Review – Star Wars – Darth Maul: Death Sentence #2 of 4

Script: Tom Taylor
Art: Bruno Redondo
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Dave Dorman
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Ja’Boag places a bounty on Savage Opress and Darth Maul as they hide in the darkness, the result was rougher than he could have anticipated as the hunters took a heavy beating and Darth Maul decided to take the fight directly to the mining company owner. The reasoning behind Ja’Boag’s decision is still in the air but it’s clear he didn’t anticipate the mass destruction that both of these bring into his mine.

Issue 2 takes off with the Jedi arriving just in time to save him from a toasty funeral, the mine has been damaged extensively and Darth Maul and Savage Opress are just getting started on the small army that Ja’Boag attempted to recruit to save him. To say things get ugly is an understatement, fire and fury pour while locals watch from a distance to see retribution striking down at Ja’Boag’s greed.

Back inside, It doesn’t take long for the Jedi to jump into the fray as soldiers start turning into voodoo dolls and losing heads. Honestly, if you thought Star Wars couldn’t get violent, you really need to check these issues out as Darth Maul takes the shock value to the next level with his rage streak. The violence breaks when things get tense and we see a new layer of development begin within the story as the locals come into the picture and expand upon the importance of the Suns and this planet.

With that we have to wait until issue 3 to find out what twist will come next. The thing I tend to hate about these stories is the shortness, I understand they’re under a crunch but we’re 50% done with this story arc and it’s frankly turning into something magical, the Jedi just arrived on the scene and the first confrontation  wrapped and here we are with only 2 issues for it all to close up. Taylor and Redondo continue to nail the movement of the story although I do have to commend Redondo for making some of those fatal attacks so subtle in the pace of each panel. Really, Savage and Maul are brutal people but I’m looking forward to how this continues to develop.

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Dark Matter #2 – Rebirth Part 2 of 4

Writer: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Artist: Garry Brown
Colorist: Ryan Hill
Cover Artist: Garry Brown
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Garry Brown Cover

Stasis has not been kind to our crew in Dark Matter, awakened into turmoil and forced to find their instinctive knowledge or face death the crew raced into action. Issue 2 continues the escape from their mysterious attacker and plans of survival after being confronted with this blank slate. The issue brings a very rough ride for the crew, losing gravity at one point and their comfort as they confront a new world after a high-speed burst.

The issue rushes through in the same speedy pace as issue 1, the chase is on as they strive to escape attackers and find their own histories through the wiped logs of the ship. The art of the pages keeps urgency and the same high contrast styling and pauses as needed when even the crew are caught off guard in new revelations about their erased objectives. If you can’t hold on much longer for spoilers click below.

Show Issue 2 Spoilers »

Soooo you can’t wait for the issue to know what’s really going down?

The crew has managed to evade the attackers, hitting evasive maneuvers and blasting off to mysterious coordinates recovered from the system. In the process of this they learn the destination was their original assignment but have no further details. When arriving to the surface they’re confronted with the locals, a survivalist bunch ready to take on all comers especially as they’re threatened by corporate interests. The great debate strikes the crew to support these crews or not until a mysterious finding shakes their new lives.

That’s all, and I left out a ton of goodies too!

There’s a certain cinematic or scripted drama to Dark Matter, it moves quickly and honestly feels like a blip in a time as you wait for more. I honestly hope this story can wrap up all the drama before this series is up, it has so much promise and yet it simply teases readers with little bits here and there in each issue. We’ve gone from near destruction in stasis to escape from an unknown enemy to a planet of survivalist  humans and now to the truth about all of the team… well almost all of them.

The art is crisp and clean, it emphasizes speed, stress, awakening without a hurdle, the speed of the strokes translates the urgency or situation with every line, the dialog personalised each character and brought them into their own in this issue. Showing that while they were a team, they’re very different and have their own agendas lingering underneath their amnesia filled awakenings. Anyone that felt hooked by issue 1 will feel the rush return with this installment, the tensions are high and the mysteries just keep getting worse. Who are they, what are they up to, what will they do with this clean slate on their plate, who set them up and who is behind this new pursuit? They’re working on all these questions and it just gets better and better.

If you desperately need a teaser check out Dark Horse Comics for the teaser pages to hold you for now. Alternatively, secure your copy from TFAW before it releases.

Release Date: February 8th, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