March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Maestro: World War M #5 (July, 2022)

The Maestro deals with the last of his enemies.

And so, the Maestro’s prequel mini-series come to an end.  Did I learn anything about the guy that I didn’t know before?

Issue:  Maestro: World War M #5, July 2022

Writer:  Peter David

Artist:  Sebastian Cabrol

The Plot:  The Maestro finally defeats the last of his enemies.  Sort of.

Commentary:  To be clear, this last issue does have some clever twists and all, but for all that this is the Maestro’s war, he doesn’t really defeat the collation of Doom, Namor, and the original Human Torch.  Oh, he does have a fairly good beat-down on the clearly cracked Namor, but he doesn’t set the final trap, he doesn’t defeat his enemies, and he doesn’t “save the day” so much as be spared by one of his oldest enemies.

Yes, the Abomination is the savior here.  He does most of the work to stop Doom and his allies in the end, something that actually fits with this character, and he gets the Maestro to explain his motivations for doing everything he’s done more clearly than anyone else.

Oh why?  Well, he’s getting back at all the people who wanted him dead over the years.  And yes, Blonski tells him that’s rather messed up.  Given this is basically the 15th issue of this backstory and this is the closest the Maestro has come to explaining why he suddenly wanted to run things, and he’s doing it to get back at a lot of dead people, that may very well be the closest that the character comes to explain anything.  Granted, the Maestro is clearly gone off the deep end, an evil version of the Hulk who takes the whole “strongest one there is” to a level that says that as the strongest, he of course has the right to rule over everyone else, but that may be a bit of a stretch.

However, yes, this is the Abomination’s big show.  David’s take on the character was as something of a lonely soul, someone who saw beauty everywhere but in the mirror and largely regretted what he’d become and what he did.  Here, that’s on full display, a man who misses his dead wife who would have probably recoiled from the monster, literal and figurative, that he became.  He was a spy with some skills in areas that fall beyond his brute strength.  He was, in short, the one guy who had no interest in Doom’s world domination plan AND had the skills needed to actually bring the whole thing to an end.

He also saved the Maestro in the end because…I have no idea.  Because the Maestro had to go on to Future Imperfect?

Well, that was that.  Will I go on to David’s next Hulk mini about the Joe Fixit era?

Eh, probably.

Grade:  B-