In the latest issue of Maestro: War & Pax, the future Hulk’s absence from the throne has prompted another power-mad despot to take his place.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Maestro: War & Pax # 4, by Peter David, Javier Pina, Jesus Aburtov & VC’s Travis Lanham, on sale now.
There isn’t much competition for the Master’s throne in the world of “Future Imperfect”. The future version of the evil genius Hulk rules over the ash heap of a dying world, but some super-powered survivors stepped forward to resist him as he tried to claim this apocalyptic wasteland in his name. While the demigod Pantheon may have had more noble intentions, his new partner, Doctor Doom, certainly did not.
Now that the Master is out of the way, Doctor Doom sets out to do what he does best: proclaim himself the undisputed ruler of Earth in Teacher: War and Pax # 4.
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Little is known about this alternate future version of Doctor Doom, other than that he used his time travel technology to save himself from the nuclear apocalypse that plagued the world. It should come as no surprise that the villain’s motivations were sinister, and Doom wastes no time working on this issue.
Doom and the Pantheon’s initial plan to get rid of the Master was, at least temporarily, successful. Although seemingly killed in the previous issue after reverting to his human form, the Master recovers when Doom claims the vacant throne for himself. In a scene that’s almost comical, Doom discovers that his new subjects aren’t eager to trade one despot for another. Wen Doom informs the Master’s advisor that he has a new teacher and the advisor shrugs. He is fairly certain that the Master will return, and warns Doom that the future Hulk will not be pleased when he discovers that his seat has been taken.
Despite the fact that Doom is fairly certain that his new position cannot be usurped, he has severely underestimated the Master. Unable to kill the future Hulk for good, the Pantheon decides to lock his body in a prison made up of the strongest metal in the world. But when Maestro awakens, he breaks free from the prison stronger than ever, launches missiles that destroy the remains of MODOK and their cohorts, and destroys the Pantheon and its base.
With Maestro set to reclaim his throne, it’s clear that a clash with Doom is inevitable. Master previously claimed his titles from the post-apocalyptic Hercules, whose strength surpassed the Hulk, and it stands to reason that after overcoming such a physical threat, Master now faces the intellect of one of the most intelligent men in history. walk the face of the earth.
Doom’s trademark confidence and abundance of abilities will likely make him as challenging as Hercules, if not more. With the Master’s resources now available to Doom, it wouldn’t be difficult for him to use the beam gun shown above to hurt Maestro or to turn his Dogs O ‘War against him. Regardless of what he is planning, Doctor Doom is sure that he will be victorious, although the Master is convinced otherwise.
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