- Once again... I'm afraid that the Hulk is gone... Call me anything but that impaired, inferior, irrational, no-good green monster...
- -- Maestro
- -- Maestro
Before the years of Ultron Revolution, Bruce Banner seemed to have the same history with his Earth-61615 counterpart, until Ultron had started an all-out war against humans and those who dares to oppose him and his ideologies. As the incredible and seemingly indestructible Hulk, Banner joined the Avengers and other superheroes during the Battle of New York and assisted them in stopping Ultron and his millions of robotic armies across the globe. Unfortunately, with all their best efforts and sacrifices, Ultron just became too powerful overtime due to his reoccurring self-upgrade, which no one could stop since Ultron's Sanctuary was so difficult to track down in order to find the megalomaniacal machine. As time went on, more and more casualties had started increasing throughout the years, taking the lives of several people, both superhuman or not.
The Fall of the Hulk
During one ensuing battle during Year 8 of the Ultron Revolution, General Thaddeus Ross, his daughter Betty and Bruce were "safely" being transported to the secret underground city found under New York through an advanced S.H.I.E.L.D. van, when suddenly, they were ambushed by Ultron Sentries in the streets of the Manhattan ruins. The vehicle violently crashed after dozens of Sentries shot at the van using their plasma cannons. In the wake of the crash, both Thaddeus and Bruce barely survived, but unfortunately, Betty didn't make it, succumbing from her injuries.
As she died in Bruce's arms, Bruce mourned in great agony, and as his emotions started settling out, he let out his extreme rage, turning into the Hulk once again, only this time, he had no intentions to revert back to Bruce. Ross had no other choice but to hold his daughter's lifeless body and watch the chaos and destruction the Hulk made, starting as he destroyed the incoming Ultron Sentries and Ultron-controlled Sentinels, which destroyed everything else in the surroundings, including buildings and other structures, in the process.
Lost in the Stars
Now accepting his fate, Ross closed his eyes and waited for his turn to go. But the rescue squadron of S.H.I.E.L.D. had arrived in time to save Ross and get him out of the open, successfully returning to the underground city with Betty's body. From that point on, no one, including Ross, had seen the Hulk or Bruce himself anywhere in New York or anywhere else in the entire country, leaving his whereabouts unknown. Following Ultron's continuous invasion on Earth, it was revealed that Hulk exiled himself out of guilt and loss for his failure to save the ones he love by leaving the Earth and flying into space through a Quinjet, encountering a wormhole which transported him to several alien planets across the cosmos, where the fiery and stressful environments of his visits had prevented him from regressing back into Banner, causing him to permanently remain in his Hulk form for the next few years in his newfound journey.
However, one such journey that he went through would change his life both as the Hulk and Banner forever, from the very moment he came across a dangerous region of space, located beyond the Andromeda Galaxy, an area mostly filled with insurmountable amounts of gamma radiation. This "gamma storm" unintentionally allowed him to merge his intelligence and consciousness and the Hulk's physical appearance and strength into one being, restoring Banner back to his self while retaining the body of the Hulk. Remembering the events of Ultron Revolution, Banner tried to return back to Earth in order to help his surviving allies against Ultron, despite already having lost his wife and other loved ones. Realizing that there was no way home, Banner could only despise his Hulk persona, who seemingly "vanished" after the intense gamma storm merged them together as one being, becoming the best of both worlds.
Master of Champions
Rise of Maestro
Following his exile from an Ultron-conquered Earth, Hulk tried to change the route of the Quinjet back to Earth realizing that he had to save them nevertheless of his grief, only to fly further into space in which he came across a wormhole dubbed as the Devil's Anus that caused the Quinjet to crash on the planet Sakaar, where the chaotic and unforgiving environment prevented him from escaping the planet for almost a decade. On Sakaar, he became a gladiator and eventually a right-hand man for the Sakaaran ruler Red King and was soon revered as a beloved champion, choosing to turn his back on Earth, and enjoy the life of an admired warrior, renaming himself with the new identity of Maestro Di Campioni, translated as "the master of champions," later simplified as Maestro. However, despite the attempt of trying to forget his painful life and his loved ones through the countless "contest of champions" he had consistently won over the years, such things in reality were simply easier said than done.
