Writer: Peter David
Art: Javier Pina, Jesus Aburtov, VC’s Travis Lanham, Jason Keith, and Dale Keown
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: January 20th, 2021
Bruce Banner is now neither man nor Hulk. He’s something more… he’s now known only as THE MAESTRO! After eradicating Dystopia’s ancient ruler HERCULES, the MAESTRO fixes his gaze on the future of the entire planet. It’s time what remains of the human race discern their one true deity! But the MAESTRO isn’t the only immortal being alive (wink wink hint hint). And, if he’d like his rule to extend across the world, the MAESTRO will have to contend against some of the most powerful beings that remain and push is Post Apocalyptic Existence (PAX) across the globe. Let’s smash into MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX by Peter David and discover the next phase in the Hulk’s plan for world domination, as well as who’s left that will stand in his way.
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My writer of the year for 2020 continues in what quietly pushed him back into the limelight with a continuation of his most recent series MAESTRO. To fans interested in diving into MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX, I highly recommend grabbing back issues or trades of his most recent MAESTRO series before taking a deep plunge into this issue. People, characters, perceptions, and plot points will be much more clear with the first series under your belt. Individuals from the first series reappear and David doesn’t skip a beat! David does a very good job of establishing a great starting point for new readers within this issue. Nevertheless, the overall premise of the story makes more sense if you read MAESTRO first. Plus, it’s rock solid and so worth your money and time.
As for MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX, this issue and series are made for INCREDIBLE HULK fans. Now, I’m not going to spoil who makes a guest appearance. However, I will give a hint that many longtime fans will understand. It was Peter David that first introduced this “entity”. And, it was a staple in HULK comics for almost 5 years. Additionally, this “introduction” isn’t in the current Marvel Landscape and fits the supposition of the series perfectly. It’s a Peter David creation that would certainly survive a nuclear destruction adding so many layers to his original FUTURE IMPERFECT story all these years later.
Furthermore, this reviewer loves how unique this issue is as to how the different factions of individuals crusade against the MAESTRO. Many would just assume that Banner could easily storm any environment and easily put an end to any pocket of power and insurrection he deemed fit, which is technically true. Still, David finds crafty ways for these resistance areas to fight against the Green Goliath making the story so much more interesting and engaging without losing its true focus. Moreover, David makes the issue captivating while using characters like Machine Man that aren’t hot and heavy in the current 616. Furthermore, fans will love this Machine Man so much more than Slott’s take in IRON MAN 2020.
This premise continues to be a hit. Is it because it has more freedom as an “Elseworld” story? Maybe. MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX certainly has the flexibility to live outside any constraints happening in the current Marvel Landscape. However, it’s also successful because David is thoroughly developing his old FUTURE IMPERFECT story in an entertaining way that’s cluttered with action, twist, turns, and meaningful characters to longtime Hulk fans. David continues to be making strides with series like SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN and MAESTRO that let him use whatever toys he wants from the toy box to create passionate and authentic stories that remind long time readers of the past while ushering us into the future of comics. If you’d like more glowing praise of Peter David, check out my BEST OF MARVEL COMICS 2020 article HERE for more insight as well as great stories and artists to keep an eye on. As for this series, it’s going to be a smash hit. Add it to your pull, let me know what you think, and God bless!
If you’re interested in getting your hands on MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX #1, click HERE to get a copy today! Additionally, if you’ve been really digging MAESTRO, click HERE to get your hands on related trades, volumes, and issues. Furthermore, if the HULK is your all-time favorite behemoth, click HERE to snag some of the very best issues and trades from the jolly jade giant. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.