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Review: Maestro #2

Maestro #2

Maestro #2 is an interesting second issue. It’s quite literally a cross-country journey as the Hulk explores what’s left of the United States and ponders the destruction at humanity’s hands. As a stand-alone issue, it’s an interesting read though not all that exciting. As part of the greater story, it’s much more and nice entry into the bigger picture.

Writer Peter David delivers a Hulk who recognizes the destruction before him and feels sad about it. This isn’t the raging Hulk who seeks death himself or rages against those that won’t let him find peace. This is one that’s more philosophical in nature and reflecting on his life and what’s before him.

In what both works and doesn’t, David uses Hulk’s travels to allow us to see more of what’s left. We’re shown the various survivors and what has sprung up, each different from the last. A few bring hope while others bring future conflict. What’s nice is we get a better lay of the land. But, each segment is just that, a quick segment. There’s little exploration of each settlement which hurts the story. It feels choppy and a bit short in depth and worldbuilding. Its’ been years since I read the original Future Imperfect so there’s probably more there but as is, nothing is explored enough.

Maestro #2 reads more like a guidebook to a world as opposed to a full fledge story. Not enough time is spent with each interesting group. And without that, it’s hard to care what happens. There’s a disconnect between the comic’s presentation and making you invested in what might happen to them. It’s a bit cold in some ways. Where moments could deliver hope, they feel a bit disconnected and a bit mechanical. It’s more roleplaying sourcebook without the in-depth information than story.

Some of the issues with the story is the art by Germán Peralta. While none of it is bad, there’s also a lack of detail at the time to add to the story. A discussion about wanting to add nutrients to a soil could have done with more details of the crops telling the story of the struggle of farming. An animal dead in the woods due to radiation isn’t mutated or emaciated enough to really impact. The motions are there without the detail, like the plot itself.

The issue also kicks off the first part of “Relics,” a back-up story with art by Dale Keown and color by Jason Keith. This is a bit more interesting. In just a few pages more is told about the world and also delivers some emotional heft. The short story is itself a quick rollercoaster ride full of hope and then crashing down showing how much society has not evolved after almost destroying itself. It’s the highlight of the issue and the only reason I’m not suggesting to skip it.

Maestro #2 isn’t a bad issue but it also feels like it doesn’t do the world and Hulk’s journey justice. It’s quick hits to give us a tour of “the players” in a single issue. While that can work as part of the bigger picture, it also doesn’t deliver enough interesting aspects or depths to really excite. As a collection though, it’d be fine as you can quickly move on to the next chapter. Sadly, for all of the excitement the first issue delivered, the second lacks the same punch.

Story: Peter David Art: Germán Peralta, Dale Keown
Color: Jason Keith Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Exclusive Preview: Maestro #2 (of 5)

Maestro #2 (of 5)

(W) Peter David (A) German Peralta (A/CA) Dale Keown
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 23, 2020
SRP: $3.99

PART TWO: THINGS GET UGLY!
The world as we know it is long gone – but the Hulk we know and love will never die. Humans killed the Earth…and now the Hulk must choose whether to save it or doom it forever. Peter David’s legendary saga continues with an action-packed tale of irradiated destruction! Plus: Just how did Rick Jones gather all the weapons and collectibles of his super-heroic generation? Hulk veteran artist Dale Keown reveals secrets decades in the making!

Maestro #2 (of 5)

Review: Maestro #1

Maestro #1

I remember many years ago when Maestro debuted and getting those issues. It was an interesting take on the Hulk. At the time he was a character I didn’t really care for. The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect gave us a “possible future” story when those felt rare and special. All these years later we get Maestro #1, the origin of the brutal future version of the Hulk. When it was announced I immediately wondered if this was a story we really needed. After reading the first issue, I want more. There’s so much there and I and fully expect spin-offs in the “Old Man” sort of way.

