(W/A) Steve Skroce, (C) Dave Stewart
Maestros #1 is a kaleidoscope of sci-fi and fantasy genre tropes mashed together. Writer and artist Steve Skroce, perhaps most known these days for his work on We Stand on Guard, delivers a highly imaginative if derivative work involving fantastical realms, family drama, and a loner protagonist. Moreover, Skroce doesn’t do anything significantly different with these story elements from what we’ve seen in other works. However, that does not mean Maestros is completely without merit. As thin as the story is (at least through one issue), the artwork is a godsend.
Skroce and colorist Dave Stewart (Hellboy) have crafted a 32-page sensory overload. Each panel is brimming with both content and a potpourri of colors. Readers can get lost scouring each page as they examine each and every detail. And while the story itself may be cliched, the images Skroce conjures up is anything but. The violence is brutally over-the-top, yet has a mesmerizing quality. In addition, monster strippers, flower-faced people, and cosmic wizards help make this one of the most visually stimulating comics being published today.
The biggest problem with Maestros #1 is the lead protagonist. William Little embodies every trait of the modern loner. He’s cocky, impulsive, and has a ton of emotional baggage due to his upbringing. He’s also been banished to Earth, where he’s peddling a magical Viagra potion while spending his time in strip clubs. In short, he’s unlikable, and it is difficult for readers to connect with a main character they do not like.
Maestros #1 is an entertaining, yet flawed comic that shows much potential. The mediocre script is elevated by the outstanding art. While it may not be the most impressive debut issue, the visuals by Skroce and Stewart make this one series worth keeping an eye on for at least the first few issues.