“Let there be motherf*!ing light!”
The torturous three month wait for the cool as hell conclusion to first story arc of Steve Skroce’s Maestros is finally here! Let’s get it on.
END OF STORY ARC A 2018 Eisner Award nominee for Best New Series and Best Coloring by DAVE STEWART! The Book of Remaking has been opened and its spell cast; all of creation has been undone and all that is left is the great stillness of Emptiness… and Mardok. But something stirs in the dark. Something with over ten hours of battery life…
What’s the skinny?
When we last saw Maestros we were left with a Jerry Springer-esque plot twist in which Mardok is revealed as a member of Will’s family. Come to find out, he’s Meethra Kahzar’s first born son and the brother to the currently disposed Maestros. Crazy right? But wait, Will hates his dad too, does this mean they can be pals?
Yeaaah no. Mardok promptly puts that Kahzar bloodline to use, opens the book of remaking and erases all of existence. Everything is gone and when I say everything, I mean literally everything: planets, stars, people, animals, Netflix, even McDonalds.
So now it’s Will, Mardok and a whole lot of absolutely nothing. After Mardok spins an evil origin story on his beginnings, Will has to try and Dr. Phil his way into Murdok’s empty heart and fix existence. Otherwise his undead emptiness obsessed brother is going to murder him and destroy any chance the universe has at being fixed. No pressure Will.
What’s the catch?
I’m disappointed in the lack of growth for Will’s character. After having been on the receiving end of the stick for practically his entire life, the tables are finally turned, he’s given omnipotent power and what does he do? Acts like a complete a-----e. Did you really learn nothing from this crazy journey? After all the statements Will made about wanting to do better and be better he didn’t follow through. Sure, characters have flaws and power corrupts. I guess I didn’t expect it to happen so immediately.
Is it good?
On the surface level Maestros is a humor laced fantasy adventure, about a not-so average Joe having a mantle of gigantic responsibility thrust onto his shoulders. With that mantle comes awesome power and the ability to right a lot of wrongs, but as a result lots of people really want to murder you. Cool. Awesome. You’ve hooked me.
Part of what I appreciate about this story is you can enjoy an incredible comic book without having to dig for a larger theme or hidden message. Not that there’s anything wrong with books that ask you to look closer, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to enjoy a surface level story that makes you laugh a lot. But if you want to look a little closer and dig deeper, you’ll find that Skroce’s not being too subtle about his overarching theme.
Power. Power dominates this tale of family, wizards, monsters and dick jokes. From the Book of Remaking, to Wren’s servitude to Lord Rygol, Margaret’s mission to escape the magical world, Mardok’s desire to erase all of existence and Will’s mission to do better than the Maestros who came before him-everyone is either subservient to power or trying to exert their own upon others.
At one point or another we’ve all found ourselves saying, “If I was in charge, things would be so much better! I’d change x, y and z and people would be so much happier!” But have you ever stopped and thought about the incredible levels of responsibility that would come with such power? Have you ever considered how quickly your perspective on the state of the world would change?
Steve Skroce certainly has and the verdict is in. Having tremendous amounts of power concentrated within one individual turns almost everyone into an a-----e and inevitably leads to lots of terrible decisions. Having too much power makes you lose your perspective. It’s even worse when said individuals are already morally bankrupt. For a great example of this, see the walking butthole occupying the oval office.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been reading Maestros for ten months. I’ve been enjoying the ride so much that I didn’t consider that one day I’d have to get off. Thus when I heard that this series was ending at seven issues, I was beyond disappointed.
But then I read the Image synopsis for this issue which states “END OF STORY ARC A” which one would assume there’s more to come for this story. Right? I sure hope so. I haven’t been able to find any information on when it may be starting back up or how many arcs are planned, but as long as there’s more coming, I’m a happy camper.
Part of what made reading Maestros so fun was how much it made me laugh. Although I want someone out there to come kick my ass if I ever call my mother a “feral minx” (Skroce’s a weirdo). That aside, this issue was no exception. Seeing Will’s keebler elf obsession with Lord Rygol come to a conclusion didn’t disappoint and Backstabber the talking sword was once again a crowd pleaser with his hilarious dialogue.
I’ve doted on Skroce’s art like a loving mother since the first issue I reviewed, so I don’t know how much more I can say at this point. I’ll keep it simple. The artwork is unique, fun to comb over and utterly fantastic in every issue.
Dave Stewart probably doesn’t get enough credit for the color work he provided. This guy helped make this comic book special and it wouldn’t be as incredible as it is without him. If the panel I dropped in of Mardok at the start of this review doesn’t convince you, then I’m out of ideas and you’re a jabroni.
My one and only complaint with the closing of this arc is Will’s lack of character growth, outside of that I felt Skroce did a fantastic job tying the knot on a story that was hanging by a pretty wild cliffhanger. I had no idea how Will was going to fix things after finishing issue 6 and that’s one of the best feelings you can have when you read a comic. It’s no fun when the big endings are predictable. It’s so much more fun when you have to wrack your brain for an answer, argue with people on the internet and still come up empty handed.
Maestros is the best comic book I’ve read in the past two years. The last time I enjoyed a book this much was my during my first foray into the world of Saga. I don’t care what the Eisners say, it’s hands down the best series of 2018. It might not be for everyone, but if you enjoy incredible artwork, copious amounts of humor and a unique take on magic and the fantasy genre, look no further friends. Read this book and feel free to thank me after. I enjoy Twitter praise.