Abandon all hope for a conventional story, ye who enter here. Wizard Kings, magic, monsters and more lie ahead. Steve Skroce’s new fantasy action-adventure series Maestros is finally here!
The Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered. Now, his banished son from Earth will inherit the Wizard King’s throne along with a spell that turns its user into GOD. With enemies everywhere, will this Orlando-born millennial be able to keep his new magic kingdom? From STEVE SKROCE, the storyboard artist of The Matrix trilogy, the artist and co-creator of WE STAND ON GUARD and Doc Frankenstein, the writer / artist of Wolverine, and the artist of Amazing Spider-Man and ALAN MOORE’s YOUNGBLOOD.
What’s the skinny?
Willy Kahzar is your typical everyday guy. Well, except for the fact that he possesses prodigious magical abilities and his estranged father is the Wizard King of a magical kingdom in another reality. The shocking news of his father’s murder arrives riding a wave of several unexpected visitors. Battling a sea of grotesque shapeshifting stripper monsters is Willy’s mother, Margaret. In addition to the small task of saving her son’s life, she’s also come to return him to his father’s kingdom where he must take up the mantle of MAESTRO.
As if that isn’t enough for you to chew on, there’s an origin story packed in here as well!
What’s the catch?
Nothing. Well besides having to wait another month for more of this story.
Is it good?
I love fantasy stories. It’s by far my favorite genre. My entire book shelf is filled with fantasy stories and Skroce is feeding me exactly what I’m hungry for with Maestros. There’s wizards and magic, a fantastic new world to explore, mythical weapons, mysterious artifacts and all sorts of creatures. I’ve always enjoyed a good creation myth and Skroce’s inclusion of one is an unexpected treat. There’s enough detail for you to gain a basic understanding of the world and you’ll find yourself asking questions out of interest, not confusion.
At present there are four characters driving the story and each one has me intrigued. Our antagonist is a creepy evil wizard with a mild case of leprosy, a serious parasite infection and a fashionable loincloth made of faces (so awesome). The protagonist is a cynic who sells penis enlargement to rich douchebags stricken with little dick, until destiny comes along and smacks him in the face. Willy’s promiscuous reality-ruling father exists only in the past, but as flashbacks clearly have a strong presence, we’ll be seeing plenty of him. Last but certainly not least is Willy’s mother Margaret, without whom Willy would be truly screwed. Margaret exists as a bridge between the present and the past, as well as a bridge between our world and the Wizard King’s. Every character is awesome and has a unique facet to stand out and draw the reader in.
I expected a lot of things from this story after seeing the artwork and synopsis; what I didn’t expect was the abundant humor. There were so many moments that I found myself cracking up over a purposely placed cheesy one liner, character dialogue and sometimes, simply the art. Either Steve Skorce is hilarious or he caters to my wildly inappropriate sense of humor.
It’s easy to see the influence Skroce’s storyboard work on Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending had on this project. Those films had such big fantastic worlds and after one issue with only a few glimpses, that’s exactly what this world feels like. There was more blood and gore than I was expecting but it wasn’t overdone, and it was drawn in a way that made it feel kind of fun. All sorts of monsters grace the pages and they’re creepy, unnerving and don’t look like anything I’ve seen before. There’s a level of incredible detail present in many of the panels and what’s even more impressive is how clean it all looks.
In short, this comic is freaking awesome. I enjoyed every single panel and had a ton of fun reading it. The characters are unique and intriguing, and there’s a lot of laughs to be had along the way. Skroce’s transition from doing film storyboards to comics is so smooth that if you didn’t know any better, you’d think he’d been doing this forever. Maestros brings new life to the fantasy genre and is without question one of the best comic books available today.