Created by ‎Peter David‎ and ‎George Pérez and debuting in 1992, Maestro was a future version of the Hulk coming from a world where the heroes have been wiped out. It’s been almost 30 years so the original story is a fading memory but the debut was huge as this was a brutal version of the Hulk unlike anything seen at that time. Mixed with the popular trope of “alternative futures” the character was a hit. Over the years, the Hulk and Bruce Banner have evolved as characters adding depth to a level that didn’t exist back in the early 90s.

David returns to write one of the characters and runs he’s known for with Maestro #1. He delivers an emotional opening of shock and loss. While it falls into a bit of a trope-ish space and the plot is one we’ve seen before, the result when layered on to the Hulk works and works really well.

It’s hard to really dive into the first issue and why it works without really spoiling it. It’s a rabbit hole of a story that gets more and more intriguing as the layers are lifted and we learn more of what is happening and what happened. Where the issue gets interesting is in the current run of the Hulk and his outlook on life and death. He’s currently a destroyer of worlds and that evolution to the Maestro and where that begins gets complicated with that. But, at its heart, the story is about loss and family and where a person goes when they lose everything. We’re left with the question as to how the Maestro is born but we get to see the first steps.

The issue has some layers in a Matrix-like way. Dale Keown handles the art in the opening with Jason Keith on color. Germán Peralta handles the art from there with Jesus Aburtov on color. The transition from one artist to the other works and works really well. It’s used in a way as the story shifts and the two styles are close enough it’s not jarring going from one to the other. While a lot of the history is explained, there’s still a lot left for readers to pick up on visually. The characters, the background, everything tells a bit of the mystery. It fantastic to see Keown back on the Hulk and the art pops taking us into the opening spiral.

Maestro #1 is a comic where I cringed at first. I didn’t think it was a story we needed to know, the mystery worked. But, after reading the issue, it’s a solid opening that has a lot of potential as to where it takes us and goes. While much of it is familiar it’s a perfect start and base to see the further evolution of the Hulk as a character.

Story: Peter David Art: Germán Peralta, Dale Keown
Color: Jesus Aburtov, Jason Keith Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Maestro #1 (of 5)

Maestro #1 (of 5)

(W) Peter David (A) German Peralta (A/CA) Dale Keown
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 19, 2020
SRP: $4.99

THE STORY YOU’VE WAITED DECADES FOR: THE ORIGIN OF MAESTRO!
Almost 30 years after the landmark story Future Imperfect, legendary INCREDIBLE HULK scribe Peter David returns to the far-future version of the Hulk known as Maestro – the master of what remains of the world. With astounding art from HULK veteran Dale Keown and up-and-comer Germán Peralta, Maestro will answer questions that have haunted Hulk fans for years – and inspire some new ones. How did the world fall and the Maestro rise? What happened to the world’s heroes in between? And where is the Hulk we know and love? Find out here!

Maestro #1 (of 5)

Discover the Hulk’s Dark Destiny the in Maestro Trailer!

Almost 30 years ago in the landmark story Future Imperfect, legendary Incredible Hulk scribe Peter David and superstar artist George Pérez introduced Marvel fans to a far-future version of the Hulk known as Maestro – the master of what remains of the world. Ever since, the mystery about how this villainous version of Bruce Banner came to be remained untold but next month, Peter David returns to reveal Maestro’s shocking origin in Maestro #1! With astounding art by Dale Keown and Germán Peralta, this series will answer questions that have haunted fans for decades about the fall of earth and the rise of Maestro! Get your first look at this highly anticipated launch in the Maestro trailer and discover the secrets of one of the Hulk’s greatest foes when Maestro #1 hits stands this August!

The Origin of the Maestro Will Be Revealed!

The Earth will tremble under his jade fist! Almost 30 years after the landmark story “Future Imperfect,” legendary Incredible Hulk scribe Peter David returns to the far-future version of the Hulk known as Maestro – the master of what remains of the world. With astounding art from Hulk veteran Dale Keown and rising star Germán Peralta, Maestro will answer questions that have haunted Hulk fans for years – and inspire some new ones along the way.

