Writer: Peter David
Art: Javier Pina, German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, VC’s Travis Lanham, Jason Keith, and Dale Keown
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 26th, 2021
Long story short: The Pantheon, once friends with the HULK, teamed up with DOCTOR DOOM to create a plan to bring down the MAESTRO’S reign of terror. The Pantheon captured Banner, put him into a Dreamscape, and tried to hold him in prison forever. However, cells don’t hold the HULK. Banner quickly escaped killing the entire Pantheon and destroying the rest of the A.I.M. facility that held him, hostage, for so long. And as our story concludes, the MAESTRO finds himself back in Dystopia ready for a showdown with DOOM! Let’s smash into the finale of MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX #5 by Peter David to see how this story wraps up.
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I know what many of you are thinking, why did Peter David title this final issue of MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX after VICI the Android from the TV Show Small Wonders? (that’s sarcasm people) For those that don’t know, the phrase “Veni, Vidi, Vici” means “I came, I saw, I conquered”. Well, could there be a better title to this finale? Simply put: the MAESTRO conquers! And, that’s exactly what he does this issue. David reiterates how powerfully wicked this HULK happens to be. When his mind and power unite, he is almost unstoppable.
Readers will discover a few surprises as the issue opens. Plans have been set in motion and schemes have been portrayed long before this series of WAR AND PAX was affirmed. David uses this element of the issue to strengthen how truly diabolical MAESTRO happens to be. Furthermore, there is a fight scene later in the issue that showcases just how intelligent this version of the HULK truly is. Before MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX is complete, readers will get a true taste as to how truly formidable the MAESTRO has become. From his inner dialogue throughout the issue to his throw down with DOOM, it remains to be seen if anyone can stop this version of the HULK.
Moreover, if I may ruin one surprise of the issue that’s left this reviewer jazzed for the future, it’s that MAESTRO is not done yet. This mini-series may have come to a close but David is continuing this story on into another mini-series called MAESTRO: WORLD WAR M. And, as someone who reads the Solicits, I was shocked to see this reveal because it’s not listed as coming out through August. So, maybe MAESTRO: WORLD WAR M will hit stores this September? Who knows? I just know I’m excited to see this story continue. It’s fun, it’s the equivalent of an Elseworld story, and it’s unpredictable. David provides a high-octane, fast-paced tale that’s wildly entertaining. What more could anyone ask for?
Javier Pina furnishes this outstanding story with action, movement, and development. His illustrations flow with such ease as the reader is guided throughout the issue with motion and energy. He strategically places panels that zoom in on characters’ faces at the most meticulous times providing in-depth emotion and power into David’s high octane WAR AND PAX. His artistic style compliments the tempo and pacing of David’s style, which brings this story to life.
As MAESTRO: WAR AND PAX come to a close, readers will finally get the showdown they’ve been waiting for since the mini-series began. However, HULK fans will develop some new insight into the character of MAESTRO and what truly makes him so formidable. This week’s culminating issue is fast-paced, action-packed, yet does leave some meat on the bone. That said, there is still more to explore as the MAESTRO story continues in WORLD WAR M. And I for one, can’t wait.
Now, if you love the HULK and are a long-time fan, this series, as well as MAESTRO, are totally up your alley. However, at this point, I’d just grab the trade and prepare for WORLD WAR M. Additionally, if you’re new to the MAESTRO and just dropped a line into this issue on a whim, I highly recommend checking out FUTURE IMPERFECT to take a deep dive into where this all began. Readers, grab this trade, let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!