Monday, 27 June 2022

Task Force Z #4 - DC Comics

TASK FORCE Z No. 4, March 2022
Relying far more upon the politics and sinister subterfuge taking place behind the scenes at the Chop Shop to ‘hook’ its audience, rather than a carousel of bone-cracking confrontations with flesh-hungry cadavers, Matthew Rosenberg’s narrative for Issue Four of “Task Force Z” still must have pleased the majority of its readers. For whilst this twenty-two page periodical’s biggest talking points are arguably the Red Hood’s mean-spirited interrogation of Harvey Dent, and subsequent battle of wills against his former mentor, the Batman, the dialogue driven discussions still prove as enthralling as if Jason Todd were actually trading electrically-charged blows with his opponents.

Moreover, the American author also does an excellent job in progressing the sub-plot of Mister Bloom’s bizarre behaviour towards his fellow Undead team-mates, and raises the intriguing notion that Amanda Waller has been secretly developing a second team alongside Two-Face’s squad. Indeed, the antics of Daryl Gutierrez’s seed-powered meta-human is probably the most disturbing element of this book’s storyline, especially when the super-villain shockingly murders Doctor Anton towards the climax of the comic, and blatantly demonstrates just how untrustworthy he is; “No he wasn’t, you sneaky @!#&. What did he mean about you coming back? Do you know what this place is? Have you been here before?”

Of course, all these character-driven machinations doesn’t mean for a moment that there isn’t still room for some pulse-pounding pugilism and unrestrained physical violence, with Todd’s aforementioned conversation with the Dark Knight actually taking place in a dark, mugger-filled alleyway during a failed robbery. In addition, Jason’s barely functioning team are eventually dispatched upon one last mission “to isolate some of the unique chemicals that are released in production of the Lazarus Resin”, which quickly deteriorates into a free for all between the likes of Arkham Knight and some grotesque-looking walking corpses.

Equally enjoyable as the writing are Eddy Barrows and Kieran McKeown slightly contrasting-in-style contributions as joint pencilers. Eduardo does a particularly good job in depicting both the restrained aggression lurking just beneath the Red Hood’s costumed physique when facing Dent in the supposedly reformed rogue’s luxurious home, as well as the disconcerting gangliness of Mister Bloom whenever Scott Snyder’s Slender Man derivative sinisterly enters the stage to commit another of his diabolical treacheries.

The regular cover art of "TASK FORCE Z" #4 by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas

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