Maestro War and Pax #3
Written By: Peter David
Art By: Javier Pina, German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover By: David Marquez, Alejandro Sanchez
In the previous issue, Pantheon, a group of superhero gods, teams up with Doctor Doom to capture Maestro. In this issue, Pantheon’s problems solve a way to trigger Maestro to transform back to Bruce Banner so that they can kill him. What’s the mystery? Maestro’s plan to control the world in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event does not sit well with Pantheon or Doctor Doom.
The story moves cohesively from panel to panel with each panel pushing the narrative forward. It all takes place within the context of Pantheon’s hidden base with Maestro captured and floating in a tube of liquid. Pantheon turns to Delphi, a telepath, to infiltrate Maestro’s mind and trick him into transforming back to Banner. This part of the story is compelling because it replays Banner’s early life; it shows the death of his mother at his father’s hands. I have to say that it was satisfying to see Delphi’s body dangling in the arms of Maestro given how he manipulated Maestro. However, the story has many twists and turns and things are not always what they seem. I will say that the way Pantheon uses Maestro’s mother to further manipulate him pulled at my heartstrings and built empathy in the character.
The dialogue is stronger in this book however, some of the story beats are unoriginal. For example, a female character seduces a male character into using his powers when he is reluctant to join the effort to kill Maestro, which was either filler or lazy writing. However, it was at least a believable strategy. What is unbelievable is how Maestro will escape this trap, which appears pretty bleak by the end of the book.
The art was compelling, starting with an opening full spread that shows Maestro in the background and Pantheon in the foreground, which was a nice way to use perspective to spice up an otherwise normal panel. Later, Maestro is shown walking and we see the multiple ripples of muscles in his back reminding us of what the Hulk should look like in art.
Overall, this story became more interesting by going back into Bruce Banner’s memories and causing the reader to relive his traumatic past. The use of Banner’s trauma against Maestro was an interesting twist and counterintuitive, which is what made this story intriguing.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10
FINAL SCORE: 5/10