Maestro is a comic book miniseries published by Marvel Comics that started two months ago. It is the origin story of Maestro, an alternate universe version of the Hulk who rules an alternate future with an iron fist. This tale is told by his original creator Peter David and artists Dale Keown, who draws all the “Relics” in the series, and German Peralta.
And in this issue, he meets the Incredible Hercules, which continues the last scene of the previous issue. He is thrilled to see the Incredible Hulk again, and tells him that he was always his favorite sparring partner. I imagine the Hulk saying “What?” before being punched out of Hercules’ palace. Then a fight ensues. Hercules is being jovial about it and sees it as a good old fashion sparring match, while the Hulk isn’t enamored with being punched in the face by Hercules.
Then Hercules talks about how he feared he lost his edge without someone to oppose him. This is something that resonates these days with people out there comparing modern day America to the Rome that got sacked by the Visigoths.
Once Hulks sinks into the ground, he finds himself in an underground railroad where two people tell him that Rick Jones wants to see him. Hulk responds with a sarcastic remark, which is his trademark in this series. He is quite funny in a sarcastic way. Hearing that Rick Jones wants to see him takes him back. Rick Jones is an old friend of his.
Meanwhile, Hercules is looking for Hulk. He says that having a sparring match was his way of honoring the Hulk. Hercules suggests that they go back to his place for women and food before he sees that the Hulk is no longer at the underground railroad he sent him in. He is mildly annoyed by it.
Hulk finds himself in the living quarters of one Rick Jones. His living quarters is basically a trophy room of stuff from other characters, such as Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, Vision’s decapitated head, and Winter Soldier’s mechanical arm. There are tons of references in here that I didn’t get when I first read the comic. However, it makes no sense how some of the stuff in there got there in the first place. Wolverine is basically immortal, so he should have lived through the nuclear apocalypse. Rick Jones also has Mjolnir in his house. How anyone can lift that is beyond me.
Then Rick’s daughter Janis scans Hulk to make sure he is clean in a way that is reminiscent of people taking your temperature in public places after the coronavirus pandemic.
Rick Jones and Hulk talk about Hercules ruling the country and what he has been doing. Then Hulk says that why should he care about ordinary people when the conversation goes there, and Rick is taken aback by it. I mean, why should he be surprised about this? The Hulk has spent years running away from General Ross and being treated like a monster, and Rick Jones, who indirectly created the Hulk and has spent years running away from the authorities with him, is surprised by this? I don’t buy it.
Hulk states that ordinary people destroyed the world, and not the Red Skull, Leader, or any other would-be world conqueror that him or the other hero has faced. This is a continuation of the Devil Hulk’s view of humanity from The Immortal Hulk, the current Hulk series. In that series, the Devil Hulk is willing to destroy the world in order to protect Bruce Banner. Then he asks for a lab, which is even more like The Immortal Hulk since in that series the Hulk finds a lab and takes it over to his own nefarious ends. This story seems like a possible future for The Immortal Hulk if a nuclear holocaust ever happened in real life.
Then a Greek soldier flies over the Alchemax building on a flying jet ski. The contrast between the soldier and the vehicle is cool. Alchemax is in this story, which comes from 2099. Does 2099 still exist, or did it never happen because of the nuclear holocaust? After we see the Alchemax building Hulk starts speaking in the Hulk Speak. In this story, the Hulk can speak normally and this is the first time that he refers to himself in the third person. Then he goes inside the Alchemax building, sees a bunch of people in tubes, including one who has fallen out of his tube which is just creepy. He then says, “Well, I know what I’m gonna be doing for the next few months.”. What he should have said was, “Well, I know what I’ll be doing for the next few months.”.
Then the Hulk is shown giving a speech to the entire city, mirroring a plot point in The Immortal Hulk where the Devil Hulk becomes an inspirational figure. And then he shows off his latest invention, the Dogs of War. How did he put all those people in tubes inside of these mechanical animals is unknown.
During his speech, Hulk talks about making the country greater than the people have ever dreamed. This is a great way to reference the “Make America Great Again” slogan without actually mentioning those words. Those words are played out. The people are afraid of him and the Hulk decides to send the Dogs of War after the people while Hercules watches. He gleefully says that we now have a ball game.
Maestro #3 is pretty good, continuing the good work of the previous two issues.