Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Luke Ross
Published by: Marvel Comics
Chronology Placement: Set a few years after “The Phantom Menace”
Regal, well-spoken and almost reasonable, Count Dooku is a far cry from any of the other villainous Sith we see in the Star Wars universe. In his appearances, both live-action and animated, Dooku has been seen as the calm facilitator of Palpatine’s will – implementing shady deals with clone factories, criminal organisations and Separatist allies to engineer both sides of the Clone Wars conflict. There is almost an air of regret when Dooku is forced to come into physical contact with his former Jedi comrades – unlike Darth Maul who actively sought out Jedi to test his skills upon – which highlights the wisdom and balanced aspects of his character. Clearly a stopgap until Anakin is ready to stand alongside Palpatine as Darth Vader, Dooku comes across as out of his depth – another misguided Jedi corrupted by Palpatine’s machinations.
Jody Houser’s script captures these elements of Dooku’s personality well, putting the former Jedi in a situation where he has to maintain his cover as a lapsed Master to avoid revealing his Sith connection. Dooku’s charm and amiability feature prominently in this issue, yet he reminds readers of his true allegiances before the story’s end. The art from Luke Ross is spectacular, bringing the lava-soaked factories of Sullust to life so effectively that I could smell the sulphur rising from the pages. He also manages to evoke that sense of majesty about Dooku – something which Christopher Lee effortlessly brought to the role. It is interesting to see some of the parallel’s between Dooku’s story, and the events of “Darth Maul” storyline – both of which involved the titular antagonists attempting to conceal their involvement with the Sith with a sense of grim fatalism overshadowing the narrative. A great read, and the perfect vignette to explore one of the more interesting Sith Lords to ever grasp a red lightsaber.
Score – ★★★ ½
Star Wars: Age of Republic – “Count Dooku” is available in a digital format from Comixology and Amazon, or collected in the trade paperback, “Star Wars: Age of Republic – Villains“, which is also available from Comixology and Amazon.