Writer: Peter David
Art: Javier Pina Germán Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, VC’s Travis Lanham, Jason Keith, and Dale Keown
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: February 24th, 2021
After destroying a rival brigade, our new MAESTRO realized that his rule would still have opposition even within his people unless he stifled his people quickly and firmly. So, through a new movement called PAX, he intends to destroy the hopes and dreams of those left on the planet while also uniting the people that are left under his green thumb. Any that oppose this new world order, will be terminated. That said, the MAESTRO isn’t the only immortal left on the planet. The Pantheon recognizes a HULK too powerful to leave alive. Let’s smash into MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX #2 by Peter David to see if the Pantheon, along with DOCTOR DOOM, can stand a chance against the MAESTRO and his reign of tyranny.
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These MAESTRO issues are so incredibly strong. David is creating an entire Elseworld, Post-Apocalyptic Universe with the HULK as the villain. There is so much substance to the story with so many layers to sink your teeth into. Take this issue of MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX; David quickly uncovers DOCTOR DOOM’S reasoning for being in this timeline, as well as why and how the Pantheon are going to attempt to take down the MAESTRO. Plus, as much as this issue was cluttered with information and dialogue, it was still fast-paced, clever, informative and full of small little surprises.
MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX is the best of both worlds. Readers get a different HULK story than the IMMORTAL HULK ongoing while exploring some past Hulkified team-ups. Ironically, we had to jump to an alternate future to explore some past relationships with the HULK that have been missing from his ongoing for years. That said, I’m excited to see how clever the MAESTRO will be to stop DOOM. Sure, I could see him finding a way to stop the Pantheon… but DOCTOR DOOM… how will the MAESTRO do that? And that’s the point!! David recognized that very perspective in the creation of this storyline. If the focus was solely the Pantheon, it would be an easier solution. Enter DOOM! Thus, the Pantheon offers nostalgia while DOCTOR DOOM offers more of the threat. Plus, the backstory at the end of the issue involving the Pantheon simply compounds more layers expanding this Universe.
Javier Pina continues well in Dale Keown’s footsteps from the earlier MAESTRO title. Pina’s panel layouts offered more space for the word balloons and helped the issue flow extremely well. Ushering in larger-than-life movement between massive beings like HULK and AJax, Pina emphasized strategic locations throughout the issue to amplify the gargantuan size of these two brutes AND picked his punches throughout the menacing melees between the two behemoths. Some of the smaller panels were a bit less detailed. However, the linework was still thorough enough to distinguish the characters well while extenuating the important characteristics of the key players involved. Overall, Pina has been a solid choice as a partner for this MAESTRO tale.
Peter David is creating his own little world here. And can I tell you, the opportunities are unless? My wish is for more stories to shake out of these two MAESTRO series. Heck, how about a story focusing on the Pantheon before HULK arrives on the scene? Or, how about a tale focusing on the events leading up to the HULK’S initial capture? Or, maybe we throw in other heroes in other locations running parallel to the events in MAESTRO. Maybe we see some more time-traveling heroes from the past? My point: David is establishing something incredibly special here. He’s made HULK the villain. However, he’s found a way for me to love him and hate him at the same time. I find myself rooting for him yet also wanting him to fail even though I already know the outcome from FUTURE IMPERFECT. Readers, if you’re looking for something exciting, clever, and fun that involves the HULK, look no further than MAESTRO or WAR AND PAX. It’s never too late to hop on board. Pick up the last trade, grab these issues, and let me know what you think. Have a great week and God Bless!