MAESTRO #1, available in comic book stores on Wednesday, August 19th, is a story we have wanted for a long time. Fans have often wondered what led to the development of this alternate, future version of the Hulk. Now, readers will finally learn how the Bruce Banner we know so well morphed into this world conqueror.
Readers are brought onto an unexpected pleasant scene at Bruce’s home. His family—Betty Ross and two sons—enjoy a pleasant evening preparing dinner while the Hulk version of our protagonist takes note of how happy he’s become. It seems merging his alter ego with his human self has granted him a perfectly balanced life.
Unfortunately, no good thing truly lasts. His children, and later Betty, begin saying things that fail to match up with Bruce’s sense of reality.
In a shocking revelation with the force of a tidal wave, Bruce learns Earth’s people finally destroyed themselves in a radioactive war. And A.I.M. has kept him in suspended animation the entire time.
Peter David’s writing takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster. The Jade Giant’s shattered hopes of a normal life hit hard, especially when the narrative highlights humankind’s tendency toward self-destruction.
This issue’s illustrations gave readers powerful depictions of Earth as an apocalyptic wasteland. Germán Peralta and Dale Keown’s penciling and ink work cast pages full of irradiated cities and deserted landscapes. These are emboldened by Jesus Aburtov and Jason Keith’s coloring, who employ deep shades of red, brown, and black to represent the upturned earth. In addition, VC’s Ariana Maher’s impressive lettering styles capture Bruce’s anguish in the midst of these landscapes.
MAESTRO #1 is a brilliant opening to one of the character’s most popular alternate histories. We can’t wait to learn more about Bruce’s path toward villainy.
What characters do you want to see in this series? Let us know in the comments below!