Maul concocts a mission under the auspices of the Kaitis cartel for a man named Zek Peiro who he feels the Force in. Since Maul can't hunt Jedi, he's taken to hunting others with the Force who can be found in the seedy lower levels of Coruscant. He admits to Sidious that his new version of the hunt still does not satisfy his bloodlust for Jedi. Maul is just a roiling pit of rage!
     We then arrive on Malachor (the planet from "Rebels" where Maul meets up with the Ghost crew)!!! And we see the Sith temple in all its glory as they land. Sidious asks Maul to breathe in the ashes of the fallen Sith so he can receive a vision to help him in his training. Sidious is concerned that Maul's focus is more on combat and rage than patience and actually completing the task they have set out to complete--annihilating the Jedi Order.
     So...the vision is odd and I don't understand what lessons he learns from it. I guess it's that the Jedi are so ubiquitous and so loved that the two Sith are going to have to fight the belief in the Jedi as well as the physical Jedi themselves. Therefore he realizes he must learn some patience and follow a plan to be able to accomplish the goal of truly snuffing out the Jedi for good. I really had to come to this analysis on my own because the issue itself doesn't quite lay it out so plainly...which is fine, but I would've appreciated some more specifics about what Maul's lesson actually was. And the issue ends quite abruptly with Maul acknowledging Sidious as his one and only master. I felt a bit short changed with the suddenness of it.
- pre-spice is known as "scarn"
     Overall, I did like this one more than the Qui-Gon one-shot. It did a good job of expanding on Darth Maul's history with Sidious and I'm always game for more Uncle Palpy "screen time". But so far these one-shots haven't gone into enough detail to fully explain what all is going on. Hopefully the next one will be a bit more in-depth and not gloss over some aspects. Obi-Wan Kenobi is next! I'm curious to see how his story fits into the timeline.


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