Look, I am well aware that the Maestro, if he doesn’t outright murder his former allies in the Pantheon by the end of this mini-series, will at least defeat them in a very sound manner.
But that doesn’t mean there can’t be some curveballs along the way.
Issue: Maestro: War and Pax #2, February 2021
Writer: Peter David
Artists: Javier Pina and German Peralta
The Plot: The Pantheon are recruited by Dr. Doom to bring down the Maestro, and they may have the means to do just that.
Commentary: For starters, there is a second story here, one showing what the Pantheon was up to prior to the start of this mini-series. Mostly it involved setting off to take down a terrorist group that was responsible for a lot of the death and destruction of the world, including the death of one of their own. But that’s a back-up story and there isn’t much there.
Instead, the main question might be what the Pantheon, under Atalanta’s leadership from the looks of things, is actually up to. That, more or less, might be where this mini-series is really going with those guys. While I don’t they want to ultimately side with the Maestro, their former teammate did initially seem happy to see them. Likewise, they didn’t exactly leap at the chance to take the former Hulk on until someone else prompted them. That someone is Dr. Doom, who knew where their headquarters was and was powerful enough on his own to force his way to a sit-down. This Doom claims he’s a time traveler, and he wants the Maestro gone because, well, the Maestro will cause problems for Doom otherwise. Doom’s sole motivation is making the world a better place for Doom. The Maestro does not allow for that to actually happen.
So, why did the Pantheon wait?
Were they concerned they lacked sufficient power to actually take on the Maestro on their own?
Are they looking to bring down Doom as well? Atalanta suggests as the main story draws to a close that capturing the Maestro is only a “phase one” sort of activity.
Now, granted, it could be as simple as the Pantheon realized they didn’t really have the means to even contain the Maestro, let alone take him down for good. Why go on a suicide mission when the thing to do might be to just lay low and wait for things to improve? The Pantheon’s members are all more or less immortal. That’s not outside the realm of possibilities. Heck, that’s a really good point. The Pantheon were never the most public of do-gooders. Taking on the Maestro publicly when the closest they have to a member strong enough to at least hold his own is the mentally deficient Ajax was probably not a smart move. And indeed, the plan they start here is done through stealth, one largely forced when Ajax is rather easily tricked into revealing a lie Atalanta told earlier.
And here’s a thought…how do I know this time traveling Doom is the real Doom?
So, at this point, I am intrigued, but not overly so. At least I won’t be too frustrated by a (lack of) motives this time around.