Peter David’s return to the world of Hulk: Future Imperfect has been somewhat hit or miss by my reckoning, and I consider myself a fan of David’s Hulk work. However, he did suggest there were other survivors of the apocalypse that left the Hulk, as the Maestro, as the ruler of the world. Some have already been dealt with, and others remain.
It looks like those others may be teaming up for a final attempt to defeat the Maestro…not that any of them look that much better.
Issue: Maestro: World War M #1, January 2022
Writer: Peter David
Artists: Pasqual Ferry and German Peralta
The Plot: The last remaining threats to the Maestro’s rule consolidate their power.
Commentary: From what I remember of David’s run, his Abomination was more of a sad fellow who missed a human wife that he could never go back to because he was a hideous monstrosity. That came from the first issue of David’s run to feature the Abomination in more than a cameo. So, you can imagine my delight (which might be too strong of a word) to see that the Abomination is, in the fantasy world that MODOK set him up in as AIM’s gamma-powered energy source, married to that same woman and still working for the KGB. Then MODOK appears, tells him the whole thing is a lie, and that the Abomination will soon be the only survivor of the missile attack that the Pantheon launched at AIM at the end of the previous mini-series.
So, the Abomination will then make a direct line for the Maestro and start beating on him, like MODOK more or less asked him to? Actually, no. The Abomination is a big slab of gamma-powered muscle, possibly stronger than the Hulk in some incarnations, but he’s also not generally a mastermind or leader of men or anything. And, quite frankly, ripping his dream world away from him puts him in a depressed mood, a mood that isn’t exactly helped by the state of the world outside the destroyed AIM bunker. However, he is a powerful being, so there may very well be someone out there that can use him.
Yes, Namor is alive, and Atlantis is doing just fine since the apocalypse mostly affected the surface world. And, he has a secret weapon of his own, another survivor with a long history to the King of Atlantis.
Oh, and Doom is off planning on his own, looking quite a bit like the decrepit Doom from David’s last X-Factor run when some members of that mutant team went to a future of their own and messed with a wheelchair-bound Doom who was a lot more capable than he appeared to be.
So, while individually these people probably can’t defeat the Maestro, together might be another story. Doom is broken. Namor’s weapon isn’t powerful enough. Namor himself probably isn’t strong enough either, and while the Abomination might be, he’s not as smart as the Maestro is when it comes to tactics and planning from where I’m sitting. But put them together? Well, I know this final mini-series in the trilogy has to end with the Maestro victorious, but this may be the closest there is to an actual threat. And, well, they aren’t exactly good options for the rest of humanity…