Review: Task Force Z #1
There’s something a bit silly about the concept of Task Force Z but at the same time it all works so well. The concept is simple, A-Day resulted in the death of numerous criminals in Arkham Asylum. Now, those criminals have been resurrected and forced on a team, much like the Suicide Squad. It’s the Suicide Squad with pseudo zombies. The comic is also completely self-aware and has a lot of fun with its concept acknowledging how crazy the idea is.
Written by Matthew Rosenberg, Task Force Z #1 lays out the insane concept putting everything on the table. We know the “how” of it all, we sort of know the “who” of it, and kind of know the “why” of it too. Led by Jason Todd, aka Red Hood, the initial team features Bane, Man-Bat, and eventually Arkham Knight, and Mr. Bloom. The last of which is an unexpected character who stands out showing off so much personality in their back and forth with Todd.
The issue is really solid though. Rosenberg keeps the familiar of Suicide Squad but enough of a spin on it to make it interesting. The spin is the “how” and Jason Todd’s reaction to it all. It’s a silly concept when you think about it and Todd seems to recognize that. He’s dealing with “zombie” villains in a situation that has them taking down other villains and the absurdity of it all isn’t lost on him. His reactions and lines are funny adding to the enjoyment of the debut. But, Rosenberg also gives him some humanity showing off his unease of it all. One particular moment has Todd being the voice of reason, a role we don’t associate with him and in that moment a lot is added to the character and the seires.
Task Force Z #1 also has a bit of old-school horror to it all. The end of the comic especially delivers a tense moment that is left hanging and really plays off the concepts of zombies and horror films of the past. Again, it adds to the fun, campy, pulp aspect of it.
The art by Eddy Barrows is great. Along with ink by Eber Ferreira, color by Adriano Lucas, and lettering by Rob Leigh, the comic is “dark” adding to the atmosphere and concept but never crosses a line into scary. Yes the villains are zombies but the comic never really goes for the gross out factor of decay. There’s some small moments here and there and details as well that makes it all clear but where the comic could easily go over the top with decaying villains, it hasn’t yet. Instead, it plays it somewhat serious in a way adding to the grounded aspect and making the comic feel visually like it fits into the world of Batman.
Task Force Z #1 is a debut that does an excellent job of playing off of the current meta story going on in the world of Batman. While “Fear State” isn’t present, it does build off of the launch of the new line’s narrative and has some fun with the possibilities that sets up. Overall, it’s an unexpected debut that’s both serious and camp at the same time and leaves us wanting more. Task Force Z #1 feels a bit like old-school EC Comics at times and never takes itself too seriously.
Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Eddy Barrows
Ink: Eber Ferreira Color: Adriano Lucas Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE comic for a review