michael heisler

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Look at this. Look at how badly he wants to stay and help her …

(And look at her, diverting that last bit of her power away from that force field she’s generating to throw Maul to safety, even if it means leaving herself open to Grievous’s attack)

(STAR WARS: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #4, written by Jeremy Barlow, penciled by Juan Frigeri, inked by Mauro Vargas, colored by Wes Dzioba, and lettered by Michael Heisler)

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New Tomb Raider Comic Launches Today!

Ready for an another adventure with Lara Croft, unfolding after the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider? Today marks the beginning of an all new series of Tomb Raider comics authored by 2015 Eisner Award winner, Mariko Tamaki. 

This first issue, previewed above, features 32 pages of full color and line art by Phillip Sevy, colors by Michael Atiyeh, lettering by Michael Heisler, and cover art by Agustin Alessio. 

Here’s the scoop behind Lara’s new journey:

Lara Croft is pursuing a lost truth about the world that just might unlock the secret to defeating death! She becomes entangled in a search for a rare mushroom said to grant immortality and a lethal new enemy that just won’t die!

Press previews have already surfaced with high praises:

“This first issue boasts the classic action that makes Lara Croft fun, and it’s beautifully packaged with fantastic and energetic art. “
- Comicosity 

“The Tomb Raider books from Dark Horse Comics have been firing on all cylinders lately. This brand new volume is the latest in a series of greats “
- Nerdist 

Pick up your copy of Tomb Raider #1 at your local comic book retailer today!

This is probably my single favorite line of Maul’s dialogue in all of “Son of Dathomir” – what’s happening in this panel is he’s taken Count Dooku and General Grievous hostage and is trying to see what Darth Sidious will concede in exchange for their lives; Sidious has said he won’t give anything, and that Maul can do whatever he likes with them, their lives are forfeit.

Maul’s response to that is pictured above: “So be it, since new apprentices are apparently so easy to find …”

There’s so much bitterness behind those words. What this exchange is, what Maul hopes for it to be, is a reckoning for everything he lost in Sidious’s service. Everything he lost, and everything Talzin lost.

But when he finds he has no hold over Sidious, that Sidious can wash his hands of these two very high-level hostages he’s taken (Count Dooku being, of course, the Sith apprentice Sidious took on to replace Maul), his tone changes somewhat, and all this bitterness comes pouring out. My reading of this tonal shift is that Sidious’s abandonment of Dooku brought all of Maul’s feelings about his own abandonment by Sidious into the foreground of his consciousness, and that with this line he gives vent to them, tries to cut at Sidious with his words while in a state of emotional free-fall himself.

Unfortunately …

  • Irony #1: Sidious doesn’t give a shit, Maul’s words have no effect on him, and Maul probably knows that, and 
  • Irony #2: It was probably Sidious who taught him this tactic in the first place (using one’s pain to fuel one’s aggression, I mean)

Maul wants so badly to be Sidious’s Nemesis, to be the instrument through which all of Sidious’s past deceptions, cruelties and betrayals bring about his undoing. But he can’t – he’s not powerful enough. 

And to me this is almost unbearably tragic because the whole promise of the Dark Side is that it will let you turn your pain into a powerful weapon to use against the people who hurt you. Maul has done this, has poured his entire being into his obsession with revenge, but the transubstantiation of suffering into power never happens for him.

What happened to this post? I started out wanting to write a post appreciating Maul’s sarcasm in “Son of Dathomir,” but this is what I end up with. 

(Panel cropped from STAR WARS: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3. Words by Jeremy Barlow, pencils by Juan Frigeri, inks by Mauro Vargas, colors by Wes Dzioba, and lettering by Michael Heisler)