Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Task Force Z #6 - DC Comics

TASK FORCE Z No. 6, May 2022
Finally filling in a few blanks as to the formation of Two-Face’s government-sponsored undead super-team, this so-called “secret-origin issue” of “Task Force Z” certainly paints a convoluted picture as to Mister Bloom’s treacherous behaviour behind the scenes. Indeed, Daryl Gutierrez's anonymous creation appears to have ‘suckered in’ almost the entirety of this mini-series’ main cast with his deals, counter-deals and duplicitous manipulations; “Waller knew it before we did. But at least now we got confirmation. And that means we know what our mission is, Harvey. It’s time to kill Mister Bloom.”

Happily however, all these disconcerting revelations are rather neatly interspersed amongst the present-day happenings, which means that Matthew Rosenberg’s narrative never really loses pace when it momentarily flashes back to Doctor Walter Albrecht’s celebratory champagne in “a secret laboratory”, Senator O'Connor’s attempt to reignite his political career through resurrecting the dead, or the initial recruitment of Jason Todd as the “pretty face” of Dent’s macabre band of deceased criminals. Instead, these insights steadily explain just how Red Hood’s current mission is completely unravelling and demonstrate just how naïve the likes of Gotham City’s “half-melted, fully-homicidal former District Attorney” has been to trust an American politician “who is one @#&% hair from doing time.”

Of course, this twenty-two-page periodical’s biggest draw is probably the dramatic confrontation between the Dark Knight and his former protégé, as intimidated by the book’s pulse-pounding cover illustration by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Adriano Lucas. This fraught conversation, which initially begins with the Caped Crusader running over ‘Robin’ with the Batmobile, really dives deep into the strained relationship between the two costumed crime-fighters, and it will doubtless come as no surprise to many of this comic’s readers that Batman soon knocks an increasingly angry Todd back to the ground so as to thwart the youth from “following very bad men down a very bad path.”

Helping with the storytelling for this particular instalment is artist Jack Herbert, who does a prodigious job pencilling all of Mister Bloom’s schemes with great aplomb. Furthermore, the Brazilian does a first-rate job of imbuing KGBeast’s downfall against Bane, Mister Freeze and Red Hood with plenty of pulse-pounding punch, especially once Anatoli Knyazev’s realises the futility of his predicament and activates his personal, self-destruct device.

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg, Artist: Jack Herbert and Colors: Adriano Lucas

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