How does Earth fall and Maestro rise? What happens to the world’s heroes? And what does fate have in store for Bruce Banner and the Hulk? Find out in MAESTRO #1 when it smashes its way into comic shops this August!

Maestro #1 is written by David, art by Peralta and Keown, a main cover by Keown, and a variant cover by George Pérez.

Preview: Avengers #26

Avengers #26

(W) Jason Aaron (A/CA) Dale Keown
Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
SRP: $3.99

A PREHISTORIC SAVAGE… WITH THE POWER OF THE STARS!

Legendary artist Dale Keown (The Incredible Hulk) is here to unleash the secret, savage origin of the biggest, nastiest, most cosmically-powered caveman who ever lived: the original Starbrand, one of the mighty Avengers of One Million B.C.

Avengers #26

Review: The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1

Betty Ross is dead and Bruce Banner is suicidal and has an assassin waiting for his signal to end his life. It’s a touching and emotional issue that reunites Peter David and Dale Keown.

Story: Peter David
Art: Dale Keown
Ink: Mark Farmer, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, Scott Hanna
Color: Peter Steigerwald, John Starr
Letterer: Cory Petit

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1

The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1

The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1 is a celebration of two creators who have had a massive impact on the character. It re-teams writer Peter David with artist Dale Keown for an oversized one-shot that packs a punch.

Bruce Banner is tired of being the Hulk. Heck, he’s tired of being. Taking place after the death of Betty Ross, Banner is broken and wants the pain to end. He’s debating if he should remain in this world and contemplating suicide. Not so much contemplating as Banner has tried it multiple times. But, now he has a plan that might work. But, instead of pulling the trigger right away, he reaches out to a help line.

David delivers a story focused on Banner’s ups and downs. It’s a “this is your life” type tail going through his history, both good and bad. All the time he’s contemplating if he should continue on.

The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1 is a tough read. The comic’s a rough emotional ride focused on depression and loss. But, that’s also where the comic soars. It creates an emotional impact in the reader and when art can impact you like that, it’s a success.

The art by Keown has ups and downs. For the most part it’s dazzling and engaging. But, it’s clear Keown’s strength is the monster himself. So, when presented with Banner, things just aren’t as impressive. What’s interesting is that Keown forgoes the expected splash pages and full page spreads to let us soak in the Hulk. Instead the art matches the emotional tone with a subdued style to it all. It’s more emotional horror than monster. The art also has a lot of inkers and colorists and the shift is noticeable. None of it enough so to hamper the issue. But, it is something that sticks out while reading the comic. Keown’s work still holds up though. The art brings home the emotional story David has put together adding a depressing tone to it all through the art style and look.

The comic is an emotional one that needs a trigger warning to start. It’ll impact you at an emotional level and that’s a good thing. When art hits you at that level, it’s a success. The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1 is a comic you may want to grab a box of kleenex while reading. These two are still a hell of a team and hopefully we get some more down the road.

Story: Peter David Art: Dale Keown
Ink: Mark Farmer, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, Scott Hanna
Color: Peter Steigerwald, John Starr Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.1 Art: 7.65 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

The Flash

Convention season has kicked off! Who got to go to one this past weekend? Sound off as to your favorite convention below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Comichron – February sales dip on lean new comics slate, but per-title sales improve; Marvel sees growth – For those interested in the horse race.

CNET – Captain Marvel’s early suit concepts are way different to the comic – This is cool to see.

Newsarama – Ezra Miller & Grant Morrison Writing New Flash Movie Script – Report – Well ok then.

Newsarama – David & Keown Called Back for One More Incredible Hulk Run – We’re intrigued.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: The Illustrated Short Horror Stories of Alexa Sharpe – Free comics!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Rica March Explores the Fallacy of Good Capitalism – More free comics!

Review

The Beat – Urusei Yatsuri

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