Writer and Artist: Steve Skroce
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Lettering and Design: Fonografiks
Review by Kris Kuzeff
I went into Maestros with a Harry Potter mindset. This is not Harry Potter. This makes Hellblazer seem tame. It is a hard R-rated romp through magic. Do not read around children or strangers. The story is straightforward enough. Evil wizard, Mardok, escapes from a magical prison and kills Maestro, the leading wizard in the universe, along with all of Maestro’s wives and children that are with him. The only surviving members of the Maestro’s bloodline are a banished wife and son, who live on Earth. We find Will, the son, at a strip club, selling a magic Viagra potion to an oilman. Will gets attacked by Mardok’s minions, and his mom saves him. The rest of the issue takes the time to explain Will’s banishment, and the mythology of this world, including its creation by a God-like first Maestro.
Maestros started out interesting, but halfway through, it lost its novelty. It just may be the nature of an exposition heavy first issue, but I left the issue not taking much away. I was not particularly invested in any characters, and I was not wowed by any moments. I didn’t laugh at any jokes, though I did cringe a bit, when we see the effects of the aforementioned Viagra potion. The dialogue was unexpectedly crude sometimes, which gave it some appeal. The artwork was fitting for the book, with a wide variety of creatures appearing, including sunflower people. The artist did a fine job creating a new world full of diverse creatures. I was surprised a few times at what was drawn, both in terms of creativity and the light humor of the situations.
Verdict: Pass. While it certainly has potential, Maestros did not pull any rabbits out of a hat for me. I left it feeling neither joy nor disappointment. It does not yet have the wonder of Harry Potter or the morality of Constantine. Hopefully, it finds its voice, but for now, it isn’t telling me anything I haven’t heard before.