Each and every night, Bruce spent his time breaking down in tears just to sleep in his quarters, which some of his fellow gladiators find disturbing yet strangely relieving since they aren't the only ones to cry after regretting joining the never-ending bloody contest just to make a living, either for themselves or their families. Ironically enough, Maestro also realized that despite being a celebrity to the Sakaarans, he was still being perceived by Sakaarans as a mindless monster who simply smashes which overlooked his impressive mind and other capabilities, knowing that his life on Sakaar was not that different when he was on Earth. Using his mind into netter use, Bruce contemplated the classist, caste-like state of the entire Sakaraan society for hundreds and thousands of years, which he end up denouncing with a passion. As a result, Maestro helped found the Sakaaran Rebellion dubbed "Warbound," which was also organized by other gladiators, which included his newfound confidante Korg, his frenemy Elloe Kaifi, and his newfound lover Caiera, within the contest of champions who were willing to overthrow the Red King and bring down his reign of enslavement and classism once and for all. The war raged for months as blood sheds and bones break, but in the end of the rebellion, Maestro brought the great Sakaaran palace into the ground with his bare hands, preventing the Red King and his allies from escaping. Maestro almost let his rage snap the Red King to death, only to remind himself that it was not his call to decide to lives and dies, relieving the Red King at first, only for Bruce to finish that it was up to the people of Sakaaran's decision to bring him into retributive justice, specifically death.
The Red King was publicly executed in the city's capital, signalling the anarchic end of the emperor's tyranny and oppression for thousands of years as Maestro and its people hope for a new, better, and freer future. Bruce suggested the planet's government system would be transitioned into a more democratic one, in which constitutional monarchy was subsequently implemented, and while he tried to talk himself out of the, the lost and desperate people nevertheless chose Maestro as the succeeding ruler of their society, in spite of his rebuffs. Still, Maestro accepted carrying this crucial responsibility, and despite knowing inside that he was no politician, he had his Warbound comrades as his council to help him govern Sakaar for the following years to come. Emperor Maestro, however, found out that there was a mole within the Sakaraan Council was revealed to be using its position to deceive the people for power and personal gain and illegally sell weapons to former criminals, practically planning to restore the cycle of Sakaraan chaos and oppression all over again.
Distraught by this discovery, Maestro and his trusted allies went through several investigations and confrontations across the council, only to conclude that fellow councilor Elloe Kaifi was unfairly stealing money from the upper classes and discreetly to give it to the poorer ones, which Maestro thought was an act of, but still felt it wasn't her who was behind the arms trafficking which caused the crime on Sakaar to rise exponentially. Unfortunate for Maestro, it was actually his lover Caiera who was the real mastermind and the mole who was guilty for starting a black market for weapons, believing in the grim conviction that the fate of the Sakaarans would always end up in chaos and ruins unless the "old ways" is restored to keep things back in order, revealing that Caiera has always been an opposer to her lover's more democratic-leaned ideologies. It was too late for Maestro to thwart Caiera's sinister plans as she was already steps ahead of him, framing him and other members of the Council who weren't in favor of her, such as Korg and Miek, as rebels against the monarchy. Publicly framed as the savage beast and warrior that he longer is, Maestro tried to keep in contact with his now outlawed allies who were all over the planet, but the more time he spends with them, the more they get caught and executed by his own guards, who was now under the control of his lover. Maestro tried to confront Caiera into convincing her that a more peaceful and democratic notion is still possible if they try it, only for Caiera to grow tired of Maestro's intellectual and human-like bickering, admitting that she missed his mindless, fiery, aggressive, beast-like, hulking self, which was the reason she loved him in the first place. As a way to that aspect of Maestro, Caiera uses one of her weapons, launching a gamma ray strike from the sky as it is targets a poverty-ridden city in Sakaar, greatly demonstrating her simple but morbid philosophy that "only the strongest survives, while the weakest dies."
