Maestros Vol. 1 review: Powerful magicians and the spells they cast

You’ve never seen anything like Maestros, but you’ll be glad you did.

It’s exceedingly rare to find a comic written and illustrated by the same person, and even more rare for that creator to also do the covers. Thank goodness for Steve Skroce, who made the words, the lines, and the covers for Maestros, because I’m blown away by the whole thing. The fact that Dave Stewart, Colorist Supreme, was responsible for taking the art from black and white to the fabulous nebula of decadence that it is kicks it up to a entirely different caliber, one mere mortals may not be worthy of. The letters by Fonografiks make it that much better. This is a must-own.

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A long summation of Maestros, and more gushing

When the most powerful magician in existence is killed by an escaped evil wizard, the magician’s banished son, Will, is brought back to Zainon, the magical dimension of wizards, to assume the title of Maestro. Will’s deceased father was a real jerk, who divorced his mother years ago. Will has been making a living selling wish potions to other jerks, and isn’t really looking forwards to picking up the reins (or reigns, if you’re feeling like a dad joke). The first issue flashes back to how Will was conceived, and how powerful the Maestros throughout history have been, ending with Will being sent to wizard school.

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The second issue deals with Will making big changes, and all the wizards that enrages. A long flashback to his wizardly training, especially his beef with Rygol, member of the High Council, shows us how hard of a time Will had, being a half-breed. We meet Wren, the love of Will’s life, who is an indentured servant to Rygol. We witness an evil plot to undermine Maestro Will, lead by Rygol, we see Will and Wren reunite, and we watch Wren mercilessly steal The Book of Remaking, the most powerful artifact in Zainon, from Will. Issue three reveals that Rygol forced Wren to steal the Book and then killed her to use it to create reality to his liking. In attempting to resurrect Wren, Will breaks the warding spells guarding Zainon, allowing the evil wizard Mardok into the kingdom, who has an alliance with Rygol. Will and Mardok battle, destroying much of the kingdom. Wren and Will’s mother come to his assistance, fleeing the fight. Mardok destroys Zainon.

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The fourth issue flashes back to younger Will meeting the daughter of the King of the Underworld, a severe punishment from his father, and Will’s mother undergoing a brutal task to free her and her child from the Maestro’s grasp. It ends with Will heading to the Underworld to seek an alliance. Issue five shows Will bargaining with the King of the Underworld, a grand fight between Mardok, Rygol, and Wren, as well as Will’s mother on Earth. We also see Will undoing some of the curses his father placed on the King of the Underworld, and it concludes with Earth destroyed and Wren and Will’s mother held hostage by Mardok and Rygol. Issue six starts with betrayal by the Underworld King, moves on to a grand battle between all forces involved, reveals that Mardok is Will’s oldest brother, and wraps up with Mardok opening the Book of Remaking and unmaking all of reality. The seventh issue is Mardok’s sob story, Will revealing that he took pictures of the pages of the Book with his cellphone, fixing everything and giving Mardok another chance at life, and the apparent destruction of the phone. There the series ends.

Next: Exploding heads and flaming boars in Beasts of Burden No. 3!

Gushing was mentioned earlier, and the voluminous amounts of blood in this series weren’t exactly what I meant. The art. The freakin’ art. The intricacy of the lines. Geoff Darrow, one of my personal comics gods, worked on the first issue’s cover, and all the art contained in these seven volumes is immediately evocative of his style. I can’t say enough about how good this comic looks. Tell us what you thought in the comments section below.