Comic Review – The Sith Lord Takes Out an Entire Colony in “Star Wars: Darth Maul – Black, White & Red” #2

Today saw the release of the second issue in Marvel Comics’ Star Wars: Darth Maul – Black, White & Red miniseries, and below are my brief recap and thoughts on this installment.

I’m really loving the approach Marvel Comics is taking with this Darth Maul – Black, White & Red miniseries, which differs from the format of last year’s Darth Vader version of the same concept. Each issue of Maul is its own story with new writers and artists, which allows for longer-form storytelling than the anthology (within each issue) approach. Darth Maul #2 introduces us to a group of ex-mercenaries called the Remainders, called that because they are the unlikely survivors of their extremely dangerous line of work, who have settled in an Outer Rim location called the Moonbender Colony and act as its security, legal system, and medical crew. That is, until the day the titular Dark Lord of the Sith shows up with the intent on eliminating everyone and claiming Moonbender Colony for himself and his master.

This issue is essentially one long action sequence, which definitely works in this context as writer Mark Russell (Fantastic Four: Life Story) and artist Carlos Nieto (Murderworld Wolverine) have Maul steadily work his way through the fortress tower that the Remainders have set up as the administrative center of the colony. But first he actually tries a faux-diplomatic approach, sending a counterfeit message from the Republic ordering them to abandon Moonbender. Once that fails, it falls on the Dathomirian Dark Lord to take out each and every member of the Remainders one-by-one, in a way that reminded me of “The Prisoner” episode of The Mandalorian, or the Alien movies that inspired it. Maul combines a frontal assault with stealth tactics, utilizing both brute force and his ability to lurk in the shadows in order to overcome his enemies’ strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses. This offers Russell and Nieto the opportunity to demonstrate their plotting and choreography skills in staging some pretty sweet action sequences throughout the story.

Like Maul himself, this issue is so taut and straightforward in its approach that it’s almost difficult to find a lot to say about it, despite its super-sized length. We do get narration from the doctor character that turns out to be a bit of sleight-of-hand near the end, for reasons I won’t spoil here, and the objectives that Darth Sidious has in assigning Maul to this task are also a bit of surprise when they are revealed in the final pages. But mostly it’s just really cool to watch Darth Maul fight his way through obstacle after obstacle, trap after trap, and Remainder after Remainder in order to achieve his goal. And the strict use of only the colors black, white, and red (as implied in the title of all these similar Marvel books) gives stark contrast to the colorful Star Wars universe we’re used to from other media. And as bleakly nihilistic as it feels for most of its narrative, Russell does ensure that Maul #2 ends on a note of hopefulness, which brings us back to the mission statement, established by George Lucas nearly 50 years ago, of A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Star Wars: Darth Maul – Black, White & Red #2 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.