Comic Review – The Sith Lord is Sent On an Assassination Mission in “Star Wars: Darth Maul – Black, White & Red” #3

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

Darth Maul – Black, White & Red #3 was written by Erica Schultz (Daredevil) and illustrated by Leonard Kirk (Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet) with colorist Andres Mossa (Star Wars: Shattered Empire), and via that creative team we find the title character stalking the lower levels of Coruscant and wiping out some unidentified battle droids. Then he receives a holographic communication from his master Darth Sidious, who sends Maul to the Outer Rim moon of Dawk in order to assassinate a Devaronian gangster named Coir Cion (whose name I think sounds like the word “coercion” when said aloud, though I’m not sure if that’s intentional). Maul is accompanied by a DRK-1 Dark Eye probe droid similar to the one we see him with in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, though on this mission the droid is sent to watch over him, “not for protection, but confirmation that [Maul executes Palpatine’s] wishes.”

Then we’re introduced to Coir Cion, who is hanging out in a local cantina on Dawk telling stories about his exploits and bragging that he has enough dirt on a Republic senator to get him fully pardoned. So we begin to understand the reasoning for Sidious wanting Cion dead, but at that very moment one of his men rushes into the cantina alerting him to an incoming invader. So Coir orders his guards to bring him the interloper’s head, but we know that none of these grunts really stand a chance against Darth Maul, who of course mops the floor with them the second they show any resistance to his arrival. There are several wonderful action scenes in this issue, and Kirk does a terrific job with the fight choreography, while Mossa uses the limited color palette of this series to make the proceedings feel as kinetic and violent as possible. Maul mows down his opponents, even the one who surrenders to him, and makes his way into the cantina holding the poor Rodian’s head.

There’s a brief interlude on the upper levels of Coruscant with Senator Palpatine making it even clearer why he sent Maul on this mission, and then Schultz cuts back to Dawk and the Sith apprentice’s final confrontation with Coir Cion. Before his death, Cion spills the beans on how he discovered Palpatine was more than just an “honorable senator,” and after the dust settles we are left to wonder what’s in all this for Maul. It’s a question that goes unanswered here, but the writer knows that we, as Star Wars fans, are familiar with the character’s eventual path through The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, and we can see those fissures starting to form in his allegiance to Sidious here. I thought this installment told a very clear and entertaining story, but the real highlights for me were the knock-down, drag-out action sequences, rendered in glorious Black, White, & Red.

Darth Maul: Black, White & Red #3 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.