Caiera tried to make Maestro join her side, but with his heroic instincts, the hulking warrior couldn't resist but try his best and save the city from destruction. Using himself as a shield to deflect the gamma blast, his efforts were sadly proven to be futile, as a thousand tons of gamma ray bursts into the city, destroying it while transforming it surviving citizens into mindless aggressive, hulk-like beings that has no regard for life other than slaughtering any creature it could find, even its fellow gamma-transformed creatures. Maestro was irreversibly mortified by the incident, reminding his traumatic past back on Earth. As the gamma-transformed citizens savagely attack him, he also remembered the inner aspect of the Hulk that he never hoped and wanted to surface back but in doing so only "woke up" that very part of him once more. In that moment, despite his many attempts suppress himself, Maestro finally unleashed his inner rage for the first time in years, something that he has never released since his first time participating in the Contest of Champions.
With his unstoppable rage returning, Maestro single-handedly decimated hundreds of gamma-transformed citizens, until he stopped in great guilt and realized Caiera had intentionally made him into "this" once again, in which he immediately went back into the Council headquarters to face the woman he once loved and deal with her betrayal. Maestro angrily asked his lover why she turned him back into the very state he had feared of returning to, though Caiera rebutted that it was always his destiny to be the savagest version of the Hulk, believing it to be his true nature. With his conflicted mind and enclosed fists, Maestro was conflicted by Caiera's belief by trying to disprove her, only to for his rage to overwhelm him every second, suggesting his instincts to go after Caiera and tear her into pieces for what she did to the Sakaarans but his other self suggesting otherwise, knowing he has already gotten this far to embrace his merged self. Burdened by his inner conflict, Caiera was able to subdue Maestro into paralysis using a large shock collar, forcing her lover to submit to her reign against his will.
Thankfully, Maestro's outlawed council returned to his rescue, distracting her long enough for an enraged Maestro to break off his chains and beat Caiera and her armada. Bruce and the Hulk were able to re-embrace his true form as the unified Maestro, stopping himself from finishing off Caiera due to the fact that he still feels something for her. Just like what he did for sparing the Red King earlier, he let his allies take care of her as he walked away while Elloe Kaifi herself, who was framed for becoming the mole in the beginning, gave the finishing strike by stabbing Caiera in the heart with a broken glaive, killing her and effectively ending her reign. Having now overthrown two regimes in his Sakaaran lifetime, Maestro gave the governance of Sakaar to the hands of his most trusted allies, filled with guilt that he hasn't done it much earlier, realizing that he should've trusted his instincts that he wasn't built to be a king all those times. Fixing and modifying his rusting Quinjet as a spaceship with any essential material that he could find across Sakaar, Maestro left the planet for good and ventured into the vast cosmos, hoping to find a way back on Earth, back home.
Return to Earth
To be added.
The multiversal events known as the incursions caused realities to crash with each other, with the central point being each universe's planet Earth, and one of those universes have pitted Earth-61616 against a distant future reality that unexpectedly unleashes an army of duplicated speedsters, led by none other than the future Speed Demon. During the cosmic assault, a determined Maestro willingly assisted his allies and enemies alike in attempting to destroy the alternate Earth, in an attempt at stopping the great "speed storm" summoned by the chaotic speedsters, while the others launched several massive spaceships (built and previously owned by the deceased artificial intelligence Ultron) containing millions and millions of people as they try and evacuate the planet. In the end, the two realities collided, although Maestro was able to escape the death of his universe after accessing a jump point through his personal ship, evading the destruction caused by the final incursions.
