Darth Maul 1 is the first issue of the canon comic book miniseries Star Wars: Darth Maul. The issue was written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Luke Ross, and published on February 1, 2017 by Marvel Comics. Darth Maul 1 is set prior to Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, and it also includes the comic story "Probe Droid Problem," by Jordie Bellaire and Chris Eliopoulos, which is set during the film.
Bred on hate, fear, and anger…steeped in the ways of darkness…and trained to kill. Darth Maul's time as apprentice to Darth Sidious has long been cloaked in shadows, but at last we will reveal his tale of revenge. From writer Cullen Bunn (DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, WOLVERINE) and artist Luke Ross (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, HERCULES) comes a tale of rage unleashed as Darth Maul prepares for his first encounter with the Jedi.
A Rathtar Hunt on Twon Ketee
On the toxic jungle planet of Twon Ketee, a group of hunters works to flush out prey for their client. They are suddenly ambushed by a rathtar which cuts a path of destruction through the group, brutally killing all of them. Watching from the trees is Darth Maul, who is seeking to test his combat skills against a worthy opponent. Maul engages the rathtar with a vibro-ax, noting that its relentlessly vicious and bloodthirsty nature is not unlike his own. After quickly dispatching it, he is attacked by other members of its pack but is able to kill them as well. However, for Maul the battle is but a fleeting challenge - he is barely able to demonstrate the true extent of his dark powers and his victory is ultimately hollow, his bloodlust unsated. He surveys the scene of the battle envying the rathtars their lack of obedience and freedom to cause destruction where they choose.
Meeting Sidious on Coruscant
Having returned to Coruscant, Maul observes the Jedi Khaat Qiyn and her padawan Bairdon Jace from a dark alleyway as they patrol the streets. He nurtures his hatred for them, reflecting on the suffering he has endured as part of his Sith training, all for the sake of ultimately killing Jedi. Qiyn and Jace sense his cold rage emanating from the shadows but when they move to investigate he has already disappeared, admitting to himself that now is not the time to move against them. Both the Jedi are unnerved by what they sensed, with Qiyn reminding her padawan to trust in the Force.
Maul then travels to the Works in order to meet his master, Darth Sidious. Sidious cautions Maul for getting so close to the Jedi, reminding him that he risks undoing all their planning and work by revealing himself. Maul argues that he wishes to fully prove himself, but his master brushes this aside, stating that his own plans are far more important and that Maul must do as he is told - if he disobeys these orders, Sidious will kill him. Sidious then tasks Maul with removing a group of pirates from the Kellux system, where they have been terrorising an unsanctioned Trade Federation mining operation in which Sidious has a vested interest.
The Mission to Kellux
Maul arrives in the Kellux system to discover a Trade Federation Lucrehulk-class Battleship under attack. Flying the Scimitar, he engages the pirate orb-wings and makes short work of them with proton torpedoes and mines. On board the battleship, the Trade Federation officials are surrounded by more pirates who threaten to jettison them into space. A corpse from one of the destroyed orb-wings hits one of the viewports, striking fear into the pirates before Maul's double-bladed lightsaber begins cutting through the blast doors. The pirates open fire on him as he enters but, as with the rathtars, they are no match for Maul who easily kills all of them. He muses that, while Sidious has been urging him to give into his hatred and kill pirates and beasts, Sidious has also been restraining him. Maul wishes to kill a Jedi.
The last pirate begins begging for his life. Mistaking Maul for a Jedi, he states that he has useful information; Xev Xrexus, Boss-Mistress of the Xrexus Cartel, has captured a Jedi padawan and is planning on auctioning her off. Maul asks where the auction will be taking place, but when the pirate reveals he does not know the Sith lord knocks him down with a kick. The leading Trade Federation official thanks Maul for saving them, however Maul merely states that it is a pity that the pirates killed everyone on board, before murdering the officials in cold blood. He departs the battleship having resolved to secretly go against his master's orders - he will seek out the auctioned padawan.
- UPC 759606083725; February 1, 2017; Marvel Comics
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