Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
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The Maestro is a version of the Hulk from an alternate future timeline, approximately a hundred years into the future, combining Banner's intelligence with the Hulk's more malevolent aspects. After a nuclear war kills almost all of Earth's superhumans and brings the world to the brink of extinction, the Maestro seizes control.
Gray haired and balding, the Maestro is clearly older than the Hulk, but is also significantly stronger due to the radiation he has absorbed since the war. He rules the city of Dystopia, built to his own designs and protected by radiation shielding. Brutal soldiers with hi-tech equipment keep the "peace" and impose the Maestro's iron will. The Maestro himself dwells in a grand palace, where a Bacchanalian atmosphere reigns. Other gamma-irradiated beings, She-Hulk (now calling herself "Shulk") and the Abomination, survived the war and seem to have conquered other areas of the world. Not long after the war, an elderly Rick Jones encounters the reality-hopping mutant Proteus, who has possessed the body of an alternate reality Hulk from the year 2099. Proteus intends to discard his current body and possess the Maestro. Jones, unaware of his plan, provides a weapon created by the X-Man Forge, which might be able to kill Maestro. However, the plan fails when the Maestro is warned by the Exiles, who are pursuing Proteus. Proteus possesses a new host and flees to another world, breaking the Maestro's neck during his escape.
Years later the Maestro, fully recovered from his injury, encounters a time-traveling Genis-Vell and Spider-Man 2099. Manipulated by the supervillain Thanatos, the three battle - but Captain Marvel and Spider-Man eventually return to their own time, with no consequence for the Maestro.
Acquiring Doctor Doom's time machine, the rebels opposing the Maestro (led by Rick Jones) eventually decide to bring the 'Professor' Hulk forward from the past, hoping that he can defeat the Maestro. The Hulk agrees to help them and confronts the Maestro, but loses due to the Maestro's greater experience, power, willingness to endanger bystanders, and his ability to predict the Hulk's moves in combat. The Maestro breaks Hulk's neck to immobilize him, then tries to persuade the incapacitated Hulk that he should side with his future self, telling him that nothing will change when he returns home and he will still be persecuted.
After the Hulk's recovery, the two clash once more; but despite the Hulk's best efforts, the Maestro is still far too powerful for him. At the last minute, the Maestro is defeated by the use of Doom's time machine, and sent back to the time and place that the Hulk was created: ground zero during the testing of the atomic Gamma Bomb, the only bomb that the Hulk knew the ground zero location of. Appearing next to the bomb itself, Maestro is seemingly killed in the same moment that creates the Hulk, but some part of his consciousness still remains, tied to the skeletal fragments at the Gamma Bomb site.
Eventually the Hulk learns that the "homing sense" which has always allowed him to locate ground zero, his "birth" place, is actually attracted to the Maestro's spirit and remains. The Maestro has also been absorbing gamma radiation from the Hulk each time he returns to the site, gradually restoring himself. When the Hulk returns, shortly after the Heroes Return crossover, he is radiating vast amounts of energy. Maestro finally absorbs enough radiation to restore himself to life, although in a weakened and emaciated form.
Shortly thereafter, the Maestro's body is shown to have gradually rebuilt itself, but he nonetheless faints from exhaustion, and is captured by Asgardian trolls, who place his soul into the Destroyer to empower it. As the Destroyer, he battles the Hulk - but as the Hulk and Maestro share the same DNA, Hulk's spirit is able to enter the Destroyer and defeat it by slamming its' visor shut just as it discharged a disintegration beam. The resulting shockwave sends both the Destroyer, and the rock it had been standing on, plummeting towards the Maestro, just shown as almost fully recovered, and the latter is covered by the rock slide.
The Hulk briefly titled himself with this alias during a time when shrapnel were lodged within his brain.
First Appearance: Hulk: Future Imperfect (1992) #1
Hulk (Marvel)(01 - Bruce Banner)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
#1 Abominations (1996)
- 'Captain America + Cable - The Incredible Hulk + Wolverine'
All-New X-Factor (2014)
#20 Captain Marvel (1999)
- '"Recruiting X-Factor is only the start."'
#29 Cutting Edge (1995)
- 'Future Shares'#30
#1 Exiles (2001)
- 'Different Madness!'
#79 Future Imperfect (2015)
- 'World Tour: Future Imperfect : Part 1'#80
- 'World Tour: Future Imperfect: Part 2'
Hulk: Broken Worlds (2009)
Hulk: Future Imperfect (1992)
#1 Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works (2012)
- 'Future Imperfect'#2
- 'Future Imperfect - Conclusion'
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Hulk 2004 (2004)
Secret Wars (2015)
Spider-Man 2099 (2014)
Superior Spider-Man (2013)
The Incredible Hulk (1968)
- 'The Big Bang'#460
- 'Self Destruction'
Video Game Appearances:
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga (1997)
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