Maestro eventually crash-landed in Battleworld in its early stages, when it was a frightening place full of darkness and constant conflicts. During this time, his newfound allies (which were other fellow survivors of the incursions) were mostly killed by overpowered Devil Hulks and Maestro and his remaining allies were about to be killed, when a mysterious woman by the named of Lady Miriam, introducing herself as a "merciful servant" to the Beyonders, rulers of Battleworld, came to give him refuge in the early days of the patchwork planet after saving him from the Devil Hulks. Maestro accepted her offer, leading for him to be appointed as a Baron of a domain known as Dystopia. Despite being a powerful ruler of his domain within Battleworld, Maestro wasn't grateful enough for what he had and still secretly plotted to unseat the Beyonders and take their place as the All-Father and ruler of Battleworld.
Maestro was eventually freed from his own illusion to help the Beyonders deal with a rising rebellion that was occurring in Battleworld, brief moments before the planet was destroyed, and led his people to join the heroic rebellion against the Great Mother and the Beyonders to restore their freedom. The destruction of Battleworld was the consequence of the rebellious cosmic triumvirate (Mister Fantastic, Beyonder, and Molecule Man) stealing the Beyonders' godly powers, but not before Doctor Doom made a sinister attempt to use it all for himself, but failed, and the Multiverse was rebuilt.
By the climactic finale of the battle on Battleworld, Maestro, along with other lost beings without a home reality to settle in, were subsequently thrown out to parts unknown in the now recreated multiverse. In Banner's case, he was transported to the prime reality, where he found himself in the middle of a gladiator match against ginormous creatures. At that moment, Maestro found the place a little too familiar, as if he had already been to that place before, before finally confirming that he was once again on Sakaar, though on this different reality, leaving him with no other choice but to smash his way to his escape and victory, before seeking a way to get back home, if there still is any hope and possibility for such feat to be achieved.
Powers and Abilities
Gamma Radiation Physiology: Due to Bruce Banner being exposed to the Gamma Bomb's radiation and the later results arising from Banner's ensuing capacity to transform into a powerful monster, the Hulk is one of the physically strongest beings in the universe, with potential for limitless strength, and presumably stamina, durability, healing and adaptation. Getting his blood mutated and injected to the Super-Soldier Serum would also grant him to increase in size, causing his skin to slowly turn into grey and causes to increase his rage and his sometimes ravenous hunger even more, causing Banner to lose control of the Hulk. During the events of the Ultron Revolution's Year 8 as he exiles himself in space, the Hulk came across a gamma storm in deep space which fused Banner's genius-level intellect, knowledge, and consciousness with the Hulk's extraordinary superhuman abilities together to become an amalgamation of both Hulk and himself.
- Superhuman Strength
- Self Sustenance
- Underwater Breathing
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Durability
- Regenerative Healing Factor
- Superhuman Speed
- Super-Soldier Serum
- Limited Size Addition
- Increased Superhuman Strength
|Power Grid |
- Super-Genius Intelligence
- Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant
- Master Martial Artist
Same as a normal human being (as Bruce Banner).
- Various technological inventions
- Gamma Dome Generator
- Wrist-Watch Teleporter
- Molecular Repulsion Field
- Electromagnetic Pulse Blast
- Flyspy Cams
- Iron Hulk Armor
- Uru Shield
- Universal Weapon
- Maestro's Quinjet
- Old Power Taser
- Bannertech Stun Gun
- Hammer of Smash
- The backstory of this version of Maestro is based more on the Hulk from the World War Hulk storyline, though some elements of Maestro's origins were later incorporated in his story after the Rebellion on Sakaar had occurred.
- After a cosmic gamma storm have permanently combined both the Hulk's raw strength and physique with Banner's mind and intelligence, the latter could only despise his Hulk persona for "abandoning" him, who is seemingly gone since the gamma storm have merged them together, ever since then after exiling himself for having Betty Ross and a lot of other people unintentionally killed during Ultron Revolution.
- ↑ Modern Comics: Dark Age Vol 1 10
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Bruce Banner (Earth-61616)
- Character Gallery: Bruce Banner (Earth-61616)
- Quotations by Bruce Banner (Earth-61616)
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