Maestro has defeated the Pantheon but must return to Dystopia and deal with another enemy. Will Maestro be able to defeat Doctor Doom? Find out in Maestro: War and Pax #5 by Marvel Comics!


Writer: Peter David
Artist: Javier Pina
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 26th, 2021

Previously in Maestro: Hulk woke up to a postapocalyptic world where humans destroyed themselves. He has defeated Hercules, taken the title of Maestro, and declared himself ruler of Dystopia. On top of that, he has started the PAX Initiative to unite humanity. But any who refuse him will be eliminated! The Pantheon, with the coaxing of Doctor Doom, decided to oppose Maestro and attempted to kill him. But he stood victorious and now set his eyes on Doctor Doom who has taken over Dystopia.


Maestro returns back to Dystopia to see Doctor Doom sitting on his throne. However, it seems that they are allies and worked together to take down the Pantheon. Tyrants don’t play well with allies and Maestro sought to poison Doctor Doom. Luckily, Doctor Doom took an antitoxin and a fight ensued. Both sides try to one-up each other with power attacks and witty dialogue but ultimately Maestro led Doctor Doom to the Alchemax building. He then activated electromagnets that tore off Doctor Doom’s armor; forcing him to retreat. Maestro is once again the sole ruler of Dystopia, but an Abomination is around the corner.


This issue led to a funny battle between two powerful characters, but I found myself disappointed. The series challenged comfort level by having Maestro do drastic things like killing children and brutally murdering good guys. The fact that this comic story didn’t end with Maestro descending further into darkness was disappointing. It could have been as simple as his battle with Doctor Doom creating some obvious casualties to the reader that Maestro ignored. This would represent the mental change that would transition from Hulk the hero to Maestro the villain. Without it, the issue just seems to try to wrap up a plot point without any thematic impact.


I enjoy the hero who becomes a villain trope because when it works, it works really well. But when it falls behind, the story feels like it falls apart. The way the creative team took this battle felt out of sync with the rest of the series and even the art felt a little lackluster. 3 out of 5 stars. I wonder if there was a publication timing issue or if a section was cut from the final printing.

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Maestro: War and Pax #5 (of 5)


The final issue of the arc didn't tell us anything new about the title character, which left me wanting more.

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Tulsa, OK. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Recently, he has completed his Master's degree with a focus on collaborative storytelling. Find out more at

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