The Maestro was an incarnation of the Hulk, who existed as one of the last survivors of a nuclear war that wiped out most of the World's superhumans. With no one to challange him, he ruled the desolate waste land of Earth and made use of Dr Doom’s time machine to zip about the timeline. As he was a bit of a bad egg (no, it's true) his plan to return to the past to the birth of the Hulk's children was so that he could turn one of the Hulk's sons into a weapon against his own father. The novel was structured into three parts, with the first looking at the tragic aspect of Banner and Betty’s relationship; the second casting the shadow of fear over Betty's pregnancy and the third looking at destiny. The sections threw up a number of themes and established that Banner’s personality disorder that had manifested itself as a number of different incarnations of the Hulk, was partly the result of abuse he suffered at the hands of his own father. Throughout the novel he attempted to protect his child and even transcended time to change the course of events; but ultimately he failed and he ended up doing the things he feared.
UNLEASH THE BEAST:
*A theme that ran concurrent through the text was that of tragedy and loss. The relationship that Banner and Betty shared was filled with tragic circumstances and was as destructive as it was loving. Banner would always endanger Betty whilst he was the Hulk and as proved by the appearance of the Maestro, he would always be the Hulk.
*When the Hulk's battle with the Maestro proved pointless, he sent him back in time instead, to the point of the gamma bomb that unleashed the Hulk. The explosion that gave birth to the Hulk destroyed the Maestro.
*Bruce Banner used the alias Bruce Lee Kirby, taking the surnames from comics legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
*After Banner went through the procedure to surpress the Hulk, he described the moment when he realised that it had succeeded. The description involved him getting a flat tyre whilst driving in the rain and was a reference to The Incredidble Hulk TV show, where David Banner’s first transformation into the Hulk occured in a similar way.
*The reporter at the hospital was called Jack McGee. McGee was the name of the reporter who hounded David Banner in the Hulk TV show and his interference into David's affairs prompted David to utter the famous line, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”
*Hulk: Future Imperfect (1992) was a classic comic-book story that saw the Hulk brought to the future by Rick Jones to face the Maestro and was a sort-of connected story to What Savage Beast.